Library Post

For this week’s installment of Teachers of #sisrocks, we are pleased to have Bayside librarian Lauren Elliot. Lauren sat down to talk about the library being more than a physical space and how she uses lib guides to meet students where they are. Here are her responses to the questions regarding her lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you want your students to know or understand?

I think from a librarian’s perspective, I want student to know that a library is a place they can come to for answers and find information – so whether that’s the physical space of the library or accessing our online spaces, our databases or our subscriptions, I want them to know that that’s where they can find information. Also when I’m teaching in the library, I hope that the lessons show them not only how to find information but also to use it ethically and responsibly.

What skills did you want your students to gain?

Well, I want them to understand information and understand how to evaluate it and find good and reputable sources and use it responsibly.

How have libraries changed over the years? / What do you think a library should be?

I think that a library should be seen as a meeting place within the school. A place that kids come to during their free time … during break or lunch time, I want them to feel comfortable to come here to find books, to read, to be with their friends, to work collaboratively with other students or to even find a quiet spot to work on their own. I also want teachers to see it as a place where they can come and find answers or information or help.

How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?

In addition to the physical space, I think a library can exist virtually and have a strong presence online. Also, as teachers, we have to meet kids where they are – so some kids love coming to the library and love being here while others might just find the library online. And so, lib guides are one of the ways I meet students online. I’ll prepare subject guides or class guides which I then link with various websites and/or our online subscriptions, for example. This not only directs student research traffic to those databases that we as a school are using and paying for., it also encourages students to use high quality resources.

Resources

http://sis-cn.libguides.com/

“I wanted them to explore how effective their model would be as a teaching tool”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello #SISRocks ! For this week’s installment of Teachers of SIS, we are pleased to have middle school Math/ Science teacher Riley Laird, here at our bayside campus. Riley walked me through the many ways her students are using models to demonstrate their understanding of human body systems. Here are her responses to the questions regarding her lesson.

1. What did you want your students to know or understand?

There are all sorts of scientific practices with skills every scientist engages in regardless of discipline (biology, chemistry, etc…  ) And one of those skills is the use of models to represent the real world, which also relates back to the scientific process. We decided to explore models in grade six because its a really good way for students to show what they know, especially for those who don’t always have a way of articulating or providing the details around a topic. It’s also just another way to show your scientific understanding. Most people think of classic models like a skeleton but there are so many different types – they can be artistic, three dimensional, interactive, a mathematical model, a simulation..  So in grade six, students really work on that skill all year long and they try to do with as many different types of models.

So for this one, we’re learning about the human body systems and thats definitely tied in with all of these skills. The first system we studied was the musculoskeletal system and a really good way to represent that is with a scientific illustration.

2. What skills did you want your students to gain?

So, I wanted to expose the to the different ways of representing science. I also wanted to give them something creative (and artistic) to look at… and so this particular type of scientific model is called a scientific illustration. It’s meant to be used as an effective model – in other words it’s supposed to represent the real structures. There should be a real likeness and proportions should be accurate. It’s also about the fine details and textures but then there are also scientific skills and practices that come in play like the way the illustrations are labeled, which have to follow a particular format. There are also specific artistic techniques students are supposed to use that differs, say, from a diagram, which is another type of model. This was really sparked by former teacher Brittany Morgan, who had that entire class doing scientific illustrations. I have bunch of the work hanging in my classroom and I thought …what better way to kick off models in science.

So students are assessed on the artistic portion of it but also how effective their model is in a scientific context. Could someone who knows nothing about this part of the body and look at it, understand what it is, and see the different parts. Ultimately, I wanted them to explore how effective their model would be as a teaching tool or scientific model for someone else

3. How did you teach this lesson in the past?

The next type of model illustrates some of the changes that I’ve made to teach this lesson… For example, with modeling the respiratory system, I have some kids building theirs virtually in Minecraft – way more open and allows for creativity. I also added new parameters like there needing to be interactive element. It couldn’t be just a flat or static drawing. That said, some kids are still actually drawing but it’s more like a flip book where viewers can peel the layers away. Other kids are building with lego, some are using clay or making cakes and decorating them with icing to illustrate the functions specific. With these models, for example, they started outlining the general structures, which ties into the science because we’ve been learning about the levels of organization (cells, tissues, organs, system..)

