At SDFAS, in Elementary school, technology is not an added discipline. It reinforces and gives meaning to learning in a safe and child-friendly environment.
In History, 4th grade students work on Louis XIV and the Palace of Versailles. It’s one thing to describe or observe photos of the Hall of Mirrors, the most prestigious room in the castle, but it’s another to virtually immerse yourself in this room and move among the mirrors, gilded carvings and paintings in the vaulted ceiling. Thanks to the virtual reality headsets and Alice’s assistance (our STEAM director), the students became more aware of the dimensions and prestige of this space, of the vocabulary and of its visual details.
An experience greatly appreciated and which they ask to renew.
Many projects of penpals with schools of the worldwide French network are happening right now in the classes. In 4th grade, the students met new friends from the French International School of Alicante, Spain. With them they discussed their lives, their tastes and their projects. It is also an opportunity to give meaning to learning by using all the skills acquired during language lessons. Let’s hope that some links will last and open up many horizons.
This past week, the 5th graders were sorted into their middle school Houses! There are 5 Houses, one for each of our school values — (1) Probus: Integrity (2) Benevolus: Empathy (3) Amicus: Open-Mindedness (4) Fortis: Intellectual Curiosity (5) and Animatus: Resilience. The 5 Houses compete throughout the year to earn points for the great House Tournament at the end of the year! The sorting ceremony revealed which house each of our 5th graders will join in Middle School, and was complete with the sorting hat, the presence of the house prefects, and welcome notes to each student joining their new house. Our 5th graders will be able to earn house points for the Great House Tournament throughout the remainder of the school year, each in the hopes of winning the glory of the House Tournament Championship. This is an exciting moment for our 5th graders to begin their initiation into our Middle School!
Students’ day starts at 8:30 a.m. (3rd to 5th grade) or 8:40 a.m. (1st and 2nd grades).
Students arrive fifteen to ten minutes before class begins and take the time to settle in, take out their things, study, read or simply sit down to be ready to work.
This routine allows students to appropriate the classroom as a space in their life in which they feel good. On their own initiative, some decide to do yoga in order to better prepare for the day ahead.
The first grade students worked hard on geometric shapes. They discovered that the school had a lot of them and took pictures of them. They then worked with plasticine and constructed shapes in order to understand the different properties of polygons.
After a year of hiatus and the obligation to teach coding online, all the students of the school are once again able to work in the Innovation Lab, a room dedicated to technology.
Students reinforce concepts seen in class with their main teacher, apply concepts studied and develop new skills according to the project carried out.
The collaboration between the teachers and Alice Kong, Coordinator of the STEAM program, is essential to give meaning to the learning.
The 3rd graders went on our first field trip to the San Diego Natural History Museum located in Balboa Park yesterday. We had a wonderful time exploring the museum and receiving a private class with an instructor. The students learned about animal adaptations, as well as how to make observations and inferences about various animals.
Second and third grade students experienced their first Robotics class in Spanish & English this week! In the very special Spanish + English Robotics lessons with Profesora Yuriko and Ms. Alice, students worked in pairs to practice Spanish vocabulary and sentences to solve a number of mathematical problems through programming Bee-Bots! Muchos gracias, Profesora Yuriko!
The ” Building Bridges” program allows 5th-graders to interact with Middle School classes. This week, our 5th-graders met their fellow students from 8th-grade.
This allowed them the opportunity to ask the 8th-graders questions about their time in Middle School. The 5th-graders also took advantage of the meeting to participate in an activity that groups students into “Houses”.
Here is what one of the 5th-graders found of the experience:
“In the beginning, we sat down in the field outside our class. We were waiting to be sorted into Houses. The 8th-graders told us about the Houses. Then, one by one we were called up to join a House. After everyone got their ticket and had been allocated a House, they were happy to answer our questions about how the Houses work.”