Lower School Principal’s Post #19

Dear Families,

It’s been another fun week of learning at SCIS-Pudong. 

This week during our Lower School professional development meeting, teachers spent time reflecting on challenges and learnings from 2018, while participating in a goal-setting exercise where they selected “one word” they will focus on as a means to inspire and transform their life and/or work in 2019.  As educational philosopher John Dewey states, “we do not learn from experience, we learn from reflecting on experience.”  As educators, it is important that we take the time to share our challenges, work together to brainstorm solutions, and provide support to one another to ensure we continue to foster a nurturing and collaborative environment for teachers and students.  

At this point in the school year, many grade levels are well on their way to finishing up their 3rd unit of inquiry and are getting ready to delve into their fourth unit.  Prior to the beginning of each unit, teachers and specialists participate in a PYP Kick-off meeting where they reflect on the overarching goals of the unit and determine the best learning path forward that will spark curiosity and enthusiasm with their current students.

Students in Ms. Tami’s class inquire into the ingredients that are needed to make banana bread. They take turns mixing the ingredients and sharing their wonderings about what is happening as the ingredients are combined together.

As parents, we continue to encourage you to travel alongside your child in their learning journey by frequently visiting the class Seesaw journal and asking your child questions related to the pictures and postings you see.  Additionally, please take some time to provide a positive comment or feedback to your child related to their learning experiences.  Research shows that feedback is one of the most powerful influences on student learning and achievement.

Likewise, positive feedback that promotes a growth mindset has the power to motivate children to ensure they remain persistent, resilient and focused on the process of learning.  Below are some examples of feedback that promote the development of a growth mindset:

  • I’m so proud of the effort you put forth with _________.
  • I’m very proud of you for not giving up, and look what you have to show for it!
  • All that hard work and effort paid off!
  • What choices did you make that you think contributed to your success?
  • I can see you really enjoyed learning _________.

Professional Development with Kath Murdoch

This weekend over 150 educators from around the world will be attending a workshop at SCIS-Pudong with international inquiry expert Kath Murdoch.  Kath Murdoch is an experienced teacher, author, university lecturer and popular consultant who has worked for many years in schools throughout Australia, New Zealand, Asia, America and Europe. She is widely respected for her work in the field of inquiry based learning and integrative curriculum in which she has taught, researched and published for well over 25 years. 

On Friday, six SCIS-Pudong teachers had an opportunity to work directly with Kath Murdoch and collaborate with teachers from the HQ Main and ECE campus on developing an understanding of how to cultivate curiosity in the classroom.   According to Kath “curiosity is the heart of inquiry,” and as educators we have an obligation to constantly provide children with daily opportunities to ask questions, wonder and delve into topics that peak curiosity.   In addition to cultivating inner motivation to learn, and a passion for learning, current research links curiosity to higher levels of student achievement.   As a parent, you can also cultivate curiosity in the home environment by providing your child(ren) with opportunities to continuously explore and experiment with materials, participate in active discussions surrounding your child’s learning and always taking the time to answer their questions– even if their question is simply “why?”

After School Activity Session #2

Students in 4C work with Mr. Johnson to explore how to make sound visible using the iPad.

Please note, that next Monday, January 21st Session #2 of our SCIS After School Activities program will begin.  Throughout this session, please remember that children will not be allowed to “skip” or miss their ASA, unless the school has received a direct email or phone call from a parent.   Once a student has signed up for an ASA they are making a commitment to attending all sessions of that ASA, unless the school has been notified otherwise by a parent.   While we want to encourage students to take risks and try a variety of After School Activities, we also want to help them understand the importance of following through with their commitment as a member of the ASAs they sign up for. 

Change of Date for School Class Photos:

Please note that the date for class photos, individual student re-takes, and new student photos has changed and will now take place next Wednesday, January 23rd.  Students will need to wear their SCIS light blue polo shirt for their class photo.   PE uniforms can be brought to school that day.  If you would like your child to have a school photo re-take, please inform your child’s Homeroom Teacher.

It’s COLD Outside

While students across grade levels continue to enjoy outdoor recess and exploration, please remind your child(ren) to dress appropriately for the cold weather by sending them to school with warm coats, hats, mittens or gloves.  Also, please remember to label all your child’s personal belongings with their name to ensure their items can be returned in the event they are misplaced.   

 

Lower School Assembly

The next Lower School Assembly featuring Kindergarten will be on Thursday, January 24th starting at 8:15am in the Black Box.  All parents are welcome to attend Lower School assemblies.  We will also be welcoming the new K-5 students and recognizing them for being risk-takers as they have courageously made the transition to a new school and community.

Kindergarten students are busy preparing for their assembly this upcoming Thursday where they will teach the audience about a special cultural celebration.

Flu Season

With the ongoing cold weather, also comes the potential of student illness.  To help stop the spread and lesson the duration of student illnesses at school please be sure your child receives plenty of rest, is eating a balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water.  Sending your child to school if they are ill can be very frustrating to families, as well as teachers as we do our best to keep children, parents and teachers healthy.  Please remember one of the BEST ways to prevent the spread of illness is to wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.  Please review our parent handbook, page 17, for more information on Student Illness Policies.

As a reminder children should not attend school if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever (over 100F/37.2c)
  • Diarrhea or more than 2 loose bowel movements within 12 hours
  • Vomiting
  • Discharge from eyes or ears
  • Heavy nasal discharge
  • Persistent cough
  • Unidentified rash

Substitute Teachers Needed

If you or someone you know has experience as a teacher or would be interested in gaining experience through being a substitute teacher, please connect with Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org.  While teaching experience or certification is not necessary, a passion for working and learning with children is essential.   

