Our Fellow Snail Christian, is both Chinese and Danish. His family came to class to read and sing to us in Danish. They also brought some special traditional Danish Christmas cookies called klejner. We especially loved hearing one of our favorite books “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” being read in another language!
Our Writing Center has wheels-so we can move it anywhere.
Sharing our travel journals, has been a great way to verbally practice sharing our experiences with our friends. The children have been proud (not shy at all) to read their Travel Journals to their classmates. As you can see from the video, the children are welcome to contribute to the discussion of asking and answering questions in the language that they need to express their thoughts in.
Rereading familiar stories and then watching a video of that story helps to build and support the language and ideas to discuss story themes. Active story read-alouds or stories that have songs included engages young learners to be active in Circle Time learning. Here is a sing along story “I love my White Shoes” and the rhyme “5 Little pumpkins. For more Pete the Cat stories look here.
The Laser Bugs had a great time hunting for book characters during Book Week. They laughed with delight each time they found a new character! We even added math (Data Handling) and literacy elements to this activity. As the Laser Bugs walked around the Mountianside campus with their clipboards, they wrote a check mark for every character that they saw. After the hunt the children counted up all their check marks and drew the characters that they liked.
The #eccphoto Collaborative Art Project connects multiple grade levels across the world through photography, artistic interpretation, and written expression. ECC students were mentored by their ES Reading Buddies on photo taking skills with iPads. ECC students spent time reflecting on the quality and interest of their photos before choosing their favorite. Their favorite photos will be highlighted as the focal point of the #eccphoto Collaborative Art Project. Using that photo as inspiration, students from one grade level will create a visual representation of the photo while the other grade level will create a written interpretation. All will be displayed in the Secret Garden for the SIS community to view on Thursday, May 19, and Friday, May 20.
This Collaborative Art Project has many contributors from SIS and beyond. It includes SIS ECC students and their ES Reading Buddies. Additionally, four schools outside of the SIS community with be joining. Global contributors include 4th grade writers from The International School of Tianjin, Kindergarten artists from The Franconian International School in Germany, 2nd grade artists from The International School of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, and 5th grade writers and artists from the International School of Myanmar.Here is the link to the shared collaborative blog, that the other teachers will also be posting on.
The learning activities inspired by this project encompass the goals of Te Whariki, the early childhood curriculum that guides the ECC. Students will be actively engaged in authentic learning experiences that incorporates the holistic and constructivist approaches that the ECC program values. The SIS ESLRs of Independent Learning, Complex Thinking, and of course, Collaboration will also be highlighted. Our project, as well as the SIS mission, focuses on caring community engagement and encouraging students to be innovative contributors.
We will use the SIS Learning Innovation Markers as a guide with tech integration. Teachers will be sharing the learning experiences of the project through social media with our SIS community and with contributing teachers and students. Student communication and writing skills will be fully engaged. Even ECC students will be writing (drawing) vocalizing their reflections on the photos and responding to their peer’s work. In different classes, technology will be the tool to make connections through student blogging, Skype dates, and video chats.
The process has already started and is ongoing. The layers of the project are plentiful. ECC students have already taken their photos and passed them along to their reading buddies and their international partners. ECC students continue to revisit their photos and offer their reflections through writing and drawing. They have also conferred with their Reading Buddies. The students who have received the ECC photos have already begun brainstorming and planning their writing and artistic responses. Each teacher will incorporate the work on photo responses into individual class units. Our culminating event will be our Collaborative Art Show, that will be featured in the Secret Garden, Thursday, May 19th, and Friday, May 20th.
From time to time we will give the children picture cards or subject cards from our games to draw. The focus in doing this is more about giving them new ideas and topics to draw about and less about fine tuning their drawing skills. Most of our drawing in the classroom is done from imagination and our own ideas. However drawing while looking at images can help develop perspective and practice with forming figures.
The Laser Bugs enjoyed meeting and spending time with their Reading Buddies from grade 4. They were excited to share their Writing Books with the 4th graders. First, they showed them some of their drawings and then they created a drawing together.
We are lucky that their class number is close to ours, so most children can spend time in pairs and only a few groups of 2-4th graders to 1 Laser Bug. When possible we group the students by mother tongue and encourage them to speak and write in the language that they fell most comfortable. We will look forward to building our relationships with our buddies and we will hopefully see them 2 or 3 times a month.