Education Around the World

Our focus this school year has been schools around the world and barriers/obstacles students face getting that Education.   We explored several countries and learned about their schools.   What we found out through our inquiry was…

China- has a very structured school system.   We noticed they exercise together each day doing the same routine with a school (student leader)  Their classrooms didn’t seem to have much space.   There were no small group areas and no carpet areas to set and heard stories or do work together.   They sat in rows and the teacher was at the front talking.  The walls did not have anchor charts or decorations.

we visited a school outside under a bridge.   There was no building they sat on a rolled out mat and took it home each day.   The teacher volunteered his time to teach the students a few hours each day.   Often the students had to work to help their families in the poor areas so they couldn’t always come to school.

Japan- we noticed their walls had more decorations although students still were in rooms not groups of desk.   They also valued education and good grades and often went to a second school after the first free one was over.  Students did get to learn fun things after the core subjects.  They got to do woodworking, cooking, and other classes of interest to the students.   They played some sports and took music lessons.


Some children had to cross dangerous bridges to get to school.  Some had to walk miles and miles through rain and snow and the heat.  Some had to work to help their families with money.  Many schools offer more than one language throughout the world, Gaelic in Ireland and English, Spanish and English, French and English in England.  Often they didn’t have supplies or couldn’t  afford the uniforms.

Education is important to many students around the world but it seemed to be easier to obtain by some than others.  The students who had to travel the long distance, face obstacles and barriers often were very dedicated and resourceful in learning as much as possible.

Through our service learning project we were able to send one girl to school and buy some animals for the families to earn income from and supply them with needed food.


What can you tell us about schools in your area?   Do you have technology at your school?  Do kids face obstacles in coming to school and if so what are these?

International Club begins

2nd grade students were excited yesterday with the start of International Club.  21 eager students and 3 teachers will travel the world to learn more about Peru, Australia and England.  Our first project was to learn how we needed a passport.   Then we applied for our passport and got approved to take the 2:45 flight from Charlotte to Peru.   We a flight simulator (YouTube) students boarded the plane (chairs in classroom set in rows) and it appeared that we actually were flying.  Landing in Lima, Peru students exited the plane and had their passport stamped then reviewed information learned during an earlier presentation at our school about Peru.   We learned they speak two languages.  The flag is red and white with the crest showing a Llama, cornucopia and  chichona tree  .   The Llama is important to the Inca’s and Peru people for the wool to make clothing.  We learned about the city of Lima.  We talked about the Incas.    We looked at the city from google earth and saw the street view.   After that we planned our project of making our own Tunic like the Inca wore.  The more colorful the designs are on the cotton tunic the richer the people are.  Next week we will take our plans and design our own with glitter glue, fabric, paint and other items.  Then we will leave Peru in South America for Australia.   How many hours will it take us?   Can we go nonstop?  How will Australia and Peru be alike and how are they different?

What Is Culture?

Students have been busy learning about culture.

It’s the language you speak.

It’s the foods you eat.

It’s the clothes you wear.

It’s the beliefs and traditions you celebrate.

It’s about history.

It’s about music, art, dance and sports.

It’s how we live.

A kindergarten summed the lesson up with ” It’s life.”

Can you tell us about your culture?   

Comparing Our Lives- Around the World

We would like to compare your life to ours if you can answer some questions for us. We’ve answered a few for you!  We’ll do more later.

  1. What time does your school begin and end?   ( 7:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.)
  2. How many days do you go to school each year?  (185 days)
  3. When does your school start a new school year and end? August 25- June 10
  4. Do you set down to meals with your family (on weekends and when out of school)?  What time do you average doing this?   Do you talk or is everybody on cell phones or i-pads or watching TV?
  5. Do you have a dress code at school or wear uniforms?
  6. What are some activities you do with your families?
  7. How much homework do you have each night?
  8. Do most kids have computer access at home?
  9. What are some favorite games you play outside?
  10. Do you travel to other countries for vacation each year?  If so where?
  11. What are some places you like to visit near your home/school?
  12. Do you have pets?  If so what kind?   (We learned last week from a video that in Japan their homes are small and they can rent a pet for an hour or a day).  We found this interesting.
  13. Describe your community.   Rural, urban, suburban, homes, stores, open spaces, etc.
  14. We also found it interesting that in several countries people drive on the left side with the steering wheel on the right side.  We drive on the right with the steering wheel on the left.  We wondered why some countries are different and if it would be hard to adjust.   How do most people travel in your community?  (bus, train, walking, bike, car, truck)


What’s growing in Mettupalayam, India?

