Another sweet find on the metro...

She's back from the dead!!!

The resemblance is uncanny, don't you think?!

Have a Happy Monday!!

Last day to sign up for Baobei 8K race on April 14th

Exercise for a good cause!  Run for Baby Angelina!

Rock Climbing on "Mount Rushmore"

Grade 5 did the "Mount Rushmore" climb on Thursday, complete with "kodak moments".

PE teaching idea:

Tell students that they "traveled" to South Dakota to rock climb on Mount Rushmore.  
(You can be silly, ham it up!  Hand out "plane tickets" for each team, have a goofy tourist hat on while explaining the directions, etc.)

Students will be in four teams of four students.  Each team will need 4 pictures and 4 chopsticks (they can also use a clothespin if it's too windy to prevent the pictures from falling down.  Or use the clothespin to pin the stick and picture to their shirt while they climb up--for the less experienced climbers). 

On the signal, students say safety words.  Then they can start climbing.  Every team mate must put 1 picture up above black line, and recreate the image of Mount Rushmore.  First team to complete challenge should sit down and shout "USA".  Team who finishes fastest with the correct order wins the challenge.

Q& A:  Review strategies the teams used and allow for student feedback. 

This one time on the metro in Shanghai....

A "missed connection" happened right before my eyes.  
Two souls with clearly so much in common, yet time was not on their side.

The guy... 




 The girl....




Yet completely covered in plastic wrap and deformed!! What inhumanity!!! 

Poor chap couldn't even chat with the teddy bag bear sitting so close to him!

What is this world coming to?!

Okay, your turn to think of a ridiculous caption for this situation! 

Here's to finding love in unknown places!  Happy Saturday!

<3 amor.paz.felicidad.

It's Easy Being Green

In spirit of world water day on March 22nd, our school's charity auction for WASH/environment projects, the spring season and St. Patrick's Day, our March Bulletin Board has been decorated with ways for students to "go green".  Ideas include taking shorter showers, turn off the lights when you leave a room, don't leave the water running while you brush your teeth, and the old favorite.. Reduce, Re-use, Recycle!

How do you "Go Green"?

Hot off the press! March Newsletter!

Funny Quote of the day!

When this student finished his warm up lap, he so EXCITED to tell me something.....

"Miss Fitz, I ran faster than the lawn mower!!".

My response?

Great!! I'm so glad to hear that!!


So here's to hoping you can run faster than the lawn mower in your workout today!

Happy Tuesday!

<3 amor.paz.felicidad


Fitness Badges were awarded for the following categories:

Sub 7 mile: Jessica Taylor (6:30), Steven Shuster (6:44), Michael Harris (6:50), Chloe Puckett (6:59)

Push Ups: Liam O'Driscoll (40), Kelly Pun (40), Rebecca Foggin (41), Jessica Taylor (41), Sophie Mason (43), Tim Wieber (47), Allison Chen (51), Julie Drake (51), Isabella Luo (51), Ethan Ohman (76)

Sit and Reach: Grace Wei (20), Olivia Jung (20)

Flex Arm Hang: Taylor Green (70), Lucas Herman (70), Justine Huang (70), Julie Drake (71), Allison Chen (80), Ethan Ohman (90)

Plank: Julie Drake (300), Tim Weiber (300), Charlene Tan (305), Jessica Taylor (305), Stephanie Fan (340), Erin Brennan (360), Kelly Pun (370), Kevin Gu (555), Ethan Ohman (640), Allison Chen (900)

Perfect 100s:  Kennedy David, Stephanie Fan, Kala Ho, Amanda Lee, Justine Huang, Kelly Ann, Kate Schaffer, Jessica Taylor, Chloe Puckett, Sophie Mason, Jonathan Lim, Ethan Ohman, Erin Brennan, Eui Hyun Choi, Henry Gao, Peter Gradon, Anna Greer, Steven Shuster, Arthur Wang


Bowling trip for Grade 5

We had a great day at the Life Hub bowling alley here in Jinqiao.  We brought about 50 students for each day 1/ day 2 cycle, and the students were able to bowl a full ten-frame game.  They were so excited to put on the fancy shoes, and test out the weight of the bowling balls, and wipe down the ball with the alley-supplied hanky.  It was extremely cute!!  Special thanks to our vice principal who came along for the fun, and to our MS secretaries who helped make the arrangements.

Enjoy the pictures!

Spring has sprung!

The fish pond has been cleaned out, the sun has been shining, and trees are beginning to bloom.  I did a little spring cleaning of my own on my terrace, by scrubbing down the walls and floors, attempting to rid it of all the pollution, dirt and dust that accumulated over the long winter months.  I enjoyed my terrace for one afternoon-eating lunch, reading my books; but of course the next day it poured!

Have you vacuumed your fish pond today?!

This is the almond (?) tree blossoming outside my apartment complex entrance.  Unfortunately, these pretty blooms don't last very long, as there were more petals on the ground than on the actual tree!

