“Who are we?
We are SAIS!”
–Call and response from SAIS community meetings
|Welcome again to both new and returning SAIS families! In order to facilitate stronger school/family communication, we will be sending out a monthly newsletter about what is happening at SAIS. We are excited to work with you to bring SAIS to new heights! It has been a great first month of school, with lots of exciting things happening. We hope to capture some of the highlights here.
Every Monday, we start the week off with a community meeting of all kindergarten through 8th grade students (ELE students will join us later). These meetings are a way to set the tone for the week, to bring the whole community together, to give students the opportunity to speak and present to one another, and to build student leadership.
Projects at SAIS
As a project-based learning (PBL) school, all students from ELE through 8th grade are learning about different themes and working on a variety of projects. Project-based learning helps students to gain real-world skills and engage in deeper learning experiences.
Fall 2019 Projects at a Glance
An important component of project-based learning is having an engaging and open-ended driving question. Teachers are working in teams with multiple classes engaged in thinking about the same themes and projects. Below is a brief description of the projects and questions that each grade is working on. If you have any suggestions for trips or experts who could come into the classrooms, please let us know!
ELE: Our youngest students are exploring the question of “Who Am I? Their project is about building their identity, learning about the human body, the difference between humans and animals, and learning to co-exist with one another.
Kindergarten: Both kindergarten classes are learning about food and also about how math is used in the real world. They are growing their own plants and will be creating a Christmas market where they will sell different food items.
1st and 2nd Grades: The first and second grade students are studying what happens to our garbage and how recycling can help. As Shenzhen begins a recycling program, how can SAIS students help?
3rd and 4th Grades: Students in grades 3 and 4 are studying extreme weather, and typhoons in particular. They are exploring how we can keep people safe in Shenzhen during a typhoon and how they might be able to help.
5th Grade: Fifth graders are working on an urban farm project, answering questions about how we can grow our own food and how people interact with plants. They will be building the rooftop garden at the school. Students will also stage a production of Little Shop of Horrors.
Middle School: Students in grades 6-8 are looking at how technology impacts their lives and will be coming up with their own technological solutions for current problems. They are studying the early technology of paper and writing and also staging a production of A Wrinkle In Time.
What Else is Happening?
On Thursday, September 12th, our amazing Chinese teachers took their students to the younger students’ classrooms to teach them the story of the Mid-Autumn Festival and how to make moon cakes.
Literacy at SAIS
The best way to improve literacy is to get students reading, writing, and speaking more. There are a variety of ways to accomplish this, including reading books together in classrooms, using journals, running literature circles, presenting projects, building in lots of opportunities for students to speak with one another, and encouraging students to read books of their choice. To further students’ love of reading, we are excited to begin our DEAR program! DEAR stands for Drop Everything And Read. On Friday, September 20th, all of the school will take a break from normal instruction to push literacy. Teachers are working with all of the students to get them books that they are excited to read on their own, including books that they can take home with them to continue reading. Ask your child about their book choices and provide the time and space for them to read at home. For the little ones, please read to them at home as well. Reading books in Chinese at home is also encouraged—developing a love of reading is very important to any language skills as well as to their success in school overall.
On Friday, September 13th, four of our middle school students presented at the Shekou SDG Summit at SIS. This event was one of many opportunities to get our students out in the community representing the school and developing their leadership and presentation skills.