Strelitz’s Summer 2024 Reading Roundup For IB® PYP Students

summer reading in IB School

At SIA, our goal is to help children take meaningful actions through their inquiries. These actions don’t need to be monumental but should be connected to their learning experiences, giving them a sense of purpose and allowing their voices to shine. This sense of empowerment can impact not just themselves but also their community and even globally.

To impart this to children, our IB elementary school introduces them to the six transdisciplinary themes of the International Baccalaureate® (IB®) Primary Years Programme (PYP) (ages 3 to 12). These themes are:

  • Who We Are
  • Where We Are In Place and Time
  • How We Express Ourselves
  • Sharing the Planet
  • How We Organize Ourselves
  • How the World Works

These themes are selected for their relevance to the real world and are described as transdisciplinary because they focus on issues across multiple subject areas. Introducing these concepts through stories helps children see these themes in practice. The following book list brings these ideas to life and can be easily integrated into various themes and our Learner Profile attributes. Click on the titles to link directly to Amazon, and check this blog post for more inspiration on student-led action and summer reading ideas.

Who We Are

Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt

“Fish in a Tree” is an empowering story about a young girl named Ally who struggles with dyslexia. Despite her challenges, she is bright and capable, often trying to hide her struggles by distracting her teachers and classmates. The narrative beautifully captures the essence of personal growth and discovering one’s true potential, tying in with the “Who We Are” theme of the PYP curriculum. Through Ally’s journey, students learn the importance of embracing their unique abilities and seeking help, forming a sense of self-awareness and resilience.

Where We Are in Place and Tim

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo takes readers on an adventure through the eyes of a porcelain rabbit. Once cherished by a little girl named Abilene, Edward finds himself lost and passed from person to person. Throughout his journey, Edward learns valuable lessons about love, loss, and self-discovery. This beautifully written tale offers deep insights into the human experience for all ages.

How We Express Ourselves

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

“Awkward” by Svetlana Chmakova is a heartfelt and humorous graphic novel that dives into the ups and downs of middle school life through the perspective of Peppi Torres. Starting at a new school, Peppi finds herself in a cringeworthy situation when a kind boy helps her gather her dropped belongings, only for her friends to start teasing her. In a moment of embarrassment, she reacts impulsively and regrets it immediately, facing the tough task of making things right. 

As she joins the art club and gets involved with the school newspaper, Peppi navigates the tricky social dynamics, rivalry, and personal growth. The story explores themes of self-confidence, open-mindedness, and the value of diverse skills. The charming illustrations and relatable scenarios make “Awkward” a fantastic addition to any conversation about self-expression and social interactions during summer reading activities for elementary students.

Sharing the Planet

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

“The One and Only Ivan” is a touching tale told from the perspective of Ivan, a gorilla who has spent years as an attraction in a run-down circus-themed mall. Ivan enjoys creating art and finds solace in his friendships with Bob, a stray dog, and Stella, an elderly elephant. However, the arrival of Ruby, a young elephant, inspires Ivan to question their confined existence and envision a better life for them all. 

The story unfolds through beautifully crafted prose poems that make it a captivating read. With themes of friendship, resilience, and the ethics of animal captivity, this Newbery Medal-winning book invites readers to engage in meaningful discussions about compassion and the importance of fighting for what is right.

How We Organize Ourselves

No Talking by Andrew Clements

“No Talking” is another one of our engaging summer activity books that begins with a boy named Dave, who becomes fascinated by the idea of silent protests. Inspired by the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent,” he embarks on an experiment to spend an entire day without talking. This leads to a spontaneous competition between the boys and girls at his school to see who can talk the least. 

The challenge brings unexpected reactions from their teachers and families, sparking a school-wide social experiment. Through this humorous and insightful tale, students explore themes of communication, cooperation, and the ethics of competition. “No Talking” encourages readers to reflect on everyday habits and the power of silence.

How the World Works

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro

In “Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows,” Zoey discovers that her mother can see and heal magical animals. When her mom leaves for a business trip, Zoey and her cat Sassafras must help a baby dragon survive. This book blends science concepts like safety, data recording, and experimenting with a single variable into a fantastical story that captures young readers’ imaginations. 

