Friday, May 31, 2013

A Hike in Nature

      Lisa and I observed The Cloud Forest School again today. Students are not mandated to wear a uniform at this school. However, they are required to wear a  plain collared shirt with a school logo and any color pants. Also, Friday is a half day at this school. We observed a fifth grade class presentation of poems composed by students on various global issues. The topics ranged from pollution, deforestation to hunger. The emphasis is on developing critical thinking skills through analyzing global problems.

       Later, we went on a hiking trail developed by students at this school since it was not raining today.  We saw many beautiful butterflies and were able to capture a close up shot of a hummingbird. This incredible sight made our day! Here are some pictures from today.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cloud Forest School Visit

Today we had an awesome opportunity of visiting The Cloud Forest School. It is a bilingual Spanish-English private school. It is surprisingly a Pre K through 11th grade campus. It is located in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I thought the name of the town Monteverde is very appropriate because "Mont" is mountain and "verde" is green in Spanish. The school is sitting perfectly on top of a hill. It is a picturesque and serene setting with a cloud hanging above this breathtakingly beautiful mountain view.  The campus is spread out. All the classrooms have a few large windows with natural air. The focus is on ecology and environmental learning. The students are responsible for planting trees and keeping track of their growth. They are also responsible for keeping a compost pile. Learning is authentic and hands on. The students seem to be very engaged and happy in this outdoor setting. Here are some pictures from today's visit.

Cloud Forest School

We made it to Monteverde after a long day of travel.  We visited the Cloud Forest School today and were blown away by the beautiful location.  It was a long, bumpy ride through some beautiful and lush terrain on the way here with lots and lots of rain.  It seems that the rainy season has come three weeks late and it has been raining on and off since we got here.  
The teachers at the school were very welcoming and we saw many different lessons about topics ranging from environmental education to Spanish.  We will post more soon and hopefully some pictures- we are still working on figuring out how to upload pictures.  We just wanted to say that we are here and all is well. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Monteverde On Our Minds

Lisa and I are both eagerly looking forward to embarking on a summer adventure to Costa Rica on Wednesday, May 29. We are reaching Monteverde, Costa Rica by 6 p.m. and staying with host families for three nights. I'm nervous about my limited Spanish, but I'm hopeful that I will be able to communicate with the members of my host family. We will be observing interdisciplinary teaching methods for two days at The Cloud Forest School. Both of us are excited to observe and acquire new knowledge about conserving the environment. We want to come back to Chattanooga with great ideas of weaving science and social studies into the English curriculum. Also, I can't wait to see what a cloud forest looks like with a fog and minimal sunlight! Look out for updates from one of us every couple of days during our stay!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Costa Rican Adventure

Vinnie and I have been awarded a travel grant through Fund for Teachers to go to Costa Rica for two and half weeks.  We will be visiting the Cloud Forest School and also taking Spanish classes at CPI Monteverde  We will post updates of our adventures here.  Stay tuned!!!