2013 Global Educator Award

Recently I was surprised to have been nominated and then awarded the 2013 Global Educator Award by VIF.  As we were having our final party for the year they came in and presented the award (plaque, money for global resources and a paper weight globe) and asked the students what they had learned this year that was global.  The students talked about other cultures, people and places.  They talked about different languages, land forms, bodies of water, weather, currency and animals.   How important it was to be globally minded and what it means to them was also discussed.  I want to thank all of our blogging and skyping buddies from around the world.  We are able to learn and collaborate with you which makes this award possible.  Thank you for contributing to my success as a global educator!  School is out now so we will not be posting as much until August, 26th.

This is the press release from them.

Global Educator1 (200x113)Global educator2 (200x113)

Brenda Todd wins global education resources for Rocky River Elementary School

MONROE, N.C. (June 6, 2013) — VIF International Education is proud to announce that Brenda Todd, a second grade teacher at Rocky River Elementary School, has won the 2013 Global Educator Award. Todd will be honored as one of the top international education teachers in the state.
“I am a globally-minded educator and the children have learned a lot about the world during the past two and a half years,” said Todd. “I enjoy helping children learn and this award is just icing on the cake.”
Todd has been a teacher for more than 15 years and has been at Rocky River for six years. As a member of the Global Gateway program, Todd brings international education into her classroom on a daily basis – encouraging student achievement. Ongoing Global Gateway professional development courses and access to the Connections Resource Library™ helps Todd effectively integrate international content into her core instruction. Through the learning center, Todd works to understand and investigate the world, connect with others and integrate global content in the classroom.
Todd won the award based on her commitment to teaching second graders and promoting global awareness. Next year, Rocky River will have additional resources to support international education as a reward for Todd’s hard work and dedication.

“Todd is an inspiration for other teachers,” said David Young, CEO of VIF. “In order for students to succeed in the global economy, it is important for them to understand the importance of cultural perspective and how to collaborate with people from different countries.”
In its fourteenth year, Global Educator Awards recognize outstanding educators who demonstrate a dedication to inspiring students, colleagues and community members to understand the world’s languages, its cultures and the diverse perspectives of all people. VIF’s international education programs are turnkey, standards-aligned and accessible, and have demonstrated impact on student achievement across demographics.
The annual competition is open to all teachers participating in a VIF program such as Global Gateway professional development or Splash Language Immersion®. An awards panel selects the winning educators based on a letter of support from a supervisor or administrator, a short video or portfolio demonstrating how they made learning global and a brief essay.
“Parents see so many businesses are internationally connected,” Todd said. “Active learning and critical thinking will help their children get jobs and participate in their world.”
Other Global Educator award winners include Candace White of Glenwood Elementary School; Sharon McAdam of Clayton Middle School; Margareta Tripsa of Smithfield Elementary School; María Oroña Queijo of Marvin B. Smith Elementary School; and Nelsy Talero Aranguren of Ragsdale High School.

About VIF International Education
VIF International Education (www.vifprogram.com) builds global education programs that prepare students for success in an interconnected world. For more than 25 years, educators have leveraged VIF’s professional development and curriculum, language acquisition, and teacher exchange programs to generate engaging learning environments where students can excel in core curriculum as well as develop valuable 21st century skills. A certified B-Corp headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C., VIF provides a pathway for teachers, schools and districts to become globally certified. “Like” VIF International Education on Facebook and follow @VIFprogram on Twitter.

Surprise Package from Upper Plenty -Australia

This week we received yet another package in our box.   Anticipation of where it came from and what was in it could be hear around the room.

As we gathered around to find out the answers we noticed it was addressed to Mrs. Todd and the Roadrunners.   The return address was Upper Plenty  3/4 C and Miss Crowther’s  in Australia so that was one question answered.  Now to find out what was inside.  As Reese pulled open the package tab and Kaylie looked inside and pulled out the contents we found the answer to our second question.

Inside we found two cards wishing us a Merry Christmas and  the students in 3/4 C Upper Plenty, Victoria, Australia  had signed them.  Then there was a wrapped package that was flat and  square wrapped with red Christmas paper.  Kaylie opened it and inside was a book and CD with Aussie Christmas songs.   We found out they were different from our songs.


Although it arrived in America after our holiday it was a nice surprise for the first of the year. We wanted to listen and sing along.   Thank you, Upper Plenty for sharing with us!