The narrative is simple and accompanied by illustrations, making it accessible and engaging. Zoey’s persistence and problem-solving make her an excellent role model for IB® children, showing them the value of trying different ideas to find solutions. This book, ideal for read-aloud sessions or independent reading, sets the stage for designing experiments and exploring scientific methods in a fun and relatable way.

Want more summer reading ideas? Contact Strelitz International Academy or schedule a visit for more PYP-perfect suggestions!

Save the Date for the Golf Tournament of the Year!

36th Annual Strelitz International Golf Tournament

The 36th Annual Strelitz International Golf Tournament, proudly known as the “Bob Josephberg Classic,” co-chaired by David Leon and Babbi Bangel, is set to be the highlight of the season on August 28, 2024, at the renowned Virginia Beach National Golf Club.

This golf tournament is the cornerstone of our fundraising efforts and a cherished tradition passionately embraced by the entire Tidewater community. Each year, the event draws over 100 players and 100 sponsors, raising $150,000 to support the students and families of the Strelitz International Academy.

This past school year, the Strelitz International Academy celebrated remarkable achievements. As a result of our school’s exceptional Jewish education and International Baccalaureate®curriculum, enrollment has soared to record levels since our move to the Sandler Family Campus. 

Strelitz International Golf Tournament      Strelitz International - an IB School Golf Tournament

Serving students from infancy through fifth grade, Strelitz is a private preschool and Virginia Beach elementary school that lays a solid foundation for future leaders, deeply rooted in the values and support of the Tidewater Jewish community. The 36th Annual Golf Tournament presents a unique opportunity for businesses and individuals to make a significant impact. Sponsorship opportunities range from $400 to $10,500, catering to a variety of giving levels. The event is open to all golf enthusiasts and volunteers, promising a day packed with excitement, including a captivating silent auction and a vibrant awards reception featuring a delectable kosher dinner.

Your participation is more than just a game; it’s an investment in the future of our children and the strength of our community. Join us for a day of camaraderie, competition, and community spirit. We can’t wait to see you there! Together, we can make a lasting difference.

For more information on how you can sponsor or participate in the tournament, please contact Carin Simon, Director of Advancement, at 757.424.4327 or csimon@strelitzacademy.org. You can schedule a  visit to our Virginia Beach elementary school and private preschool through our tournament site: onecau.se/siagolf.

Strelitz International Academy (SIA) Awarded Prestigious VAIS Accreditation

Strelitz academy staff

Strelitz International Academy (SIA), is an independent school in Virginia Beach that serves students from infants and toddlers (six weeks to 24 months) through kindergarten and up to 5th grade. Strelitz has earned full accreditation from the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS).

Founded in 1973, VAIS is the leader in advancing and advocating for independent school education in Virginia. The VAIS accreditation program is one of a select few recognized at the international level through the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA). VAIS also is recognized and approved by the Virginia Board of Education through the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE).

Strelitz International Academy (SIA) was established in 1955 with a vision to provide exceptional education to the Hampton Roads area. As the first Primary Years International Baccalaureate (IB®) World School in the area, SIA offers a specialized curriculum that is both challenging and globally focused. The academy prioritizes inquiry-based learning to inspire and encourage students to explore within and beyond classroom walls. With a diverse student body and a dedication to building a rich, inclusive community, SIA works to nurture the next generation of compassionate and knowledgeable global citizens.

“Parents can be sure that when choosing a VAIS-accredited school for their children that the school has been through an intense period of self-reflection and evaluation which strengthens the entire institution,” said Betsy Hunroe, Executive Director of VAIS. The voluntary accreditation process is a rigorous undertaking involving a comprehensive self-study, including input from all school constituents. A team of peer evaluators from VAIS member schools spends several days on campus reviewing the self-study report, documentation, and curriculum; meeting with administrators, trustees, students, parents, and teachers; and observing campus life. The team concludes the in-depth visit with a detailed written assessment. The finalized report is then submitted for accreditation approval by the VAIS Board of Directors.

“At Strelitz International Academy, we take great pride in our commitment to excellence, and accreditation serves as validation of our ongoing efforts to maintain and exceed the highest standards of educational quality,” said Heather Moore, Head of School. 

