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!

Lower School Principal’s Post #9

Dear Families,

Students in 1M were risk-takers this week as they courageously took the stage at the K-5 Assembly on Thursday to present on Positive Discipline strategies they have learned to solve small and big problems they encounter in their lives. Way to go 1M!

Another wonderful week of learning and fun at SCIS-Pudong that has included a creative and student-centered assembly, collaborative PYP unit kick-off meetings and as always fantastic learning experiences for students in Nursery through Grade 5.   A BIG thank you to all the parents that attended the Principal’s Coffee Morning focused on “Getting the Most out of Parent-Teacher Conferences.”   We look forward to welcoming all parents next week on Thursday for your child’s Parent-Teacher Conference.  

Mid-Semester Progress Reports:

Please take a moment to access your SCIS Parent email account to receive your child’s Mid-Semester Progress Report. The purpose of the Mid-Semester progress report is to provide parents and teachers with an opportunity to reflect on the student’s attitudes and actions that lead to academic success at mid-semester.  The report is meant to serve as a baseline for discussion during Parent-Teacher Conferences, during which time parents will receive additional information about their child’s areas of strength and areas for growth.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Over 20 Lower School parents attended the Principal’s Coffee Morning on Thursday focused on Getting the Most out of Parent-Teacher Conferences. During the session, parents discussed ways to effectively collaborate and communicate with teachers during next week’s PTC.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are almost here!  We are so excited to talk with you about your child’s learning journey and the progress they have made since the beginning of the school year. 

During your 20-minute conference with your child’s Homeroom Teacher, you will have an opportunity to discuss your child’s areas of strength, as well as areas for growth related to their social, emotional and academic development.  You will also be able to ask questions and collaborate with the teacher on setting both short and long-term goals for your child.  During your time at SCIS, you are also encouraged to visit your child’s specialist teachers, who will be able on a first come, first serve basis.  Specialists will be located in their classrooms.

To sign-up for Parent-Teacher Conferences (if you haven’t already done so), please click on the name of your child’s Homeroom Teacher.  The link will take you to a Sign-up Genius form where you will be able to select one 20-minute slot that suits your schedule on Thursday, October 25th.  Please note that conferences will take place throughout the day and therefore, there will not be school for children on this day.

If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled conference times stated below, please contact your child’s teacher directly to arrange for an alternative conference.

Parent Teacher Conference Sign-up Links

If you were unable to attend the Principal’s Coffee Morning please take a moment to read the information below surrounding how to get the most out of Parent Teacher Conferences. 

Halloween at SCIS

Halloween is right around the corner and PAFA (Parents and Friends Association) is busy preparing for the Halloween Carnival that will take place on Saturday October 27th from 12:00pm-3:00pm on campus.  All families are encouraged to attend as children will have an opportunity to participate wear their Halloween costumes while participating in fun games and other events. 

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

On Friday, October 26th, Lower School students will be able to wear their Halloween costume to school or change into their costume at any point during the school day.  Please keep in mind that Halloween costume accessories such as guns, swords or other potentially dangerous objects will not be allowed.  Additionally, it should be noted that participating in the Halloween festivities is optional for students and families.  There will not be any Halloween parties or events happening at school, apart from students having the opportunity to wear their costume to school. 

Announcing the First Lego League Jr. at SCIS-Pudong

Click on the link below to learn more.

FLL Jr Announcement Flyer

Getting the Most out of Parent-Teacher Conferences

There is a growing body of research that supports the fact that positive parent-teacher relationships contribute to school readiness, student achievement and well-rounded development of social and emotional skills.  According to Donna Henderson, Professor of Education at Wake Forest University, “Two people working together who have the best interest of the child in mind have a much greater impact than if they work alone. In today’s hurried world, it is so important for parents to take time to know the people who are educating our future generation.”

The following suggestions are ways that you can make the most out of parent-teacher conferences so that everyone wins, especially your child.

What should you expect?

  • A two-way conversation: Like all good conversations, parent–teacher conferences work best when both people talk and The conference is a time for you to learn about your child’s progress in school and whether your child is meeting school expectations and academic standards. This is also a time for the teacher to learn about what your child is like at home. When you tell the teacher about your child’s skills, interests, needs, and dreams, the teacher can help your child more.
  • Emphasis on learning: Good parent–teacher conferences focus on how well the child is doing in school. They also talk about how the child can do even better.
  • Opportunities and challenges: Just like you, teachers want your child to succeed. You will probably hear
positive feedback about your child’s progress and areas for improvement. Be prepared, by thinking about your child’s strengths and challenges beforehand. Be ready to ask questions about ways you and the teacher can help your child with some of his or her challenges.

