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!

Who We Are Today in the Primary Years General Studies?

Children in Elementary School

The story of Who We Are in Primary Years General Studies at Strelitz International Academy is truly an interesting one. From Multiple Intelligences and Understanding by Design to Inquiry, our general studies curriculum has always been designed to educate our students as individual active learners based on the research of best educational practices. During our journey to discover Who We Are over the last decade, our young scholars have had the opportunity to participate in our Innovation Celebrations and Tiger Games. Caine’s Arcade inspired students to create their own. One year, they raced boats made from recycled items and cardboard boxes across the JCC pool. In other years, students designed marble runs and Rube Goldberg machines. With the individual learner at the forefront, our international baccalaureate curriculum model shifted to Project Based Learning. Student engagement continued to exceed expectations and was evident when grade levels collaborated to create an outdoor learning space.

IB PYP Programme

Today, Strelitz International Academy boasts of being the first IB® Primary Years Program in Hampton Roads. The Primary Years general studies at SIA refer to the core subjects of mathematics, language arts, and social sciences, along with specialties in music and art, physical education, library, and technology taught in our kindergarten through 5th-grade classes. The learning environment we have constructed naturally lends itself to the core values of our school and the IB® Learner Profile Traits. Our general studies curriculum is designed to nurture holistic development in young learners and can be expanded as we grow as an IB® PYP World School. Our course objectives promote inquiry-based learning, where our young scholars explore, question, and construct their understanding of the world around them. It encourages critical thinking, creativity, and student agency (self-awareness and independence). Inquiry in an IB® PYP World School is not just a teaching method; it’s a way of thinking and acting while developing international-mindedness and using foundational skills for real-world problem-solving and discovery.

Primary Years General Studies

Our students thrive in our transdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. General studies teachers of core subjects and specialties also collaborate with Judaics Studies and Hebrew teachers to bring meaningful learning experiences into the classroom. Our students extend their understanding of single-subject objectives through activities in their Units of Inquiry, hands-on discovery, community outreach, our STEM Olympics, and our PYP Exhibition.

Walking into one of our general studies classrooms, you will see students researching, creating, and exploring broad concepts with a global lens. SIA teachers are facilitators of learning and encourage student curiosity while ensuring they have foundations in core subject areas. Our accomplished faculty respects the individual learning styles of all our scholars and helps them discover who they are as they become confident in their interests and skills.

To learn more about how we mold the next generation of international learners, contact us about our IB Early Years curriculum, Primary Years Program, and more! 
   

Summertime at the Strelitz International Academy

Early Years 2 student, Keren Shechter, uses shiny paper to create a paper plate rainbow fish.

Rainbows, rocket ships and red, white and blue spirit are just some of the themes that filled our classrooms this summer! Our summer session at the Strelitz International Academy has been busy both inside and outside of the classroom. Early Years students have experienced swimming at the JCC’s swimming pool daily and water play to cool off on the hot, sunny days! To keep up the excitement and engagement throughout the summer, a new theme is introduced weekly. Our creative educators plan daily lessons and activities that follow the week’s themes and are sure to put a smile on our students’ faces!

We commenced our summer program with Animal Kingdom week. Students in Morah Jamie Jones and Morah Erika Ferrell’s toddler class enjoyed fun crafts and sensory activities. Students engaged their fine motor skills while using stampers and paintbrushes to create lions. The toddlers also used tweezers to “rescue” animals from hay. Despite it being a rainy first week, the students used their imagination and had a wonderful time!

Early Years 2 student, Keren Shechter, uses shiny paper to create a paper plate rainbow fish.

Toddler 4 student, Everett Booth, holding a lion he “rescued” from the hay.

Toddler 4 student, Everett Booth, holding a lion he “rescued” from the hay.

Next up was Under the Sea week! Morah Rachel Helms and Morah Lorena Smithson’s Early Years 2 class read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. After reading the story, the students constructed paper plate rainbow fish and used sparkly paper to cut up and apply as the shimmering scales. Helms and Smithson created a beach-themed sensory bin with sand, ocean animal figures and tools to build sandcastles.  The weather was perfect, and students and staff had a great time!

To kick off the month of July, our theme was Red, White and Blue! Although it was a shorter week due to the holiday, it was still full of exciting activities. Toddlers in Morah Katie Norman and Morah Teresa Briscoe’s class explored their artistic expression. The toddlers used dish washing brushes as their painting instruments. Using different brushes for each color, they created bright and colorful fireworks on colored construction paper. This was a new and unique experience for our students, and they will be tying it into another themed week this summer!

Although the summer at SIA is quickly approaching an end, we are looking forward to the last few weeks and the creative experiences the themes will bring. Whether it be blasting off in a rocket ship or a color run for Color Madness week, we are confident that our educators will bring enthusiasm and participation to our classrooms. We hope everyone enjoys the rest of the summer!

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