4. How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?

I guess wanting to go beyond the classics (the skeleton, the cell, etc…) led to expanding notions of what models can look like and providing my students with as many choices and ays of working – Really just opening it up (creatively) so that I could meet them where they are. So for the kids that didn’t really shine on this model, maybe they’re able to demonstrate  teh real world but do it in the own way.

“Challenging ourselves to making these concepts more meaningful to the kids.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! For this week’s installment of Teachers of SIS, we are pleased to have math teacher Jacob Scott, here at our bayside campus. Jacob walked me through his exponential growth and exponential decay unit, how he and the science teachers collaborated together to integrate a skill set that spanned both math and the sciences.

Here are his responses to the questions regarding his lesson.

What did you want your students to know or understand?

I wanted my kids to understand exponential growth and exponential decay function work in the real world and how they correlate over into, say… science classes where they are going to use them, where they need to have that basic foundation in mathematics to be able to apply it to scientific research that they’ll be doing in there science classes. 

What skills did you want your students to gain?

Kids at this age level can have a hard time seeing how math relates to the real world and those those connection to the outside, across subject as well. Really getting them to see that it’s not just a problem on the board or on the page but as something that scientists, engineers use it to solve everyday problems.  Specifically with that skill, they needed to know it in class if they’re going to look at ecosystems or looking at endangered animals and how that is affected by populations growth or  decline – so, again, how can they apply something that looks like math formula with a function in class but be a real-world problem.

How did you teach this lesson in the past?

In the past, it wasn’t in the curriculum so one thing after collaborating with the science teachers, we felt that it needed to be added in the mathematics curriculum and not just as a stand-alone unit where students might plot some numbers on graph paper but means nothing to them – so really bringing it in and challenging ourselves to making these concepts more meaningful to the kids. So right now they’re getting the foundation in Math and applying it in science because that is where that connection will be made. With grade eight, for example, we looked at other units to find other areas of overlap – what are things he (Peter) needs to teach physics or chemistry that will require a mathematical foundation.

How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?

As teachers, we had to be flexible to see where those areas of overlap would be…Everyone always thinks that math and science just go right together but they don’t always. Although they are very different, their skills are used across the curriculum. In other words, we had to look and shift unit so that I could help provide background knowledge that would be accessed later in Peter’s class for example.

“I really wanted kids to get a better understanding of how the process of science is a human endeavor. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What did you want your students to know or understand?

I can talk to the … scientists who discovered the atom green screening project and putting them into that…

I really wanted kids to get a better understanding of how the process of science is a human endeavor. Often we teach science devoid of any personal narrative or story as part of it – when the people that made discovery in science are some of the most fascinating and weirdest people that have ever lived.

When you start looking at the discovery of the atom it is really neat because all of the stories intertwine – so all of the people knew each other – either like it was a professor at a university and the next person who made a major discovery was their student… others were mean or subversive – trying to keep everybody else discoveries out of things.

Student don’t generally get that kind of an interesting story. Why not look at major scientific context through the lens of storytelling.

What skills did you want your students to gain?

So …I wanted to give my kids some tech skills in terms of how to do green screening, how to do filming, how to develop a monologue and techniques like using the iPad along with some choice apps. to hold and slowly scroll through your script so that you can continue to maintain eye contact with the camera. I also wanted them to get the chance to play with lighting and then I wanted them to work on there research skills and to go out and find actual data facts and information in order to build this story around a particular scientist.

How did you teach this lesson in the past?

I always looked at this lesson – the history of the atomic structure – in a creative way because like I said, it’s a fun story. So in the past, I’ve had kids look at the whole history of the development of the atomic theory and do it like a graphic novel where they went out and researched. I found it better when the students focused on one person and then talk about how their discovery changed the whole idea. I felt like that gave students a better understanding of the process of science and how it looked like in reality.

Traditionally science teachers looked at communication in science as a lab report because that was the more academic preferred way to communicate. Now there are so many new ways and style people can articulate (scientific) information to the general public. We need to arm them with a new array of skills like how to present themselves in front of a camera. Someone like Neil De Grass Tyson is a great example of someone who has a deep understanding but also the ability communicate that understanding in an engaging way. He marries both of those important aspects of communication.

How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?