What should you talk to the teacher about?

  • Progress: Your child’s teacher will undoubtedly have a range of information to share with you about your child’s academic, social and emotional development and progress.  Listen and ask for ways that you can help support learning at home.
  • Assignments and assessments: Seeing examples of your child’s work will help you form a greater understanding of their strengths and areas in need of improvement.
  • Your thoughts about your child: Be sure to share your thoughts and feelings about your child. Tell the teacher what you think your child is good at. Explain what he or she needs more help with.
  • How should you follow up?
  • Make a plan: Write down the things that you and the teacher will each do to support your child. You can do this during the conference or after. Write down what you will do, when, and how often.
  • Schedule another time to talk: The conference will go by quickly, however, there are many ways to communicate with your child’s teacher(s)—in person, by phone, notes, email. Make a plan that works for both of you. If needed, feel free to schedule at least one more time to talk in the next few months.
  • Talk to your child: The parent–teacher conference is all about your child, so don’t forget to include him or her. Share with your child what you learned. Show him or her how you will help with learning at home. Ask for his or her suggestions.

Note:  The above information was gathered from the Harvard Family Research Project. For more resources on family involvement, visit www.hfrp.org.

More Photos from a fantastic week of fun!

Lower School Principal’s Post #8

Dear Families,

Students in 1M using counting strategies during math workshop.

It has been a great week at SCIS-Pudong as teachers gear up for the busy month of October.  There are many exciting events happening over the next few weeks involving students, teachers and parents.  Please take a moment to review the important dates mentioned on the right side of the blog post and carefully read through the information below to ensure you are kept informed of all exciting events and happenings pertaining to the Lower School and your child(ren).   Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher with any additional questions you may have.

Positive Discipline Parent Event

On Monday, all Mandarin Teachers, Assistants and some support staff participated in a Positive Discipline educator training to learn about positive discipline techniques and strategies when working with students. The feedback from this session was excellent and we are looking for more opportunities to provide training in Mandarin to our Mandarin staff.

The first Positive Discipline parenting workshop will take place tomorrow (Saturday, October 13th) from 8:30am-11:30am in the Black Box.  We are so excited to have over 20 participants including parents, grandparents and ayis.   If you are interested in attending this workshop that will be delivered in Mandarin, please contact Ms. Gale immediately at egale@scis-china.org as there are still available spots.  In addition to tomorrow’s workshop there are three additional workshops taking place on October 20th, 27th and November 3rd.  The cost for each participant is 1,000RMB.  If you are a Mandarin speaker this is an opportunity you will not want to pass up!

Lower School Assemblies

At SCIS-Pudong Lower School assemblies serve several purposes.  They provide a venue for students to practice their speaking and presentation skills and share authentic aspects of their learning to a broader audience.  Additionally, they are a forum through which school-wide information can be communicated to students surrounding policies, procedures and special events. Lastly, they are meant to bring the LS community (students, teachers and parents) together in order to celebrate various aspects of student learning and growth.  All parents are invited to attend Lower School Assemblies. 

Our next Lower School Assembly will take place next Thursday, October 18th in the Black Box starting at 8:15am.  Students in 1M will be presenting.   We hope to see you there!

Mid-Semester Progress Reports

Next Friday after school, you will be able to access your child’s Mid-Semester Progress Report through a link received in your SCIS-parent email account.  The purpose of the Mid-Semester progress report is to provide students, parents and teachers with an opportunity to reflect on student’s attitudes and actions that lead to academic success at mid- semester.  The report is meant to serve as a baseline for discussion during Parent-Teacher Conferences, during which time parents will receive additional information about their child’s areas of strength and areas for growth.  Specialists will not be providing comments for mid-semester reports this year.  However, parents are encouraged to visit Specialist Teachers during Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Specialists will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

The Kindergarten Reading Celebration last Friday provided a wonderful opportunity for parents to learn ways to help their child develop love of reading.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are almost here!  We are so excited to talk with you about your child’s learning journey and the progress they have made since the beginning of the school year. 

