Share your photo on National Geographic

12 Feb

Chennai, India (Photo by Rob Martin)


Kashmir, India (Photo by Rob Martin)


Everest Base Camp Trek (Photo by Rob Martin)

Why do we move? Why can’t we sit still? What makes human beings seek out new horizons? Out of Eden Walk wants you to share a photo. The deadline for doing this is February 15th. Please see Paul Salopek’s most recent blog post for information. The assignment is called Built to Walk and you can find out more information here. The hashtag is #Yourshot. 

You can upload your photos which show human movement. There are so many things you can share just from Chennai alone. Here are three photos from India and Nepal that I have taken. If you have a photo and want help, save it and come and see me on Monday. I will help you. Have a nice weekend!

Geography of China

9 Feb

“China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

This week we being our next unit on ancient Asia, China. Over the next few weeks we will learn about many new things about ancient China using our historical themes, or what we often call GRAPES. We begin by learning more about China’s geography. See Do Now #13!

What are the physical features of China? Use your textbook, library books in the classroom, the maps below, and the videos to help create a list of the features and what makes China unique. 

Map_EastAsia_Physicalchina-location-on-the-asia-mapchinaslide_2China screenshotScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 10.16.27 PM


8 Feb


Today and tomorrow, students are completing their reflection in their e-portfolio/blog for our India unit. In class, prior to Week Without Walls, you created a ‘Headline’ for our India unit. This is a Visible Thinking Routine.

Why do we do it? This routine helps students capture the core or heart of the matter being studied or discussed. It also can involve them in summing things up and coming to some conclusions. This routine works especially well at the end of a class discussion or session in which students have explored a topic (India!) and gathered a fair amount of new information or opinions about it. (From Visible Thinking @Harvard Project Zero)

My personal favorites:

Ashoka: From Military to Monk

India, a diverse and dynamic country.

Reincarnation – repeating cycles of birth, death, and re-birth


Week Without Walls – Days 3 & 4

7 Feb
Short hike

Short hike

Masa and Ryotaro

Masataka and Ryotaro at the viewpoint

Cup game

More team-building with the cup game

Food chain

Food chain – Catch me if you can!


Puzzle making


“Mintae, Mintae, Mintae!”

Camp fire

Making s’mores

Group photo Yelagiri

Last day group photo with our WWW T-shirts

Here are some more photos I took during the last two days. What is your best memory from Week Without Walls, or what is something new you tried or experienced (game, activity, or food, etc.)? – Mr. Martin


Week Without Walls – Days 1 & 2

6 Feb

Students – Here are some photos from the first two days of Week Without Walls in Yelagiri. I will continue to add some more photos and will send some photos to students. You can download these photos as well if you click on the photo and save it. Enjoy!

Copy and paste this sentence stem in the comment section. Complete this sentence: My favorite part of Week Without Walls was….because….

Bus ride

On the way to Yelagiri.

Team building

Team building


Chapati challenge

Short hike

Short hike viewpoint

KIng's Resort

King’s ‘Resort’ group

Bad Hair day

Mr. Martin’s Bad Hair Day

Lya nd Lekhana

Lya and Lekhana

Team building 2

More team building

Zip line




Get Your Tickets!

28 Jan

Get your tickets!

I’m going tonight to see “History of the Universe in 77 Minutes” tonight. Get your tickets! You can see it tonight or tomorrow night.

Congrats, Hyeonjoo!

28 Jan

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 8.31.20 PM.png

Hello students –

Out of Eden Learn recently chose Hyeonjoo’s neighborhood map picture to feature on their Instagram page. Great job!



Middle School Theatre

23 Jan

MS Theatre production banner-01

The Middle School Theatre Department invites you to attend a unique theatrical event, “A History of the Universe in 77 minutes”. It’s a play that covers the whole of history, from the big bang right up to the present.  As the narrative unfolds, the play takes the audience on a thrilling roller coaster ride through some of the most memorable moments in our past, with some serious themes wrapped up in a whole lot of comedy. 

Tickets for the play are only 250 rupees and can be bought before and after school at the Main Entrance and the Elementary Gate. A donation of the ticket money will go to Chennai Flood Relief projects. Performance Dates and times are 28th of January at 5:00 p.m. and 29th of January at 6:00 p.m. Suitable for all ages, we hope to see you there!

I enjoyed the sneak peek at the assembly, and it looks great. Many of your classmates have been working hard to prepare for it. Please go and support them!

Are you ready to Kahoot?

21 Jan


Are you ready to play an awesome review game? Get ready for your next class, as we review for our ancient India Test!

India Unit Test

19 Jan


Please find the study guide HERE. Your test will be on Wednesday, January  27 (B/D) and Thursday, January 28 (G/H). 

The History of the Earth (Animated Video)

19 Jan

The Earth is really, really old. Over four and a half billion years old, in fact. How do we begin to comprehend a number that large? It helps to put it on a more fathomable scale. Watch to see where Earth’s major events would fall on a timeline stretching across the US. I’d like to thank Mrs. Hall for sharing this with Ms. Jaya and me.

Asoka & the Maurya Empire

18 Jan

9943375_origmaurya-and-gupta-empires-EM.W26.GUPTAEssential question:

What were some of Asoka’s accomplishments? 



M.S. Spirit Week

14 Jan
Crazy hair day

Nice sunglasses and hat, Donovan!

