Early Years 3 Goes on a Bear Hunt

bear hunt in school

Early Years 3 students at Strelitz International Academy gathered their binoculars and maps and went on their very own bear hunt! In Morah Lavette Ricks’ class, students were inspired by the story “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen and expressed how they would like to go on a bear hunt at their school. On November 7, 2023, Ricks brought the story to life and created the experience for her students right in the Early Years hallway.

mud themed sensory table in school

Early Years 3 students and teacher Lavette Ricks explore a “mud” themed sensory table to find and count bears.

To start this engaging lesson, Ricks introduced the story to her students, as well as the adapted song version sung by The Kiboomers. Because the text is predictable and the rhythm is catchy, the students developed creative-thinking skills to dramatize the story over a few days. As a class, Ricks focused on the prepositions in the story, such as over, under, and through. Next, the students used critical thinking skills to list what they might need in each scenario. As a class, they analyzed the list and started preparing.  Each child designed their own binoculars and special map to navigate to the cave. The maps included the elements mentioned in the story, such as tall, wavy grass, a big river, mud, and their end location: a cave.

Outside of the classroom, Ricks set up each site. The first scene was tall, wavy grass. The students enjoyed a sensory experience of pushing through green streamers. Next, there was a big river, and with the help of blue streamers, students had to “swim” their way through. There were even some stuffed animal friends who joined them on their courageous journey! The third obstacle was mud. To create this scene, Ricks used a sensory table and brown paper, which hid colorful Baby Bear Counters. As students sorted through the “mud,” they counted and collected the bears they found, which tied in with their math skills. And finally, what is a bear hunt without a bear? Students made their way to a “dark cave,” and inside were two stuffed bears! Just like the story, the kids spotted the bears and ran all the way back to their classroom.

At Strelitz International Academy, our mentality is teaching students to go beyond the book. It starts in our Early Years program and will follow them throughout their educational journey. We hope our EY3 students inspire you to grab your map and binoculars and create a bear hunt of your own!  Schedule a visit!

Values vs. Academics: Finding the Balance with Elementary Education

Filed trip

A well-rounded individual who excels in personal goals and external goals has to be nurtured into being at a young age. Just like we learn languages, math, history, etc. we also have to learn empathy, compassion, critical thinking, etc. It is only with values-based and academics-based education that we can mold our children into well-rounded individuals. At Strelitz International Academy, we believe that finding the right balance between academics and values is important to the development of your child’s elementary education.

Values-Based Elementary Education

A values-based education has the objective of creating good citizenship in individuals and society. Through the elementary education model, students develop personally, globally, and spiritually. At SIA, we teach a number of values in addition to traditional academics. The aim of our values-based elementary education is to create children who grow to be:

  • Inquirers
  • Knowledgeable
  • Risk-takers
  • Principled
  • Thinkers
  • Communicators
  • Caring
  • Balanced
  • Open-Minded
  • Reflective

These are all key values of well-rounded and productive members of society.

Academics-Based Elementary Education

Values-based education is a great way to create emotionally intelligent students, but they still need a traditional education if they want to excel in our society. That is why we incorporate values-based learning into standard academics-based learning. Academics are important, they teach us history, math, language, and give us outlets to express ourselves and explore our talents. However, strictly learning academics can leave holes in your child’s overall development.

In general, academics were left to be learned at school and values were learned in the home. However, children have a difficult time using and integrating the values they learned at home if they are not reinforced and taught at school as well.

Balancing Values and Academics

Both values-based and academic-based academics have their strengths and weaknesses. It is only by balancing these two learning models that we can create well-rounded and compassionate global citizens. By introducing and reinforcing these values in an academic setting, students learn to use these values in addition to their academics to solve problems. At Strelitz International Academy we do just that. Students will learn at an accelerated pace the typical academic subjects such as language arts, math, social studies, science, technology, P.E., etc. However, they will also learn values and learn how to be compassionate and proactive citizens.

Within each of these academic subjects, we make sure to include and teach the values that will help them become successful. Within our social studies program, we take the time to ensure they understand respect for democratic ideals and give them a sense of conviction that they can make a difference. Our math program works not only on numbers but on problem solving. Children are given the opportunity to work with others and use technology to solve problems. And in their language arts studies students learn fine motor skills.

Values and Academics at Strelitz International Academy

At SIA, we take the time to develop your child’s academic education and their personal development education. Our ultimate mission is to “promote a social and global consciousness that encompasses a profound respect for all humanity.” You can read more about our primary years (elementary education) program on our website.

Are you looking for a balanced values and academics elementary education for your child? We are currently enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year, and would love to welcome your child to SIA. To find out more and schedule a campus tour, please call 757-424-4327. Find out what other parents have to say about SIA here.

Going From an IB Program to Another Program

Students Learning at IB PYP School

Moving can be a very stressful experience for young children. Making new friends, meeting new teachers and getting used to a new routine.

When getting ready to relocate to a new area, one of the things you can do to make the transition a little easier for your children is to try to find a good school that will provide them with an environment that is similar to the school they were in previously. Many schools do virtual tours with photo and informational slideshows to give you a good idea of the philosophy and program curriculum.

If your child is currently enrolled in an International Baccalaureate® (IB) program elementary school in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake, you’ll want to find another IB® Primary Year Programme (PYP) school in your new location. If one is not available, look for a private school with small classes sizes, preferably that uses inquiry-based education.

For students who are not currently in an IB® PYP school, the International Baccalaureate (IB®) program is an inquiry-based educational system that seeks to develop the child as a whole. This means their education is formulated to both scholastics and inner growth. For a child that is going from a traditional educational format, such as what they received in a public school, the IB® PYP format is more about learning by experiences and asking questions rather than purely memorizing information presented in books and classroom lectures.

While a child going from an IB® PYP school to another program will present some new opportunities for the student, being able to utilize what they have previously learned will help them to build on the skills they already have and adapt them to their new surroundings. If there are any problems with the transition, a school with smaller classes sizes will ensure your student can get extra assistance from their teachers.

If you’re moving to the area and you’re looking for IB® PYP schools in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, we invite you to take a look at Strelitz International Academy. We are one of the premiere private elementary schools in the area for children age 3 to 12. As an IB® PYP candidate school, we can continue your child’s education, placing emphasis on their academic skills while encouraging their personal growth at the same time, to develop a more well-rounded student who develops a life-long love of academics.

Contact us at 757-424-4327 to Schedule a visit and learn more about our school and our curriculum. We’d love to have your new student join us and we’d also enjoy the opportunity to speak with you about the role you’ll play in your child’s education, both in and out of the classroom.

Email Us Call Us