During your 20-minute conference with your child’s Homeroom Teacher, you will have an opportunity to discuss your child’s areas of strength, as well as areas for growth related to their social, emotional and academic development.  You will also be able to ask questions and collaborate with the teacher on setting both short and long-term goals for your child.  During your time at SCIS, you are also encouraged to visit your child’s specialist teachers, who will be able on a first come, first serve basis.  Specialists will be located in their classrooms.

To sign-up for Parent-Teacher Conferences (if you haven’t already done so), please click on the name of your child’s Homeroom Teacher.  The link will take you to a Sign-up Genius form where you will be able to select one 20-minute slot that suits your schedule on Thursday, October 25th.  Please note that conferences will take place throughout the day and therefore, there will not be school for children on this day.

If you are unable to attend any of the scheduled conference times stated below, please contact your child’s teacher directly to arrange for an alternative conference.

Parent Teacher Conference Sign-up Links

There will be a Principal’s Coffee Morning next Thursday, October 18th following the Lower School Assembly in room 208 focused on Parent Teacher Conferences and how parents and teachers can “get the most” out of their conference time.  We are looking forward to seeing many parents in attendance for this important topic.  

Lower School Student Photos

Individual student photos are now available for purchase online.   To order photos simply go to www.intlphotography.com and follow the order link using the password scispd0918.  Within the galleries, links can be found to individual portraits.  Lower School Galleries are organized by Grade and Teacher.  Print orders will be available through October 15th.

Halloween Carnival

Halloween is right around the corner and PAFA (Parents and Friends Association) is busy preparing for the Halloween Carnival that will take place on Saturday October 27th from 12:00pm-3:00pm on campus.  All families are encouraged to attend as children will have an opportunity to participate wear their Halloween costumes while participating in fun games and other events. 

PAFA is currently looking for parents who are willing to set-up and run some of the games that will be provided to Students.  If you’re available to volunteer some time, please sign contact Trish Castillo at pd.pafa.president@scis-china.org.

On Friday, October 26th, Lower School students will be able to wear their Halloween costume to school or change into their costume at any point during the school day.  Please keep in mind that Halloween costume accessories such as guns, swords or other potentially dangerous objects will not be allowed.  Additionally, it should be noted that participating in the Halloween festivities is optional for students and families.  There will not be any Halloween parties or events happening at school, apart from students having the opportunity to wear their costume to school.  

Tips for Keeping your Child Healthy This Fall

As the weather is changing and cooling down, children are becoming more susceptible to illness.   Below are a few tips to help your child stay healthy during this upcoming flu season:

  1. Keep the Germs Away: Hands down, the best way to prevent a cold or the flu is to keep your and your child’s hands clean! The viruses that cause colds and flu are typically transferred from one’s hand to the nose or mouth, where the viruses multiply — and make you sick. The viruses are sneaky, too; they can make you contagious even before symptoms show. That’s why it’s so important to make sure to teach your kids to cover the mouth and nose with their armpit if they sneeze or cough, and to wash or sanitize their hands, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, sneezing or coughing, and after they come home from school or play dates.
  2. Eat Well: Provide your child with foods that are packed with phytonutrients (“phytos” for short). What kinds of foods have phytos? Look for the deepest-colored fruits and veggies you can find: blueberries, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes…the more color in the food, the more phytos – and immune-boosting power- it has.
  3. Stay Active: It’s well known that regular exercise is beneficial, but Ray Sahelian, M.D., a family physician and author of The Common Cold Cure, says it can also help prevent catching a cold or the flu. “It’s probably the single best way to keep your energy up and your stress level down, which is doubly important during cold and flu season,” he says. Plus, exercising outside will also expose kids to sunlight, which, during the winter months (the height of cold and flu season) is important, for physical and mental health.
  4. SLEEP! SLEEP! SLEEP! The body’s immune system quits working well when the body is sleep deprived. Now is not the time to slack off enforcing bedtime. Most school-aged children need at least 10-11 hours each night, and babies and toddlers need even more.
  5. Please remember that if your child is ill, please do not send them to school, as there is a high probability they will infect others. If your child has a fever, please wait until they are fever-free for at least 24 hours before sending them back to school.

Resources:

 

More Photos from a wonderful week at SCIS-Pudong!

Lower School Principal’s Post #7

Dear Families,

Grade 5 students working together to build a 3D model of two interdependent body systems as part of their summative assessment.

