East Campus students enjoyed showing each other our art work, our stories, and our weather charts on Skype. These activities were a fun way for our students to get to know each other and also find out something about the differences in our culture and our weather.
Main Campus Kindergarten Classes enjoyed connecting with Mrs. Elaine Ong's kindergarten class in Vancouver, Canada this year. We connected with them many times throughout this school year. We especially enjoyed sharing our Animal Wax Museum with them in February. As part of our Global Initiative, our students did research on various animals around the world. They posed as costumed wax figures of their animal in Building B's hallway which was elaborately decorated as a jungle and forest. Their research results were on posters with a "push button" that activated their oral presentation. Once their presentation was complete, they "froze" as waxed figures until the next visitor repeated the process. Our Canadian friends enjoyed seeing several of their presentations and doing a walk through the "Big 'K' Animal Wax Museum" via SKYPE. A highlight was sharing the children's animal portraits attached to a world map showing places where their animals can be found.
1st grade participated in several Skype lessons throughout the year with another 1st grade class in Indiana. Our favorite lesson together was the lesson we did pertaining to one of the Global Read Aloud books, The Reader by Amy Hest. During this lesson, we created a snow painting together. Each child started with a blue piece of paper, then we used pencils, crayons, and paint to re-create a winter scene from the book. The students in Indiana shared some pros and cons of living in a place where it snows frequently. We then shared several pros and cons of living somewhere that is mostly warm. The children enjoyed creating the pictures and learning about the weather in our different states.
2nd grade enjoyed skyping with other students from around America. It ties in so well with our study of the United States and students are able to apply their knowledge when trying to figure out the other class's location. We have done mystery skypes and participated in a mystery number game. We also loved the virtual skype with the turtle hospital and the national park service!
Our 3rd grade students have had a Skype relationship with our sister school in China for quite a few years, but this year has been the best. The students led most of our discussions, and we found out about each other through our curiosity. Our favorite lesson was when the students shared about their favorite holidays. Many of our children loved Halloween or Christmas. The Chinese students do not have Halloween, and the majority of them do not celebrate Christmas, so we shared stories and menus. Most of the Chinese students’ favorite holiday was Chinese New Year, celebrated each year, in February, with a different animal represented.
This year our 4th graders enjoyed the opportunities to connect globally with Canada, Honduras, Nicaragua, and schools within the United States. Some of our experiences included an English lesson with students in Honduras. The game consisted of each class writing sentences and the other class had to identify adverbs and adjectives in the sentences. Our students also sang “Happy Birthday” to one of the Honduran students. What a kind gesture! Another Skype opportunity was a Fraction Mystery Number game with Canada. The students took turns asking yes and no questions that lead them to guess the other class’s fraction. Lastly, our Global read aloud, PAX, allowed us to participate on Edmodo by asking and answering critical thinking responses with students in other states reading the same book. Our students loved sharing information about their school, learning about other cultures, and collaborating in a fun and memorable way.
Our 5th grade Spanish students worked with 5th grade English students from Colegio Nacional Monserrat in Córdoba, Argentina. Both groups had the opportunity to practice their speaking, reading, and listening in an authentic context. We shared conversations using Padlet, played language guessing games over Skype, and also made each other videos introducing our school and our city. We look forward to getting to know our friends in Argentina even more in 6th grade!
Our 5th grade reading class connected with a school in Windsor, Canada about our Global Read Aloud, Pax. We shared comprehension questions in advance and answered them together via Skype. We also shared thoughts about the change of seasons and compared the weather. They were in heavy sweatshirts and we were in shorts and short sleeves. Our students found it interesting that our Canadian friends had snow during the winter time while we were still hot!
Our 6th graders had the opportunity to meet a group of High School students in Morocco. Our very own Upper School teacher, Mr. Whelan, was visiting Morocco on a scholarship that he received from the US State Department and orchestrated this new global connection.
