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Land of laptops not so different

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyKindergartner Taylor Brandt speaks Spanish with Carolina Kcenev.
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VAIL Carolina Kcenev and Yolanda Villanueva recently skied for the first time, jumped off a diving board for the first time, took their first plane ride, had their first slices of pizza and ate their first quesadillas. They also spent two weeks in Spanish classes at Vail Mountain School in East Vail and visited students at Edwards Elementary and Berry Creek middle schools. Kcenev, who is from Canelones, Uruguay, and Villanueva, who is from Aigua, Uruguay, were part of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program.

Kcenev and Villanueva said the students they met seemed very disciplined and motivated. They were surprised that every student in Vail Mountain Schools Upper School has a laptop. They also joined the students for Ski Friday on the mountain. The children looked like little robots in all their ski equipment, Kcenev said. The women stayed with Vail Mountain School Spanish teacher Cynthia Blancke and her family.The techniques they used and discussed with us are the very teaching techniques we employ, Blancke said. We all agreed that education is becoming more global. What is done is South America is also done in North America.Their classrooms do not have enough paper, enough pencils most children in their classrooms have never owned markers or crayons but the joy of teaching and learning is just the same, Blancke added.

Kindergartner Eva Cunningham learns about Uruguay.



Teachers Carolina Kcenev and Yolanda Villanueva, back row, with third graders Carlie Harrison, left, and Morgan Harty.


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