Travel Blues

February Vacation is fast approaching. In fact with snow days and school delays, this week before break felt a bit like a mini vacation before the vacation. But this year February Vacation will be unlike any other I have experienced since teaching. Why? Well this year for the first time ever I will not be traveling anywhere. It is such a strange feeling, not to have a suitcase packed, passport at the ready and teachers to talk with in anticipation of a trip to somewhere new. At work teachers will stop and ask me, where are you headed for break? […]

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Geysers, Puffins and Dunkin Donuts

A few years ago my family and I took a Baltic Cruise out of Denmark. Before setting sail though we made a stop over in Iceland. Iceland in August, wonderful right?! Long, long days of sunlight, warm summer weather and the tail end of the puffin season, we were in for a real treat. Well, at least two of these facts were true. We had endless days of sunlight for our short stay and we were treated to puffin sightings not far off the coast by boat. The summer weather though, didn’t seem to get the memo that it was […]

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The Sound of Silence

This week I continue down travel memory lane. My photo wanderings brought me to one of my favorite spots in Helsinki, the Kamppi Chapel of Silence. Believe it or not it took me a while to find this giant building. As I was trying to get my bearings of Helsinki, riding the tram up and down Mannerheimintie and surrounding streets, I found myself hoping off stops and wandering around. Map in hand (trying to be discrete, I didn’t want to look like a total tourist!) I would meander down streets, circle around, double back, all in search of must see highlights, […]

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Mosaics Around Spain

Recently I have been sifting through pictures of previous trips as I attempt to move all my pictures over to my new computer; you know 6 months after buying it, you don’t want to rush into things like that. It has been fun reminiscing over pictures of previous trips since I have found myself in a situation I haven’t experienced in a school year, a travel void. My next big trip isn’t until July. This has inspired me to take a look back at some of my travel experiences to share some of my favorite things from the places I have been […]

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Schools Around the World

I couldn’t be more excited about the story in student’s anthology this past week called, Schools Around the World. I mean could there have been a more perfect story for me to talk about?! This week has given me a chance to share with students my travels and visits to schools around the world. Sharing my experiences went perfectly with the text. Students started the week by listening to the story online and answering a few questions on our classroom blog. Later in the day we talked about some of the things they learned in the story and how that connected to […]

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Holidays Around The World 

Starting next week my students will begin a big journey traveling around the world. And while we will be doing this trip virtually, since a teacher salary is not quite enough to buy a class set of multi country plane tickets, I know students will love it. At each country we stop at along the way we will take a close look at how people from that country celebrate the holidays. These are some of my favorite lessons to do with studnets and this year it will be even better.  This year in addition to readings, videos, doing a few […]

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Family Holiday Traditions 

With the month of December comes lots of excitement and traditions that students are eager to share. At morning meeting on Monday I kicked off talking about holiday traditions by sharing one from my family in Finland. Last week our family received a package from our family for Christmas. It was filled with a few little goodies from some of our favorite Finnish shops and an advent calendar for both my sister and I. Right away I knew it would be perfect to share with my students at school to kick off our study of holiday traditions around the world. […]

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Summer in South Africa

Well I finally did it, I booked my flight to South Africa for two weeks this July! This will mark continent number six for me and be fulfilling a long time dream to travel to Africa. When my friend Christine asked me last spring if I was interested in traveling with her to South Africa this summer, I didn’t hesitate in telling her of course I would go! We talked about going and what we would do for months. And now talk has turned into action. It was time to make traveling there a reality. We finally sat down and […]

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles 

There is one thing that always marvels me whenever I travel abroad, and that is the efficient public transportation systems of other countries. Bus, trains, trams, boats, it doesn’t matter how you need to get around, I find that countries around the world have lots of public options for people. When I think about how the public transportation stacks up to that in the US, all I can think is how we pale in comparison.  Back to even my earliest travel days when I use to just travel with my family, we always used public transportation. In general, my experience […]

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What’s In A Map?

One of the social studies topics we cover in second grade are types of maps and how we use them. Obviously this is a perfect opportunity to share with students maps I have picked up over the years during my travels. I have to admit that everywhere I have been I have collected maps, brochures and other literature just waiting for the right opportunity to use them one day. That day has finally arrived!   By using real maps of places around the world, it will be an authentic way of showing students different styles of maps to students. I […]

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