Each year our Intermediate School students participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge. This year, our 6th graders had the opportunity to talk with kindergarten and first graders in Brazil who also were participating in the Global Cardboard Challenge. They had some questions for our sixth graders about their creations. Our "big kids" gave them some great tips.
This year 6th graders participated in the Global Read Aloud, an initiative in which students all over the world read the same book during the same time period and collaborate in various ways. Our students read the novel Pax by Sara Pennypacker, and made connections with students across the U.S., Canada and even overseas in Spain. In addition to Skyping with one another, students posted their thoughts and reactions to the story on Padlet, a virtual bulletin board. One exciting outcome was that the connections we made actually extended beyond the Global Read Aloud project. After the 2016 Presidential election, our new Canadian friends reached out and asked us to Skype with them specifically to discuss our electoral process and of course the outcome of the election. The relevant questions and mature exchange of thoughts that resulted was impressive, particularly for this age group. We look forward to continuing to develop these kinds of global relationships in the future.
Students in 8th grade Technology design semester-long research projects involving the 14 Grand Challenges - major difficulties that we are facing as a world. They researched the history of their challenge, current developments and expectations for what the future might hold. We were in regular contact via Skype with a teacher in Astana, Kazakhstan, and our students e-mailed and collaborated with his students throughout the semester. Picture above is a sample of student work.
Our 8th grade Art students collaborated on an art project with an 8th grade Art class from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Students from both schools took photographs in and around their communities and then swapped them with each other using Google Docs. Each of our 8th grade students selected a photo they wanted to illustrate, as did the students from Puerto Vallarta. Via the U.S. mail, the final drawings were mailed to each respective school, to be presented to the 8th grade students who took the original photographs. The students from both schools then wrote a little note about themselves to share with each other. We also sent class videos and photos to each other while the art work was being created. This was a great example of how we are using innovation and collaboration globally in our classes. Below is the "Hello" video of 8th grade art students saying hello to the students in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They shared a quick something about themselves, why they like art, or what is their favorite thing to do.
PE had a successful collaboration with The International School of Macao and connected with Coach Mark Vatsis, The Department Head of Physical Education. All coaches discussed class protocols & they were similar by the way we emphasize a warm up, main lesson, and a cool down. Both schools had a warm up consisting up plyometric exercises and most of them were surprisingly identical. For the main lesson, the Macao School chose to play an extensive team tag game and we chose the popular game of Ships and Sailors and a brain teaser game nicknamed The Directional Listening Game. The Macao school had an interesting cool down procedure of meditation. Our students were not expecting this and had a deeper understanding as to why we collaborate with other schools. A meditation cool down was shortly requested as an added cool down procedure.
Mr. Whelan's sophomore World History class collaborated with students at the Shibuya Junior Senior High School for the fourth consecutive year. As part of their curriculum, the Japanese students at our sister school take a field trip to Hiroshima. When they return to Tokyo, they work in groups through their English classes on a brochure project that highlights the historical and cultural aspects of Hiroshima. These brochures are then critiqued and ranked by our students, who provide feedback from the perspective of native speakers. For the past three years the two top winning teams have the privilege of coming to Saint Stephen's in February to discuss aspects of human rights, Japanese culture, and peace with students in all four divisions. This year, thirteen Saint Stephen's juniors and sophomores will visit the students at Shibuya High School and experience Japanese hospitality through homestays and classroom engagement.
During the past two years, Mr. Yanelli's students have had a total of eight Skype sessions with students from the Lugano School. Our discussions typically focus on matters related to education, politics, and economics. These lessons are always enlightening, especially for the students here at Saint Stephen's, mostly because they tend to develop a better sense of appreciation for their educational environment and general well-being after each session. Both last year and this year, our students were saddened to know that the future career opportunities for the students in Tanzania are much more limited than theirs. That said, our students also felt good about the general state of hopefulness that the students at the Lugano School manifested as they discussed what they are learning in school today and how it may benefit them in the future

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