As we head into the October break, it is amazing to think about all that has been accomplished over the course of the past 7 weeks.  Since the first days of the school year, I have watched students demonstrate their ability to be risk-takers, communicators and inquirers who openly embrace new environments, teachers, friends, procedures and learning experiences.  The observations I make on a daily basis confirm the fact that we are not only a diverse community of learners who bring a wealth of experience and backgrounds to school each day, but we are also a school that truly supports and encourages one another in achieving our personal best. 

Students in 2V listening intently to a Read-Aloud before dismissal.

As I walk through the Lower School classrooms, hallways and common spaces it is so wonderful to see the establishment of strong routines, procedures and fantastic student-centered learning environments.  Student agency and providing opportunities for students to take ownership of their learning is readily apparent across grade levels and content areas.   This is a direct result of the hard work and commitment of our phenomenal Lower School faculty who are constantly looking for opportunities to create fun, and meaningful learning experiences that result in high levels of student engagement and motivation.

As parents, I encourage you to continue to look for ways to extend your child(ren)’s learning outside of school.  Providing children with opportunities to make connections between their life outside of school to the learning they are experiencing in school, will help them formulate a deeper understanding of how the skills, knowledge and attitudes they are developing can be applied in multiple contexts.   We continue to appreciate your support and look forward to a great year of learning together.   I wish all families a relaxing and enjoyable October break!

 

Positive Discipline Parent Event

This is the FINAL CALL for parents interested in signing up for the Positive Discipline parenting workshops scheduled for October 13th, 20th, 27th and November 3rd from 8:30am-11:30am.   If you are interested in attending this workshop that will be delivered in Mandarin, please contact Ms. Gale at egale@scis-china.org immediately.  If you are a Mandarin speaker this is an opportunity you will not want to pass up!

 

Student Council Elections for Grades 3, 4 and 5 

On Thursday, the Lower School Student Council guidelines and application process was distributed to interested students in Grades 3, 4 and 5.   The aim of the Student Council is to promote the interests of the school and the involvement of students in the affairs of the 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.  Students interested in pursuing a role as a Student Council representative will need to complete and return the application to Ms. Peterson, the Lower School Student Council Advisor, by Wednesday, October 10th.   Student speeches and elections will take place within each grade 3, 4, and 5 homeroom class on October 11th or 12th.  The goal is to have one girl and one boy representative from each class.  Please direct any questions to Ms. Peterson at cpeterson@scis-china.org

 

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher Conferences are right around the corner taking place throughout the day on Thursday, October 25th.  As a reminder, there will not be school for students on this day. 

A link to a sign-up genius site will be sent out via Seesaw to parents following the October Holiday.  Parents will be able to sign up for a convenient conference time using this link.  Parent-Teacher conferences will be scheduled in 20-minute blocks with your child’s Homeroom Teacher.  During this time, you will have an opportunity to discuss your child’s areas of strength, as well as areas for growth related to their social, emotional and academic development.   You will also be able to ask questions and collaborate with the teacher on setting both short and long-term goals for your child.   During your time at SCIS, you are also encouraged to visit your child’s specialist teachers, who will be available on a first come, first serve basis.  Specialists will be located in their classrooms.

There will be a Principal’s Coffee Morning on Thursday, October 18th following the Lower School Assembly in room 208 focused on Parent Teacher Conferences and how parents and teachers can “get the most” out of their conference time.  We are looking forward to seeing many parents in attendance for this important topic.  

 

Lower School Student Photos

Individual student photos are now available for purchase online.   To order photos simply go to www.intlphotography.com and follow the order link using the password scispd0918.  Within the galleries, links can be found to individual portraits.  Lower School Galleries are organized by Grade and Teacher.  Print orders will be available through October 15th.

 

Scholastic Books

This past Monday students took home Scholastic Book Club Catalogues.  As you will notice from the parent letter, Scholastic is trying a new format this year that allows parents to order and pay directly through WeChat.  Once payments are collected the books will be delivered to the school within 6-8 weeks.  The scholastic ordering deadline has been extended until after the October break.  Happy book buying and reading!!!

 

Please note the National Holiday and October Break will take place from September 29th – October 7th.  There will be Professional Development Day for teachers on October 8th and school for students will resume on October 9th.

