Tuesday, December 21, 2010

ENJOY THE BREAK!! School is out until Jan. 3rd (but we are still learning!)

2011 here we come!

BCS is ready and willing to take on every challenge that comes our way and to build on our success!

Please rest for the next two weeks and relax with friends and family!

See you on January 3, 2011!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

NO SCHOOL- Monday Dec 13, 2010

School has been cancelled due to the weather! Enjoy the snow and drive safe if you are going out!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One of five schools visited in Chongqing

Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

Calligraphy Class

This is one of many art classes students take at the middle school level.

Teaching Good Habits

The class before our visit was teaching about ways to take care of the environment. I took some video of the blackboard. The teacher translated it for me. They have yet to start recycling but are now discussing it in their school!

Students in the Classroom

Me and Washington in a secondary classroom. Washington would like to study at Harvard or Stanford!
Students in a primary classroom- notice the coats..no heat!

Morning Warm-Up

Double Happiness

Double Happiness (simplified Chinese: 双喜; traditional Chinese: 雙喜; pinyin: shuāngxǐ; sometimes translated as Double Joy or Double Happy) is a Chinese ornamental design commonly used as a decoration.

It is a ligature "囍" composed of two Chinese characters 喜 (, 'joy'), compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and often modified in various ways.

The shuāngxǐ motif often appears on decorative items associated with Chinese New Year celebrations and weddings, the latter of the two is often found all over the wedding ceremony, as well as on gift items given to the bride and groom. The color of the character is usually red, occasionally black. (wikipedia)

Mr. Chen: Principal of Yubei Experimental School

Mr. Chen and I will be keeping in touch. We look forward to a continued relationship between his school and BCS to advocate global awareness.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yubei Middle School

Talking with students at Yubei Middle School
Adam and Ben (Their "English" names) discuss American movies they have seen!

Alan November in Oakland County

Redesigning a Culture of Learning featuring Alan November

Monday, January 31, 2011, 6:30 - 8:00 PM @ Oakland Schools

2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford, MI, 48328


Alan November, recognized internationally as a leader in education technology, has guided schools, government organizations and industry leaders as they plan to improve quality with technology.

In this special presentation, Alan will explore what essential questions and planning processes are needed to prepare our students to have a global work ethic, and how to turn our classrooms into global communication centers.

He will share his work on redesigning the culture of teaching and learning with concrete tools, websites and ideas that educators, parents and community members can take and use with students to create a more empowered authentic model

of learning.

Special Gifts

Each school visited, graciously gave us a red scarf that symbolizes leadership. Each student leader wore the red scarf to show they are responsible and ready to lead. The scarf is red to represent the blood shed by their Chinese ancestors during the wars throughout the history of China.

This is Wu Yanan, she also painted a picture that is now hanging in my office!

Should we be worried? Your thoughts?


China Visit Day 1

Great to be back in the US where I can access my blog. Don't take anything for granted!

I will post a few reflections in the next week or so along with video and pictures.

December 6, 2010

I visited three schools today and each visit was amazing! The teachers and administrators were so kind and every school made sure our visit was memorable. China is very proud of their progress in education over the past thirty years and after today I can see why. I have learned many things over the course of the past two days and look forward to visiting other schools tomorrow. Each visit begins with a welcome session and ends with exchanging gifts. The sessions with their staff provides us with a brief history of the school and an opportunity to ask questions. The questions however are asked in the presence of administrators and are carefully answered. It is the conversations I have had with the students and the teachers outside the supervision of the administration i find intriguing.

Creativity is, I believe, one of the non-negotiable characteristics of a quality education. Teachers and students must have the freedom, the knowhow, and the expectation to be creative. I firmly believe that when given the chance, all of us have a creative side that is essential in our learning. When the keynote speaker at our welcome banquet last night spoke of China’s efforts to reform education and stated that creativity is pivotal, it caught my attention. According to her, the slogan for educational reform for the next decade is, “Escape Chinese Education.” She strongly stated that in order for China to compete in the global arena, they must be more creative. Sound familiar?

My “covert” conversations revealed an environment very similar to ours here in the Untied States. Teachers feel they do not have time to be creative since they have loads of content to cover. They feel the pressure of assessments and take on the burden of preparing their students for very high stake tests given during the university application process. The students I talked to feel “powered down” at school, not having many technology tools to use within their classrooms. One student told me, “I do not like Chinese schools, we have 13 lessons a day and that is too much time to sit and listen.” He then went on to ask me if I facebook and wanted my cell number. I responded by asking how he is able to access facebook since the government does not allow it. He just smiled like many 16 year olds I know and said, “I’m creative!”

As different as China and the United States are, today showed me that we have something in common. We have children that need our support, need our care, and most of all, need the opportunity to be creative. Escaping Chinese Education, from what I have learned, means to escape the same environment we have been trying to escape in education for years. No matter what country, state, or district we work and live in, we MUST advocate for creativity among our teachers and our students. China is pushing ahead to transition into a movement that the United States has already started. Both countries have a long way to go but as long as it continues to be a priorty and the teachers themselves are motivated to make it happen, creativity can not be denied for long!

G.E.E.K.ed in Chionqing,


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Off to China

Sitting in the Lansing Airport discussing our trip to China. I am here with educators (teachers, principals, superintendents) from various school districts across the state. Everyone is excited but it is obvious that each district represented has a different reason they are here. Forest Hills has an emersion program that teaches all subjects in Chinese, Greenville is looking to bring Chinese to their elementary, and Ann Arbor would like to "see what this is all about"!
I am equipped with questions sent to me by parents, students, and teachers.
Thank you for sending these- it has helped frame a vision for what I hope to learn from this trip.
I am told that blogger is available in Beijing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Look for updates