It has been exciting to watch the evolution of WeChat as a tool for communication and community-building at BISS this year. WeChat is a social networking app used by over 650 million people in China, with 1.1 billion active accounts.
Thanks to dedicated Class Parents, who initially set up, moderated and posted content, BISS now has 7 thriving grade level communities. (And more! WeChat is also used extensively by the Athletics Department, the PTA, and many students in informal social & academic groups.)
In the Elementary School, the power of instant translation, just-in-time reminders and media sharing has strengthened our sense of belonging and connection within class communities.
Teachers have enriched the experience, by posting photos and videos throughout the day, creating a real-time window into life at BISS. The separation between home and school is ever diminishing, as parents gain insight into inquiry learning, appreciate joyous moments, see discoveries happen, and understand their child’s day-to-day experiences.
This Grade 3 student can solve Rubik’s Cubes of all sizes, shapes and complexities in seconds.
His talent amazed and delighted his friends, when he demonstrated it as part of a home learning task. Since then, Simon has taught patterning, logic, algorithms and manual dexterity to his classmates so they, too, have become successful 3D puzzlers.
Mathematics is a child-centred, diverse and always engaging experience in Grade 3! Thanks Simon and Ms Bernadette!
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.
But, 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.
Let’s talk about homework in the Elementary School!
At BISS, we make evidence-based decisions about the education of your child. Research confirms that hours devoted to traditional homework do not improve achievement in the elementary years.
In fact, too much homework (or the wrong kind of homework) is actually detrimental to academic progress, as it causes stress, reduces motivation and consumes precious time which should be spent on brain-boosting activities (such as reading, research, play and conversation).
Therefore, homework at BISS is not “busy work”. It should not take hours nor cause tears at bedtime. Read more about our goals, grade-level examples and tips for parents. Continue reading →