Page 1

BROADCAST Beijing BISS International School

Issue 2, August 23rd

Spelling in the Elementary School Cn u Rd Ths? Just as children learn to sit, then crawl, then walk… so too, is spelling a developmental process. At BISS, we teach children the names of letters and all their sounds. We also teach students to recognize and spell “sight words”,

which are very common words they will need every day. However, we do not use rote memorization as a form of spelling instruction. We know that when children use “invented spelling”, they develop a much greater understanding of the English language than when they memorize lists of words in isolation. By inventing their spelling, students are thinking about all the symbols, sounds and patterns of the English language. As teachers, we spend a lot of time analyzing your child’s invented spelling. We know which sounds/patterns they have mastered and what to teach next. On a daily basis, we are helping your child move through the phases of language acquisition, towards standard, accurate spelling. Continued on page 2



• Spelling in the Elementary School

29th August Welcome to new parents

• Grade 1 Learner Profile Bears • Grade 3 PYP Expressions • HOS Entry Plan • Thoughts of a Math Teacher • Counsellor’s Corner

10th-11th FCD - Freedom from September chemical dependancy event 12th September

PTA meeting

18th September

Half day

BISS is an IB World School serving the international community, committed to the ideals of the International Baccalaureate. Our Mission is to educate and empower our students to attain personal excellence and positively impact the world.

Continued from page 1 We are teaching letter combinations, patterns, rules, roots and derivations, as your child is ready. Please help us by encouraging your child to write at home. Avoid correcting their spelling. Instead, help them to sound-out exciting vocabulary, take risks with new words and enjoy the process of expressing themselves through text. We are very proud of our young writers. Ms Shannon O’Dwyer ES Language/ESOL Coordinator

Learner Profile Bears in Grade 1

Continued on page 3 BISS Broadcast: Issue 2 August 23rd 2013

page 2

Continued from page 2 Being a PYP school the Learner Profile is an important part of the curriculum and this teaching focus allows us to help children to develop an awareness of personal attitudes and ways of behaving and interacting. The below Learner Profiles become a teaching focus as they help children to be aware of personal qualities and values. Throughout the program we encourage children to express, recognize and share these qualities. To develop the understandings of these qualities the Grade 1 class has a set off Learner Profile Bears. To develop the understandings of these qualities the Grade 1 class has a set of Learner Profile Bears. We began by choosing the colors we felt suited each Learner Profile and we defined these profiles in both English and Chinese. The children enjoyed meeting the bears and we look forward to using the bears as an additional teaching tool. Giving the children the opportunity to choose the colors to match the bears and the profile has allowed them to have a sense of ownership and involvement with these ‘teaching toys’. This involvement will help them to have more of a purpose and genuine reason to use the bears when we are discussing or observing these Learner Profiles. As they are resources that can be felt and held, there is a more interactive quality to using them when teaching Learner Profiles. I hope you get to hear and notice more about the Learner Profiles from your children. Ms Lara Ronalds Grade 1 Teacher


Being curious and asking questions.

Knowledgeable We know lots of things.


We use our heads

Communicators We share our ideas


We do the right thing

Open-minded We respect others.


We are kind


We try new things.

Read Broadcast online and follow us @

BISS Broadcast: Issue 2 August 23rd 2013


We look after ourselves and others


We find ways to be better

page 3

Grade 3 PYP Expressions The second week of school has come and gone and the grade three students are taking pride and ownership of what the PYP means to us. We have spent the first two weeks of class discussing our thoughts and ideas of what the PYP profile and attitudes really mean to each of us. We decided that to better understand what each of the profiles represent, we should decipher the meaning in our own words. Each student put careful thought into sharing and discussing how to best define these qualities. After some constructing, deconstructing and reconstructing, the grade threes proudly completed their final drafts of the PYP profiles in their own words. Not only did we gain a better understanding of the profiles, we are now able to make a more meaningful connection by reconstructing them in our own words. The final touch was a creative one. Our first unit of inquiry focuses on being knowledgeable and an inquirer. The students managed to come up with unique photo taking ideas to create a visual representation of their definitions. If you would like to drop by and see the rest of our creations, feel free to visit the bulletin board outside room 224. This was a great experience for all of us in grade three and I’m very happy to be a part of this wonderful journey! Mr Cory Sadler Grade 3 Teacher

We remember what we’ve learned and use it in our lives.

我们能记住我们所学的并把它运用到实 际生活当中。

We enjoy learning and finding answers by ourselves. We want to learn about the world. We ask many questions. 我们喜欢学习并且自主地去寻找答案,我们 想更多地认识这个世界而且有很强的求知 欲。

From the Marketing Department: 2013/14 Adult Language Classes commence in September. More details to come. Mr Scott Li

BISS Broadcast: Issue 2 August 23rd 2013

page 4

HOS Entry Plan Dear Parent, I would like to introduce you to my “New Head Entry Plan”, which I have developed to guide my transition into the BISS Head of School role. In brief, a public entry plan is designed to transparently communicate how I intend to get to know all aspects of the school, in order to effectively transition into the Head of School role. I invite you to provide feedback, in order to help me with my objective!

