And then this happened…

I was selected to be a member of EarthEcho International’s Learning, Education, and Advisory Panel. What an honor!!

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Leaving.

I’ve been abroad for 8 years and it’s time to go home. I miss my friends and family in northern California. But saying goodbye to my beloved students is not easy.

Bekky made me the sweetest card/book I’ve ever gotten–12 pages of sweetness (I’ve included only 2)…IMG_3864 IMG_3865

Several students wrote nice notes on their final exams…

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And Andy and Angel gave me this gorgeous scroll…

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Oh, I’ll miss these guys!

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Advisory

At CAISL middle school students are split into advisory groups with 6-9 students per teacher. These groups meet every morning for announcements and attendance and each Friday we have 40 minutes together. This year my group joined with Ms. MacKenzie, the art teacher, and Mr. João, the PE teacher, to work on a project. We decided on a mural and we spent the year planning and creating. We’re pretty pleased with the results!

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Now that’s team work!

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We did it…just in the nick of time! The mural went up on the very last day of school, just in time for us to enjoy it.

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Gredos

For the second year we spent a week at the Gredos Center learning about the ecology of the area. What a great trip! Our fearless leader JuanFran showed up how to do stream and meadow surveys, he taught us how to survey lichen, and he led us on an amazing hike up into the snow. It was great to see the 8th graders going out of their comfort zones all for the sake of Science!

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Big Block: MARLISCO Video Project

This year Ms. Bernardo, the middle school Math teacher, and I were tasked with organizing the ‘big block’  sessions. Big Block happened once a month on a half day and the idea behind it was to have extended time for project-based learning. We decided to join the MARLISCO video challenge where students were tasked with creating a video that would bring awareness to the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans. We had the luxury of having five 4-hour blocks: On two separate days we went to Praia das Maças to do beach cleanups and take photos and shoot video for the projects. In the third block I put together a series of  videos  from which the students could draw inspiration; blocks 4 and 5 (plus some class time) were used for researching, creating and editing.

We were very excited when Team Horizon’s video was chosen as a finalist. We got to take a day off of regular classes to go to the awards ceremony at the Lisbon Aquarium and receive our 5th place award!

Of course, I thought all of the videos should have won but I guess this proud teacher is a bit biased.

Team Horizon

Team Horizon

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Outdoor Club: Castelos dos Mouros

Sintra is full of amazing sites and one of the goals of Outdoor Club this year is to get students, staff, and parents out to as many of these as possible. On Saturday we hiked up to Castelos dos Mouros on a stunningly beautiful day. How lucky we are to live here with places like this in our back yard!

Just chillin'...in a 9th century Moorish castle!

Just chillin’…in a 9th century Moorish castle!

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Happy Birthday to Me!

Needless to say, this made my day…IMG_2800

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