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

Over the course of the next few weeks Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.   Similar to past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school that will begin at 1:00pm in the Theater.   Additionally, similar to last year, the assembly will be followed by a Chinese Temple Fair for Lower School students.  The Temple fair will provide students with an opportunity to participate in a variety of fun Chinese cultural activities.  The temple fair, which will be located in and around the Black Box will take place from 1:40-2:40pm.  At 2:40pm students will return to their classrooms to prepare for dismissal.  In order for the Temple Fair to be a success we need parent volunteers to help assist running the sessions.  If you are interested in helping run a station for 30 or 60 minutes, please contact Ms. Linda Zhang at lzhang@scis-china.org.

Multi-Sport

Multi-Sport is now offering swimming lessons at SCIS on Saturday mornings.  Please see the schedule below for more information.  This is a great opportunity to improve your child’s swimming and water safety skills.  Register at http://www.multisport.com.cn/.

Summer Camp 2019

Save the dates! Summer camp is coming to both Puxi and Pudong campus’ from June 17 – July 12, 2019.

Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) is excited to offer specialized summer camp designed with the whole child in mind. Our summer camp programs are non-academic, thematic programs filled with action-packed fun for children in the ECE through grade 5. Your child’s summer will be filled with fun days of games, sports, outdoor exploration, water activities, field trips, art, music, drama, Mandarin language/culture fun, and more! All students from the Shanghai community are welcome to enroll. Summer camp offers flexible weekly enrollment options for families with limited availability or travel plans. More information to come in the new year!

More Photos from a FANTASTIC week of learning and fun!

Lower School Principal’s Post #18

Dear Families,

New family Orientation took place on Monday, January 7th with all new families gathering in the Black Box to meet the administration and learn about what it means to be part of the SCIS community.

Happy New Year and welcome to second half of the 2018-2019 school year!  This semester we are welcoming 31 new students and their families to the Lower School.  These new families, representing fourteen different nationalities are joining SCIS-Pudong from other schools in Shanghai, as well as from various locations around the world.  Having a truly diverse and multi-cultural learning environment is something we highly value at SCIS, as students are provided with daily opportunities to learn from the backgrounds and experiences of their peers.  Developing a strong cultural intelligence or the ability to relate and work effectively across cultures is essential as we prepare children to be successful in the 21st century.

I’d like to thank all SCIS families that have recommended SCIS-Pudong to friends, acquaintances and colleagues.  Your assistance in helping us continue our quest to build an exceptional program focused on implementing current research-based best practices, that include, valuing and appreciating all cultures and capabilities is at the core of what makes SCIS a great school.   

With that said, re-enrollment for the 2019-2020 school year is right around the corner and seats are likely to fill up quickly.  We have multiple grade levels that are currently at capacity.  As such, please be on the lookout for an email from the SCIS-Admissions Department in the upcoming days regarding steps to re-enroll your child(ren) for the 2019-2020 school year.

Positive Discipline Parenting Course

Session #1 of the Positive Discipline Parenting Course was a great success with 17 participants in total whose children represent Nursery through Grade 12 at SCIS-Pudong.  During the 3-hour interactive session that took place on Thursday, parents participated in wonderful conversations and reflective exercises that allowed for a deeper understanding of the methodology and theory behind the positive discipline approach.  Session #2 will take place on Thursday, January 17th from 8:30am-11:30am in room 208.

ASA Session #2

This week all parents should have received an email with the Session #2 ASA Guide.   ASA registration for Session #2 is now open and will remain open until Monday, January 14th at 11:00am.   Within the ASA Guide there are directions detailing how to register your child(ren) for ASAs.  Please note, ASA Session #2 begins on Monday, January 21st and ends on Friday, March 15th.  Below are a few important reminders regarding ASA sign-ups:

  • During the first 24-hours you can only register your child for one ASA run by an SCIS teacher. After the first 24-hours the “one ASA restriction” will be removed. 
  • All ASAs offered by outside providers do not have any signup restrictions. (This means that, during the first 24 hours, you can sign your child up for ONE SCIS teacher ASA plus any ASAs offered by outside providers.)
  • Registration will close on Monday January 14th at 11:00am. Late registrations will not be accepted. ASAs that become full will close prior to January 14th, but will keep a waitlist.
  • Many activities have a limited number of spots available. Priority will be given in the order the system receives the registration.

If you have any questions regarding ASAs please contact Coach Vic Caban at vcaban@scis-china.org

Substitute Teachers Needed

If you or someone you know has experience as a teacher or would be interested in gaining experience through being a substitute teacher, please connect with Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org.  While teaching experience or certification is not necessary, a passion for working and learning with children is essential.    

School Class Photos:

Please note that class photos, individual student re-takes, and new student photos will take place on Friday, January 25th.  Students will need to wear their SCIS blue collared shirt for their class photo.   PE uniforms can be brought to school that day. 

Lower School Assembly

The next Lower School Assembly featuring Kindergarten will be on Thursday, January 24th starting at 8:15am in the Black Box.  All parents are welcome to attend Lower School assemblies.  We will also be welcoming the new K-5 students and recognizing them for being risk-takers as they have courageously made the transition to a new school and community.

Chinese New Year Assembly and Temple Fair

Over the course of the next few weeks the Mandarin Department will be very busy preparing for this year’s Chinese New Year celebrations.   Similar to past years, there will be a Chinese New Year Assembly for the whole school that will begin at 1:00pm in the Theater.   Additionally, like last year, the assembly will be followed by a Chinese Temple Fair for Lower School students.  The Temple Fair will provide students with an opportunity to participate in a variety of fun Chinese cultural activities.  The Temple Fair, which will be located in and around the Black Box will take place from 1:40pm-2:40pm.  At 2:40pm students will return to their classrooms to prepare for dismissal.  In order for the Temple Fair to be a success we need parent volunteers to help assist running the sessions.  If you are interested in helping run a station for 30 or 60 minutes, please contact Ms. Linda Zhang at lzhang@scis-china.org. 

