You could have heard a pin drop as the Grade 5 students awaited the 7 minutes necessary for NASA’s Perseverance Rover to enter Mars’ atmosphere and descend to its surface on February 18th, after approximately seven months in flight. Echoing the cheer of the crew at NASA headquarters, the students experienced first-hand the core motivations which push exploration forward… the never-ending desire and curiosity to know more about our world and beyond.
As the students await news of signs of ancient life and rock and regolith samples from the Red Planet, they have been doing some exploring of their own, carrying out research about conditions on the fourth planet from the sun, and examining raw images of Mars sent to Earth from the Rover. Like the engineers at NASA, they’ve designed and built a helicopter, like the model attached to the Rover, that is deployed to places the Rover can’t reach. More importantly, the students have worked in teams to adjust the performance of their first helicopter model, calibrating the rotor blades and the angles of incidence formed between the rotor and its body. Students on distance learning contributed to the process, sharing their observations and hypotheses, and demonstrating their constructions.
Needless to say, NASA’s ground-breaking mission in outer space has given both students and teachers lots to wonder about here on Earth, and its findings could very likely change our understanding of the universe. The budding aerospace engineers are deep in inquiry, asking some pretty tough questions. As adults, we don’t always have the answers, but embracing the curiosity together with our students sets us on the quest together, discovering more each day about our universe. In their enthusiasm, the students are already looking forward to a day when the “I” in UIS doesn’t just stand for “international”, but includes “interplanetary” students as well!
Head of Elementary School and Grade 5 Teacher
Like everyone at school, in the last couple of weeks our young Nursery 3 students (and their families) have swiftly switched to online learning as a way to stay connected with their teachers and peers, and also to carry on with some of the learning that we started in class.
We have been using Tapestry to stay in touch through everyday messaging and media sharing. Zoom is also allowing us to touch base directly with the children so we can spend some time together, even if much shorter than we would normally do at school. We have a weekly whole-group session which allows us to see everyone in one place at the same time; though briefly, we say hello to teachers and friends and have a look at the classroom and we are reassured that everything is okay and our school life continues.
This year we also have daily live ‘meetings’ with small groups of different children: I look forward to my daily Small Group meetings, where I can finally hear my students giggle, ask them how they are feeling, and chat about what they have been doing while staying home.
I’m sure that once we return to school, we will talk about the days in which we all were saying ‘hello’ through our computers. For the time being, the goal is to provide our young ones with the best possible online learning, which is age and developmentally appropriate so they can remember this experience with a smile on their faces and – why not, learn a few new things!
Nursery 3 TeacherRead More
Wherever we go, whatever we do, we can’t do anything without technology. There are many different types of technology and it has become an essential part of our lives. Grade 8 have reflected on it’s importance through projects: about the evolution of cinema, TV, clocks and games such as the Rubik’s cube and the Nerf gun.
There is no denying that the future of technology will continue to revolutionise our lives in unbelievable ways!
Middle School French Teacher
This week, Grade 5T would like to introduce you to the newest UIS student, a porcupine they have named “Ricci Junior”. Now, Ricci isn’t just any porcupine. Ricci reads, writes, solves Math problems and even participates in Guided Reading groups. Two students in particular, Stella and Giorgia, have supplied him with everything he needs to feel right at home: a UIS school cap, a personal diary, a computer, and writing supplies. They have even offered him help with challenging concepts. The students have been brainstorming how Ricci could become a character for a series of children’s books, imagining all the adventures their friendly rodent could experience. Stay tuned for Ricci’s future escapades!
Grade 5 Teacher
It never ceases to amaze me how little things found in nature drive children’s imagination and creativity, and help them reach the highest forms of imaginative play. It all started one day, when we were busy digging outside, and one child said, ‘Look, a dinosaur bone’. That was the spark that started days and days of digging to retrieve more dinosaur bones in our ‘excavation site’. The children called themselves ‘archaeologists’ and worked together showing such good teamwork, determination, and high levels of engagement and fascination. Their learning about dinosaurs continued inside, where we read books on dinosaurs and learnt to appreciate the different types of dinosaurs and their names. They learnt other big words such as ‘herbivore’ and ‘carnivore’ and showed fascination in learning about how the dinosaurs became ‘extinct’.
