Sunday, December 15, 2019

US students study Spain floods

Alternative students of Odessa, TX studied flash floods in Eastern Spain, addressing one of the global goals for sustainable development -- climate action. Odessa students researched news online, collected data, and described the winds that caused the recent flash floods in the regions of Murcia, Valencia, and Andalucia using equations, tables, graphs, and verbal descriptions. They also compared Eastern Spain flooding with the worst flooding they had experienced locally. Odessa, TX is in the Chihuahuan Desert, and it seldom rains in the area. However, heavy rains and winds sometimes cause floods and hail storms in the city and neighboring towns. After their study, US students shared with Spain through Padlet some feasible climate actions to help combat Spain's climate change. Students from Murcia, Spain read US students' suggestions and responded to the recommendations.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Candles from trash turned into cash

Students at Dapitan City National High School, Dapitan City, Philippines, recycled candle waxes from a local cemetery by turning them into decorative candles for sale. Every year after the observance of All Souls' Day by Christians all over the world, candle waxes are scattered everywhere in Christian cemeteries. Contributing to the global goal of responsible consumption and production, mathematics teachers Jasmin Balladares and Julie Anne Gallosa initiated the project by having their students gather waste candle waxes from a cemetery adjacent to the school and made them into decorative candles using different geometric shapes. With expenses ranging from 10-80 Philippine pesos, each candle was sold for 80-150 Philippine pesos. The project earned a profit of more or less 4,000 Philippine pesos, which was used to fund a local scholarship. Learning partners from Odessa, TX, USA, helped figure out possible scenarios to reach the target profit. Alternative Education students used the data to represent said scenarios using equations, tables, graphs, and verbal descriptions. Students explained their algebraic processes in writing.

Monday, October 28, 2019

IJWC adviser certified as global educator

The adviser of the International Junior Writers Club (IJWC) was officially certified as a global educator by the U.S. Department of State after completing the IREX-administered professional development, Foundations of Global Education, on October 27, 2019. The IJWC adviser was a member of the original small cohort selected from across the U.S. to participate in this professional development to help promote global education and global competence in U.S. classrooms in order to help address global goals for sustainable development. As part of its specific objectives, the professional development allowed the participants to build an understanding of frameworks for global and cultural competence; identify and explain cross-cultural communication; incorporate global activities and teaching methods into their classrooms, schools, and communities; engage with experts in the field of global education; and build a network of global educators in their content and geographic area. As a follow-up activity, the cohort will meet this coming December to discuss the process of and planning for implementing global education and to debrief, share reflections, and plan for the future.

The IJWC adviser shared some successful IJWC activities with the cohort. He also learned more strategies from global education-related activities and ideas of other cohort members. Global education experts that substantiated the professional development by sharing their expertise included Dana Mortenson, Chief Executive Officer of World Savvy; Sydney Chaffee, CCSSO 2017 National Teacher of the Year; Mohamed Abdel-Kader, Executive Director of the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute; Heather Singmaster,  Director in the Center for Global Education at the Asia Society; and Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program alumni Laureé  Akinola-Massaquoi, Ellen Kraft, Matthew Cottone, Todd Noyes, and Maria Zelaya.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

IJWC participates in Global Collaboration Week

The International Junior Writers Club participated in the Global Collaboration Week on September 23-27, 2019 as a host of an event, "War on Drugs" Debate. This activity was a writing extension activity of students from Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX  after they had integrated published Philippine drug war statistics into their math lesson on linear equations. The activity helped US students become aware of illegal drug issues in other parts of the world, addressing the global goal of peace, justice, and strong institution. Participants of "War on Drugs" Debate argued on whether or not they were in favor of the implementation of government-sponsored "War on Drugs" campaign and suggested ways on how to address illegal drug issues.

The Global Collaboration Week is one of the annual events of the Global Education Conference Network that is open to all schools and organizations all over the world. This year's Global Collaboration Week was attended by over 800 people and organizations representing more that 60 countries and more than 40 states, all collaborating on more than 40 projects and events. Check the following links for more info:

Global Collaboration Week Events in US Central Daylight Time Zone
Global Collaboration Week Event Listings
Global Collaboration Week Participating Schools and Organizations
"War on Drugs" Debate

Sunday, September 8, 2019

IJWC adviser completes Global Education 101

To enhance his expertise in global education, the adviser of the International Junior Writers Club participated in Global Education 101, an online course sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX). The course objectives for educator participants included (1) define global competence and connect it to student success, (2) begin to understand the themes and concepts of global education and global competence, (3) develop instructional strategies to incorporate global competence into lessons and units, and (4) build resources for further learning and networking for global competence. The IJWC adviser shared with other participants what was done with the IJWC initiative to promote global education and competence.

