Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Year of the Dragon!

The lunar Year of the Dragon was celebrated this week at Arlington High School, thanks to the planning and preparation of exchange teacher Bo Yu, who helped set up a paper dragon in the high school cafeteria. Traditionally, people attach paper wishes to the dragon for the new year. Paper was left out for students to write their wishes and attach them. Some of the wishes are shown in the photos below!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WL Department Makes Ottoson News!

The Ottoson Newsletter just came out and the World Language Department was featured for two exciting initiatives:

1) An excursion for Latin Club students to the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Science - a rare opportunity for budding Latin scholars to see ancient artifacts up close.

2) The new Mandarin Enrichment program for 8th grade students, which will be taught by exchange teacher Bo Yu, currently working at Arlington High School.

Click here for more information!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thank you to the Rutkowski family!

The World Language department would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the Rutkowski family! Upon hearing of the recent grant awarded by the Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) to purchase I-Pod Touches, June Rutkowski reached out to the World Language Director offering to donate two of their own I-Pods for the project. With the AEF grant, we are able to buy 15 I-Pods, and thanks to June Rutkowski's generous donation, we will now have 17 Touches for our teachers to use with their students.

We are piloting the I-Pods this year to enhance speaking activities in class, and hope to build our collection to two full class sets (which we consider 30) to house one in the high school and one in the middle school.

Thank you Rutkowskis!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

8th Grade After-School Mandarin Enrichment

As many of you know, Arlington Public Schoosl was the recipient of the TCLP (Teachers of Critical Languages Program) grant for the 2011-2012 school year. Our exchange teacher, Mr. Bo Yu, arrived from Beijing this past August, and has been teaching two sections of Mandarin 1 in the high school.

So that as many students as possible can benefit from this wonderful opportunity, we have put together an after-school Mandarin Enrichment program for current 8th grade students. Bo has been working with Catherine Ritz, the Director of World Languages, and multi-lingual middle school teacher Anne Zachary to develop the program. In addition to teaching French and Spanish, Anne is herself a student of Mandarin, so is ideally suited to assist and mentor Bo as he works with students in the middle school.

The program will meet Mondays after school in Anne's classroom at the Ottoson, and will cover basic Mandarin conversation, calligraphy, food and music, some martial arts, and history of China. All current 8th grade students may enroll, but space is limited to 18 students and there is a $25 registration fee. Students will also be expected to purchase a calligraphy kit.

Please click here for more information about the program.
Please click here for the registration form.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Saturnalia Festivities at the High School

The Latin Club met today to celebrate Saturnalia in the High School, and a sacrificial lamb (cake) was slaughtered! Club adviser, Ed Foley, told students about how the Romans celebrated this important harvest festival, when the slaves got to be the masters for the day. Students baked a cake in the shape of a lamb that they happily slaughtered (and ate in its entirety!) for the gods. Mr. Foley showed students how to make traditional hats out of paper, which were worn by the slaves to show they were masters. The club had initially planned to wear togas for the festivities, but learned that these were not traditionally worn during Saturnalia. To be sure the gods were sufficiently appeased, a few Twinkies were also slaughtered for good measure!

The Sacrifice of the Lamb (cake!)

Traditional Slave Hats

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WL Department Awarded $3,000 AEF Grant

The World Language Department was recently awarded $3,000 by the Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) for the purchase of I-Pod Touches. These wifi-enabled devices will allow teachers to do additional speaking and listening practice in class, create videos, and get instant responses from students through polling/assessment sites. A core group of teachers will begin testing the I-Pods with their classes and developing lesson plans, which they will share with other department members. If this pilot program is successful, the WL Department plans to apply for an extension grant in the 2012-2013 school year.