The Schools of Artyom, 6 May 2011

Talk about a whirlwind of a day! After an energizing drive in the efficient care of our van driver, Sascha, we broke into three groups to visit Artyom Municipal Grammar School,
Grammar School “Khoreograficheskaya,” and School #6.  Artyom is about an hour’s drive from Vladivostok and also the location of the airport serving the area.

Children of Artyom Municipal School offering flowers to honored veterans at their Victory Day ceremony

At Artyom Municipal Grammar School, Becky Fox, Misti McDaniel, and Betsy Sandstrom observed a Victory Day ceremony that included  patriotic songs and students’ ceremoniously offering roses and carnations to war veterans who attended and participated in the ceremony. There are approximately 600 students in this school in grades 1 – 11.   We had a complete tour of the school, and then observed instruction in Olga Shokurova’s English classroom and Olga Tretiakova’s mathematics classroom.  Student presentations were a highlight of these classes.  Olga Shokurova’s students had prepared presentations, accompanied by Power Point, about the war and explained to us the origin of the St. George’s Ribbons that are worn to commemorate and remember those who supported the Patriotic War.  We were presented with ribbons to wear. We visited many other classrooms at various grade levels, talked with students throughout the school, and were treated royally wherever we went.  We learned that we were the first Americans to ever visit Artyom Municipal Grammar School.   There is a video on our YouTube companion site providing visual accompaniment to our day.

At Grammar School “Khoreograficheskaya,” program teacher Marina Lukonina started our day by telling Doug Cullen and Wendy Frazier more about her school via a PowerPoint (Презентация ГИМНАЗИИ). It was wonderful to see Marina’s classroom where she teaches computer science. The school principal led of tour of her school, which included a trophy display packed to the brim. We not only observed instruction in nature study (elementary science), art, and mathematics, but we had the honor of attending a dance recital that included traditional and modern dances by the school’s students.
This school is the only school specializing in dance in the entire Far East region.

At School #6, School Director and program teacher Stella Pak led a tour of her school’s Korean room and classrooms that included a stop in her own classroom where Dennis McFaden and Robin Taylor observed Stella Pak teach a physics lesson that included opportunities for group work. The trip to this school was complete with a student performance of Taekwondo and authentic Korean dance. Magnificent!

We eagerly anticipate tomorrow which will involve a 3.5 hour drive each way to Nakhodka to participate in a Model G-8 Summit for students of Primorsky Krai.

Stay tuned for more updates.  We send you warmest wishes from Vladivostok in Primorsky Krai,   Wendy and Becky

Girls' classroom at Artyom Municipal Grammar School

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About Wendy Frazier

Co-Director of US-Russia Teacher Professional Development (USRTPD) Associate Professor of Science Education at George Mason University
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