Friday, May 24, 2019

IJWC members design their dream house

IJWC members from Odessa, TX designed their individual dream house after writing a descriptive essay detailing the kind of house they wished to have in the future. During the presentation of their final design, students explained every part of their house and discussed their future career in order to realize their dream house. The activity was the students' final project for their engineering design lesson in Geometry. The students used Planner5d to design their house. Their descriptive essays were sent to their international partners for editing and revising activity.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Spanish, American students complete a fiction story

Students at Instituto de Educación Secundaria IES Prado Mayor in Totana, Spain and students at Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX, USA completed a fiction story about a secret passage in an Egyptian Pyramid. Spanish students, under the mentorship of Mrs.Trini Serrano Diaz, studied Egyptian Pyramids. Using a scenario where they pretended to have a field trip at the Pyramid of Giza and were curious about a secret passage in the pyramid, Spanish students completed a fiction story, describing what they would see inside the secret passage. On the other hand, as an introductory activity for their research lesson, American students researched Egyptian Pyramids online. Using the same material and scenario that the Spanish students used, American students completed the unfinished fiction story, describing their experiences after they opened the secret passage in the Pyramid of Giza while on a class field trip. After completing their fiction stories, American students compared their stories with the stories of Spanish students using a Venn diagram, analyzing if there were cultural features or elements in their stories.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Philippine, Texan students share unique culture

Philippine Science High School students from Dipolog City, Philippines and Alternative Education students from Odessa, TX, USA shared their unique cultures with each other using Padlet. As part of their lesson in Social Science under the mentorship of Mr. Araibo Elumba, Social Science teacher, Philippine Science High School students studied globalization and the cultural influences on globalization. On the other hand, as part of their paired texts lesson in English, Alternative Education students read Tehuelche and Linguist on Mission to Save Inuit "Fossil Language" Disappearing with the Ice and studied the cultures of the Tehuelche people and the Inughuits and analyzed how the loss of language as a cultural element important in both texts. After their respective lessons, as an enrichment activity, both student groups shared their unique cultures with each other online. Texan students enjoyed learning about some Philippine cultures and traditions such as bayanihan (strong spirit of communal unity, work and cooperation), harsh discipline, kamayan (eating with a hand), bahala na (come what may), mano (pressing one's forehead on an elder's hand as a sign of respect), parent-mediated courtship, kuya and ate as terms of endearment for older brother and older sister respectively, fiesta, extreme hospitality, extreme generosity, superstitious beliefs, 9-day funeral novena, and many others. Philippines students, on the other hand, were amazed learning about some Texan cultures and traditions such as quinceañera, Día de Muertos, Mexican food, Thanksgiving, 4th of July, Easter, and many others.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

American students revise Spanish “for” or “against” essays

Alternative education students from Odessa, TX revised essays from students at Instituto de Educación Secundaria IES Prado Mayor in Totana, Murcia, Spain under the advisorship of Mrs. Aranzazu Mouriño Loretto. Students from Spain explained if they were for or against technology, plastic use, or mainstream media, under very catchy topic titles: “Where is My Charger,” “No Straw, Please,” and “Too Mainstream.” Just like any other countries, Spain and U.S.A. do not only benefit but also suffer from the effects of technology, plastic use, and media. Some of the societal realities Spanish students discussed were cyberbullying, fraud, plastic pollution, marine hazard, harassment, fake news, and many others. Common advice Spanish students gave was to use technology, plastic, and media wisely and in moderation. Alternative Education students revised the essays using ARMS strategy. The activity was a good revising and editing practice for the Alternative Education students in preparation for their statewide testing in English.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

American, Asian students debate on Holocaust

Students at the Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX and the Philippine Science High School - Zamboanga Peninsula Region Campus, Philippines debated on whether the Holocaust was a good or bad thing. As part of their English lesson on connecting genres, Alternative Education students read a novel, A Child Called "It," and an online article about the Holocaust children and analyzed and compared the two texts using a Venn diagram. On the other hand, Philippine Science students studied Holocaust in their Social Science class by watching videos from the United State Holocaust Museum and researching online. As their enrichment activity, both student groups participated in an online debate on whether the Holocaust was a good or bad historical event. Students showed diverse opinions about the Holocaust and firmly argued their points even with limited knowledge about the topic. The activity opened doors for both student groups to understand better how the U.S. and the Philippines helped in saving some victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

Philippine Science High School - Zamboanga Peninsula Region Campus is the newest campus of the Philippine Science High School System under the country's Department of Science and Technology. The school admits and trains selected and highly-potential high school students who choose to pursue science-related careers. The student group participating in the online Holocaust debate is mentored by Mr. Araibo Elumba, a Social Science teacher and a former recipient of Fulbright's International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP) housed at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

Holocaust Debate

Saturday, January 12, 2019

American students edit Spanish social problem essays

As their editing warm-up assignment, students at the Alternative Education Center, Odessa, TX edited social problem essays from students at Instituto de Educación Secundaria IES Prado Mayor in Totana, Murcia, Spain under the mentorship of Mrs. Trini Serrano Diaz. Spanish students described their social problems and made predictions using “will,” “if,” “unless,” etc. Two most common social problems Spanish students described were pollution and obesity, which are also among the social issues America is facing. El Pais reported that pollution has killed 93,000 people in Spain in the last decade. In Odessa and West Texas, in general, The Texas Tribune reported that the unprecedented oil drilling boom in the region is polluting the air. Additionally, the obesity problem is getting bigger in Spain according to Euro Weekly and is common, serious, and costly for Americans according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This writing activity helps students understand these aspects of the social issues faced by these two countries.