+) Young One recently shared: "My teacher has not missed a day of school in 36 years." I had no reply.
+) There was an announcement of the formation of a committee of parent volunteers at the school. Everyone is welcome to join. PTA, anyone? This is not commonplace in Italian schools. Ironically, they hosted the exclusive Carnevale party. I guess membership has its privileges.
+) Young One now has a Smart Board in her classroom. So far, it's not being used by the teacher with perfect attendance but by the elective teachers who rotate in and out of the room.
+) She is studying angles in geometry.
+) At a recent class meeting, the teacher asked us to stop carrying our children's backpacks. I'm not sure if this is a uniquely Italian phenomenon, but without fail, every day as we exit the school, I notice that Italian mammas, dads, grandparents, nannies, etc. carry the backpacks of the kids. I do not. Maestra lectured us on autonomy.
+) Her class (maybe others?) has started with lessons in scacchi (chess) on some days, complete with a tournament planned for the end. I never learned to play chess; that frustrates my daughter. I bought her an app. She remains frustrated.
+) First semester report cards were recently issued. She received a perfect "10" in Inglese. Judging from the mistakes she makes in her notebook and on her tests, she does not deserve perfection. She's so smug that she makes silly errors. Luckily, her teacher (who I have yet to speak with in English) looks past her smugness and inability to spell "Great Britain" and crowns her with perfection. Or mayb it's not so lucky.
+) Young One now has a recorder. I now have a headache.
Disclaimer: I hate generalizations. This is my limited experience at my third grader's tiny primary school lost in northern Italy. If you have a different experience with this, please share!