When I first found out that I had been picked as one of the
participants for the program I was shocked.  I went from
shocked, to overwhelmed, to a little worried by the time I got
on my plane in Memphis.  Once I arrived and began to
experience this program, I am not sure now why I ever second
guessed the trip.  The three weeks went by so fast.  I met
many wonderful people and learned so much about the
Japanese culture and the educational system.  During my trip I
took lots and lots of pictures and wrote in a journal every day.  

My two greatest experiences were my trip to Kamakura, and
my weekend with my host family.

My Journal and Pictures From Kamakura Trip
My Journal and Pictures From Host Family Weekend

Photos from my three week experience

I will always be thankful for the opportunity that I was given.  

What I will be doing in my classroom with all
this new information that I have learned.
My students and I will complete a unit on Japan from
September until November.  We are going to learn about the
culture, history and traditions of this country.  We are going to
practice some of the traditional Japanese customs in our
classroom.  Our room will be transformed over the weekend of
September 8.  The students will return to find a room full of the
rich history and culture of Japan.
 (Look below at some of our
room transformations)  
Our most important day of the unit will
be the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break.  All parents will be
invited to attend a Japanese festival in our classroom.  The
students will share all of the information that they learned
during the unit, show their displayed art and tempt you to eat
Japanese foods.  Together we all will finish our project of
folding paper cranes. (This project will culminate our book,
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, that will be read
during the unit.)  We will also finish the packing of our books
received for Mutsu.  (See project information below)  

It will be a wonderful day for us all!

Books for Mutsu Project
I am so excited about this project that my students and I will
start in August.  While I was in Mutsu I visited a local library.  In
this library there was a very small section of English books.  I
spoke to the head librarian about having books sent to him
when I returned home.  He was so excited and since English is
the second language in Japan, the people from this area will
truly benefit from this project.  We will be asking family, friends
and our community to donate a book.  We would like for the
donors to pick their favorite childhood book.  Each book will
have a small label that names our school, class and the
business or person that donated the book.  Anyone interested
in donating a book can contact me directly at GUE.   We will
collect books until November and then all books will be mailed
to Mutsu, Japan.

Mutsu Group Presentation
On our last day in Japan, each group of teachers had to
present on their trip.  I put together a power point with pictures
to show what all our group participated in while in Mutsu.  My
group members helped me by giving me pictures that they had
took during the trip. I took all the pictures and put them
together.  It took me a couple of days of non-stop work, but it
looked great on the day of our presentation. I will show the
power point to the students and at different presentations.
June 10- June 29, 2006
Children's Day
The Celebration of the Carp
(It was also our school's Homecoming Game that day)