March 11 2016

Principal’s Message Vol.63 – Mar 2016

Dear IslandCA Community,

Hallo, Nihao, Anyeong, Konichiwa, Namaste, Shalom, Chiao,

I have enjoyed getting into more classes recently and looking for learning. In particular, I have noted the variety of classroom practices that take place to help motivate and increase student learning and link to our school’s shared vision for how we want our students to develop.
Co-operative and communicative learners (the personal goals of cooperation and communication) are part of that shared vision, therefore our teachers implement a variety of pair, group and whole class practices that help students learn to communicate and cooperate well.

The students I observed yesterday were very clear as to which personal goals they would need to help them learn well. In a Year 2 science lesson on ‘Day and Night’, students said they would need to use the personal goals of: cooperation, communication, resilience, enquiry and international mindedness. They were working in small groups with students taking turns to hold a torch (representing the sun) and shining it on to a rotating child with a map wrapped around them (representing the earth)! They were able to show when it was night and day (including sunrise, noon and sunset) in Hong Kong, as well as make comparisons with what it would be like in their
home country.

There are many classroom practices that help develop the shared vision we have for our students. At the leadership level, we research best classroom practices and collaborate with teachers to select particular ones that fit with the types of students we are helping to develop. We then look to see that those practices take place in each classroom. Christian education writers that I know of all agree that ‘the collaborative classroom’ is essentially a way of teaching Christianly. One Bible passage that points to this is in 1 Corinthians 12 where it describes Christians as all being members of one body. As with physical bodies—all the parts of the body are important, and with cooperative groups all members of the group are important. Any collaborative classroom practice that also
develops other goals in our shared vision as in the ‘Day and Night’ example above are highly encouraged.

Looking at the calendar, we have Easter approaching, and before that Taste of Culture Day. If I do not see you before then have a blessed Easter.

Debbie Middleton, Principal