Multi-Sport Swimming to be offered on Saturday at SCIS-Pudong

This semester Multi-Sport will continue offering swimming lessons at SCIS-Pudong on Saturday mornings.  Please see the schedule below for more information.  This is a great opportunity to improve your child’s swimming and water safety skills.  Register at http://www.multisport.com.cn/.

Summer Camp 2019

Save the dates! Summer camp is coming to both Puxi and Pudong campus’ from June 17 – July 12, 2019.

Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) is excited to offer specialized summer camp designed with the whole child in mind. Our summer camp programs are non-academic, thematic programs filled with action-packed fun for children in the ECE through grade 5. Your child’s summer will be filled with fun days of games, sports, outdoor exploration, water activities, field trips, art, music, drama, Mandarin language/culture fun, and more! All students from the Shanghai community are welcome to enroll. Summer camp offers flexible weekly enrollment options for families with limited availability or travel plans. More information to come in the new year!

 

Helping Your Child Set SMART Goals in the New Year

With the start of a New Year often comes the formation of new goals or what many commonly refer to as New Year’s resolutions.  However, unless a plan exists detailing how the goal will be achieved, more often than not, it’s likely that these resolutions will eventually dissipate as the months pass by. 

Providing students with opportunities to reflect on their learning and select goals based upon their areas of strength, as well as their areas for growth is one of the cornerstones of PYP philosophy surrounding assessment.  Students learning in a PYP environment are consistently taught that having a well-thought-out plan is the key to achieving goals, whether they are academic, physical or social.  To do this, it is common for teachers to introduce the concept of S.M.A.R.T goal setting.   The S.M.A.R.T letters generally coincide with the words Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound/ Timely.  When setting a goal, students are often taken through a step-by-step process, guided by the defining criteria of each word.  The below templates can help you guide your child in setting a smart goal.

      

One fact we like to communicate with students as they revisit and reshape their learning goals is that there isn’t one right way to achieve success or a goal.   The road to success is always under construction and to accomplish a goal you must be willing to try new things.   But, having a detailed and thoughtful plan will certainly help guide students as they work towards achieving their goal.   For more information on how to help your child set S.M.A.R.T goals please visit the following links:

More Photos from the First Week of the New Year!

Lower School Principal’s Post #17

Dear Families,

During Monday’s faculty meeting Lower School teachers reflected on personal, professional, team, and school successes.

What a wonderful semester this has been!  I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all Lower School faculty for their ongoing commitment to providing meaningful, engaging and fun learning experiences for students each and every day.   The continued development and refinement of the Primary Years Program (PYP) units of inquiry has allowed students to formulate in depth understandings surrounding unit content and take

Grade 5 students following their migration movie debut on Tuesday afternoon in the Theater.

action with their learning in new and exciting ways.  Additionally, the ongoing implementation of the Reading and Writing Workshop approach, as well as the accompanying units of study has resulted in consistency in teaching practices across grade levels (K-5) and students are eager and excited to share the work they have produced as readers and writers.  Similarly, the work teachers have done with International Mathematics Consultant, Erma Anderson surrounding our mathematics program has allowed us to develop consistent conceptually-based practices that focus on developing students critical thinking and problem-solving skills as mathematicians.  Lastly, the implementation of Positive Discipline has had a profound effect on the way in which we are teaching students how to handle strong emotions and resolve conflict in appropriate ways across the Lower School. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all SCIS parents for your support, interest and encouragement as we continue to enhance our curricular program by ensuring we are dedicated to implementing best teaching and learning practices across all grade levels and subject areas.  I look forward to seeing many parents at upcoming Coffee Mornings, student Learning Celebrations and school events throughout Semester Two.

I’d like to wish all SCIS families a wonderful, relaxing and well-deserved Winter Break.  School will resume on Monday, January 7th

Saying Good-Bye:

There comes a time at the end of each semester when we need to say good-bye to some of our SCIS friends and families as they embark on new adventures in their home country or elsewhere.  We wish all departing families the best of luck and we want you to know that you will always be welcome back to SCIS! Once a dragon, always a dragon!

Semester 1 Student Reports

Semester 1 student reports will be distributed via a link sent to parents’ SCIS parent email account today (December 14th).  If you have any questions, concerns or wonderings surrounding the comments or achievement indicators your child received for the first semester please feel free to contact your child’s Homeroom Teacher after the Winter Break.   

PS/PK Artists Display their Creativity

On Thursday morning, students in our multi-age Preschool / Prekindergarten classes had their first big learning celebration of the semester when they invited parents, teachers and students to an Art Gallery Exhibition featuring some of the beautiful and creative pieces students crafted throughout their current unit of inquiry “How we Express Ourselves:  Art and Artists.”  During this unit, students formulated an understanding that artists express themselves in different ways.  Throughout their inquiry, they learned about the different forms of art, what people can learn by creating art, and how artists use tools and different materials to construct art.  During the Art Gallery, children reflected on their own art work and shared information surrounding the process they went through to create such imaginative pieces.   A great big shout-out to Ms. Emily, Ms. Aleksa, Ms. Tami, and all Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers for guiding students during the past 8 weeks and providing opportunities for them to be creative risk-takers and express themselves through various forms of art! 

Summer Camp 2019

Save the dates! Summer camp is coming to both Puxi and Pudong campus’ from June 17 – July 12, 2019.

Shanghai Community International School (SCIS) is excited to offer specialized summer camp designed with the whole child in mind. Our summer camp programs are non-academic, thematic programs filled with action-packed fun for children in the ECE through grade 5. Your child’s summer will be filled with fun days of games, sports, outdoor exploration, water activities, field trips, art, music, drama, Mandarin language/culture fun, and more! All students from the Shanghai community are welcome to enroll. Summer camp offers flexible weekly enrollment options for families with limited availability or travel plans. More information to come in the new year!