We had the opportunity to learn about water in India back in January 2014 when Mrs. Monaghan and a Room with a View students  introduced us to Francis who was helping in Mettupalayam.

So again he is helping us out learning about Agriculture and Farming around the world and this is what he had to share with us. He also shared a power point of slides for us to use.

We thank our friends around the globe that help us with our projects about the world.

Hello again, this is Francis, replying to your questions. I am still here in Mettupalayam, a small village near Utherimerur, in Tamil Nadu, South India. If you are able to look on Google Earth, you will find the town of Utherimerur, (Uttiramerur) then you need to travel westwards along the main road, and just after Karanimandapam, there is a road going south leading to our village. You can see our school buildings as a large rectangular block on the south  side of the village. The village consists of around 70 houses, mostly now built of concrete but some still built with mud walls and roofed with palm leaves. I will try to email some pictures to you later to illustrate the information which I give below.

Many of the villagers still live a traditional way of life, keeping sheep, goats and cattle, and there are now two large flocks of ducks also in the village. Each day, villagers and children, when they aren’t at school,take the livestock out into the countryside to graze. They will spend all day looking after their animals, bringing them back before dark. The goats, sheep and ducks are reared for meat, but as most of the people here are Hindus, they don’t eat beef and so the cattle are kept for their milk with the male calves being reared to become oxen for pulling carts. The villagers will also work in the fields, being paid a daily wage for rice planting, weeding, or harvesting crops.

Some villagers have small plots of land, mostly between 1-4 acres which they use to grow crops, mainly rice. This depends upon the monsoon rains, which come around October to November. The villagers are able to collect water in large wells and then pump the water into the paddy fields as the rice plants need to grow in wet fields. The rice takes around 120 days to grow and can then be harvested. This is still partly done by hand, using sickles, although if the fields are allowed to dry, then sometimes, the farmers will hire a combine harvester. Before planting the fields, they are ploughed, again often using a wooden single furrow plough pulled by two oxen, but sometimes by a hired tractor. After harvesting, if done by hand, the rice paddy needs to be threshed, to remove the grains of rice from the stalks, and this is sometimes done on the roads, allowing cars and buses to run over the paddy to help! Most of this rice will be sold through the Government Regulated market- the Government set the prices to control supply!

After the rice grains are collected, the paddy straw is kept as animal fodder for the livestock.

Other main crops grown in this area are groundnuts (peanuts) which grow well when there isn’t much rain, coconuts, tender coconuts grown for their milk, fruit trees such as mangoes, guavas, jackfruit etc. A few farmers grow pulses, and vegetable crops such as ocra, brinjal (aubergine), green chillies, pumpkin, watermelon, cluster beans etc.

Mainly root vegetables are grown in the much higher land where the temperature is cooler, so potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, and carrots whilst much is also grown in the north of India, again being cooler climate.

Most villagers will buy in all their vegetables from local markets, at least every week, although there is a market held everyday in villages and towns around Mettupalayam. There are also many shops selling fruit and vegetables, as well as eggs, chickens ( for meat) and fish which is brought in from the coast, about 40 miles away. In the nearby town of Utherimerur, there is one, western style, supermarket which sells mostly Indian foodstuffs, but also many small shops selling other goods. Many poor people in the rural areas still depend upon a monthly ration of poor quality rice provided free by the Government.

South Indian food is very different from northern Indian food, it is based around boiled rice and vegetables, spiced with garlic, chilli, Dahl, and spices such as cumin, cinnamon, coriander,  seeds, cardomon, bay leaves, pepper corns, curry leaves, and Garam Marsala powder-a mix of these ground spices. Most villagers can only afford to eat meat as a treat, on special occasions.