“Our VAIS visit presented an opportunity for us to showcase the exceptional work of our dedicated faculty, staff, and students. It was a chance for us to celebrate our achievements and reflect on areas for growth and improvement. I encourage every member of our community to take pride in our collective accomplishments and to continue supporting our shared vision of educational excellence. Together, we will ensure that Strelitz International Academy remains a beacon of excellence in education, setting a standard that distinguishes us from others in the region.” 

To learn more about SIA, Contact us or  Schedule a visit. To learn more about VAIS accreditation and its member schools, visit www.vais.org.

Why Children Should Play Outside More This Summer

A girl is playing outside in summer

Do you remember the times as a child when you would practically beg Mom and Dad to let you play with your neighbors across the street? Bicycles and scooters gliding along the sidewalk, a loose ball (or two) thrown over the fence, and the oh-so-limitless trees to climb?

Life was much simpler when the most thrilling event of the day was the aftermath of an intense game of Manhunt or Parkour. Now, times have gone digital.

When light knee scrapes from running too hard have become sore thumbs from scrolling too hard, it may mean it’s time for a change for our little ones. Summer is the perfect time for kids to step away from screens and have fun in the fresh air.

Though it’s easy to let them play with tablets and video games, it’s essential for their growth that they get outside and play. As one of the core beliefs of the IB® Primary Years Program, children who spend more time outside engage in physical activities, build valuable life skills, and feel happier and healthier.

Teachers’ Perspectives

  • 97% of teachers believe outdoor play is critical for children to reach their full potential.
  • 88% of teachers say that children are happier after playing outdoors.
  • 88% of teachers report that children are more engaged in learning when lessons take place outdoors.

Source: Outdoor Classroom Day 2017 survey

Outdoor Play is Critical To Childhood Development. Here’s How:

Physical Health Benefits

Those activities outside weren’t just fun—they were also secretly keeping us healthy. When kids run, jump, and climb, they build stronger muscles and bones and even improve cardiovascular health. Unlike sedentary screen time, outdoor play helps kids stay fit, maintain a healthy weight, and develop those all-important motor skills—all in the fresh air. Strelitz International Academy, one of the top private elementary schools in Virginia Beach, emphasizes the importance of physical activity as part of its holistic approach to child development.

Mental and Emotional Well-being

When kids spend time outside, they’re exposed to sunlight, which boosts their Vitamin D levels. This helps regulate their mood and improves their sleep quality.

Nature itself can be anxiolytic (therapeutic), lowering stress, anxiety, and even symptoms of ADHD in green outdoor settings. When kids play outside in an unstructured environment, they have the freedom to use their imagination and express themselves, which builds their emotional resilience. So, letting your kids explore and have fun outside isn’t just about keeping them busy—it’s helping them grow into happier and healthier individuals.

Social Skills Development

Children who play outside with friends gain important social skills that help them in everyday life. Playing together teaches them how to talk and listen, work in teams, and solve disagreements. Group games and activities show the importance of sharing and being kind to others. These skills are key to making and keeping good friendships as they grow up. Plus, seeing them have fun and connect with others is a great joy for any parent! This focus on collaboration and communication skills is fundamental in IB® elementary schools.

Academic and Cognitive Growth

Outdoor play is fun and great for cognitive development. When kids explore nature and use their senses, it boosts their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities—playing outside sparks creativity, which can help them perform better in school. This is extremely important, as evidenced in the 2011 paper, The Creativity Crisis: The Decrease in Creative Thinking Scores on the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking, which showed creativity on a ‘steady and persistent decline’ while IQ increased.

How to Encourage Outdoor Play

Create an Adventurous Environment

Making your backyard or local park a fun and exciting place for your kids doesn’t have to be complicated. Add simple things like a swing set, sandbox, or small garden. These little additions can fire up your child’s imagination and encourage them to play outside more. You can also plan fun family activities like scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, and nature crafts. It’s a great way to make outdoor time more engaging and enjoyable for everyone!

Balance Screen Time

According to The Kaiser Family Foundation, children ages 8-18 get an average of 7.5 hours of screen time every day. This is a problem because the Journal of Preventative Medicine found that children aged 2-17 who spend 7+ hours of screen time a day are twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety or depression than those who only spend an hour a day.