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop

Positive Discipline parent workshop seats are still open.  If you are interested in attending this series of workshops in English, please let Ms. Gale know as soon as possible by sending an email to egale@scis-china.org.  Below are the dates and times of the workshops that will be offered in January.  Parents are highly encouraged to attend all four sessions.  We hope you are able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn about strategies and techniques to encourage positive discipline in the home environment.  Again, please contact Ms. Gale if you are interested in attending these great workshops!

Session 1:  Thursday, January 10th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 2:  Thursday, January 17th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 3:  Thursday, January 24th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 4:  Thursday, January 31st from 8:30am-11:30am

More Photos from a Wonderful Last Week

Lower School Principal’s Post #16

Dear Families,

What a busy, fun and festive week we have had in the Lower School as students and teachers wrap up or begin new units of inquiry, engage in new learning experiences and count down the days until the upcoming Winter Holiday.  

The biggest highlight of the week was certainly the Kindergarten through Grade 5 Winter Concert titled, “A Musical Winter.” During this event students proudly and confidently took the stage and performed original compositions that were developed collaboratively within each grade level.  I’m very proud of all students for their hard work, creativity and commitment leading up to, and during the Winter Concert.  Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. DeVeor Rainey for the endless hours of work and preparation she put into guiding students on this musical journey and inspiring them to create, compose and perform.  I would also like to thank all Lower School teachers for their support during rehearsals, as well as for ensuring students transitioned successfully on and off the stage.  It was truly a magical and original event that showcased both the process of musical creation, as well as the culmination of a fantastic performance.

Winter Break

The last day of Semester 1 is next Friday, December 14th.  This will be a half day as students will be dismissed at 11:30am.  Lunch will not be provided.  If your family intends on leaving early or if you plan on picking your child up from school, please let the front office know as soon as possible. 

Semester 1 Student Reports

Semester 1 student reports will be distributed via a link sent to parents’ SCIS parent email account on the afternoon of December 14th.  Reports are meant to provide parents with an opportunity to understand their child’s progress against the grade level standards and expectations at this point in the school year.  If you have any questions surrounding your child’s report, please connect with your child’s classroom or specialist teacher in January.

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Seats are Filling up Fast!

This will be the FINAL OPPORTUNITY for parents to sign up for the Positive Discipline parenting event.  If you are interested in attending this series of workshops in English, please let Ms. Gale know as soon as possible by sending an email to egale@scis-china.org.  Below are the dates and times of the workshops that will be offered in January.  Parents are highly encouraged to attend all four sessions.  We hope you are able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn about strategies and techniques to encourage positive discipline in the home environment.  Again, please contact Ms. Gale if you are interested in attending these great workshops!

Session 1:  Thursday, January 10th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 2:  Thursday, January 17th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 3:  Thursday, January 24th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 4:  Thursday, January 31st from 8:30am-11:30am

 

Come One, Come All . .  to the 5th Grade Film Screening next Tuesday, December 11th from 1:35-2:15pm in the Theater.

Join Grade 5 students and teachers as they celebrate the debut of their movie reenactments in Mandarin.  Over the course of their current unit of inquiry on Migration, grade 5 students have deepened their understanding of how culture migrates through cinema, art and film.  Students were asked to choose a famous movie that has “migrated” around the world, translate it, and act it out in Mandarin.   Please consider joining Grade 5 as they debut their films and celebrate their learning!

More Photos from a Wonderful Week!

Lower School Principal’s Post #15

Dear Families,

It’s hard to believe there are only 9 ½ more days until the SCIS community departs for the Winter Holiday.  It has been an incredible semester thus far, filled with rich learning experiences and memorable community events.  Please note that the last day of Semester One is on Friday, December 14th and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.  Lunch will not be provided on this day and parents are encouraged to let the school know as soon as possible if you will be leaving early for the break or picking your child up from campus on December 14th.  Semester Two will begin on Monday, January 7th.  

We look forward to seeing many parents attend the Kindergarten through Grade 5 Winter Concert titled, “A Musical Winter,” next Friday at 1:30pm in the Theater.  Students across grade levels have been working extremely hard to compose original music, practice as an ensemble and prepare for this performance.  If you intend on taking your child(ren) home after the concert, please be sure to inform Mr. Stuart Ren either via email (sren@scis-china.org) or in person while you are on campus.  The earlier the school is informed of student departure plans the easier it is for us to ensure the whereabouts and safety of students at all times.

 

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop Seats are Filling up Fast!

We’ve received a great deal of interest in the Positive Discipline Parenting workshops and seats are filling up fast!  If you are interested in attending the Positive Discipline Parent workshops in English, please let Ms. Gale know as soon as possible by sending an email to egale@scis-china.org.  Below are the dates and times of the workshops that will be offered in January.  Parents are highly encouraged to attend all four sessions.  We hope you are able to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to learn about strategies and techniques to encourage positive discipline in the home environment.  Again, please contact Ms. Gale if you are interested in attending these fantastic workshops!

Session 1:  Thursday, January 10th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 2:  Thursday, January 17th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 3:  Thursday, January 24th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 4:  Thursday, January 31st from 8:30am-11:30am

 

2R Assembly Success!

Congratulations to Mr. Ruf and all of the students in 2R for presenting their original non-fiction book on Simple Machines that the class collaborated on writing together in preparation for their assembly.  At the beginning of the assembly students confidently took the stage to deliver their parts and teach the audience all about the role simple machines play in our daily lives.  Well done 2R!

 

WINTERFEST!

Come and celebrate Winterfest at SCIS-Pudong this Sunday from 11:00am-3:00pm.  The school is bursting with holiday spirit and PAFA has been busy decorating and organizing fun activities for the whole family to enjoy on this day!

