Saturday, October 4, 2008

My classroom is brand new. It's in the addition that the school just put on. The walls were fresh, carpet new, smarboard new, desk new, cabinets new....and I inherited materials from last year's teacher. We didn't have a carpet for the longest time and then...they delivered this. Could it fit me any better?

"Ok, so... How am I gonna set this up?"

Here is my classroom...

I should mention that I have a cooperating teacher. Her responsibilities are to help with grading, lunch count, neatness of room, working with groups, and basically anything I need--super blessed, right?

At AIS (Almaty International School), we have a mastery learning system--meaning, every child MUST master each learning goal. This makes a cooperating teacher handy, because differentiated instruction is a must as some students "Get it" and some students don't. Another pair of hands and eyes makes it more likely to have each student "master content" and succeed.

Anyways, I have a vision for the classroom--how it should function and what it should look like, and basically, she makes it happen.

International Brunch

Today at school was the international brunch/open house. Everyone at the school, including factulty, were to bring a dish to share. What's more American than good ol' pb&j?! This idea was recommended by a colleague. I was almost going to make eggplant parm...

Family should know that as I spread the jelly, i remembered when Ashley abruptly argued that my pb&j's aren't as good as "grandma's"... So I hoped and prayed my pb&j's would be like my Mom's...

The Crib

Pictured here is my very Russian-looking living room. Isn't it nice? Green is the color of choice. I was so blessed. When I arrived, there was everything I needed except internet and a dvd player. There is a vacuum, hair dryer, dishes, linens, utensils...It's very nice and I love it!

Kazakh Concert

Two Friday evenings ago, I went to a traditional Kazakh concert. The music was beautiful! Very dainty, and many songs celebrated the end of winter (ha ha). Ironically, I am listening to this music right now as I post this...I guess there's a concert somewhere close or my neighbor has it on cd!

Hilarious- one of the traditional instruments makes this "boooeeinngg" sound. For some reason, it's kinda comical, and one of my colleagues and I almost burst out the third the middle of the concert. but we didn't :)

How sweet is this pic?

This photo was taken at the top lookout at Medeo in the Tianshan Mountains. The ice skating rink seen in the above post is behind and below the photographer.

When we got to the top, this man charged 300 tenge to hold his eagle pet. I was freaked, but knew I couldn't pass up this opportunity! I did not look the eagle in the eye. ;)


One Sunday in early September, we took a school trip into the Tianshan Mountains. This spot is called Medeo. We walked up 800 some steep steps (they reminded me of the Great Wall) to a lookout. Here, we ate our packed lunch, I snapped this photo, and we walked back down. The view is breathtaking. The white thing you see in this photo is the famous Medeo ice rink. This is where Kazakhstan's Olympic athletes train. It is being remodeled, so it is temporarly a roller-blading rink. I roller bladed here.

First Day of School

I'm actually a teacher. After moving here, we were thrown into teacher induction, then staff development, and suddenly, teaching. I have students... and a classroom. It was all so fast, I actually don't even remember the first day of school right now as I write this. Here I am the morning of my very first day.