Balancing screen time can be a challenge, but setting clear boundaries is crucial to encourage more outdoor play. Start by establishing tech-free zones in your home, like the dining room and bedrooms. You can also set specific times of the day when screens are off-limits, like during meals and an hour before bedtime.

Be a Role Model

Children often mimic their parents’ behavior, so show enthusiasm for outdoor activities by participating in them yourself. From gardening to cycling to a simple walk in the park, your active participation will inspire your children to join in and develop a love for the outdoors. They’ll naturally want to follow along when they see you having fun and enjoying these activities. Plus, spending this quality time together strengthens your bond and helps create lasting memories. It’s the little things that count.

Plan Outdoor Family Activities

Incorporating regular outdoor activities into your family routine can make a big difference, and it’s easier than you might think. Start with weekend hikes to explore nearby trails—it’s a fun way to get some exercise and experience nature together. Alternatively, plan beach outings where your kids can build sandcastles, splash in the waves, and soak up some sun. Even a simple visit to the zoo can turn into an educational adventure, sparking curiosity and wonder about animals and the environment.

Have a Happy and Healthy Summer Break!

Let’s make this summer unforgettable. Contact us at 757.424.4327 to sign up for the 2024-2025 school year at Strelitz International Academy, a renowned IB® school, and give your child the best start to a happy and healthy future! Schedule a visit

 

Why are Elementary Schools Embracing the IB® Curriculum?

Using inquiry skills to build a functioning paper airplane in STEAMinist Monday club.

Have you heard of the IB®  program? 

If you live in or near Virginia Beach and have children approaching elementary school age, you might have encountered this term in your research. The IB®, or International Baccalaureate curriculum, is gaining popularity in schools across the US for good reason.

Consider the statistics: between 2018 and 2022, the number of IB®  programs worldwide increased by 34.2%. Now, there are over 8,000 programs offered in more than 5,700 schools across 160 countries. The IB®  curriculum is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, with the USA seeing a significant rise in new IB®  programs, reflecting a growing interest in this holistic and future-oriented approach to education.

Let’s explore why International Baccalaureate elementary schools are trending and how they can benefit your child’s education. Remember, Strelitz is the only IB®  elementary school in our area, Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads. 

What is the IB®  Curriculum?

The IB®  program is an internationally recognized educational framework that fosters well-rounded, globally-minded learners. Beyond just a curriculum, IB®  is a philosophy emphasizing critical thinking, inquiry-based learning, and strong interpersonal skills. The IB®  program is offered at various levels, from the Primary Years Programme (PYP) for elementary school to the Diploma Programme (DP) for high school.
     

Benefits of the IB®  PYP for Elementary School Students

Here’s a closer look at how the curriculum in an International Baccalaureate elementary school can benefit your child:

Who We Are- Evening of the Arts

Who We Are- Evening of the Arts

Science with oreos!

Science with oreos!

SIA's caring students!

SIA’s caring students!

 

Developing Strong Academic Skills

The rigorous PYP curriculum covers all core subjects, including math, language arts, science, and social studies. However, it goes beyond rote memorization, encouraging students to apply their knowledge and develop critical thinking skills. Studies by the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO®) show that students in IB®  programs consistently score higher on standardized tests than their non-IB®  counterparts.

Fostering Global Awareness

The PYP curriculum emphasizes understanding different cultures and perspectives. Students learn about the world around them, fostering empathy and a sense of global citizenship. In today’s increasingly interconnected world, these skills are essential for success.

Building Strong Communication Skills

The PYP program encourages effective communication through writing, speech, and active listening. Students learn to express themselves clearly and confidently. According to a Stanford Graduate School of Education study, strong communication skills are among the top predictors of success in college and beyond.

Encouraging Creativity and Problem-Solving

Inquiry-based learning fosters creativity as students explore topics and find solutions. The PYP program provides opportunities for students to express themselves through various creative outlets. The World Economic Forum identifies creativity as one of the most important skills for the future workforce.

Developing Social and Emotional Skills

The PYP program recognizes the importance of social and emotional learning. Students develop collaboration skills, learn conflict-resolution strategies, and cultivate empathy for others. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) reports that social and emotional learning programs can improve academic achievement, social skills, and emotional well-being.

