I'm back and oh what a trip I had!

I am back and oh my, what a trip I had! My youngest son is studying in Rome this semester and my husband and I took the plunge and visited him over my spring break! Wow! I would go back to Rome in a minute! What a beautiful city! What glorious FRESH, delicious food! And what a beautiful city filled with ancient history! At one time we visited a church that celebrates Mass in a 12th century building built upon a church that was built in the early 4th century that was built upon a church built in the 1st century! The teacher in me could not get over the rich history of this ancient city! Walking through the ruins of the forum and the colosseum, throwing a Euro into Trevi fountain, treading upon the cobblestone steps, walking into the Pantheon, experiencing the beginning of Christianity by visiting the many beautiful churches..... so many historical experiences leading to the incredible feeling of touching the past in some small way. I keep thinking of how I can bring this experience to my students.... Here is what I learned last week.......

1. Learn from the past. Respect the lives of those who lived before us.
2. The world is smaller than we think. What one nation does affects the lives of other nations. Europe is far more advanced than we are in their conservation efforts. It is important that we, as teachers, teach our students conservation methods. Because our country is so large, I think that sometimes we don't realize that what we do in our little section of Earth really does affect what happens all over the world.
3. My husband and I do not speak a word of Italian; yet we were respected in Rome. No one made us feel that we were inferior because we did not speak the language. Does that happen in the United States? Sadly, I do not think so. The slogan "If you can't speak English, go home" is heard too often on our country's streets. Acceptance of the differences of others is something that must be taught to our students. It is only with acceptance that we can begin to understand the thoughts and feelings of other nations. And when this happens, peace begins to grow.

So.......... now that I have my first day back under my belt, I am ready to begin again to encourage my students to be incredible kids, to try their best, and to have fun while doing it! Our theme for the next couple of weeks will be "Oviparous Animals". A common core goal in math for kindergarten is to become fluent in addition and subtraction facts to 5, so we will be working to learn and practice these skills. It is the end of our 3rd quarter, so these next few days will be spent assessing. I do my assessments during literacy centers which takes away from the teaching part of the day, but assessments need to be done and hopefully I will be able to get through them by Wednesday!

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