2020-2021 Principal’s Post #29

Grade 6 Math Shows Off Their Learning

Students in Ms. Marcos’s grade 6 math class showed off their knowledge of Tessellations this week. In this math unit, students were assessed on MYP Criterion C: Communicating. Students had to combine their knowledge of Geometry with their own artistic vision. They were also required to communicate in writing the elements of math and art that were included in the displays as well as express their opinions on the degree to which Tessellations should be considered math vs. art. While other math curricula would stop at requiring students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills related to the geometry of Tessellations, the MYP requires them to be able to communicate that understanding verbally, in writing, and through modeling. In this way, students at SCIS are exposed to an additional layer of rigor, as students must not only master their mathematical skills and practices but also learn to apply them to the real world and communicate their understanding in a variety of ways. A big thanks to Ms. Marcos for organizing such an engaging learning experience for our students and congratulations to grade 6 on their investigation into Tessellations, well done!

Early Release Day, March 29th (1:40) and Professional Development Day April 2nd (no class for studnets)

As a reminder, Monday is an early release day for students, they will be released at 1:40. The early release days have been set aside for teachers to work on the WASC and IB accreditation self-study which will culminate with a joint visit in May. Teachers will continue this work on Friday April 2nd which is a professional development day. Teachers from Pudong will be traveling to our Hongqiao campus where we will be working together with our colleagues on the other side of the river to complete the system wide self-study. Classes will resume after the Spring Break weekend on April 7th.

Grade 12 Students Take IB Diploma Mock Exams

This week, our grade 12 students sat for IB Diploma mock exams. Each year, grade 12 students are given the opportunity to participate in a simulation of their final IB Diploma exams which serve 2 primary purposes. First, these exams represent the final exam for the semester 2 courses and contribute significantly to their semester grades. Second, these exams give students an opportunity to experience the exact exam conditions they will be under when taking the real IB DP exams, using actual exams from previous years. This opportunity allows students to get used to the setting, timing, and pressure that they will experience when sitting for the exams in May. Finally, students will get a chance to review teacher feedback on their performance on these exams which will guide their revisions efforts over the coming month. I would like to recognize Ms. Shanks, our IB Diploma Coordinator for all of her work organizing and supporting our students and teachers in this important step towards graduation.

Student-Led Conference Sign-ups

The link for parents to sign up for 30-minute time slots for student-led conferences on April 14th will be shared by April 1st. Sign-ups will happen via SignUpGenius, all instructions will be provided with the link. For more information on student-led conferences and this year’s plans, please see the reposted message from Head of School Dr. Gale below.

Student Led Conference Reminder From Dr. Gale (Repeated from Last Week’s Blog)

Student-Led Conferences are an integral part of the teaching and learning process at SCIS-Pudong.  According to the school calendar, April 14th is a half-school day dedicated to Student-Led Conferences.  At this time, teachers and students are preparing for a traditional Student-Led Conference model despite the continued uncertainty surrounding parental access to campus.  Given the ongoing success of pandemic prevention throughout Shanghai, our hope is that we will be able to welcome parents/caregivers to campus on April 14th for Student-Led Conferences.  However, in the event the requirement remains that parents are not allowed on campus, an alternative Student-Led Conference model will take place between students and parents at home.  Regardless of the format, April 14th will remain a half-day of school and students will be dismissed at 11:30am.

What is a Student-led Conference?

Student-led conferences are an essential part of the assessment and reporting process at SCIS, as they provide students with a valuable opportunity to take responsibility for their learning and share the learning process, as well as the progress they have made over the course of the school year with their parents/caregivers.  There are a number of reasons schools implement student-led conferences including the fact that the spotlight is on the most important person in the process (the student).  Student-led conferences put the students in charge, holding them responsible and accountable as they present their work to their parents.   Research has proven there are multiple benefits that emerge as a result of preparing for and carrying out a student-led conference.  These include:

  • Increased student accountability on their learning
  • Enhancement of students’ communication skills
  • Strengthening the collaborative relationship between parents, teachers and students
  • Development of thinking, self-management, communication, social and leadership skills
  • Increased student motivation towards learning
  • Acquiring a further understanding of how students learn including areas of strength and areas for growth

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