We write you from Latvia to tell you about our idea what we can do with the project "Connecting Math to our Lives". Project coordinators are Aija Cunska and Velga Blaua, participants - six schools from Latvia:
1. Aizkraukle Secondary School No 2And now about how we have planned our work. As the situation in Latvia is different compare with other countries we decided to find another stresses in our work. It is co-operative work of parents and their children. And we made the computer courses (classes) for 5-6 teams of families (one child and one of parents) in six schools. The children are the students of grades 3-6 (they do not have computer science at school yet). During four month they will have computer classes one time in a week for two hours. This will be the time when the teams meet at school and study computer science. But!!! They will have to do the home exercises, too! And the exercise will be from the project "Connecting Math to our Lives". We will go through the most of common programs with the aims:
1. To get to know the computer and to encourage to use the computer in the educational work at the lessons and in the I*EARN projects;There will be a Web page, too. Every lesson our families will get to know new things about the possibilities of IT and they will have different exercises connected with everyday math. At the end they have to make family newspaper where everything they learned in the classes will be reflected. Then we will make one outcome from Latvia and send it to you!
Latvia is in the eastern part of Europe and it is situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea. Latvia borders with Estonia, Lithuania, Russia and Belarus, but our overseas neighbour is Sweden. Its territory is 64000 km2. The population is about 2,7 million.
Latvia's capital is Riga. It is founded in 1201 and now it is going to celebrate its 80th birthday. For centuries Riga is known as a major cultural, political and trade centre not only of Latvia, but the entire Baltic region.
The Latvians have been living for many centuries in this territory. We have rich cultural heritage of folk songs, dances, art and folk traditions and we are proud about it. It is almost the XXI century but still a lot of our pupils and people at all take an active part in studying the folk songs and dances and other kinds of folk's applied art. The greatest and the most impressive cultural event is our Festivals of Songs and Dances which take place once in four years.
Smiltene, the town where we live is in the north - eastern part of Latvia and there are only some 44-km from Latvian - Estonian border. Smiltene is clean and nice town. There are about 7 thousand inhabitants there. There are four lakes and one river in our town. We have three parks and we haven't trains, trams and trolley - buses in our town.
Our school is Smiltene Gymnasium.
It consists of primary, elementary and higher schools. Our school buildings
have become too narrow for all of us, that's why the primary school is
in the other building which is in the other side of Smiltene. There are
about 1100 pupils and 80 teachers at our school.
Ogre has got its name from the place. Long ago the Livs settlements have lived there on the banks of the river Ogre, which flows there into the river Daugava. From it the name Ogre - Vogen has arisen. It means - supple, agile in English. That's why we see the bridge of the river ogre in our city's emblem. Ogre is a resortcity 36-km from Riga. Its territory is 13,5 km2 and population is 30000. Our Gymnasium is one of four secondary schools in the city.
Our school is situated in the centre of the city at the foot of the Vilku (Wolf) hill. We are a young school - only 9 years young. There are 2220 pupils and 80 teachers in our school. Ogre Gymnasium is an active participant of many national and international projects. We are proud of our students and their parents who always are interested in our work and needs.
Using the modern IT is inalienable part of our work. Computer is not only a mean of work, but also a mean of communication, so we can contact with our friends all over the world.
Valmiera - is a picturesque city that lies on the banks of the river Gauja about 100-km from our capital Riga. Valmiera is an ancient city of European Trade Union Hanza and it is more than 700 years old. There are about 29000 people in Valmiera. There are a lot of industrial enterprises, one higher educational institute, five secondary schools, Art school and Music school.
Valmiera Gymnasium is one of the
oldest in the district, this year it is going to celebrate its 80th anniversary.
School building is an architectural monument. There are 850 pupils from
grades 5-12 in our school. We study: Latvian, English, German, Norwegian,
Finnish and Russian languages at school. We have classes specialized in
exact, humanitarian and social studies.
Aizkraukle is one of the youngest cities of Latvia (above 30 years). It has founded due building the biggest hydroelectric power station in the Baltics on the river Daugava. At the beginning of 90th it was renamed from Stuchka to Aizkraukle. There are 10000 inhabitants in Aizkraukle. There are three secondary schools, technical school, Music, Art and Sport schools there. Our city was famous for a long time because there were no church, but now we have church for Lutherans and soon we will have a Catholic Church, too.
There are about 670 pupils in 30 classes, from the 5 -12 grades. There are 51 teacher in our school. Our school tries to improve the teaching and learning process by using IT. There are Internet centre and Regional Computercentre side by side to modern Media centre. A lot of teachers and other grown-ups from the entire district have acquired skills in computer science during seven years. If you want to get to know more about Aizkraukle, have a look in our WWW - www.adc.lv/Aizkraukle and about school - www.adc.lv
Dundaga is the biggest pagast (rural
administrative district) in Latvia, which is situated in Kurzeme peninsula's
northern part. 71% of the territory is covered with forests. This region
of Latvia is famous of its green forests, blue sky and the sea. Part of
the territory is taken up by Slitere Nature reserve.
Dundaga`s school was built in the
last century. There are 700 pupils and 50 teachers in the school. The students
are from 7 to 18 years. We have drama group and a strong volleyball team.
We are famous with our school traditions. Our WWW page is www.ltn.lv/~allefm/
Our school is interesting with the
museum of school's history, students` parliament, dance groups and boys
choir, and different traditions.