Quito Zoo and Ciudad Mitad del Mundo

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Welcome to the Quito Zoo! There were so many amazing animals! Some birds that can only be found here in Ecuador, were also in the zoo. I think my favorite part was walking in the owl exhibit with uncaged owls! It was so cool!

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Next was the Mitad del Mundo – the ecuator! I enjoyed living in two hemispheres at on time at 0,0,0 latitude! Did you know you can balance an egg on a nail here? The Earth’s magnetic field is so amazing!

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Thanksgiving

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For Thanksgiving, our host mother taught us to make Ecuadorian tamales! It was so much fun! We made 80 and we are still eating them! So many leftovers! I also made several pumpkin pies, and we all made green beans. Eleana was sweet enough to cook Mr. Pavo, the turkey, and sweet potatoes that were purple!

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We also had a Thanksgiving lunch at school. Although Ecuadorians do not celebrate Thanksgiving, some teachers at the school are from the states including the principal. So, as a treat, the students go home early and all the teachers come together to give thanks. The picture below is my plate – a great mix of Ecuadorian and The States food.

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17 Ants go Marching

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This week in Kinder Chimborazo students focused on learning the letter A and number 17 this week. We also had a writer’s workshop for our young authors to write a realistic or fantasy story with their very cute writer’s pencil! Their stories were very interesting. Some stories were about going on vacations or to school whereas others were about purple flying shark-aligators and magic places where you could walk on firey lava!

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I had the opportunity this week to not only lead a center and RiT tutoring, but also soloing during circle time on the carpet. We counted the number of days they are in school, calendar, weather, and place value. I also was able to introduce Thanksgiving and share my traditions as well as a tasty pumpkin pie I made! We also played a ending sounds game I created where students are given a picture and they had to find their partner who had the same ending sound. It was fun! They caught on quickly and soon I was timing them to see how quickly they could find their partners – 27 seconds was the record!

This week was a little rainy and the students were a bit…. “antsy.” So, gonoodle.com was introduced to the class this week! I think I have heard the song “Run Like the Kitty-Kitty” a thousand times! We have also been dancing and singing to Usher’s “ABC’S of Moving You” song with Sesame Street.

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Tour of Colegio Menor

On Friday, November 28, we all got a tour of the campus. I wish we were able to teach upper elementary grades because the resources and classes are incredible! There are band, orchestra, and modern music classes. They even have an orchestral arrangement class! The art classes are very advanced and artwork is featured all over the campus. I am amazed at the science resources that is targeted for real world applications and professions. It is even more impressive that each subject incorporates one another to help students gain interest and application. There is definitely some higher thinking skills going on here to prepare students for a successful life outside of school.

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I saw this comparison of a cell to Hogwarts and loved it! It was so creative!

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Cotopaxi

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It all starts here! We ventured from the visitor’s center to a few miles away from base one to start hiking the second highest volcano in the world!

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Brrr! It is cold here! We were glad to have bought ear warmers from the locals at the welcome center. At 19,342 feet, we began our hike up. The oxygen was so thin! The side of the mountain was covered in different volcanic rocks. It was cool to see the different layers formed by the lava over the years. The last eruption was in 1940.
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We made it! It was very difficult with the high elevation, but we were able to make it to the first base camp. Special gear was needed to go to the top, but maybe one day I will return!
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Exploring Around Cumbaya

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On a Saturday morning, we all set off to explore the old railroad trail by Colegio Menor. It is about 20 kilometers, but we only hiked four, not including the fun park we stopped by to hike and play by the water. We walked from Cumbaya to just beyond Tumbaco. It was great fun! We have made a new friend from Boston who is also student teaching at Colegio Mentor, Kelly.

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Funtastic Friday!

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Ta-da! A finished bulletin board made with the students’ artwork only! It is so cute! It has been fun teaching the art center and being creative with our recyclable materials to create something beautiful as a class.
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This week in the science center, students have been learning about the characteristics and origins of sand, soil, and rocks using styreoscopes. It was fun to watch them make their own scientific discoveries about sand, soil, and rocks as they drew what they observed!
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This week was letter “c” and number 16 week! At the manipulatives center, students practiced writing, tracing, and drawing the number 16 – including 16 cookies! Yum! We also played games with letter “c” as well as consuming goodies like cookies and crocodile gummies!
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In the blocks center, we are learning English street signs. Students set up their own neighborhood. One student set up a police station to take cars to jail if they weren’t following the street signs correctly! I love their active imaginations! The class seems to learn through play, which is more effective than very structured learning with worksheets.

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