Finnish forest

We've been doing exploring the Finnish forest a lot with the kids! The whole last week was about different animals and insects. Every day pupils got a different animal group from which they could make more animals to the forest they've built. In the end of this week we went out to the forest next to the school to explore more. We had such a great time there! Unfortunately we weren't allowed to build a real camp fire so we had to imagine it again. In the forest kids got to do some research in small groups where they could experience the forest by its smells and sounds for example. 

Here are some pictures of the forest. How it has developed from the tree day.

Next week we'll start exploring Tatu and Patu book a little more. And from there Finnish history and all other interesting stuff. ;)

That's all for now!



Sorry for delay!

We, Kaisuli and Eetu, have been teaching Finnish culture for third graders at South Range Elementary School for two weeks now (we've been here for three weeks already but the first week at school we only observed and gave Finnish names to kids). So we're super sorry for starting this blog just now.

We are two teacher students from Lapland University. It's the first time for both of us to visit US. We've got lots of new experiences so far and we're about to get more every day. So far people here at UP have been super friendly and helpful! We've found it very interesting how many people here have Finnish roots and we're longing to hear their history more specifically. 

The practical training so far has been wonderful! The kids are super excited about Finland and we're too about teaching them. During first week we focused on the language. We learned couple of songs and phrases, numbers, days, months… Kids are so fast to learn! This week we focused on the Moomins during the first three days and the rest of the week we started to learn more about Finnish forest. 

We built this forest from pupils' threes they drew. On Friday we got to know some Finnish birds and filled the forest with them. Next week we'll continue with the same topic and fill the forest with the animals that belong there. Every day we also read the Comet in Mooinland on a campfire we imagine there in the forest. Eetu plays guitar and Kaisuli reads the book. We've found it as a good way to end the days. 

But now we're spending a weekend here and will explore Hancock and the UP a little more. We shall update this blog from now on a little more. :)


- Kaisuli and Eetu


Time goes so fast (too fast)!

It's been a month since I last wrote. I'm sorry. Time has gone so fast and I can't believe today was our last day at South Range Elementary! I've been keeping a blog where I have told about our days at South Range Elementary with photos. You can read the blog here.

Me and Ekku have settled here, to Upper Peninsula, so well, that I can't even think about leaving here soon. Ekku is already leaving on next Monday, I still have one more week after that. Maybe I'll visit South Range once more before leaving, I'm already missing children; I had tears in my eyes when we had to leave the school today.

The month has been full of happiness, we have had such fun days with children, who have been amazing! They have been - and hopefully will always be - full of eagerness and enthusiasim to learn. Me and Ekku truly hope that children know now more about Finland and our culture, our arts, literature, sports etc. We have enjoyed those lessons and seemed that children loved them too.

At least half of the class had a Finnish last name. This has been interesting to see, as in the whole area of Hancock and Houghton. You can see Finnish last names everywhere. A couple of older people have heard us speaking Finnish in a public space and they have come to talk to us. You never know where are the ears that can understand your speech!

Raili, Elisa and Alisa wearing Finnish t-shirts.
We made it to the news here - two times. We have felt like celebrities, many people have invited us for a dinner and wanted to hear about us, Finland and a Finnish school system. You can find the news here: Mining Gazette and Upper Michigans Source.