Crazy hair day

Mrs. Hall and Ms. Jaya always show school spirit.


Celebrate Spirit Week!

We have Spirit Week from January 18 – 22. Please see below for theme for each day.

MONDAY                  – Crazy Hair/Hat Day

TUESDAY                 – Pyjama Day

WEDNESDAY          – Mismatch Clothes Day

THURSDAY              – Multiples Day

FRIDAY                     – School Color Day (Blue/White)

spirit week 2

Multiples Day

Spirit week

Mismatch Day with Sophia

Crazy hair day

Who has crazier hair?

Multiples day

Multiples Day


Buddhism Mapped

13 Jan



13 Jan

Proverbs China

A proverb is a simple saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience. What does this one mean?

January Birthdays

9 Jan


Welcome back! We start school on Monday and it will be a a 1A Day. This week, we will learn about hinduism and buddhism, how they developed in India and their similarities and differences. We will also begin footstep #5 for Out of Eden Learn. There are two final footsteps for Learning Journey #1.

Happy Birthday to the following people celebrating birthdays this month: Ms. Jaya (8), Charlotte (16), Hyeonjoo (19), Masataka (20) and Gregor (21). If we have forgotten anyone or made any mistakes, let us know. Have a great birthday!

Happy New Year

30 Dec
Times Square

Mr. Martin in Times Square, New York City. 

Happy New Year! I hope you are enjoying your winter break, whether you are in Chennai, your country, or traveling. Comment and let us know what you are doing during the vacation. I am currently in Mexico City, after spending a week in New York State with family. The photo above is of me in Times Square in New York City. Take care, and see you on Monday, January 11th. 

Indian Caste System

16 Dec

caste-system-3In lesson 2, you read about the Indian caste system and how it developed. Here are some videos that will teach you more about that system and how it is today in India. Watch one or more of these videos and answer this question: What is the caste system? 


Origins of Hinduism and Buddhism

13 Dec

This week you are learning about the origins of Hinduism. We will learn about Buddhism in India and South Asia after winter break. Check out these links to learn more:

Hinduism (British Museum) – read the story, explore and challenge links!

Buddhism (British Museum) – read the story, explore, and challenge links!

BBC Religion has two good links on both Hinduism and Buddhism. PBS has a good link on Buddhism. There are more links on our current unit on the right side of the blog. If you find any good videos or links for our current unit, send them to me.

Buddhism and Hinduism – a comparison and this table 

Chennai Floods

8 Dec

Photo by STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images (from Slate Magazine article)

Welcome back to school after a rough week with a lot of rain and flooding. I was so happy to see so many students return to school today. I was unsure of how many might come. For those who were unable to come today, we were thinking of you, and we hope you are well.

I have watched so many images this week on TV and social media (when the power came back on). Here is one article that was interesting from Slate and another article featuring images of this historic event. Yes…historic! You were part of history in Chennai, something I imagine you will not forget. Let’s think of those who are not as fortunate as us, as Chennai moves to a recovery stage. Feel free to share any stories in the comment section of compassion, courage, creativity, and confidence, AISC’s 4C’s. 



Advisory activity – 4Cs in action during our week of rains and flooding in Chennai.

December Birthdays

1 Dec

birthday-48aHappy birthday to the following students celebrating a birthday in the month of December: Yeobin (10), Hera (13), Arjan (20), Thea (23), Ella and Imogen (24), Haruna (29). If we left someone off the list by mistake or made any errors, let us know. Happy birthday, and have a great day!


Cities of the Indus Valley

28 Nov

The Indus and Saraswati Valleys contained hundreds of cities. The largest cities were Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. What evidence suggests that these cities or this region was prosperous or wealthy? Why was the earliest Indian civilization located near the Indus River? i_mapindus-valley-civilization-map


Out of Eden Learn – Footstep #3

23 Nov
animaheart (Charlotte)


AppleHoneyPie (Nahyeon)


Doraemon (Ryotaro)


HamsterForever (Haruna)


MasssSaamy (Aryan)


SushiSamarai (Youhei)


FinalFantasy5 (Efflam)


MusicLover (Yui)


Heaven (Thea)


MrWigglesisBae2 (Imogen)


Here are a few of the many great neighborhood photos that students have taken for Out of Eden Learn. Many more are displayed around our classroom, and I have tweeted many others out via my Twitter handle @DigitalnomadRob. Two of our students, Ella and Hera, had their photos featured on an interactive map that Out of Eden Walk created. Click HERE to see this really great map. Sophia had a photo she took featured on Out of Eden’s Instagram page.

I am very impressed with the photos taken, and I hope you enjoyed the opportunity to slow down and notice new things about your neighborhood in Chennai. Keep up the good work!


The Geography and Climate of India

22 Nov

Questions to consider:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of having monsoons?

  • What are the negative and positive effects of India’s great rivers?

  • How do the mountains and seasonal winds shape the climate of India? 

  • Write 2-3 facts or things you learned about India from any of these videos. You can use the questions above as guiding ones or just list the facts.

New Trimester, New Unit – Incredible India

20 Nov

I am sure some of you have seen these TV advertisements, “Incredible India.” If you haven’t, watch them! I have also added a few other geography/climate related videos. India is an incredibly diverse country. We know many of you travel outside of India, or return home for vacations. However, we are curious about the places you have traveled to in India. Post a comment and tell us how long you have lived in India and what parts of India you have traveled to. Thanks.



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