For breakfast, many times there is only left over boiled rice with possibly some vegetable korma or Sambhar- a runny sauce with spices and some vegetables. The main meal of the day will usually be at night, when the family have returned from the fields after their days work. This will be boiled rice with vegetables. During the dry season, the village women will cook their rice and sauces outside on a wood fuelled fire- they will have collected the wood earlier on their way back from the fields. When the monsoon comes, they have to try to cook indoors, which is very unhealthy, with the smoke filling their houses!

The villagers generally have very little furniture in their houses,but most now have a small television provided by the last Government. The keep their food in metal or plastic pots, but the raw vegetables are generally stored inside the house either on the floor or on a shelf. They don’t have refrigerators.

Some villagers now have work that pays more than they can earn working in the fields. At our primary  school, every child in the village has access to schooling and we also provide a substantial, nutritious mid-day meal, and morning and afternoon snacks. We also try to help them go on to secondary school. India is a very quickly developing country, and education is so important to enable them to enter better paid work.

Our primary school is a free school, so parents don’t have to pay for their children to attend. School is six days every week with Sunday’s as a rest day. The children arrive around 8.30 and clean the classrooms and the playground. Assembly is at 9.00, break time 11.00, lunchtime is 12.30 to 1.30, another break at 3pm and the last hour is often used for playing games etc. School ends at 4pm with another general assembly. Currently there are around 80 children at our school, from 4 villages around Mettupalayam. These also include children from a tribal village where there is a community of Kuruvi people. These people generally have a nomadic lifestyle, moving from place to place, putting up temporary shelters and finding food by hunting, fishing and looking for roots and berries to eat. They also sell beads, herbal medicines and other things on the roadside. Many of them now have small motorbikes to travel around on and it is common to see a whole family of 5 or 6 on one motorbike! This week, whilst I have been here,there have been  three new students from the Kuruvi community, all starting in the youngest group. One girl is called Arsini, she is the youngest in her family and she has ten brothers and sisters.this is unusual, but the Kuruvi families do tend to have far more children than villagers, it is now usual for parents only to have two children.

The Kuruvi tribal people have their own language and different customs to the villagers but they also speak Tamil, the local language. Many of them also now speak some English, as this is taught in schools.

Well, I think that is a lot of information for you to think about. I will try to email some photos to your teacher to share with you, and if you are able to access Facebook, we have a blog Friends of Mettupalayam which contains more pictures and stories.

Very best wishes and good luck with your studies



Why is agriculture important to everyone?

Do you know why agriculture is important to you?  Why is it important to others around the world?

Think about your day!  What did you have for breakfast?  Where did it originate?   Is it something grown in your country?

Think about what you are wearing?

What’s for lunch and dinner?

What agricultural products are in your home, school, business?

Each day we all use, eat, or wear something made from an agricultural product.

Many things do not resemble the original product because of the way things are processed.

Do the items you listed come from somewhere else?   If so what country did it come from?

Tell us what you had to eat today.   Did you have to import any of it?

We would also like to know what it would cost in US dollars to feed your family for the day and for a week?   Do you eat fresh foods, pre-packaged meals, lots of snack foods, meats?  What is special about meals at your location?   Tell us about a typical meal.


Greek Civilizations and Greek Gods and Goddess

Second grade students started a reading unit learning about Ancient Asian Civilizations then moved on to an introduction about Greek civilizations.   Students gathered together to view videos from Discovery Streaming to start the study about Greek civilizations.  They were able to see the architecture and buildings in ancient Greece and see buildings in the USA using the same architecture.  They learned that Democracy started in Greece before the Romans brought it to the New World.   During reading time they continued to learn about the civilizations and inventions they shared with the world.  As they became engaged in the unit they learned about the Gods and Goddess and their influences.

Greek Gods and Goddess As a culminating activity on October 29th, students were allowed to dress up as their favorite God or Goddess.  This is what some students said about the experience.

Stephanie G. and Chauncey in Ms. Dunleavy’s , Mrs. McNeill’s class told about their favorite character.  Students from other classrooms told how much they enjoyed the event.

Athena is a very important goddess of many things. She is goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.

Stephanie said she “picked Athena because she liked war and wisdom a lot.  She seemed really royal because she was Zeus’s daughter.  I really like dressing up as Athena and it made me feel like a real goddess.”

