Finland’s Erasmus+ Week

Last week was Finland’s pleasure to host our Erasmus+ partner countries through a virtual week of collaboration.

Each day, a partner country had the opportunity to teach virtual lessons to classes at our Erasmus+ schools. Teachers and students also prepared materials about different subjects and about their own country to share, teachers facilitated group conversations between students in different countries, and overall promoted the cooperation of students and teachers internationally.

It was a wonderful experience to see students so engaged and excited to communicate and interact with students and teachers in all partner countries.

Let´s celebrate books.

The 23rd of April it’s Book Day in Spain, as we commemorate the day some outstanding writers like Cervantes and Shakespeare passed away.

To celebrate this day, our students from 6C created some comics of two well-known fairytales: Rumplestiltskin and The 3 little pigs. These two tales show how important is to be honest and hard-working.

We hope you enjoy them!

By Sara Cañibano.

KaMu (Join Us!) Week

The following are snippets from 6C students’ written thoughts about the KaMu week we had in our school.

What we did during KaMu week:

Last week we had an anti-bullying campaign. It was because our school is trying to make sure everyone is kind to one another. The week was called KaMu week. KaMu stands for ‘Kaikki Mukaan’ in Finnish (in English it loosely translates to ‘Join Us’).  

For the week we focused on different ways to be good friends to each other. One of the activities was that we each made a paper hand where we wrote a friendship promise. This was a promise about how we believe we should treat our friends and how our friends should treat us. 

Another one of the activities that we had this week is a kindness tracker that each class had and they gathered points by doing kind acts throughout the week. We also had a kiosk where you could go talk to the school’s social worker and the school psychologist. We also had other activities related to being kind to others. 

Why KaMu week is important:

“Treat people the way you want to be treated.”

One of the best quotes to tell forward. The whole idea of kindness in one sentence. If you want to be treated horribly, then you can probably do whatever you want, but nobody wants to be treated horribly, nobody wants to be bullied, nobody wants to be the one left out. So instead of being the bully, be the friend because that is the way you want to be treated, too. 

 Defending someone getting bullied is one of the best things you can do for anyone. You might get a new great friend for yourself. Kamu-week is supposed to do that. If there are lots of bullies bullying one person, or you are scared to go in between, you should tell the teacher. Bullying people makes people’s self-esteem go lower and lower, up until the point it couldn’t even get worse. No one deserves to get bullied, no matter what. No one is better or worse than you or anyone. Nothing matters, not race, disabilities, nor sexual attraction. Every single person is equal to everyone. Be friendly, not just only during Kamu-week, but always!

A small act of kindness might make someone’s day. Just by giving a little compliment, opening a door or helping someone could be just the little thing someone might need if they are not having a good  day. Show love to people around you with small efforts like helping and  greeting and complimenting others. You can make a difference by giving a small compliment about your classmate’s nice shirt. A small effort from you might make someone’s day. A nice environment at school makes people happy and more open to each other. Without discrimination we aren’t scared to be open or be our true selves. We aren’t sad because we are being treated wrongly. We are happy because we are all treated the same. As people.

Snippets of writing from 6C students’ thoughts about our school’s KaMu Week.

March 3 – Bulgaria Liberation Day

Niagara Falls glowed white, green, and red!
The event was on the occasion of the National Holiday of Bulgaria!

3rd of March a very special day for Bulgaria. On this date, we celebrate the Liberty of the Ottoman yoke. On this day in 1878, the signing of the Treaty of San Stefano established the modern Bulgarian state. Recognized as Bulgarian Liberation Day, March 3rd marks the day that the nation became an autonomous republic. On this day, Bulgaria pays tribute to the Bulgarian volunteers and the Russian, Finnish and Romanian soldiers who, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, liberated Bulgaria from almost 500 years of Ottoman rule.

Martenitsa – an Ancient Bulgarian Tradition

On the 1st of March Bulgarian people celebrate a traditional holiday called Baba Marta (or Grandma Marta in English) and it is related to welcoming the approaching spring. People all over the world meet spring with joy and new hopes but in Bulgaria, it is saved as an ancient tradition.

On that day, Bulgarians exchange, so-called “Martenitsi” (“Martenitsa” – singular, “Martenitsi” – plural) and tell each other, “Chestita Baba Marta!” (Happy Grandma Marta!). This custom is essentially to wish great health, good luck, and happiness to family and friends. The name “Martenitsa” is taken from the Bulgarian word for March, or, as a legend tells, an angry old lady called Grandma Marta – Baba Marta in Bulgarian (“baba” means grandmother and Marta come from word “mart”, which means March in Bulgarian).

In Bulgarian folklore, Baba Marta is a grumpy old woman who changes her mood very rapidly and it reflects in the changeable March weather. When she is smiling the weather is sunny and warm, but if she gets angry the cold will stay for longer and it may even snow. By wearing the red and white colours of the Martenitsa our predecessors asked Baba Marta for mercy. They hoped that it will make winter pass faster and bring spring.

The Martenitsa is made of twined red and white threads – woollen, silk, or cotton. The white is a symbol of strength, purity and happiness. The red is associated with health, blood, conception, and fertility.
The most typical Martenitsa represents two small wool dolls – Pizho and Penda. Pizho is the male doll, usually dominating in white colour. Penda is the female doll, usually dominating in red colour and distinguished by her skirt. There are many other variations and forms. Out of twined red and white threads are also made bracelets, necklaces, tassels, pompons, balls, squares, human or animal figures. Over the past several decades the tradition has been innovated by attaching all kinds of representations and symbols made of wood, leather, ceramics, metal foil to the thread-made martenitsas.
When someone gives you a Martenitsa you should wear it either pinned on your clothes, on the hand-tied around the wrist, or around your neck until you see a stork or a fruit tree in blossom for the first time in the season. After that, you can tie it on a blossoming tree for fertility. It is believed that the Martenitsa bring health, happiness and longevity. Like kind of amulet, Martenitsa was attributed to a magic power believed to protect folks from “ill fortune”, diseases and an evil eye.

The custom of wearing Martenitsa is probably one of the most interesting Bulgarian (pagan) tradition and it is considered to be unique to Bulgaria. According to one of the many legends, this tradition is also related to the founding of the Bulgarian state in 681 AD.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year 2021

Today we would like to focus on looking back, three years ago. When we started all of us shared the same feeling: to encourage our students and push them to new learning experiences.

We can say that we have reached most of our beginning-goals. For that reason, we would like to say something to all you guys: THANK YOU.

We have many reason to say thank you, let us explain some of them:

All the FUNtastic teams have been working so hard from each country even with the pandemic situation we struggling. There have been fluid communication between all the colleagues of the project. In addition, there are many friends who are not working on the project anymore but they started: thank you for everything, without you the project wouldn’t had been the same. You, guys, have been able to encourage new colleagues in the project in the same way you did.

All of theses reasons empower us to keep working to learn new teaching-learning experiences. These ones make us better teachers or even better people.

All the FUNtastic family whish you all Merry Christmas and a fantastic new year 2021.

Happy Christmas

Today, among many other things, we have read How the Grinch stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss. In these strange times that we are having to live, the message of this story is perfect for us to realize that maybe Christmas is more than just food, decorations and what we buy in stores …

The tale inspired us to create our own Who-ville, named after the town where the Grinch lives. Each one has drawn a house with a Christmas atmosphere and I have been placing them in a mural to create our own town. We hope you like it. Merry Christmas.