I borrowed a lot from other people who are really good at things that they do. I use a program called the night lab timeline that I was introduced to by the IT team from UWC Singapore when they came to visit to do a thirty minute presentation. And that was one of the tools that they showed. It wasn’t until I realized that the app could also be used to harvest videos from youtube that it became integral to this project.

In short, I problem solved by reaching out to other people who had used the tools I was trying to use, I looked online for tutorial  and then talked to the students about what would make this easier or better for them.

“really trying to get to the idea that art doesn’t just happen in the art classroom … art is available to everyone and all can participate”

For today’s installment of Teacher of SIS, we are pleased to have the Bayside art department: Amy Atkinson and Alli Denson. Here are their responses to the questions regarding their project.

What did you want your students to know or understand? / Why did you do the photo exhibition

(Amy) So, uhh basically it’s not just for our students, its for everyone – teachers, the wider community… really trying to get to the idea that art doesn’t just happen in the art classroom and that art is available to everyone and all can participate – That was one of the main reasons.

(Ally) And that art is all around us. With photography specifically, we all have that at our fingertips with our smart phones. So the idea of accessibility was something we were interested in.

(Amy) And its subjective. Because the topic is very loose, students are encouraged to submit work however they interpret it. We also display the work anonymously and people vote, which reinforces the idea that it is subjective. Its not really about the “best” photo … I mean, how would we ever decide which one is the best photo.

(Ally) It’s really about why did you look twice at it. And again opening it up to wider audience.

What skills did you want your students to gain?

(Amy) The really cool thing about the contest is that opens students’ eyes to the possibility of their surrounding and what they see and how they see things so … I’ll submit a photo, you’ll submit a photo, we’ll all submit a photo of the same subject and as the contest progresses , the students will start to see subtleties, and new ideas and get the gears turning around that awareness of your surroundings.

(Ally) allowing students to reflect…I didn’t even think of that as architecture.

How did you teach this lesson in the past?

(Amy) This is our first one – I’ve been talking to some of the students and have a sense that although many are submitting, this is the type of thing that doesn’t really pick up until the third or fourth installment . It also depends on our subject choices so we will see how it goes.

How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?

(Amy) So, we’re becoming more creative – so first of all we split it up. Ally does the middle school- I do the high school . And then Peter has suggested new ways for us to collect images. So we’re looking to find ways to better manage that process.

 

I want my students to understand .. how to curate / discern what is news worthy and what is noise and also how media has evolved.

For today’s installment of Teachers of SIS, we are pleased to have Chinese instructor, Denise Wang sharing how she links language skills (listening speaking reading writing) with media literacy. Here are her responses to the questions regarding her student’s newscast project.

What did you want your students to know or understand?

I want my students to understand what news is, how to curate / discern what is news worthy and what is noise and also how media has evolved. For example the shifts from black and white newspapers, to radio and tv, and now with the internet.

Ultimately to better understand our world through the lens of news and media.

As a language instructor, I also obviously want to link language (listening speaking reading writing) but also that media literacy component that sometimes can be difficult to integrate in a language learning setting.

What skills did you want your students to gain?

Listening speaking reading writing … but in the framework of news production and broadcasting. There are also soft skills like interviewing people, transcribing that to a news report, and curation.

How did you teach this lesson in the past?

I used to organize a sabbatical course called tv news production – a week long course where students were exposed to anything from learning the essential elements of news production to the more technical aspects like shooting, editing and using visuals to better communicate a message.

How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson?

A lot more scaffolding and practicing simple tasks like voice projection and how to pick news stories. I discovered that they do not watch /listen to the news, so finding creative ways to get them engaged and thinking of news as relevant and not just something over there.

“I want my students to be able to communicate effectively … with each other and the big world around them.”

Hello and welcome back to another installment of Teacher of SIS, where peers nominate other teachers highlighting their practices.This week we are pleased to have Clayton Dowty, teacher of english and drama here at our Bayside campus! She was nominated for integrating movement in order to increase student engagement.

Here are her responses to the questions regarding her lesson.

What did you want your students to know or understand?

Well, obviously I want to teach them reading and writing and speaking and listening skills but what that really boils down to is communication. I want my students to be able to communicate effectively with both each other and the big world around them.

What skills did you want your students to gain?

I want them to have very strong oral skills, very strong writing skills and very strong reading skills. I want them to be able to dissect language. I want them to be able to know how language is used  both to edify and to manipulate. And I want them to be able to use those skills for their own reading writing and speaking.