Chauncey said,” he liked being Zeus because he was the god of lighting and a leader.  I felt happy because everybody dressed up like their favorite God or Goddess.  I learned he was like a father to all the Gods because he was a leader.”

Kami said, “It was awesome.”

Diana said,” It was cool.”

Bryson said, “It was good.”  “It was fun dressing up.”

Faith said, “It was cool and exciting.”

Kendall said, “It was super fun and they had super powers.  She thought she looked awesome as Hera.”

Aiden said, “They were very powerful.  Zeus was the most powerful.  Zeus could throw thunder, lighting and rain.   There were 12 main Gods and Goddess.  I felt weird at first dressing up as Zeus then got used to it.  They have human looks and have super powers.”

Gods and Goddess Greek Civilizations Where are we from? Greece Which one are you? The Greek Gods and Goddess ThGreek Gods and Goddess e students will further increase their knowledge through Greek mythology in their next reading unit.  Greek myths tell about the adventures of the Gods and Goddess.   They explain beliefs and how things came to be.

Uniting the World with Learning and UNICEF

World Education Games learning with other students around the world. Rocky River students compete and earn points to help support students around the world through UNICEF during the week of October 12th in global studies classes. Several students at Rocky River had a chance to compete in the world’s largest on line educational competition with over 5 million students from around the world.  This is a three day event with literacy, math and science competitions.  Students can compete with students from many different countries that are on line at the same time.  The computer generates a group of 3-5 students for each game.    This live completion is called the World Education Games and begins in Australia in the southern hemisphere.

For the literacy competition a sentence will be read aloud and you must spell the missing word.  You will earn points for every correct answer.  To win the game, race to beat your opponent across the finishing line—but be careful!  Three incorrect answers and you are out of the game!  The points from the first 20 games will count as the official score on World Literacy Day.  In the event of a tie your average speed is important, so be sure to answer quickly!

For Math the game continues until the clock runs down to zero.  Continue answering questions to earn points as quickly as possible—but be careful!  World Maths Day is about speed and accuracy, three incorrect answers and you are out of the game!  The points from your first 20 games will be counted as your official World Maths Day score.   (Note: in some parts of the world the word Maths is used instead of Math).

Due to technical difficulties and time students were unable to compete in the science portion on the final day.

This is fun.  Wonder who we will play against next time. For every 5000 UNICEF points earned by students during the World Education Games, 3P Learning donates $1 towards the supported UNICEF education projects such as Schools in a Box which helps kids continue learning after a disaster (earthquake, flood, and tsunami).  This program can get them on track within 72 hours by providing materials for a teacher and her students.   The more points earned, the more students they can support!   The games are organized by the 3PLearning and sponsored by Microsoft, UNICEF, 3PLearning and MACQUARIE (Australian based).  At this time there were 169,474,201 points earned with a final count soon.

Overall top players was John G. and Sara C. (4th graders)  for literacy and math.   Three students received UNICEF certificates for Math points (Connor S. (4th grade) and Ezra B. and Joshua B. (3rd graders).  Congratulations to all these students!  Awesome job.


Global Recognition for Rocky River

We are excited to be recognized for the 3rd year as an International School in Union County Public Schools of North Carolina.   UCPS is considered a leader throughout North Carolina for its focus on global education.  For the past six years, the UCPS Global Schools Program has encouraged educators to bring global education into the classroom.

Schools are rated in five categories depending on points earned through its level of participation.  Schools document their growth through an electronic portfolio as we infuse globalization into the curriculum.  It shows our schools’ commitment to connecting our students to others around the world. We are proud of our work and accomplishments.  Documentation included work with our sister schools in England and Australia.  Our VIF teacher (Visiting International Faculty) also brought the English culture to our school through many lessons about her country of origin.  We learned about many countries of focus through each grade.  Kindergarten focuses on North America, First graders focus is Africa, Second graders focus on Australia/Oceania, Third graders focus on Europe, Fourth graders focus is Asia, and fifth graders focus is South America.   The whole school had a program about the Chinese culture and a focus about castles around the world especially in the United Kingdom.   Students collected money for a service learning project through Heifer International and was able to donate several animals to make life better for others around the world.  We participated in virtual field trips to the Great Barrier Reef and for Remembrance Day in England.  Second grade students learned about rugby, foods, and castles during International Club with Mrs. Harlow (VIF teacher) and Mrs. Todd (Global Teacher Leader).

