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Flood in Buenos Aires- Please Help

I just returned from visiting my mother in Buenos Aires. I spent beautiful days of late summer in my favorite city. The city of my growing up… the city that continues to tug at strings to bring me back as often as I am able to visit.

Below you will see images I took along my brief passing-through in order to capture the sights, smells, tastes and memories of the town I love…

The Colon theatre…

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The Plaza San Martin…

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Dancing Tango en Recoleta…

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Empanadas…

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Riding the colectivo…

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On my last day, before riding back to the airport, I took a picture (below) of my mother’s street in one of the neighborhoods of the capital. Little did I know that the same street was going to be fully inundated by torrential rain within the next 24 hours…

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As I was flying back to the USA, rain was falling in record amount. According to the Buenos Aires Herald:

The rain had started on Monday night, but it reached its maximum peak at dawn yesterday, with various sources reporting that between 140-190 millimetres of rain fell in only two hours, a record rainfall not seen in the month of April in at least 100 years.

Once, I arrived, I heard my mother’s voice mail on my cell phone, that water had flooded her  building and had entered her ground floor apartment. The water rose to 1 meter high and as she descended from her second floor bedroom area in the early morning hours was greeted by floating chairs and other belongings. The power had gone out sometime during the night. Armed with a flashlight, she was able to signal one of her neighbors (and her young son) with only a ground floor apartment to come and join her on the second floor. The neighborhood’s stores, including the grocery stores, butcher, fruit stands, etc were all flooded. The cars parked on the streets were all flooded and some were floating.

It is impossible to send household goods or clothing to help the people affected  due to shipping costs as well as post office (non-)reliance. I am planning on sending my mother money to help people most in need from her neighborhood.

I know that Argentina and Buenos Aires, might just be names on a map for you, but the city and its people are close to my heart. If you enjoy(ed) the free content, I provide(d) on Langwitches, a donation (any amount)  would surely be appreciated.

Thank you so much in advance!

The following video (found on YouTube) was filmed in my mother’s neighborhood of Nunez.


Update April 8, 2013:

Thank you to all who have contributed to the fund. I will be sending over $800 to Argentina into my mother’s care to distribute to neighbors in need due to the flood. It will directly help in paying for cleaning up, disinfecting walls, floors and furniture that is savable or go towards the purchase of beds, appliances and/or food. Thank you again for your generosity. Muchas gracias!

Out of Eden: Paul Salopek’s Walk from Ethiopia to Patagonia

I am thrilled to share with Langwitches’ readers an amazing learning opportunity. Take a look at the Out of Eden site and let your imagination run wild how you could get your students excited about learning via the resources available the Pulitzer Center.

Overview:

In early 2013, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek will set out on foot from the birthplace of humanity, the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia, and walk in the footsteps of the first modern humans who left Africa to settle the unknown world.

This immense narrative journey spans roughly 50,000 years of human history and 22,000 miles of the planet’s surface—from our paleoanthropological “Eden” in East Africa north into the Levant; across the steppes of Central Asia to China; by sea from Siberia to Alaska; and then down the length of the Americas to the continental “Land’s End” of our species in Patagonia. This continuous walk will last seven years.

The goal of the world walk—and the Out of Eden project—is to slow readers down and allow them to reflect on current events as a form of pilgrimage. By using the history of our migration as a backdrop for international news, Salopek will examine the most important global stories of our day from ground level, at three miles an hour—walking into stories as diverse as human conflict and local innovations, mass migration and the Internet revolution, climate change and cultural survival. A worldwide audience is invited to “walk along” via quality Web reportage that includes articles, video, audio and blogs. Salopek is a National Geographic Fellow.

I am proud to say that, I was involved in creating the curriculum guides for grades 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12, complete with big ideas, essential questions, Common Core standards & NETS standards alignment, content, skills & strategies, suggested learning plan and activities.

Take a look, think about the possibilities for connections and collaboration across geographic borders and over time. How can we get students so excited that they will continue following Paul over the next seven years long past the time they will be spending in our own classrooms?

 

Images that Inspire Storytelling & Writing

Using visuals to create and support stories is a skill we should encourage and nurture in our students . It should be obvious by now that I consider storytelling an integral part of a teacher’s toolbox. You can read about the Need for Storytelling and Why Storytelling Can/Should Be Anywhere/Everywhere and will understand why storytelling can fulfill many roles in the learning process.

Storytelling:

  • helps us pass on knowledge
  • connects the overwhelming flow of information,  so our brains can digest and remember it better
  • uses a format that students of today are familiar and comfortable with

Now add visuals to the mix…

According to Wikipedia, Visual literacy is

the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image. Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading.

It is hard sometimes to make/find images available to your students (especially for the younger ones) that they can use in their digital storytelling projects or for creative writing. I am always hesitant to let them loose on Google or Flickr to find their own images, because of copyright issues, but also inappropriate content.

I wanted to share a Flickr set of the Travel Bear from Argentina, China, Egypt, Costa Rica, Peru and Italy. There are all in one place and licensed under Creative Commons to share and use with your students.

In the past, students have made up stories with images from the bear for younger students by using PhotoStory

Students could choose different images from the set to create whole new stories made up by them. Sixth graders created short movies for their first grade buddies.
Andrea Hernandez from edtechworkshop encouraged her first graders to choose an image from the Travel Bear’s Italy Blog, download the image into Pixie (or you could use KidPix or TuxPaint ) and the six year olds wrote a postcard style letter to Jose, the bear.

Here is a slideshow of images available from the travel bear around the world. I would love to hear what kind of creative writing projects you have come up with by encouraging your students to use creative commons images from the web? Please share…

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story

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Student Tutorials- MineCraft, How to Ride a Horse, iMovie and more

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Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

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Visible Thinking in Math- Part 1

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The conversation about visible thinking in Math started with one of our teachers at Graded, The American School of São Paulo, Adam Hancock, wanting to know how he could incorporate having students’ use their blogfolios in Math class. It seemed natural to have students write for Humanities (Language Arts and …

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Digital Storytelling

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Inspired by Poetry, Performance & Taylor Mali and Beyond…, 8th grade Humanities teacher Shannon Hancock coached her students to create their own original “Mali Poem”and record a visual and vocal performance. I joined the class to give a brief overview of presentation design. I used selected slides from my slidedeck below to …

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