 

Learning Celebrations Galore!

Over the course of the past 2 weeks several grade levels have had wonderful learning celebrations where students have proudly shared various aspects of their learning with parents, teachers and other students.  Grade 1 and 2 students recently hosted literacy celebrations where children have shared fantastic pieces of writing based upon their learnings surrounding non-fiction text features in reading and writing.  Grade 4 students also celebrated the completion of their current unit of inquiry on Heroes/ Heroines by participating in a learning celebration where they shared prezi presentations on a selected hero or heroine that embodies what the students consider to be extremely valuable qualities and characteristics.

 

Seesaw Success Statistics!

We continue to experience great success with Seesaw, our digital communication platform as evidenced by an incredible increase in parent usage this semester.  Since the beginning of the school year (August 2018) we have had 39,145 parent visits to class and student journals, 26,184 total likes, and 5241 total comments on student work.  By comparison, last year at this time we had 7,887 parent visits to class and student journals, 7,022 total likes and 1,026 total comments on student work.  We are so grateful to students, teacher and parents for the success of this fantastic platform and the strong connections it has created between the home-school environment.  As parents, we ask that you please continue to engage with your child on Seesaw by providing positive feedback and encouragement.  Additionally, creating opportunities to talk with your child about their work on Seesaw will help you gain a better understanding of what (and how) children are learning at school.  It will also provide children with an opportunity to share their thinking and understanding with an authentic and very important audience.

How Do We Know Students Have Learned?

The Assessed Curriculum at SCIS

 With semester reports right around the corner (distributed via a link sent to each parent’s scis-email account) it is important for parents to understand how students are assessed not only at the end of the semester, but more importantly throughout the process of learning each and every day.  Please take a moment to read the following information surrounding the “assessed curriculum” at SCIS-Pudong.

Assessment is an essential part to all teaching and learning that takes place within the Lower School at SCIS-Pudong.  Within the Primary Years Programme the fundamental purpose of assessment is to provide feedback on the learning process and ultimately inform instruction.  Throughout the learning process teachers gather and analyze assessment data in a variety of ways in order to determine what students know, understand, can do, as well as how they feel at different stages of their learning.    

Although, most people are familiar with formal assessments, such as standardized tests (i.e the NWEA MAPs test), there are several other assessment options available for teachers that are more informal and focus on student work, motivation and progress instead of the end of the unit test score.  Teachers at SCIS use a range of assessment tools in effort to track student learning in a variety of ways.  The chart below provides a few types of assessment tools used by teachers on a daily basis.

Assessment Tools
Rubrics A coherent set of criteria for students’ work that includes descriptions of levels of performance quality on the criteria. The descriptors tell the teachers (and students) what characteristics or signs to look for in the students’ work and how to rate that work on a predetermined scale.  Rubrics can be developed by students as well as by teachers.
Exemplars Samples of students’ work that serve as concrete standards against which other samples are judged.  Generally, there is one benchmark for each achievement level in a scoring rubric. 
Checklists These are lists of information, data, attributes or elements that should be present during the learning process. 
Anecdotal Records Anecdotal records are brief written notes based on observation of students.
Continuums or Learning Progressions These are visual representations of developmental stages of learning.  They show a progression of achievement and assist with identifying where a student is in a process.
Source:  PYP Making It Happen: A Curriculum Framework for International Primary Education. January 2007

Assessments are conducted constantly throughout the school year in order to help teachers monitor their students’ progress and to modify instruction accordingly.  They are used to detect whether or not effective teaching and an appropriate level of learning is taking place in the classroom. Assessments are also used to help students monitor their own progress.

With Semester Reports being distributed in less than two weeks, it is important to keep in mind that teachers use many assessments to determine the needs and abilities of students.  The achievement indicator(s) a child receives on the report is based upon multiple pieces of assessment data that have been collected over the course of the semester as opposed to only one test or project.  Additionally, often the most valuable assessments are observations or daily conversations that are not recorded in a formal way.   If you would like more information on assessment, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org at any point in the school year.

More Photos from a wonderful week of learning and fun!

Lower School Principal’s Post #14

Dear Families,

It’s been a fun and engaging week of learning for students, teachers and parents at SCIS-Pudong.  A huge thank you to PAFA for all of the work that went into the planning and execution of Bingo Night last Saturday.  The Black Box was absolutely packed with students, teachers and parents and a great deal of fun was had by all!   

Students in 2R proudly shared their writing with their parents surrounding a variety of topics they are “experts” on.

On Monday, Grade 2 students proudly shared their learning from their current reading and writing units focused on becoming nonfiction reading experts and writing “How-to” books.   During this wonderful learning celebration in 2V and 2R students shared reading, writing and purposefully created displays with parents, teachers and other students.  Great job Grade 2!

 

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop in English in January!

As a result of the positive feedback received from the previous series of Positive Discipline Parent workshops in Mandarin, we will be offering English speaking parents an opportunity to participate in the same series of workshops during the following dates / times.  As you can imagine, our hope is to make these workshops very accessible to all parents to encourage and support maximum attendance.   Please contact Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org if you are interested in attending these fantastic workshops!

Session 1:  Thursday, January 10th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 2:  Thursday, January 17th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 3:  Thursday, January 24th from 8:30am-11:30am

Session 4:  Thursday, January 31st from 8:30am-11:30am

 

Grade 2 students working on the construction of a complex machine as the summative assessment for their current unit on simple machines.

Lower School Assembly featuring 2R

The final Lower School Assembly for the semester is next Thursday, November 29th.  2R will be presenting at this assembly which will begin promptly at 8:15am in the Black Box.   We hope to see you there.

 

 

Lower School Winter Concerts                                                                             

This year there will only be one Winter Concert for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  This will take place on Friday, December 7th at 1:30pm in the Theater.  The theme of the concert is “A Musical Winter.”  Ms. DeVeor will be sending out more information in the upcoming days/ weeks surrounding student costumes.  We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!