Nursery 4 teacher
La poesia, come la musica, è un’espressione comunicativa potente che crea emozioni ed esperienze significative per ognuno di noi. Tutto questo Pierluigi Cappello, poeta e scrittore friulano, lo sapeva molto bene e attraverso le parole della sua poesia anche i bambini di Gr2A hanno potuto comprendere la forza espressiva delle parole che descrivono una cosa tanto semplice ma anche magica come la pioggia.
Grazie al prezioso contributo del maestro Denis hanno creato una fantastica melodia, fatta attraverso l’utilizzo di vari strumenti per trovare il timbro ideale che accompagnasse la narrazione di questo testo. L’improvvisazione ritmica e melodica creata dai bambini con maracas, triangoli, legnetti, glockenspiel e legata dal flauto suonato dal maestro, ha dato vita ad una musica originale, a tratti malinconica e a tratti più allegra che fa pensare proprio ad una danza, la danza delle gocce.
Questo progetto a quattro mani ci ha dato la possibilità di metterci in gioco in modi diversi e ci ha ricordato ancora una volta che la scuola è un’esperienza creativa fatta di collaborazione e condivisione.
Maestra Sara e Maestro DenisRead More
Le due classi quarte si sono cimentate in un compito davvero molto interessante che ha stimolato la creatività e l’immaginazione: un’attività di giornalismo “estremo”!
All’interno dell’unità didattica dedicata alla descrizione prima abbiamo letto diversi testi descrittivi soggettivi ed oggettivi e poi ho chiesto ai bambini di provare a documentarsi facendo una breve ricerca sulla vita degli squali. Una volta raccolte le necessarie informazioni, a coppie, hanno fatto finta di dover inventare un’intervista con domande insolite e risposte curiose. Successivamente hanno deciso da soli come realizzare la loro intervista, si sono filmati e hanno montato il video aggiungendo effetti speciali, musiche prese da Tg e immagini divertenti. Il risultato finale mi ha lasciata a bocca aperta: l’entusiasmo e la creatività che tutti hanno messo in questo progetto mi ha reso ancora una volta fiera di essere la loro insegnante! Bravissimi i miei giornalisti e bravi i miei squaletti.
Provate anche voi a dare un’occhiata ad alcune di queste interviste… e come me scoprirete delle cose inaspettate sulla vita dei pescecani!
Grade 4G e 4K
When the Grade One students first heard they wouldn’t be able to bring their toys from home to share during this time, there were certainly some disappointed faces. With time, however, they have tapped into their creative juices, finding fun and lively ways to play during recess time. Lately, with the arrival of the first Spring days, they have been exploring the unexpected changes in the school garden, marvelling over new buds, leaves, and flowers. Playing tag games in the sun and making paper airplanes to fly in the breeze have been super popular activities!
The Grade One Teachers
WAY back in Term One I shared a project with you that Grade 8 was working on. Surrealism is an interesting topic in itself. Combine that with some digital art, collage and finally, pen and ink drawings and the results can be spectacular. Unfortunately, not all the work is completed yet – but please enjoy the work of Pietro, Martina and Elisa.
Many students have told me that this is the best piece of work that they have ever completed and in truth, it is probably the longest time that they have spent in school, on one project. Their pen drawings alone have taken in excess of five hours. When I have them all I will share them with you, but for now, enjoy these three excellent examples
MS Art and Science teacher
Lately in Kindergarten we cannot seem to have enough tape or glue to keep up with the children’s crafty hands. Children have stopped needing teacher’s input on what to do in the art area and experimenting with lots of ideas and projects that stem from their curiosity and personal experiences. They are using new materials such as yarn, fabric, cork, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, cardboard and string to design products from personal use or to incorporate in their play. Sometimes it’s an exploration of properties of materials or a spontaneous joining of different textures for the pleasure of self-expression.
This week alone, children have discovered how to join cardboard boxes to form a vehicle, and how to make a string puppet. And if you would like a new bag, a nature bracelet or a stick character, just let us know, we’re happy to share our craft!