Sunday, February 24, 2013

Church | SMP Bukit Gloria

After months of church hopping, I have finally found a new church home! I had not heard of IES (International English Service) until Jakarta flooded around a month ago. Tragically, the basement of the church's building flooded and at least two men lost their lives. However, this put the church on the news circuit which is how I came to know about it.

This weekend, Adrienne and I roadtripped to Bogor on my trusty Scoopy to meet with a group from IES to prepare a school for painting. We worked on the new elementary branch of the existing school SMP Buikit Gloria. This school is connected to a local church and was started with the goal of bringing Christian education to a largely non-Christian area. The middle school was such a success that an elementary wing has been constructed. We worked on sanding down the walls and waterproofing them for painting. To say that we got dirty is an underexaggeration!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

School | Book Week

The theme of this year's book week was "One World, Many Stories", which is rather fitting for the multicultural school culture here at SPH. Each day featured a different book/ reading-themed activity. Monday, the kids circulated the school during Move to Read. They visited three different teachers who read excerpts from folk tales originating around the world. I alternated between Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

The next item on Book Week's menu was a guest storyteller. This girl was around the age of my students and told the story of Remmy the rat from the movie Ratatouile. As it was all in Bahasa, I couldn't understand much of what she was saying but her excitement transferred to the kids with each phrase.

What book week would be complete without playing dress up? The students brought their favorite books and dressed up as the main characters. Prior to dress up day, I sincerely encouraged the kids not to be the only one who showed up without a costume....then I forgot to wear mine! Teacher fail. Luckily, my awesome principal saved the day and drove me home for a quick change worthy of a phone booth. Here are a few of my faves from the day! In order: Nikki (Dork Diaries), Tin Tin, Captain Underpants, Ash (Pokemon), Artemis Fowl, Alice, Ramona, Oliver Twist, and I was Katniss from Hunger Games!

Our photoshoot wasn't enough, so as a team, we hosted a fashion show for all of our stars, complete with a red carpet and some kickin' beats!

Our activities concluded with a little D.E.A.R. time, which for all of you non-teachers, stands for drop everything and read.

Monday, February 18, 2013

School | House Team Swimming

Today, grade 3 students showed some house team pride and raced opposing house team members to show their acquired swiming skills in the 40m freestyle! Miraculously, all 73 students (aside from those who were "sick") were able to complete one heat in less than an hour. Each student was assigned a heat and a lane number. They waited at their assigned lane until the whistle was blown to signal their ready. Then, at the sound of the bullhorn, students dove, or plopped, into the pool to show off. These are the trial races to determine who will compete in the all-school house team swimming competition in May!

Those who weren't participating for one reason or another formed the cheer squad around the edge of the pool to encourage their teammates!

Friday, February 15, 2013

School | Science Experiments

Today we finished up our unit called How The World Works. Since we have been learning about the scientific method and how variables can effect the outcome of an experiment, the kids presented an experiment with a changed variable for their summative assessments. Here are a few of my favorites!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Penang | Malaysia

Our weekend finished off getting tangled in a Hindu festival on our way up a hillside to tour the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. The Thaipusam festival involves carrying milk pails and other symbols of burden up a hill to a temple, in the case of Penang. Depending on the burden or the devotion of a participant, one might also resort to bodily piercings from which to hang other burdens. Before heading out of town, we swung by the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion, or blue house as it's better known. Once a Chinese immigrant, Cheong Fatt Tze became a self-made man, working to own a good portion of Penang by the end of his life. His house, which was left in ruins after his death, has recently been restored to it's former glory (and vibrant color). Should you find yourself in Southeast Asia in the near future, I would highly reccomend a trip to this charming, little island.