We hear that it was very hot there this week.   While you were baking in the sun we had temperatures in the early morning in the high 20’s low 30’s F.  And daytime temps around 50 degrees F.   Do you know what that is in Celsius?


Skyping with Upper Plenty

We had sent them questions about the holidays a few weeks earlier so they could prepare for the Skype.   They have holidays called Australian Day, Boxing Day, Anzac Day along with ones that sound like ours– Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Halloween, New Years and Valentine’s Day.

Did you know that they have a bilby at Easter instead of the bunny?

Did you know they can go to the beach on Christmas Day?

Why ?  It’s summer time there.

They still decorate like we do but have picnics, barbecues, and play a lot outside.   The boxing day is a shopping day after Christmas similar to our Black Friday after Thanksgiving.  They honor soliders on Anzac Day like we do at Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day.  They serve mom breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day and give gifts.  They call candy lollies.  They celebrate birthdays too!

This Skype experience was a good follow up to our study of Australian holidays.  We learned that the Melbourne Cup, Boxing Day, Australian Day, Anzac Day are only celebrated in Australia.   They celebrate Christmas during their summer while we celebrate it during our winter.   We all celebrate Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Birthday’s in similar ways.

We have Thanksgiving, Fourth of July and Columbus Day.

Do you have other holidays to celebrate?  Which is your favorite?

What is the best thing about skyping with children from another country?




Canned Food Drive

This week the students at Rocky River participated in a canned food drive to help the needy during the next few weeks.

Students shared about how it made them feel…

Emanuel said , “it was really great to be able to share with others who need help”


McKenna said  “it made her feel special to help others.”   She liked how she was able to help others in need.

Eric felt really special bringing in his contributions.

Nicole was excited to share her efforts toward the project.”  It made me feel good.”


The class decided they would like to do another project and after some discussion it was decided they they  bring in a book for the children’s hospital for sick children.   They are excited to do this project over the next few weeks.

Adventures into Global Learning

Union County Public Schools in Monroe, North Carolina are introducing students to a global society.   Each elementary school is part of the Global Gateway program.   Teacher’s work on modules learning how to bring globalization into their classrooms and lessons.  They will collaborate and learn about ways to incorporate global learning into their curriculum.

Students will do inquiry based learning by finding answers to questions about a specific region of study.  At Rocky River the second grade will focus on Australia and New Zealand and some smaller islands.

  •  How do Australia, New Zealand and North Carolina compare?
  • Do they have similar cultures?
  • Do they have similar traditions?
  • How are they different?

Our Friends in Australia– Pt Lonsdale Primary School

Our second sister school Pt Lonsdale Primary School, Victoria, Australia          What have they been up to….    they had family blogging month in June to get families and friends involved in their blogging.  Before term was over they picked winners for the month.     We thought this was such a great way to get our families more involved that we’d like to encourage all of you to make comments and get involved with our GoingGlobal blog site.

  Check out their site to see what they did  http://threefourlonnie.global2.vic.edu.au/ and perhaps leave them a comment from North Carolina.

They’ve also been learning more about Australia in order to teach us about Australia.   We can’t wait to see what they are putting together for us.   We loved learning about other people, places and cultures.   We can read in books and on the internet but it becomes more special to us when we learn about places with other students and teachers.  Ms. Murphy and her students have taught us a lot of things because we enjoy visiting their class blog site.  Take some time to see what is happening with the Learning Legends in Australia.    Be sure and check out their mystery skype.    As they are on a different schedule be sure and continue to check out their site.  Their school is in session at times when we aren’t.

What is one thing you learned from their blog site?

What was the most interesting post and why?

Do you think school there is like Rocky River?

Locate them on a map and see if they are in the outback or near the ocean.  Where are they located at in Australia? 

Connecting with 73 countries

This year we worked on being a part of a global world in our 2nd grade class room at Rocky River Elementary in Monroe, North Carolina.  We are 7 and 8 year olds that loved to explore and be curious about the world.

    • We blogged and Skyped with others around the world.
    • We made connections.
    • We had fun.
    • We learned about other people and places.
    • We collaborated.
    •  We communicated.
    • We were creative thinkers, problem solvers and users of web 2.0 tools.
    • We created Global notebooks to track our learning about the world.
    • We became more aware of maps and locations of countries around the globe.
    • We tracked visitors to our blog site.

We loved doing this each day and seeing how far away we were from goals we set.
 Our average this month is 30 with 23 in the past 24 hours.
We decided to try and draw the flags from the 73 countries that visited.
 With a piece of paper, ruler , pencil and crayons we created these flags to honor our visitors and to say THANK YOU for visiting.  We learned a lot from many of you about your country.