Investing in Your Child’s Future

The rise of IB®  private schools is a powerful trend with far-reaching implications. It reflects a growing shift toward education that prioritizes critical thinking, global awareness, and lifelong learning skills—essential for success in the 21st century. As parents and educators, understanding the benefits of the IB®  program can help you make a confident choice for your child’s education.

Ready to give your child a head start? Visit Strelitz International Academy, the only IB®  curriculum elementary school in Virginia Beach. Schedule a tour today and discover how a world-class IB®  education can prepare your child for success in a globalized world.

The Early Years Benefits of Sandbox Play

Two girls are playing sandbox paly

Sandbox play is more than just a childhood pastime—it’s a catalyst for multifaceted growth in young learners. At Strelitz International Academy, we’ve witnessed the strong impact of this timeless activity on our Early Years students. In our new sandbox, children engage in collaborative play that fosters essential social skills. They negotiate, communicate, and cooperate as they build together, laying the groundwork for future interactions and relationships both in and out of the classroom.

Moreover, the sandbox serves as a place for imagination to flourish. Within its confines, children become architects of their own worlds, shaping landscapes and narratives with boundless creativity. This unstructured play environment encourages experimentation and problem-solving, nurturing cognitive development in a way that structured activities cannot. As they explore the possibilities of the sandbox, our Early Years students expand their imaginative horizons and develop the resilience to overcome challenges—an essential skill for navigating the complexities of the world around them.

Beyond its cognitive and social benefits, sandbox play offers a sensory-rich experience that is integral to holistic development. The tactile sensation of sand under their fingers, the warmth of the sun on their skin, and the sounds of laughter fill their sensory landscape, enhancing their sensory processing skills and overall sensory awareness. Through the simple act of playing in the sandbox, children profoundly engage with the world, cultivating empathy, self-expression, and a deeper understanding of themselves and others. Contact SIA today and schedule a visit.  Call us at 757-424-4327 or email at astpierre@strelitzacademy.org for a learning journey unlike any other.

Three Reasons Why Strelitz International Academy Is the Best Choice for Your First Grader

A girl is writing on a paper in school

Picking the right school for your little one is a massive step. It’s not just about the building or the books; it’s about setting the tone for their whole learning adventure. If you’re in Virginia Beach, near Norfolk or Chesapeake, and thinking about where to start that adventure, Strelitz International Academy (SIA) is your answer. Here’s why it’s a top pick for families with first graders:

1. We are the only International Baccalaureate® (IB®) school in the area.

A girl showing her writing on the paper

A common question we hear from parents is, “What age should you start in 1st grade?” At SIA, we traditionally see children entering first grade around six or seven, ensuring they are developmentally ready to engage with the challenging and enriching International Baccalaureate® Primary Years Programme (IB® PYP). As the only IB® World School in the area, SIA offers a charming beginning to your child’s education right from infancy. We provide a nurturing, safe environment focusing on sensory activities, storytime, and interactive play, blending care with early learning perfectly.

As part of the IB® Way, our certified teachers prioritize each child’s natural curiosity, guiding them through hands-on activities that make learning exciting and meaningful. From the start, SIA children are engaged in a curriculum that includes language arts, science, math, and more, all while being infused with Jewish cultural values and Hebrew language learning. But it doesn’t stop there – music, art, and P.E. contribute to a well-rounded development.

Our program in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk encourages children to see themselves as competent learners and valuable members of a caring community. Enrollment is open to families of all faiths, and our graduates are known for smoothly transitioning into either top independent schools or continuing their IB® education, fully prepared for the challenges of a fast-paced world. SIA is the sole provider of this internationally recognized framework for first graders in the Primary Years Program (PYP), making us a unique and forward-thinking choice for your child’s education.

2. We use renowned curriculums like the Suzuki Method.

Just as parents guide their child’s first words, they actively participate in their musical journey as part of their 1st-grade learning objectives at Strelitz International Academy. Attending lessons together and acting as “home teachers” during the week creates a supportive environment. You might even learn to play alongside your child, understanding their progress firsthand.

The early years in our Suzuki Violin Program are like fertile soil for growing skills. While formal training can start around age three or four, listening to music should begin at birth. Familiarity with pieces from the Suzuki repertoire ensures that your child recognizes them instantly. Like learning new words, constant repetition is key. Children don’t discard words—they incorporate them into their vocabulary. Similarly, our PYP Suzuki students build their musical repertoire gradually, mastering each step.