During a principal’s meeting (October 1) 49 schools were recognized with a plaque.  Principals of schools designated International Schools received a banner to display at their schools in addition to the plaque.  Fifteen schools were classified as International Schools which is the top recognition having earned 85+ points.

At the next staff meeting the plaque and banner were presented to the global committee and staff.

AwardInternational School AwardSchool 2014 738

Rocky River Students Show Global Citizenship and Leadership

During the month of May all 43 classes from Pre-K to 5th grade (860 plus students) joined together with Heifer International to complete a service learning project.  During the year we had learned what it means to be a global citizen and that one part of being a global citizen is learning about problems and taking action to help solve them.   We focused on hunger and collected money for Heifer International.  The animals purchased will go to many places in the world to provide food, wool and money for the family.   The money from selling extra eggs, milk, wool, a baby animal will then help families pay for schooling, homes, and needed items in order to make their life better.

Rocky River Students Show Global Citizenship and Leadership

Students heard a story about young Beatrice from Uganda, Africa and how her family faced many challenges.  After hearing the story Beatrice’s Goat students came up with ways they could earn money to donate.  Some of their ideals included a lemonade stand, selling old toys they no longer wanted, doing chores, tooth fairy money, allowances, and gift money.   Students made posters to advertise the project and an announcement for our broadcast. Then they went out and found ways they could earn money to donate and take action against world hunger.

Along with individual student donations  Girl scout Troop 2906 consisting of Lia, Jada, Liani, Emma, Taylor, Tristan (all 2nd graders) and their leader Mrs. Zarger  made this a community project and collected a lot of money.

The student’s and their families were very generous when they donated $548.69 toward hunger and making a better life for others.  This extended their learning when they were able to use some of their 7 habits (Leader in Me) strategies and take action to help others around the world so they can show their global citizenship.

We donated an alpaca, goat, sheep, honeybees, ducks/geese, a share of a heifer and a hope basket with (rabbits and chicks).  Students discuss where they thought these animals would help out and what it means to have a sustainable living.  When you purchase a share of an animal then other money is put with it from other donations toward the purchase.

When it was all done and the money sent to Heifer the students said, “It made me feel really good to help someone out.”  “I felt proud of what I did.”  “I want to continue helping other people.”  “We helped a lot of families.”

We want to thank everyone in the community, students and families that helped with world hunger.


Travel Agents Coming Soon!

We are going on spring break Thursday and will return April 13th.  At that time we will be getting our newest project off to it’s first post about places in North Carolina and the United States to visit.

 We look forward to learning about places in Ireland at that time with students from – Greystones,  Wicklow County, Ireland and the class called If Only the Best Birds Sang   and teaching them about our country as we explore places to visit.

  •   If you were a travel agent for your country what places would you recommend to visitors.  If you’d like to join our project we’d love to hear from you too!  We’d like to hear from more classes around the world about a special place in your country.  

We will also be completing our castle projects during April.  The second grade international club is working on their castle challenge to complete their own castle out of recyclable materials by April 14th.  Look for their designs then.  The students in the rest of the school will learn about castles that week during Global Studies.

The International Club students also took a virtual field trip last week to Australia and the Outback thanks to Ross Mannell who prepared  extended comments for us to visit around Australia since a real trip was not possible.  We were amazed how flat and red it is there. We have  white-tailed deer but not kangaroos. The deer cross the road and get hit by cars, they come in our yards and run off when we appear and some people eat venison meat. We have possum not echinda.  We have ostrichs but not emu.   Where we live we have more green.  The trees are leafless during the winter other than evergreens and some grass is still green and many shrubs.  Now that it is spring everything is turning green.


April 2012-mountain 002Farm 2012

This week we went back to England, Scotland and Wales to learn about foods which was made possible through Project Britain by Mandy Barrow. The students were amazed about eating baked beans for breakfast.  We have a different kind of biscuit that is bread and used for breakfast a lot in the US.   Mrs. Todd had learned about foods in Mrs. Monaghan’s home a few years ago when she took time to share with her class items in her pantry.  Some were very different from ours like chips and fries.  Some cereal looked similar.   Mrs. Harlow lives in England and is here teaching some of us as a visiting teacher.   These teachers are helping us study about these two areas of the world.  We’d like your help too!!

