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!

IB Professional Development Day at SIA

SIA faculty and administrators attended the IB® Virtual Conference

Strelitz International Academy recently held an International Baccalaureate (IB®) Professional Development Day for the whole school, led by SIA faculty and administrators who attended the IB® Virtual Conference held in early December 2020. The conference, titled “Reimagine the Future,” was the first of its kind, virtually welcoming more than 4,500 passionate educators and inspiring leaders from 110 countries across the globe.

In addition to keynote speakers and topic experts providing insights and inspiration, there were a total of 77 breakout sessions for virtual conference visitors to attend. Topics covered the Primary Years Programme, the Middle Years Programme, Diploma Programme, Career-related Programme, Cross-programme, Leadership, and Research.

The three keynote speakers included Kiran Bir Sethi, who presented “Human by Chance. HumanE by Design,” Graham Brown-Martin’s “Beyond tomorrow,” and Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, who lectured on “Leadership from the inside out.” These impactful speeches highlighted the importance educators play in creating learning environments that maximize students’ potential, stimulate innovation, and forge strong and long-lasting relationships with others.

The topic expert lectures urged conference attendees to re-evaluate their perceptions about teaching to find new strategies that would shape the future of learning. Some of the topics presented included, “Is our world really changing? Diversity and Inclusion in 2021” by Roy Gluckman; “Transform pedagogy, transform learning, transform education” by Chang Wathall; “Learning together while apart: Collaborative learning in the COVID era” by Daniel Wilson; “Practical digital wellbeing, or how to stay sane after eight hours of teaching on Zoom” by Dr. Anastasia Dedyukhina; “Building student agency through needs-based support plans” by Shelley Moore; and “Radical self-care as a tool to care radically for humanity” by Jamilah Pitts.

Considering this was a world-wide conference spanning two dozen time zones, the logistics involved to make sure attendees could have access to all of the information presented was incredible. To make it easier for people who could not attend a break-out session at 4:00 a.m. in their particular time zone, all sessions were available on-demand after airing so everyone could have access to them at any time.

Based on all of the information that our attendees came back with, our IB® Professional Development Day allowed us to review and share our new Assessment Policy, Formative versus Summative Assessments, rubrics, student portfolios, student reflections, inquiry into how concepts drive transdisciplinarity, and International Mindfulness.

This was a fantastic reminder for us all that education never stops. And Strelitz International Academy will continue to provide the best elementary school education possible for our students to help incite a life-long love of learning.

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