 

More Photos from this week:

 

Teaching and Learning Mathematics in the 21st Century

Myths and Facts

Adapted from the Canadian Ministry of Education and Ontario District School Boards

Myth:
The math my child is learning in school is “new”.
Facts: Your child is learning the same math facts and formulas you did—such as 2 x 2 = 4, and the circumference of a circle is 2 πr.  But the way math is taught has evolved in recent decades. Today’s math learning emphasizes the development of understanding of concepts and skills, so that your child is able to apply these confidently in new situations. It also focuses on developing critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. Your child is learning some topics and skills that you may not have learned in elementary school. These include data management and probability, and how to use calculators and computers to help model and solve math problems. What your child is learning in math class, and how your child is learning, are equipping your child for success in today’s knowledge-based economy and our global world.

Myth: Now that we have calculators, students don’t need to know how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, nor do they need to memorize the “math facts” (such as 7 x 6 = 42).
Fact: Knowing how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide are essential math skills and a major emphasis in the SCIS math curriculum. Automatic recall of math facts is needed in higher-level math. Games where children need to keep track of a score or that require automatic recall of math facts are a fun way to practice. Look for opportunities where your child can develop fluency. It takes time. This is a key area where you can help your child at home, by encouraging lots of practice in a variety of ways.

Myth: People who were taught math the old way can’t make sense of today’s math.
Fact: You can learn alongside your child and strengthen your own math skills in the process. Ask your child to explain and show you what the class is learning. Children are great teachers and explaining math concepts and procedures to you will help your child to understand them better. Also, ask your child’s teacher for suggestions on how to quickly learn the strategies your child is using.

Myth: Children learn math best when the teacher simply shows them how to do it.
Fact: Students learn best when they are active participants in the learning process. They learn by participating in conversations, asking questions and being curious and skeptical.

Myth: You have to be good at memorizing to be good at math.
Fact: It is important for your child to be able to quickly recall math facts. But memorization is only one approach. When your child understands the concepts and procedures involved in number operations, and the relationships between addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, he/she will find it much easier to remember math facts and learn new ones. Math is more about thinking than it is about memorizing.

Today’s Math Classroom 

Adapted from the Canadian Ministry of Education and Ontario District School Boards

Students used to spend almost all their time working at their desks, with the teacher at the blackboard and with little discussion. Math classes today look, sound, and feel quite different.

How and Why it’s Different
If you peeked inside your child’s math class, here are some things you would notice:

  • students working on their own, in pairs, in small groups, independently and with teacher direction
  • students engaged in a wide variety of tasks — practicing skills, solving problems about real-life situations, playing games, and applying math concepts to design challenges
  • students using a variety of physical and digital learning tools as they explore math ideas and solve problems
  • students using a variety of tools, including paper and pencil, chart paper and markers, and digital devices, to write and record their math thinking
  • students talking about connections they have made personally or exploring new math concepts and skills
  • students sharing their strategies for solving a problem

Learning math involves understanding concepts and procedures, acquiring skills, and applying math processes. Each of these aspects of learning requires different learning and teaching strategies. As well, individual students learn differently. It’s important for students to have opportunities to learn in a variety of ways.

Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics

Adapted from the US Department of Education, the Canadian Ministry of Education, and Ontario District School Boards

What kind of attitude do you have toward math? Do you believe that math skills are important job and life skills? Do you see math as useful in everyday life? Or do you dread doing things that involve math—figuring out how much new carpet you’ll need, balancing the checkbook, reading the technical manual that came with the DVD player? How you answer these questions indicates how you may be influencing your child’s attitudes toward math—and how he approaches learning math.

Although parents can be a positive force in helping children learn math, they also can undermine their children’s math ability and attitudes by saying things such as: “Math is hard,” or “I’m not surprised you don’t do well in math, I didn’t like math either when I was in school,” or “I wasn’t very good in math and I’m a success, so don’t worry about doing well.” Although you can’t make your child like math, you can encourage her to do so, and you can take steps to ensure that she learns to appreciate its value both in her everyday life and in preparing for her future. You might point out to her how fortunate she is to have the opportunity to learn mathematics today—when mathematics knowledge can open the door to so many interesting and exciting possibilities.

In everyday interactions with children, there are many things that parents can do—and do without lecturing or applying pressure—to help children learn to solve problems, to communicate mathematically and to demonstrate reasoning abilities. These skills are fundamental to learning mathematics.

For more information please read the SCIS-Pudong Lower School Mathematics Parent Guide that can be found under the section “Mathematics Learning at Home” on the right side of this blog post.