Just as sincere praise motivates language development, it fuels musical progress. Each child learns at their own pace, celebrating small achievements. Encouraging a supportive atmosphere among peers fosters generosity and cooperation. Beyond private lessons, group sessions allow children to learn from and inspire each other. These shared experiences enhance their musical journey.

Suzuki’s pieces present technical challenges within the context of music itself. It’s like using language for communication rather than dry grammar exercises. And just as children learn to talk before reading, Suzuki students develop basic technical competence before diving into sheet music. Hear more about the Suzuki method and other topics on education, student advocacy, and parental challenges with S.I.A.: The Podcast!

3. Our classrooms set first graders up for growth.

Strelitz International Academy is designed to enrich and inspire first graders at every corner.  That’s why our classrooms are designed to feel like a second home, filled with natural light and equipped with child-friendly amenities like bathrooms and sinks. Our indoor and outdoor play areas offer safe spaces for children to engage in physical activities and socialize, both essential for motor skill development and forging friendships.

Learning goes beyond the basics as part of SIA’s goals for first graders. With a curriculum that includes music, library visits, and physical education, we ensure our students receive a holistic education. Additional facilities like the Cooking Center & Outdoor Learning Garden and a state-of-the-art technology program with Chromebooks, ActiveBoards, and coding and robotics clubs ignite creativity and promote critical thinking.

From the advanced science program starting in kindergarten to global learning opportunities through field trips, virtual experiences, and community service, we prepare our first graders to grow into curious, confident, and compassionate learners.

Call us and Schedule a visit today and discover why SIA is the best choice for your child’s growth and success.

SIA- The IB® Way

students in the classroom

In a world that demands creativity, critical thinking, and empathy, the International Baccalaureate (IB)® program at Strelitz International Academy (SIA) offers a holistic education. For parents seeking to foster academic excellence, character development, and global citizenship in their children, the IB® Primary Years Programme (PYP) at SIA is an excellent choice!

At the heart of IB® education is encouraging students to inquire and explore their natural curiosity. Rather than simply absorbing information, SIA IB® students are empowered to question, investigate, and seek answers. This fosters a love for learning that extends beyond the classroom and into all aspects of life. In SIA’s nurturing, collaborative environment, creativity flourishes, with students encouraged to think outside the box and explore innovative solutions to real-world problems.

In the IB® PYP at SIA, students learn academic subjects and develop essential communication skills. They are taught to express themselves effectively, including through multiple languages. At SIA, our students learn Hebrew starting in Kindergarten. This emphasis on communication enhances academic achievement and equips students with the ability to connect with people from diverse backgrounds, fostering understanding and empathy.

IB® education goes beyond rote learning; it cultivates critical thinking and a global mindset. SIA students are encouraged to consider multiple perspectives, challenging their assumptions and broadening their worldviews. By engaging in rigorous inquiry and exploration, IB® students develop a deeper understanding of complex issues and learn to approach problems creatively and open-mindedly.

One of the hallmarks of IB® education is the emphasis on action. At the end of each unit of inquiry, students are challenged to apply their learning to real-life situations and take action to positively impact their community. Through action projects, SIA IB® students learn that they have the power to effect change and contribute meaningfully to society, instilling in them a sense of agency and responsibility.

IB® education involves the entire Strelitz school community in a shared mission of fostering compassion, kindness, and empathy. By celebrating our common humanity and embracing diversity, SIA creates an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and supported. This is rooted in the belief that education can build a better and more peaceful world—a principle embodied in the concept of “tikkun olam,” repairing the world. 

Central to IB® education is developing the ten learner profile traits, encompassing attributes such as being principled, reflective, and caring. Through intentional teaching and modeling of these traits, SIA instills in students the values and virtues essential for success in both academic and personal endeavors. By nurturing character alongside intellect, the IB® PYP at SIA prepares our students for academic achievement and a life of purpose and fulfillment.

Discover the unique benefits of the IB® Primary Years Programme for your child by booking a free tour with Strelitz International Academy. Contact at 757.424.4327 or email at csimon@strelitzacademy.org.