Nursery-Grade 12 Teachers working with Consultant, Tania Lattanzio in the Black Box.

We are Lifelong Learners!

Lower School Teachers had an opportunity to work with Tania in small groups throughout the day on Thursday.

At SCIS-Pudong we believe that professional development and collaboration is essential to building a strong curricular program focused on implementing research-based best practices across all subject areas and disciplines throughout the school.  On Thursday and Friday, November 22nd– 23rd while students had a relaxing day off from school, teachers from Nursery through Grade 12 delved into developing a deeper understanding of conceptual based learning with the help of International Educational Consultant, Tania Lattanzio.   Teachers delved into improving current units and also spent time writing new units.  Teachers participated in fantastic professional discussions surrounding how the unit and learning experiences are meaningful, significant, relevant and engaging.

 

Giving Thanks

Kindergarten students had wonderful and well thought out Thanksgiving feast in the cafeteria on Thursday.

While Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally celebrated in the United States on the 4th Thursday in November, giving thanks, being reflective and showing gratitude is something that we teach and encourage students to do daily.  This is because research shows that grateful people are happier and more likely to maintain good friendships.  A state of gratitude has also been proven to improve the heart’s rhythmic functioning, which helps us to reduce stress, think more clearly under pressure and heal physically.  It is physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time because when you are grateful your body and brain are flooded with positive emotions and endorphins that uplift and energize you rather than stress hormones that drain you.  As parents, building gratitude reflections into your child’s nightly routine will help them reflect on their day in a positive way and help train their brain and develop a growth mindset surrounding what they enjoy about life and learning!

More Photos from a Great Week!

Lower School Principal’s Post #13

Dear Families,

Teachers learning about ways they can help students appreciate and respect one another’s differences.

Another great week of learning for both students and teachers at SCIS-Pudong.  On Monday afternoon, the entire Lower School Faculty including Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers gathered in the Black Box to participate in a fun and reflective Positive Discipline exercise led by first grade teacher, Dr. Molly Myers.  During this meeting, teachers discussed the “assets and liabilities” associated with different personality traits and the impact this can have on methods of communication.  A big thank you to Dr. Myers for leading this session. 

 

Throughout the week PAFA has been working extremely hard to prepare a variety of fun prizes that will be given away at Bingo Night! We hope to see you there!

Bingo Night

We are looking forward to seeing many families at this Saturday’s BINGO NIGHT sponsored by PAFA. This fun family affair will begin at 5:00pm in the Black Box and last until 9:00pm.  We encourage all SCIS families to participate in this great community building event!

The Black Box is ready for Bingo Night! Thank you PAFA for all of the work you have put into making this event a success!

 

Lower School Assembly featuring 3J

3J performers did a wonderful job speaking clearly and confidently while working together to perform Stone Soup.

A great big shout-out to all students in Grade 3J for their wonderful assembly performance during Thursday’s Lower School Assembly.  Students collaboratively presented a fantastic reenactment of the classic children’s story Stone Soup and taught the audience a valuable lesson about the importance of being kind, working together and sharing resources.  Great job 3J!

 

Book Fair:  November 20th-22nd                                                        

Please note there will be a book fair on November 20th – 22nd.  Students and parents will be able to purchase high quality books on campus during these days.  We invite parents to come to school to purchase books with and for your child(ren).  Students will also have an opportunity to purchase books throughout the day if they have sufficient funds to do so.  

 

Lower School Winter Concerts                                                                       

2V students working collaboratively to practice an original composition that will be performed at the Winter Concert.

Please note there was a mistake in last week’s Principal’s Post surrounding the Lower School Winter Concert.   This year there will only be one Winter Concert for students in Kindergarten through Grade 5.  This will take place on Friday, December 7th at 1:30pm in the Theater.  The theme of the concert is “A Musical Winter.”  Ms. DeVeor will be sending out more information in the upcoming days/ weeks surrounding student costumes.  We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!

Teacher Professional Development:  November 23rd 

Lower School teachers collaborating on Wednesday morning surrounding an upcoming unit of inquiry.

Please note that next Friday, November 23rd will be a Professional Development Day for teachers.  On this day teachers will be working with international consultant Tania Lattanzio on deepening our understanding of concept-based planning and instruction.  Students will not have school on this day. 

 

 

Parent-Teacher Conference Reflection                                                           

Although Parent-Teacher Conferences were a little over 3 weeks ago, we’d like to get parents’ opinions on their conference experience.  We request that you take a few minutes to complete this very short survey to help us better understand how Parent-Teacher conferences can be improved for the future.  Thank you very much for your time and feedback!

 

More Photos from a Wonderful Week!

Lower School Principal’s Post #12

Dear Families,

The SCIS-Pudong Junior Dragon Cheerleaders kicked-off the Opening Ceremony of the ACAMIS Volleyball Tournament by performing a fantastic and well rehearsed cheer!

This has been a short, but fun-filled week within the Lower School.  It was wonderful to see Lower School students supporting teams and building community at the Upper School ACAMIS Volleyball Tournament on Thursday and Friday.  To welcome the visiting teams, lower school classrooms adopted a visiting team and attended various games throughout the tournament to provide support and encouragement.  Of course, we were all cheering for our own SCIS Dragons who played spectacularly. 

The SCIS-Pudong Junior Dragon Cheerleading Squad that includes students in Grades 1-5.

 

Lower School Winter Concerts

Please mark your calendars for the Lower School Winter Concert Performances which will take place on Friday, December 7th.  Students in Kindergarten through Grade 2 will perform at 10:30am in the Theater, while the Grades 3-5 performance is scheduled to start at 1:30pm in the Theater.  We look forward to seeing all parents at what is certain to be a fantastic event!