We wonder if Ireland eats the same kind of foods as England, Scotland and Wales?

International Club lasted a few weeks for about 20 energetic seven and eight year old’s.  We did dot art painting of kangaroos and other animals, visited the Outback and saw life there, learned about the Aboriginal people in Australia , learned about Castles and foods from Europe.  Our focus country is Australia and our Visiting teacher is from England so we learn about both places which is interesting to compare.   Our last week after break will be learning a dance from England, learning about schools in Australia and sharing our castles.

We hope some of you can join us in learning about places in Greystones Ireland and North Carolina/USA.  Perhaps you’ll share some of your special places with us during this project.


Middleham Castle (A Room with a View)

Mrs. Monaghan had commented about the castle outside their classroom (A Room with a View) and mentioned their blog site and the picture of their castle.  Below are pictures taken from that site. See the original post about Castles Around the World to see her answers to our inquiry questions about castles.

They are located 2 hours from Scotland and 3 hours from London.

They are located 2 hours from Scotland and 3 hours from London.


Picture used from A Room with a View (blog site) of Middleham Castle.

Picture used from A Room with a View (blog site) of Middleham Castle.Middleham Castle


Castles, Castles Do you have one?

We decided to do some inquiry learning and investigate castles around the world.  We need your help to learn about special castles in your area.   Please help us out by answering some of our questions.

  1. Where is your special castle located?  Continent/Country/City
  2. When was it built?  How old is it?
  3. Why was it built?
  4. Who lived in the castle?   Does anyone still live there?
  5. Is it used for other purposes now?
  6. Do you have more than one castle within 25 miles of your school/home? or even 50, 75, 100 miles away.  Tell us about that one also.
  7. How many rooms in your castle?   Where there unusual rooms in the castle?
  8. What is your castle built with?  Describe the outside of the castle.
  9. Does your castle have a drawbridge?  
  10. Is the castle built in the city, a small town or rural area?   Why do you think this was a good spot for the castle?  Tell us about the land features around the castle.
  11. Describe the inside of the castle.   
  12. Does it cost to visit the castle if it’s open for public viewing?


North Carolina is one of the 50 states in the USA.  Asheville NC is in the blue NC is green.

North Carolina is one of the 50 states in the USA. Asheville NC is in the blue NC is green.

North Carolina-  Asheville   35° 32′ 22.74″ N, 82° 33′ 3.42″ W     35.53965, -82.55095

biltmore 3 biltmore 4

Winter at the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Mountains

Winter at the Biltmore and the Blue Ridge Mountains


Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina

Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina


Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

biltmore_fall2009 biltmore_estate_garden_600x biltmore 2

Biltmore Estate is a large private estate in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina.  Tourist pay to go see it throughout the year.  It was built between 1889 and 1895 in a Chateauesque-style. It is the largest privately owned home and is owned by a descendant of the Vanderbilt’s.  It is 178,926 square feet of floor space and 135,280 square feet of living area.  It was built by George Washington Vanderbilt II and is on the US National Register of Historic Places and Landmarks. Richard Morris Hunt was the building architect and Frederick Law Olmsted was the landscape architect. Vanderbilt’s estate was modeled after two other impressive houses. One of these was a manor in Buckinghamshire, England called the Waddesdon Manor. The other was Chateau de Blois in the Loire Valley in France.

Vanderbilt wanted his home to follow the traditional agrarian model, which included a main manor house with tenant farms, a small town, a church, and a school. He put so much work into the building process because he wanted the estate to be self-sustaining and produce its own income.   It had its own herds of sheep, swine, poultry, dairy herd,  gardens, and nurseries.  An on-site kiln produced up to 32,000 bricks daily, and a woodworking factory supplied oak and walnut for the house’s floors and walls.  Indiana limestone, Italian marble and other supplies were shipped into Asheville by rail. Inside, the house is distinctively English. The country estates of Knole, Hatfield House and Haddon Hall provided guidance for the design of the interiors while they found inspiration for the house’s exterior in the 16th-century chateaux of Loire Valley, France. The stair tower and steeply pitched roof line were inspired by three specific chateaux: Blois, Chenonceau and Chambord.

