Monday, July 16, 2012

Photos around Japan

Nara was all about the deer!

Usually timid, unless you had food to give them. 
 Originally the capital of Japan - many temples and shrines found around the city.  Endo-Ji temple in the mountains above Nara.

Tokyo also had many shrines and temples-  below  is Asakusa.

Also originally one of the capitals of Japan.  Many old areas mixed in with those of a big city.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

ESD projects!

ESD: Education for Sustainable Development is the idea that we live within our means.
It is not just about the environment - it is about the interconnection of all things and the
careful use of natural resources.  That we partner with nature and not dominate it!  

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization), explains ESD as 
"a vision of education that seeks to balance human and economic well-being with cultural traditions
and respect for the earth's natural resources".  

We will be doing this by working 
together with schools in both the
U.S. and in Japan!

At Howard Gray we will be concentrating on three main areas:  Food, Peace and Water.  
Food:  We will be working on a project to design "mascots" that teach younger students about good food nutrition and healthy eating.  So start thinking about the food groups and ideas you have for teaching students about these!

Water:  Water is needed for life and connects us all around the world.  We will be learning about water sources in areas around the U.S and in Japan and the importance of conservation, especially in Arizona!  This will involve some field-trips to ponds and other water areas and communicating with students around the world!

Peace:  We will be participating in a project where we will be sending "symbols of Peace" to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial park in Japan.  
Question - What is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial and why is it important? (put your answers in the comment section below).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Leaving Japan

Today I head back to Arizona from  Japan.  This has been a fantastic trip with lots of great experiences to share with all of you!

For the last few days we have been working together on joint projects to use in class so that we can build international understanding between the US, Japan and around the world.

We wrapped up the trip by working in small groups and I have several projects I will be sharing at school!

Here is a view from the hotel conference room and then all the teachers that were involved in the program.

I leave Tokyo at 4 pm today, July 2nd, and arrive in Phoenix at 3:30 pm on July 2nd.

Question:  How am I able to arrive earlier, then I left?  Answer in the comment area below!  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Yesterday we left Nara for a day in Kyoto.  We had completed 2 more school visits and then a visit to the University with a tour from some of the students.  The first school, Koutou Jr. High, was up in the mountains, so we had a very short visit to Enjo-Ji Temple before arriving.

The students greeted us at the door - they also have a very small number of students, only 40.  Then we attended different groups for activities in:  Judo, Calligraphy, and Koto - a musical instrument of Japan. I attended Koto and learned how to play the instrument. It was very difficult to learn, but beautiful to listen to.  After this we learned some Japanese manners of how to bow and serve tea!

 At Tonan Jr. High we learned about their recycling program and roof garden that grows cucumbers to help shade the windows from the sun.

In Kyoto, I was able to see many of the sights and did so much walking.  It is a very large city with a lot of history - it was also a capital of Japan at one time!

Now I am back in Tokyo fro the joint conference with US and Japanese teachers.  We will be discussing what we learned and projects we hope to complete on sustainable development.

Question:  What project would you like to work on with Japanese schools?  Areas we are looking at are: the enviroment, human impact, culture, world heritage, peace, and students' responsibility.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Visited the Nara City Education Center yesterday - a state of the art center for teacher training and resources.  They even have a planetarium - quite impressive.  Nara does quite a lot with World Heritage as they have many areas that are designated as a World Heritage sight.

Then we visited Ichijo Municipal High School and got to participate in an English Class with the students.  They had to ask us questions in English - very fun!  Afterwards we observed the students cleaning the school.  Students take pride in their schools and all Japanese students clean their schools.  Then it we observed several afternoon afterschool activities - one was a really amazing dance program.

Some of the activities we saw were: dance, fencing, baseball, soccer, swimming, volleyball, judo, band, handball, and badminton. Students are often at school till 7pm.

Question:  What after-school activity would you like to participate in, if it was offered at our school?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Been a busy couple of days - I'm now in Nara which is fairly close to Kyoto and Osaka. We did a tour of Nara Park yesterday - had an amazing lunch and then visited Nara National Museum. Next it was onto a tour of Todaiji Temple -which is  surrounded by deer. Also just completed my homestay with a very nice family in a mountainous area about an hour from Nara - very beautiful. More schools tomorrow!

Question:  Why are there so many deer in Nara? (go online to find your answer) -  Answer in the comment area below.  

Friday, June 22, 2012


Visited 2 amazing schools yesterday - Ochanomizu University Elementary and Jiyu Gakuen.  Lots of activities with the students.  In Jiyu we even helped to build a bench!