 

Bingo Night

Please note that BINGO Night will take place next Saturday, November 17th.  This fun family affair will begin at 5:00pm in the Black Box and last until 9:00pm.  We encourage all SCIS families to participate in this great community building event!

 

 

Students in 3J explore capacity by measuring various amounts of water in milliliters.

Lower School Assembly featuring 3J

The next Lower School Assembly will take place next Thursday, November 15th beginning at 8:15am in the Black Box.  Grade 3 will be performing “Stone Soup” and emphasizing the author’s theme and moral of the story. 

 

Many parents of students in Grades 2-12 attended the Principal’s Coffee Morning on Wednesday led by Dr. Frank Volpe on the NWEA MAPs test.

Teacher Professional Development Days

Please note that November 23rd will be a Professional Development Day for teachers.  On this day teachers will be working with international consultant Tania Latanzio on deepening our understanding of concept-based planning and instruction.  Students will not have school on this day. 

 

 

BOOK FAIR on November 20-22

Please note there will be a book fair on November 20th – 22nd.  Students and parents will be able to purchase high quality books on campus during these days.  We invite parents to come to school to purchase books with and for your child(ren).  Students will also have an opportunity to purchase books throughout the day if they have sufficient funds to do so.  

 

 

Parent-Teacher Conference Reflection

Although Parent-Teacher Conferences were a little over 2 weeks ago, we’d like to get parents’ opinions on their conference experience.  We request that you take a few minutes to complete this very short survey to help us better understand how Parent-Teacher conferences can be improved for the future.  Thank you very much for your time and feedback!

 

Save the Date: SCIS Winter Carnival

You are cordially invited to join us for the Second Annual SCIS Winter Carnival hosted at the Hongqiao Main Campus on Saturday, November 24th from 11am – 4pm.

We have partnered with the Community Center Shanghai (CCS) who will host their annual Winter Bazaar full of great holiday shopping, delicious foods, and warming winter drinks. SCIS will provide the fun, including games, activities, and entertainment for the entire family, with a few winter surprises and special gifts you won’t want to miss.

Admission is FREE and ALL family and friends of SCIS are encouraged to join us for an exciting day of fun. We hope to see you there! Please look for more details coming soon!

More photos from a wonderful week!

Lower School Principal’s Post #11

Dear Families,

This week students in 2R worked in collaborative groups to design an incline plane. Once the design was finished they tested the speed and distance of a toy car using their incline.

Another exciting week of fun and learning in the Lower School.  At this point, all grade levels are well into their second Unit of Inquiry and students have been engaged in a variety of learning experiences where they have had the opportunity to ask questions surrounding their inquiry topics and work with their peers to begin seeking answers to their queries. 

When planning, teachers begin by assessing students’ prior knowledge and providing experiences through the curriculum and learning environment that give students opportunities to:  test and revise their thinking, allow them to make connections between their previous and current perceptions, and allow them the freedom to construct their own meaning in a way that is significant, relevant and engaging. 

Below are the Central Ideas that serve as the focus for the current unit of inquiry in each grade level:

  • Nursery: We move from place to place in different ways.
  • Preschool / Prekindergarten: Artists create art to express themselves in different ways.
  • Kindergarten: People use their senses to help them learn.
  • Grade 1: Choices we make affect our health.
  • Grade 2: People have improved their daily lives by using simple machines.
  • Grade 3: The earth continually changes.
  • Grade 4: Heroes reveal values and beliefs.
  • Grade 3: Human migration is a response to challenges, risks and opportunities.
Grade 5 students sharing their informational writing pieces with grade 2 on Friday afternoon.

For more information on what and how your child is learning, please take some time to visit their student journal on Seesaw and talk with your child about the different learning experiences they are having at school.  Also, if you like what you see, be sure provide your child with some positive feedback on their work.

Please note, there will not be school next Monday and Tuesday, November 5th and 6th

Wishing all families, a wonderful and relaxing 4-day weekend! 

NWEA MAPS

(Northwest Evaluation Association / Measurement of Academic Progress)

Today, the fall NWEA MAPs test results for students in Grades 2-5 will be sent home in an envelope with each child.  We recognize that interpreting the test results can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the MAPs test and therefore we will be hosting a Principal’s Coffee Morning on Wednesday, November 7th led by Dr. Volpe.  The session will begin at 10:00am in room 208.   During this session, parents will develop an understanding of how to interpret their child’s MAP results, have an opportunity to ask questions and learn how to use the data to support their child’s growth and development at home.   Please note, the NWEA MAPs test is one piece of the assessment mosaic teachers use at SCIS to measure student progress and determine a student’s areas of strength and areas for growth.  Additionally, it is very common for a child’s MAP score to dip during the fall testing window due to the summer holiday, a time in which children are not in school or actively engaged in academic learning.  Similarly, please note that at SCIS we do not prepare students or “teach to the test.”  Therefore, for students who are taking the MAPs test for the first time, their unfamiliarity with taking this test may be a likely factor in a result that may not necessarily be representative of their full capabilities.  Again, the NWEA MAPs test is one of many assessments that we use to help us understand more about each child as a learner and it is important to keep in mind that each type of assessment is like a tile in a mosaic and we don’t understand the whole picture just by looking at one tile.  

Professional Learning Continues this week in the Lower School

One of Monday’s TTT sessions, led by ECE Coordinator Ms. Stacey Poncia, focused on helping teachers understand the impact of body language and tone. During this session teachers practiced using the phrase “It bugs me when you________. Instead, I wish you would _______.”