Biltmore has four acres of floor space and a total of 250 rooms in the house including 33 bedrooms for family and guests, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces and three kitchens.  There are four floors and a basement area that had a swimming pool, gym and bowling alley.  At Christmas they decorate with around 15,000 strings of lights and 41 decorated trees for visitors.  During spring they have the Festival of Flowers when the gardens are blooming with over 100,000 different colors of tulips.  During summer many roses and other plants bloom. The Biltmore house is the largest home on the property but there are other buildings on the Estate. There are 125,000 acres around the estate area.

The name Biltmore comes from Holland and England not their names.  “Bilt” is a region that belongs to the Vanderbilt family in Holland and “more” refers to the countryside that is quite hilly in Old English terms.  The area of Asheville is in the mountains of North Carolina and the Biltmore Estate is hilly.

The Vanderbilt’s wanted to help others so in 1889 the Vanderbilt’s took considerable pleasure in founding the Biltmore Forest School, the first institute for scientific forestry in America. George and Edith also founded Biltmore Estate Industries in 1901, for the purpose of creating an apprenticeship program to teach traditional crafts such as weaving and woodworking. Students enjoyed creating many things, including reproductions of furnishings within the mansion and were encouraged to sell their works for income.

George and Edith’s only child, Cornelia (1900-1976) was married at the All Soul’s Church in Biltmore Village in 1924 to the honorable John Francis Amherst Cecil (1890-1954). Cecil was a descendant of Lord Burghley, the Lord High Treasurer to Queen Elizabeth I.

Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

Biltmore Estates Asheville, North Carolina

Boyd, Louise. dsc01641.jpg. June 2004. Pics4Learning. 18 Feb 2015 <>






International Travelers- Monarch Butterflies- 2nd Grade Reporters

International Travelers- Monarch Butterflies

Have you ever wondered about the tiny eggs on leaves in the spring and fall?  What mysteries do they hold?  Do you wonder how they know which way to go when they travel south for the winter?  Why do they go to Mexico and how long does it take these tiny creatures to get there.   Our second grade reporters took time out of their busy day to tell me some things they have learned about these International Travelers.   They have been busy observing, reading and writing in their science notebook about the life cycle of these tiny little eggs that become beautiful International Travelers each year.

Mrs. McNeill- Pedro

Day  One—- My caterpillar needs food, water and air.  Caterpillars eat mallow.  My caterpillar’s names are Sharky and Fast.

Day Three—I think my caterpillar is eating a lot.  I noticed they are eating a lot.

Day Four—My caterpillars are eating mallow and they are fat.  I predict they will be bigger. Butterflies can be camouflaged.  Butterflies can protect themselves.

Day Six— I think it is going to make his J.  I predict it is going to make the chrysalis.  I noticed it is almost going to make a chrysalis.  I think it is cool.  I predict it is really big.

All insects have three body parts-  abdomen, thorax, and head.  They can smell and hear.  All insects have 6 legs.  Spiders have two body parts and eight legs.  Butterflies can lay 100’s of eggs on one leaf.  It drinks more nectar.


Mrs. Harlow- Jasmine and Chance

The caterpillar sheds its skin 5 times before it goes into a chrysalis.  They have a back antenna.  They have front antennae.  When the caterpillar eats it gets bigger.  It takes 2 weeks until they go into their chrysalis.  When the butterfly comes out of the chrysalis their wings are wet.  It takes 10-75 days before they hatch out from their egg.  They can make silk with their legs.  They make a J shape when they start making their chrysalis.  They start out as larvae and eat and grow into adult butterflies.  They are black, orange and grey.  Monarch Butterfly can fly as high as a skyscraper.  Some butterflies can be as small as a small button.  And some can be as big as a black bird.  They are going outside to travel the world.

Mrs. Fincher- Reagan and Avery

Butterflies can lay more than 2000 eggs.  Caterpillars don’t spin a cocoon that’s a moth so caterpillars make a chrysalis instead.  Some caterpillars don’t survive because ants eat their eggs.   Butterflies have sensitive wings because if they break they can’t fly.  When they go into a J shape that means they are forming a chrysalis.  Some butterflies have bright colors to show they are poisonous.  When the caterpillars are in the chrysalis they go through metamorphosis.  That means they can turn into a butterfly and some have different metamorphosis.