Aim: To gather a broad range of information quickly and comprehensively about BISS (the school and the community), in order to: get to know BISS community members, learn how things have been done and how members like things to be done, assess the school’s strengths and weaknesses, identify critical issues requiring attention, and prepare appropriate timelines for addressing weaknesses and building on strengths. Procedure: Prepare the entry plan with input from the administration and board representative, share it with the BISS community for transparency and feedback, meet with stakeholder groups within the community, collate, analyse and reflect on the data in context, create goals for the year with the admin team, and seek feedback to the plans before putting them into action. Entry Plan Steps:

1. Learn background knowledge and history of the school 2. Head transition information (interview out-going Head of School for information and document transfer) 3. Board representative induction (meet with the Deputy CEO to gain insight and understanding) 3. Senior Management Team induction (establish AMT purpose and goals with administrative team) 4. Faculty (interview each faculty member over first 90 days) 5. Students (interview representative groups of students over first 90 days) 6. Parents (meet with parents groups representing a wide variety of representative groups over first 120 days) 7. Wider community (identify and meet with key community members helpful to the school (over first 180 days), and contact and build connections with schools and applicable representatives of relevant organizations associated with the school (IB, CIS, EARCOS, ACAMIS, etc.). As part of the plan involves meeting with parent groups, please be advised I will be seeking opportunities to meet many of you individually and in small groups over the next few months. These meetings will provide me the opportunity to get to know each other a little and focus on exploring what you like and do not like about the school, leading up to my seeking your advice on areas of strength to preserve and areas we could improve on. Your feedback will be collated with other sources, leading to my full awareness of all issues the school is facing. This in turn will inform upcoming action plans for further development of the school. Home-School collaboration is a characteristic of highly effective schools, and your role in this is critical as it is a shared responsibility! Thank you for your role in being part of the BISS community, and I look forward to our discussions! Dr. Gwyn Underwood Head of School

BISS Broadcast: Issue 2 August 23rd 2013

page 5

MathThoughts Canof be Fun! a Math Teacher “Yeah right”, is probably the reaction most of you have when you read this title. Well, in my short career as a math teacher, I tend to bring this statement up at the beginning of every year. Most of the reactions I get from my students aren’t as delicate as, “Yeah right”. It has become my personal mission: a quest, and a crusade, to prove that this absurd and unthinkable statement is more than just a blurb coming from a delirious teacher. In most cases, a couple of weeks after that anecdote, Bob (lets say that is the student’s name) will see me explaining a question we finished in class and an uncontrollable urge to speak will fill his body. Then it will happen, the magical moment I have been waiting for: “Mr. K, that’s a cool question!”… Silence - one blushing boy, one happy teacher and a stunned rest of the class. “If you think this is cool, wait until tomorrow’s class”. The awkward moment passes with laughter and now I have a new class. This group of students now looks at math in a different light.

Believe in yourself – if you take it as a challenge to help your students, you must never look back, never give up and never stop believing.

Believe in your students – it may not be easy at the beginning and you will encounter brick walls. That is exactly when you need to push it even further. The students want to like your subject and maybe, even love it. But you need to help them get there, no matter how antagonistic they might seem, because the moment they admit to themselves that they do like it, they forget how they felt before.

Enthusiasm is contagious – I always believed that a teacher is a performer, the classroom is the venue and the whiteboard is our stage. Enthusiasm and passion can promote learning in ways you never thought possible. Mix it up a bit – break the routine,

be unpredictable and most of all, use your sense of humor. Your students will think, ‘If it’s funny, perhaps it’s FUN?!’

There is no perfect solution, nor algorithm, to achieve this difficult task, but if you want it and are willing to go far enough, you will get there. Yosef Karasik Math Teacher

BISS Broadcast: Issue 2 August 23rd 2013

page 6

Counselor’s Corner Upcoming University Visits We are extremely privileged to have university & college admissions officers come to visit our students at BISS throughout the year. I will be publicizing these visits through Broadcast, Naviance and posters on the 4th floor University information notice board. All students and parents are welcome to attend any of these sessions. Bring your lunch and feel free to eat during the presentations.

Monday August 26th - (1:10-1:50) in Language Center • • • • •

Chapman University (CA) Elon University (NC) La Salle University (PA) Lynn University (FL) Santa Clara University (CA)

These five universities are traveling together. Please come along to find out more about what they have to offer and the application process in general.

Monday September 2nd (1:00-1:50) – room 345

Bentley University (MA) Ellen Lokos, International Undergraduate Admission

Monday September 16th - (2:30-3:15) in Art Room during Drama / Music for gr. 12 students – see Ms. Shrimpton if you are in gr. 11 and really want to go.

California College of the Arts Molly Ryan, Director of Admissions, tel:661.291.3071

Sunday September 22nd (1:00-4:00pm) – NOT at BISS Linden Fair for US Universities at Shangri-

La Hotel. for more information about which universities will be attending. Email to register:

Saturday September 28th - individual appointments as requested Washington University in St. Louis Elizabeth Rosen, Admissions Officer

Further information from: Ms. Shrimpton BISS School Counselor

BISS Broadcast: Issue 2 August 23rd 2013

page 7

Beijing BISS International School - Broadcast - Issue 2 August 23rd  

The BROADCAST is a weekly Beijing BISS International School publication, showcasing our students’ academic, sporting, arts and cultural lear...

Beijing BISS International School - Broadcast - Issue 2 August 23rd  

The BROADCAST is a weekly Beijing BISS International School publication, showcasing our students’ academic, sporting, arts and cultural lear...