 

Strelitz International Academy and the Suzuki Method

Music Insrtments

​In the exciting world of music education, the Suzuki Method is a revolutionary approach that has transformed how young learners engage with violin mastery. Developed by Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki in the mid-20th century, this method is a unique teaching technique and philosophy that believes every child can excel in music through nurturing, repetition, and a supportive environment. At Strelitz International Academy (SIA), all our students learn how to play the violin in Kindergarten using the Suzuki Method. 

​The benefits of the Suzuki Method include developing a keen sense of pitch, rhythm, and musical expression. Learning through listening, as students do with their native languages, is central to the Suzuki Method. Before our IB® students learn to read the music, they internalize the musical language. 

Parental involvement is a massive part of the Suzuki Method, as parents act as the “home teacher” for their children. Lastly, repetition is vital to achieving mastery. Instead of moving quickly from one piece to another, students focus on a small set of pieces, revisiting them regularly. This deliberate practice fosters a deep understanding of the music and enables students to master fundamental techniques before progressing to more complex compositions.

Due to the Suzuki Method at Strelitz International Academy, our PYP students have enhanced cognitive development, discipline, and focus, as well as confidence and self-expression.

​The Suzuki Method has proven to be a powerful and effective approach to introducing SIA IB® scholars to the enchanting world of music. By embracing the principles of early exposure, active listening, parental involvement, and deliberate repetition, the Suzuki Method not only teaches the violin but also instills valuable life skills, starting with our youngest PYP students. As we witness the harmonious melodies produced by these young musicians, it becomes evident that the Suzuki Method is not just a method—it’s a transformative journey of musical discovery. Contact us or Schedule a visit!

Innovative Learning Through Technology in IB® Education

A girl is watching tablet

Technology is not just a tool, but a catalyst for transforming education. In IB® schools, technology is integrated into the curriculum to enhance learning, foster creativity, and develop global citizenship. In this blog post, we at Strelitz International Academy (SIA) will share some examples of how technology is used in IB® education to create innovative learning experiences for students that are fun, engaging, and meaningful.

Technology as a Medium of Inquiry and Expression

One of the key features of IB® education is the inquiry-based approach, which encourages students to ask questions, explore topics, and construct their own understanding. Technology in schools provides a medium for students to access information, communicate their ideas, and collaborate with others.

For example, in the SIA Primary Years Program (PYP), students use digital tools such as Activboards, Smartboards, or Epson BrightLink projectors to research, create, and present their projects. Beyond technology in the classroom, students can access computers in our library and dedicated computer lab. Our learners attend weekly computer classes to learn digital citizenship, keyboarding, documentation, and design. With digital projects that break down topics like the lifecycle of a butterfly, they can express themselves creatively and artistically.

Technology as a Means of Connecting and Collaborating

Another big feature of IB® education is the emphasis on global awareness and intercultural understanding. Technology fosters a sense of community and belonging among students, teachers, and parents. For example, the EY4 Program has a cherished tradition known as the “Family of the Week” project.

In this post-pandemic era, when some families physically can’t be in the classroom, this initiative has become even more significant. With the help of technology, parents, siblings, and extended family members have joined virtually on Google Meets, becoming part of our classroom community. These moments of connection have allowed students to learn about different careers, family traditions, hobbies, and much more directly from their classmates’ families. Watch this video to learn more about the Early Years Program!

Technology as a Source of Inspiration and Innovation

The ultimate goal of IB® education is to inspire and empower students to become lifelong learners and positive contributors to society. Technology provides a source of inspiration and innovation for students to pursue their passions, interests, and goals. For example, our school celebrated SIA STEM Day on February 27th, 2023, a day dedicated to expanding the horizons of our students from kindergarten through fifth grade through hands-on activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Explored through the lens of sports, students engaged in various activities, such as bobsledding and basketball, with each event teaching scientific and technological principles. They built models, learned about the impact of potential and kinetic energy on motion, and effectively applied the IB® Approaches to Learning in Thinking, Communication, Self-Management, and Research.

Call us at 7574244327 , email csimon@strelitzacademy.org, or Schedule a visit with Strelitz International Academy today to learn more about how we celebrate IB® technology in education!

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