Flat Friends Arrived in Gold Canyon, Arizona and from North Yorkshire, England

The Flat Friends have been busy traveling around from place to place.  First it was off to Australia for our Flat Friends and we got some Flat  Friends in return from Australia. They spent several weeks with us  and then off everyone went for a second trip on their journey around the world.

The second round found our Flat Friends heading for Arizona even if it’s in the USA like us it’s across the country in a totally unique environment.  And we got a new set of Flat Friends  from North Yorkshire, England- Middleham Primary School.  No jet lag allowed for these young Flat Friends.  They instantly took off for more adventures! 

Our Flat selves have arrived in Arizona.  We wondered what they were getting into with students at Peralta Trail Elementary in Gold Canyon, Arizona.  Last week we got to skype with these eager third graders.  We got to meet new friends that had received our Flat Friends.  We got to hear about a legend from their area.  Watch for a second post about the skype and the legend.

We are hoping they don’t encounter that mountain lion.


We have been busy with our Flat Friends from England and writing journal entries to send back with them.  It was Mother’s Day so our Flat Friends helped make Mother’s Day cards on Friday to give to our moms.   We want to say HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL THE MOMS AROUND THE WORLD!   Our friends in England celebrated Mother’s Day in March.  

What are we finding to do with this new set of friends?  You’ll have to wait a few days to find out.

Flat Selves travel — Journey 2


Wonder what adventure awaits our Flat Selves as they travel again?

This time they will visit with Mrs. Fraher and students at Peralta Trail Elementary,  which is  nestled in the foothills of the famed Superstition Mountains.  These mysterious mountains shadow their community, Gold Canyon, Arizona.

How many miles is it to Gold Canyon, Arizona?

What kinds of animals and plants will they see?

Will it be anything like North Carolina?

Can they find that mysterious Roadrunner creature?

What will they get into in Arizona?


Miss Migan’s Class Takes Flight

Our Flat Friends from Sydney, Australia have taken off back to Victoria, Australia.   We had such a blast playing with them and learning with them.  We took them by the cafeteria to work  for a while and by the computer lab.  We went by guidance one of our last days.  We spent time saying goodbye and writing final thoughts of the adventures.    We wanted to keep them all summer for more adventures but finally decided to do our last post and the next thing we knew they had taken off for their flight.

Final Goodbyes to Flat Friends on PhotoPeach

Sadly we have to report that one of them decided he’d stay longer in the United States.   We couldn’t find Andy anywhere but John and his family will continue  to hope  he shows up.  We’ve read a lot about people immigrating to the United States over the years so perhaps young Andy decided he should to.   We know we have people who came to live in the United States from places like Scotland, England, Ireland, Spain, France, Canada and Russia.  We have a lot of classmates from Mexico, Peru, Colombia and other South and Central America countries and also China,  Philippines and Vietnam.  They’ve come here to visit and then some came to make this their home.  That’s why we are so diverse.  Perhaps he is like our Visiting International Teacher and came to work for a year or two.  People have settled in different parts of the United States from South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia.   Some people have traveled here for educational reasons.   Most of our Flat Friends were ready to travel again.

In our Social Studies we study how people came here on the Mayflower and we’ve read about immigration and people coming to Ellis Island.  We know some came for religious purposes and some to have a better life.  We know some came for work.  They settled near water for transportation purposes in olden days.  Materials and people traveled by boats, carriages, trains and horses.   People moved to the west and spread out.   Modern transportation includes cars and airplanes so travel has become faster.  Cities grew and more and more people came and today people move about a lot.  The United States spread out and became 50 states.  People continue to move from place to place for different reasons.

Do you think we are a “melting pot”?   We read we were.  What do you think that might mean?

Goodbye Flat Friends– Hope your travels are safe and fun.


What is It? Where Can You Find Both of Us?








“I wonder what it is”?

Although we are both called Roadrunners you can find us in different places.

Rodney Roadrunner is at Rocky River Elementary as our school mascot.

He often is seen with sneakers and a backpack.  He is  bright blue and yellow.

Rodney is happy to see you.   Welcome to Rocky River Elementary School.


Where do you find the other Roadrunner?

What does he/she eat?

Where does he/she  live?






Wonder if any of our Flat Friends traveling around the world  has seen either of these


Our Flat Friends will be off and traveling again this week to a new school.  Where will they go?