Ms. Dunleavy- Camila and Kayla

It starts really little then a little bigger then a little larger, it gets much larger, and then when it is in its J shape it gets smaller and curled up.  A butterfly lays eggs on a leaf and it will hatch in 5 days then it will eat its entire eggshell because it’s very hungry.  The life cycle is eggs, larvae, caterpillar, J shape, pupa, and butterfly.  It sheds its skin and grows a bigger one sometimes darker sometimes lighter.   Butterfly eggs are really small you can barely see them.  When it is a pupa they grow wings.  Butterfly wings are very wet when it emerges and wings are really fragile.  Some butterflies have different patterns.  When the butterfly wings are closed you can’t see what color it will be.  If their wings are broken some still will try to fly.  We are going to let them go in the butterfly garden when they are ready.  In reading we learned that some butterflies fly all the way across the ocean.  Monarch butterflies go to Mexico in the forest because it’s safe there.

Mr. Pascarella-Jasmine P. and Avery C.

My caterpillar has turned into a pupa and is about to turn into a butterfly.  I learned moth spin cocoons and caterpillar’s spin chrysalis.  The caterpillars start small and grow bigger and bigger because they make a butterfly at the end.  Butterflies and moths can be colorful and some moths are tricky because they are really colorful.  They can spin a web in the little containers on the top and around it.  Butterflies have different life cycles than moths.  Ants eat the eggs sometimes.  Caterpillars need quiet and to be safe.    So after we release them in the garden they can lay more eggs and the life cycle will start all over again.

Mrs. Zarger- Ethan and Jasmine T.

When the caterpillar turns into a chrysalis is has a silver button that it hangs from.   It starts as a tiny egg and turns into a caterpillar (tiny, tiny) and then it starts eating and grows bigger.  It hangs upside down as a chrysalis and when it starts moving it’s about to become a beautiful butterfly.  Some butterflies are camouflaged like the trees or the ground.   When it starts to get cold and winter they go to a warmer place.   Monarch butterflies might fly to Mexico where it’s warmer.   They go to the forest.  They have antenna to find their food and drink from flowers to get nectar.   They are different colors and patterns on the adult butterfly.  They can fly 3000 miles from places like Canada and the USA.

Mrs. Lukjanczuk-  Cici and Andy

Caterpillars start in egg and then turn into caterpillar then into a chrysalis and hatch into a butterfly.  The biggest butterfly is as big as a black bird.  The smallest is as small as a little button or about the size of a pencil top eraser.  Caterpillars eat leaves.  Monarch butterflies fly as high as a skyscraper.  Monarch butterflies are poisonous.   A mama butterfly lays the eggs on a leaf and they might get eaten by ants.  Some fly over the ocean.  So they use the wind to help them fly so they can rest their wings.  They might land on a boat.  The butterflies might scare little animals because some have what looks like eyes on their wings.  They fly really fast if you try to catch them.  You have to be gentle with them and not rub their wings.

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International Literacy Day

Students at Rocky River Elementary were invited to design a bookmark about their favorite book in support of International Literacy Day on September 8th. This day was created by the United Nations to support the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies around the world. Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy. Winners of the contest had the opportunity to pick a book to continue their journey of becoming a lifelong reader.

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Celebrating International Literacy with our favorite books.

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The heart of basic education for all is with literacy, and is essential for reducing poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy.

Literacy is the basis for lifelong learning.

Education is a basic human right, and one that remains unfilled for many children around the world. Accessing and resourcing schools is most challenging in the developing world. Plan on joining the world wide effort to support literacy with all children and families no matter where they may live.
We encourage each student and family at RYRES to shoot for the stars by building a literacy habit which takes just a little time each day. Take time each and every day to include literacy in your life.
Several students did just that over their summer break when they kept reading in their summer plans by joining the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge. Mrs. Shulman and 30 students who read the most minutes during the summer challenge celebrated their accomplishments with a pizza party on Monday September 22.
What will your goals be each week that include literacy in your life and for others around the world and in our community?