It has certainly been a while since my last post - I apologize for lack of computer access. It's a bit impossible to update this with an iPhone :) In any case, I am doing my best to try to find interesting numbers in various places to showcase different types of math in the real world in different languages. Click here to see my pictures so far including some examples of that.
In any case, Jenna and I left Vilnius by plane and headed to Helsinki, Finland in preparation to take the new new high-speed Allegro train to St. Petersburg. We had about 24 hours to walk around Helsinki and saw a lot. There was a boat trip around the various islands (there are 180,000 in Finland, we saw about 12), seeing a free concert in a park, and having traditional Finnish food (deer meat-balls - very good). It was quick stopover but really worth it. The Finnish are very nice people and speak a good amont of English - very helpful for us.
We took the train and arrived in St. Petersburg just fine. The new cyrrilic language was quite confusing but we decided to learn eventually and master it (and by "master" I mean we could recognize the symbols - not the actual words. The biggest problem was the change in attitude of the locals. Instead of wanting us to be there and us taking part in their services, we were sort of brushed off a lot. Not the nicest thing but we got through it as best we could. In St. Pete's we went to Peterhof, the summer palace, and marveled at the art collection, the fantastic rooms (gilded with gold, a lot of them) and the huge park with numerous fountains (including some trick ones).
We also explored the Peter and Paul fortress on the banks of the river Neva. There was an amazing cathedral, a beautiful an well-explained museum on the history of St. Petersburg, and a cannon going off at noon! Right outside the walls there was a classical music concert going on, a bunh of sunbathers on what consisted of a beach, but more importantly was the sand castle competition. Check out the pics to see some examples - they are SERIOUS.
The biggest thing we did was on the last day when we visited the Hermiage, the winter palace of Peter the Great, filled with thousands of works of art, sculpture from all over the world, decorations and room layouts you could never imagine. We spent about 5 hours just walking through the halls (which was good payment for the 1 hour we spent waiting in the rain). You can see a lot of the works they have online. Thank you Leo for the great suggestion!
Finally we got to take an overnight train from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It was so cool to arrive at the train and one of the conductor-people had our names on a paper! Good to know some things are organized here. There was one guy in our compartment who spoke a bit of English so we chatted with him, got some sleep, and arrived in Moscow!
Our experience in Moscow was quite amazing and I'll explain it more in detail later because I want to end this blog post and I have to give this computer back. Before I do, though, I want to say something exciting about some lesson plan ideas I have. Here is a quick summary:
- use pictures of various numerals and ask what they represent (clothing store discounts, payment for services in different languages). I think this will help the kids understand how to use their knowledge to interpret mathematical situations.
- I want to put the numbers 0-9 around my room with the words for each underneath in different languages. Another way of exploring the world.
- How much water goes through the Peterhof fountains every day?
- How many people can a metro line hold in Moscow?
- The probability of having your bus ticket actually checked in Warsaw.
If you have any thoughts, please share!