Blossoming Writers

FullSizeRenderJanuary is break-through month in the Elementary School!

We’ve been astounded by the quality of writing pouring out of our students this month.

Pre-K children have become fascinated by text. They are making meaningful marks, writing words and covering their drawings with labels. Grade 1 students are producing full paragraphs and original, interesting stories. Tae Yeon (Grade 1T) is up to his third installment of a hilarious super-hero series! Grade 2 students are writing well-structured, vivid narratives. Grades 3 & 5 have become independent, prolific bloggers, using this platform to record and reflect on their experiences.

With a strong language programme and expert teachers, some children are becoming authors for the first time, while others are working hard to enhance the quality or clarify of their expression. Parents, please join us in feeling proud! At next week’s Parent/Teacher conferences, be sure to take a peek at your child’s journal or portfolio. Join our online writing community, by adding your comments to student blogs (in any language). At home, encourage your child to keep writing! Shopping lists, WeChat messages, birthday cards and family blogs are great authentic writing activities.

It is a joy to see our students blossoming into skillful, independent writers – and we’re only halfway through the year!

BISS Tweets for Humanity

is the new LITERACY.  

In 2016, it’s not enough for our children to be able to read and write.

Effective communication is the ability to create of a powerful message AND project it to a global audience.

FullSizeRender 21At BISS, we teach students to create text in many forms (written, verbal, images, films). They learn to write accurately for different purposes, using rhetorical and persuasive devices, and applying contrast, balance and multi-media techniques to enhance their message. They learn to make decisions about “temporary & private” vs. “public & permanent”, by considering the content, audience and intent of their message.

We also teach students to use networking tools such as blogs, Twitter, WeChat, Facebook, Vines, Instagram. (Or more often, the children teach us!) Actually, the tool is not important. The digital landscape is ever-changing. By next year, this list will be different. Remember MySpace?

However, by embracing social media in our classrooms, we have a very important goal. We support students to build learning networks.

Read on about the power of connectivity for 21st Century learners.
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Move over, Ms O’Dwyer!

Kindergarten stepped into the principal’s role last week while Ms O’Dwyer was away.

As part of an inquiry into how schools function, Kindergarten took advantage of Ms O’Dwyer’s absence to take charge of BISS!  Dressed in a jacket and pearls, they took their job very seriously! They sat up at the desk, solved important problems and typed on the computer.  Watch some of the best principals in BISS history explain their duties!

Their comments show an understanding of the interconnectedness of roles within human systems, and an awareness of life beyond their own class experiences.

Thanks for taking the lead, Kinder! Our school was in safe hands, indeed!

Student Leaders’ Spirits Soar

crazy hairThanks to our Gr 5 Student Leaders for organising Crazy Hair Day – a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate creativity, individuality and school spirit!

This is just one of many student-led initiatives, which make BISS a happy, united community of learning.

Look our for the Gr 5’s next leadership project: Lunchtime Safety Patrol!  Helpers and friends are headed our way!

Take a risk! Make a change!

happy new yearWelcome to 2016!

Have you made a new year’s resolution? We know that the best-laid plans often fail if we are overly ambitious. It’s common to try to change many things at once, causing frustration, failure and disappointment.

Teaching our children to make effective change in their own lives is an important, lifelong skill. As adults, we can help children take charge of their lives and control their own paths.

How? A great strategy is The Rule of 1.   (Read on to find out more.)
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School closed? Learning is OPEN!

Last week, I wrote about the power of digital communities at BISS.  And yet, I did not envisage how important these could be!  Just days later, Beijing schools encountered temporary closure, which was sad for students, teachers and parents alike.

learning is openBut, at BISS, learning, communication and connection kept our community thriving!

For 3 days, our devices did not stop buzzing. With great delight, we watched WeChat groups, class blogs and student blogs come alive with text, audio, images and videos of BISS students communicating their learning.

We saw children work on puppet shows, patterns, writing, reading, building, counting, cooking, dancing, research and more! Their minds were active and engaged.

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