How did you teach this lesson in the past?

I used to do a lot more writing-based activities where the kids would write in their journals individually and then would share with each other – and that was pretty much it. But since I have introduced kinetic learning into the classroom I have a lot more engagement. The kids are out of their seats, they are engaging in creative tasks and constantly moving around and finding other people. With the brain breaks, they are able to have a moment without the intense focus of writing and when they come back to writing and come back speaking they are twice as engaged. So, I’ve managed to just triple the amount of student engagement … now they are much more apt to really want to do the activities in the lesson and not just do them because I told them to.

How did you problem-solve and be creative to come up with this new method for this lesson? 

Well.. the tricky part was how to use these concepts within the context of an English class in order to teach the skills need in English class. Essentially, what I did was to use some of the garden variety strategies that I learned in some of my training over the summer and I infused them with the skills that we needed to cover and teach in English  – so rather than having the kids get up and move arbitrarily to play games, they get up in order to complete a task.

Resources

https://padlet.com/dowty_drama/kineticz

 

 

How to set up your calendars through Outlook

The first thing you’ll need to do is subscribe to the school calendars – Here are the links.

Days 17-18 http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_400.ics

Academic Calendar 17/18: http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_389.ics

Curriculum 17/18: http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_375.ics

ECC 17/18: http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_371.ics

ES 17/18: http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_366.ics

Secondary 17/18: http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_393.ics

Parent Curriculum Events 17/18 (Curriculum calendar but only parent events): http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_401.ics

ATAC 17-18 http://www.sis-shekou.org/calendar/calendar_368.ics


Next, go to outlook and access the calendar app through the “app launcher”.

Begin adding (copying and pasting) the various calendars with the “From Internet” option.

 

 

 

 

That’s it! you will begin to see your calendars in the left-hand column.


Addendum*

This way of adding the work calendars also adds them to the Calendars app on your Mac. And if you like to keep your personal and exchange calendars separate, it does that too.

 

 

IB Art on iBooks

Most instructors would agree that the importance of students taking ownership of their own learning and creative growth is paramount to ensuring their success. With something as demanding as the diploma program, and IB Art, in particular, it is critical for students to understand that, like most journeys, this course is a continual process that ebbs and flows in proportion to their own exploration and creative drive. That said, as teachers, we are also here to coach students and help them achieve. This is why my former colleague and I decided to piece together this guide. In it, students will find practical information and details about process portfolios, the comparative study, and the final exhibition – all key assessments required to complete the IB visual art diploma program. Again, @MrsYungArt  and I found that the best way to do this was through an interactive companion. Our most recent update, for example, delivers new curriculum standard tables, an updated design, and student exemplars – all of which would not be possible through traditional means. Ultimately, our hope that the information and practices included will be used in a range of contexts and ultimately inspire students to gain a better grasp of IB and the concepts that guided our thinking.

Download here

 

Microsoft in Education: My Learning Pathway

Last week, I began one the learning pathways offered through the Microsoft’s Innovative Educator (MIE) Program. The pathways, unlike the individual courses, are bundled to provide a professional development pathway. I chose Teaching with Technology, a four-parter that centered around Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and finding “the appropriate technologies to match (y)our teaching activities and aims”. At its core, and as someone who’s been part of the #sisrocks community, the message, was a familiar one.

Gardner reminds us that “Technology [cannot] dictate educational goals. A pencil can be used to write Shakespearean sonnets or copy homework. The Internet can be used to engender enlightenment or hatred” In other words, before we can embrace any new technology, we must have a firm grasp of what our educational goals are and how, in this case, technology can help us achieve them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I moved through the learning pathway, this message kept resurfacing both in the structure of the course and it’s resources, all of which were clearly embedded into each module. Similar to the SAMR model, the courses adhered to a bigger hierarchy, in this case Microsoft’s E-transformation stages.

 

 

 

 

 

Additionally, all of the courses ended with a summary and a quiz one had to pass in order to proceed to the next course. The nice thing is that you can take the quizzes as many times as you need. There are also badges and a points system to help you styay on track and advance through the program. All in all, the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Program is similar to the other certification programs such as ADE and Google programs for teachers, in that it is a great way to take your career to the next level.

If you would like to know more or have any questions on how to get started stop by the genius bar on either campus or hit me up on twitter