Since spring has sprung, it's time to spring back into shape!  Here are some workouts my students have designed using different gym equipment such as kettlebells, bosu balls, stability balls and body bars.

The students really seemed to enjoy thinking of ways to use the equipment, and work through exercises that they had found in their research.  We really aimed to make the circuit training as dynamic as possible, incorporating elements like balance and crossing multiple planes of movement.  

Some of the names were really random, like this gem--the dumbbell skull crusher.  Of course when this student presented, I was nervous to see what that exercise entailed.  Luckily, it didn't involve bashing the dumbbell into one's forehead, as if they were crushing a soda can!! It actually was a really good workout, and this student was a great leader, constantly encouraging the group to stay with the tempo and push through.

Below are some memorable reflections written by my 7/8th grade students regarding their personal fitness unit.  They were faced with a month-long challenge to eat at least 5 serves of fruits and/or vegetables, get 8 hours of sleep, 1 hour of physical activity and 30 minutes or less of technology/TV time on a daily basis.  I loved reading their process behind decision making, goal setting, and achievement.  Since PE class moves so quickly, I don't have much time to get to know my students very personally.  These reflections allow me a better understanding of the students I am teaching, and I am able to find new ways to reach out to them, and connect their learning to personal interests and hobbies. 

So there you have it--fitness advice from 13 and 14 year olds; that if you practice running, you'll be able to run away from a mugger, vegetables improve your digestive system's flow, and bad nutrition and lack of sleep will negatively affect your energy and performance during the day.  Couldn't have said it better myself!!  

Here's to a healthy spring--filled with positive thoughts, daily exercise, healthy eating, staying strong, working smart, worrying less, dancing more, loving often and being happy!

Have a healthy day, wherever you are in this beautiful world!

<3 amor.paz. felicidad siempre

A happy day is a bagel day!

What a treat, to enjoy bagels for breakfast in Shanghai!!  Makes this New Yorker feel more at home!

Now if only we had some lox, cream cheese and onion on a poppy seed bagel... I would be in culinary heaven!... A girl can dream! ;)

Happy Friday, everyone!

Day trip to Hangzhou, China

Living in a big city has its perks, but I love being able to hop on a train or bus and escape for a few hours. When I lived in Manhattan, it was really convenient to take Amtrack up to Boston or down to DC for the weekend. Here in Shanghai, it's a little more complicated, but not too hard (once you remember to take your passport with you!). 

I tried to visit Hangzhou during my stay-cation in Shanghai during Chinese New Year.  Imagine my disappointment when after an hour long metro ride to the waaaay other side of Shanghai, I couldn't buy a bullet train ticket because I didn't have my passport with me!  I tried to show my school ID, and only say my passport number to the ticket agent, but the agent wouldn't budge.  Mind you, I checked information on tourist sites and on their transit site, and I never saw one warning about needing the identification. I was a little bummed, to say the least. 

On Sunday, I knew to go to Hongqiao station with the proper information!  I was able to buy the ticket with no issues, and got on the next available bullet train with ease.  The Hongqiao station is a super modern facility, equipped with stores, a food court and clean waiting areas.  It definitely looked more like an airport, than any train station I'm used to seeing.  The bullet train trip only took 40 minutes, and it was a really clean train, with signage in English.  Even the bathroom was usable! WOW!

Upon arrival, I found this canal/garden that runs the length of the city.  As it turns out, Hangzhou is more green than I thought it would be.  It was a perfect almost-spring day; lots of warm sunshine, and almost no pollution!

Out of the garden, and back on the street, I made my way towards the infamous "Xi Hu", or West Lake. Along the way, I marveled at how clean Hangzhou is, and ingenious ideas, like government rent-a-bicycle stations placed on the main road.  

Olé Olé!

Lingyin temple in the distance

It's a bit hard to tell, but yes, this is me in front of the West Lake.  It was so bright, and this picture is from my iPhone-thus the quality is terrible, and does not do this lake justice.  It was so beautiful, and would have been an extremely tranquil place to mediate, if there weren't about 800 other Chinese families enjoying the pretty view, sunshine and nice Sunday afternoon.  The large amount of people walking around this huge lake may have even been more impressive than the scenery itself.

The idea of a nice Sunday boat ride was tempting.. the murky brown lake water--not so much!!

For a post-lake snack, I found myself in this noodle shop.  Besides the cleanliness, friendliness and happiness I felt in Hangzhou, I was so happy to eat on the cheap for really cheap.  Tea, dumpling soup, and vegetables only cost 25rmb!  There weren't many Westerners in Hangzhou--and definitely absent from this shop--so while I dined, the wait staff took laps around my table, trying to take not-so-obvious but obvious sneak peaks at my face.  I didn't even care--those dumplings were distractingly delicious.  After my meal, the waiter invited me to sign their wall of fame, where I of course wrote a thanks for the dumplings message!

 Overall, I'm happy I was able to visit Hangzhou, and I highly recommend it for the quaint Chinese lane houses, canal boats, old people playing mahjong at the lake, and yummy, inexpensive dumplings!