Last week all Lower School Teachers formed collaborative PLCs based upon their individual professional growth and evaluation goals set for this school year.  Over the course of the 2018-2019 school year these groups will meet regularly to participate in rich conversations, analyze student work, design and evaluate learning experiences and share effective instructional practices.  This week all Lower School Teachers, Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers were able to attend 2 out of 7 TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers) sessions led by members of the Lower School faculty.  There was a fantastic range of session topics that included:  exploring the 8 mathematical practices, understanding shared reading, word study, growth-mindset, data collection, understanding the impact of body language and tone, and developing mathematical mindsets.  A huge thank you to all teacher presenters for providing this collective and differentiated professional development.

Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers participating in a wonderful session led by Ms. Gina around the “Kind and Firm” Positive Discipline approach.

Additionally, all Mandarin Assistants and Assistant Teachers within the Early Childhood Program participated in a professional development workshop led by Ms. Gina Zhang on Tuesday where they formulated a deeper understanding of the Positive Discipline practice, “kind and firm.”  Teachers worked together in groups to role-play and problem-solve different scenarios.  If you’re interested in learning more about how you can implement the “Kind and Firm” parenting approach at home, please read this article:  https://www.positivediscipline.com/articles/kind-and-firm-parenting

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop

Tomorrow will be the final session for the Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop for Mandarin-speaking parents.  A HUGE thank you to all parent participants!  We are still in the process of arranging a workshop for English-speaking parents that will hopefully be starting later this month.  More information will be forthcoming regarding the start date for this series of workshops.

More Photos from a GREAT WEEK!

Lower School Principal’s Post #10

Dear Families,

What a super busy, but fantastic week at SCIS-Pudong!  I have received many positive comments from both parents, as well as teachers surrounding Parent-Teacher Conferences and I’d like to say thank you to the parents for making the time in your schedule to attend your child’s conference.  Also, thank you to all teachers for the work and effort you put into preparing for the conferences.  

Please keep in mind that conferences can be scheduled at any point in the year should you have a concern or if you’d simply like to touch base and discuss various aspects of your child’s learning.  According to Jane Hull, “the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents” and we look forward to many more opportunities to engage you in your child’s learning journey at SCIS-pudong this year. 

PAFA Sponsored Halloween Party at SCIS

The PAFA Sponsored Halloween Party is tomorrow and we are looking forward to seeing all SCIS families participate in this fun event!  Tomorrow’s event will begin at 12:00pm and conclude at 3:00pm.  Everyone is encouraged to participate and come dressed in a Halloween costume!

Halloween Busing Times & Locations

  • Bus#01, Shimao Riviera  Depart 11:20
  • 1 Weifang Road Gate 世茂滨江 潍坊西路1号大门
  • Bus#02, Green Court  Depart 11:20
  • 777 Biyun Road, Lan’an road gate  碧云花园(碧云路777号蓝桉路大门), 
  • Kerry Hotel     Depart 11:30
  • 嘉里城酒店花木路1388号
  • Bus#03, Emerald   Depart 11:30 and 12:00
  • Emerald Club House  绿宝园会所
  • ALL RETURNING BUSES WILL LEAVE AT 3:10pm 

NWEA MAPS

(Northwest Evaluation Association / Measurement of Academic Progress)

The fall NWEA MAPs testing session has now closed and results will be sent home with students in Grades 2 through 10 next Friday, November 2nd.  We recognize that interpreting the test results can be difficult if you are unfamiliar with the MAPs test and therefore we will be hosting a Principal’s Coffee Morning on Wednesday, November 7th led by Dr. Volpe.  The session will begin at 10:00am in room 208.   During this session, parents will develop an understanding of how to interpret their child’s MAP results, have an opportunity to ask questions and learn how to use the data to support their child’s growth and development at home.   Please note, the NWEA MAPs test is one piece of the assessment mosaic teachers use at SCIS to measure student progress and determine a student’s areas of strength and areas for growth.

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) in the Lower School

At SCIS-Pudong we believe that professional development and collaboration is essential to building a strong curricular program focused on implementing research-based best practices across all subject areas and disciplines.  This past Monday all Lower School Teachers formed collaborative PLCs based upon their individual professional growth and evaluation goals set for this school year.  Over the course of the 2018-2019 school year these groups will meet regularly to participate in rich conversations, analyze student work, design and evaluate learning experiences and share effective instructional practices.  These team meetings will certainly provide a valuable forum for teachers to discuss and share the many ways that students can authentically develop the skills and dispositions necessary to be successful both in school and in life.  They will also help teachers reflect on their own practices and brainstorm ideas for ways to make learning even more meaningful and engaging.

Introducing the 2018-2019 Lower School Student Council Representatives

Congratulations to the below students who have been selected by their peers to be the Student Representatives for the Lower School.   Involvement in Student Council provides SCIS students with a unique leadership opportunity that allows them to have direct input into school operations and events. The Student Council will provide a forum to enhance student participation in the life of the school.  Members of the Student Council work in partnership with the administration, teachers, parents and lower school students.  The Lower School Advisor for this year is Ms. Cleo Peterson.

  • 3J: Jiwon Baek / Jonah Kachlic
  • 3K: Matilda Hellestam / Gabriel Correa
  • 4C: Julia Rando / Tate Valenza
  • 5P: Jesslyn Sandy / Benjamin Fan
  • 5R: Angelina Bu / Oscar Anthes

Counselor Connection

Mrs. Luebbe has recently added a new article to the Counselor Connection on the right side of this blog focused on the importance of assigning chores (jobs / responsibilities) to children at home.  Be sure to check it out!

Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop

The Positive Discipline Parenting Workshop for Mandarin-speaking parents has been a huge success.  15 Lower School parents have participated in the Saturday sessions and the feedback has been extremely positive.  Parents have learned research behind the positive discipline approach, as well as practical strategies for implementing positive discipline techniques at home.   We are in the process of arranging a workshop for English-speaking parents as well, and more information will be forthcoming regarding the start date for this series of workshops.

More Photos from a wonderful week of learning!