Writing in English
By Elizabeth Jasso | English Coordinator
English language development consists of different skills, such as listening, speaking and writing. Today, I will tell you how we work on the development of writing in our students. As part of the Cambridge program, our students have an approach to what we call the writing process, which gives them the opportunity to learn about different types of texts ranging from a poster to an essay and their different communication purposes.
Year after year, our students have the opportunity to learn what it takes to write a good piece of writing, following the steps of this process: brainstorming, writing the draft, revising, editing, and eventually, publishing the final product. What is most interesting about our program is that we work not only with an English-related focus, but also with our units of inquiry.
Students have the opportunity to connect their writing processes to the concepts being approached in each unit. For example, the 3rd graders had to learn how to write a “travel blog” and in their unit of inquiry they were learning about the cultures of other countries. The end result was a fabulous blog that narrated the information they researched through these. While the 4th graders wrote narratives about fictional characters who had to migrate, showing an excellent understanding of the concept by explaining how their characters experienced situations similar to what a migrant would experience.
What does this contribute to the students’ learning? In addition to the knowledge of the writing process, it allows them to put into practice the vocabulary learned both from the units and from the language, as well as the grammatical structures in use. In addition, they become more confident to write increasingly complex texts, since they realize the ability they are developing year after year and even get a pleasure out of it.
Triggering Activities and Collaborative Work in 5th grade at Colegio Celta
By Ilia Arenas & Laura Espinosa | 5th grade Elementary teachers
When talking about collaborative work in the classroom, we must consider the different fields of intervention, that is, how this type of work is implemented in 5th grade groups and on a daily basis; considering that it is not only working in teams, but that this approach takes advantage of the relationship between peers to favor knowledge among students, raising awareness about the importance of teamwork prepares and sensitizes collaborative work to achieve specific goals that allow for permanent and transferable learning.
In this type of methodology, it is important to highlight that concepts, skills and attitudes are learned through group cohesion, also with sporadic or stable, homogeneous or heterogeneous teams, i.e. small teams of maximum 5 members or even pairs; this allows us to use teamwork as a resource and content to teach emphasizing the social skills that our students develop when working on diverse projects.
A great opportunity to encourage collaborative work are the triggering activities, as they are aimed at providing various challenges that our students must solve; it is the way in which teachers awaken their interest in the unit of inquiry that is about to begin and our children open their curiosity to the new concepts that they will investigate. In order to carry out each of the triggering activities, different cooperative strategies are used, which allow the idea of belonging to the group and the work team, that is, by creating an interactive environment where the children feel safe, it is possible to recognize a learning culture focused on the student, where dialoguing, sharing and cooperating are fundamental actions that help to recognize diversity and allow inclusion.
How is this possible? In the first place, special agreements and rules are established for cooperative work, where the student learns to have an individual responsibility independently of the team’s performance; that is, each member is considered individually responsible for reaching the collective’s goal. Participation must be equal among all, so that individualism does not prevail. Equal participation is also experienced in class, where strategies and skills to cope with complex group dynamics and to achieve a synergy where everyone assumes responsibility with regard to the group’s objectives and individual learning. It is necessary to assign roles where students are responsible for the tasks assigned, resulting in an organization and structure within the teams.
At the end of each activity, evaluation techniques are used to measure individual and group performance.
Why is it important collaborative work in the triggering activities?
We consider, through our experience of carrying out this methodology, that our students improve: learning, behavior, interpersonal relationships, communication skills and above all social skills.
All this implies asking the following question: What is the difference between learning to cooperate and cooperating to learn? Recognizing collaborative work as part of constant practice leads us to answer this question, since one action leads to the other, there is no difference.
To conclude we could say that these learning experiences are engraved in our students and are associated with the challenges of today’s society, they are innovative, interesting and based on diversity and collaborative learning.
The Inquiry Spirit in the PYP
By Pilar Lavín | PYP Coordinator
Inquiry, as the primary pedagogical approach of the Primary Years Programme (PYP), recognizes students as active participants in their own learning who take responsibility for it. Learning in the PYP is addressed in a spirit of inquiry. Inquiry, which builds on the transdisciplinary themes and interests of students, is an authentic way for students to relate to, explore, and understand the world around them.
The IB’s commitment to concept-based, purpose-directed inquiry that fosters students’ active participation in their own learning is grounded in a vast amount of research, which is in turn supported by the experiences of teachers around the world (Kuhlthau, Maniotes, & Caspari, 2015; Bonnstetter, 1998). In the IB, this is considered to be the way in which students learn best.
Under the IB learning community profile, students are supported to become “inquirers.” Inquiry nurtures curiosity and promotes enthusiasm for lifelong learning. Effective inquiry encourages learners to think, and to question and extend their ideas; it invites them to reflect and take action. Through the process of inquiry, learners develop, demonstrate and practice the skills of the approaches to learning and the attributes of the learning community profile.
Inquiry is authentic and purposeful. It involves problem resolution and helps learners achieve personal and shared goals. When the exploration of initial curiosity generates new questions and doubts, inquiry extends students’ learning. By placing inquiry in meaningful contexts, personal experiences are connected to local and global opportunities and challenges.
Learning and teaching in the IB come from an understanding of education that celebrates the diverse ways in which people work together to construct meaning and understand the world. The process of inquiry fosters the development of international mindedness.
Depicted through the interaction between question-asking (inquiry), thinking (reflection) and practical work (action), this constructivist inquiry process results in open classrooms where differing opinions and perspectives are valued. This process forms the basis for the design and implementation of learning and teaching in all IB programs.
Learning and Teaching. Recovered from https://resources.ibo.org/pyp/works/pyp_11162-51465?lang=es&root=220.127.116.11.5.3
“Art at Celta”
By Susana Ferrer Molina | Master in Visual Arts
Currently, the development of children’s creative capacity has been given special attention from the beginning of their education. Since the inception of Celtic International School, we have had as a proposal to introduce art into the curriculum from a theoretical and practical perspective that allows students to understand it, thus achieving a more objective appreciation of the world surrounding them.
Art is learned by and through art. To create does not consist of simply doing for the sake of doing, it is necessary to involve a cognitive process, both technical and theoretical; for its study it is necessary to go back in time and obtain historical, cultural and plastic information, thus reaching a better understanding of its importance in the life of man.
Each piece of art is highly loaded with knowledge, which gives us the opportunity to complement our students’ academic life using art as a behavioral thread between the different disciplines of the Celtic curriculum.
Within the school we do not intend to focus on the formation of great artists, but of children who are more creative and sensitive to the world around them; that sensitivity is what will lead them to be better individuals, both professionally and personally.
From the beginning of the education, we take advantage of the children’s use of symbols and scribbles as a field of opportunity for expression and creation, attending to basic elements of art and design.
Later, the students begin to understand that art has a meaning, that it communicates and that it is the reflection of humanity, reaching analysis, reflection and the resolution of diverse life situations.
The need to have more creative, sensitive and problem-solving children is what has led us to the search for the implementation of a program where it is understood that art is an important part of the life of human beings, and has accompanied them throughout their history.
The Importance of Good Nutrition for School Performance
By Jessika Ortegón | Low Elementary Psychologist
Have you noticed, after a meal, lunch, or dinner, that your child is more restless or anxious, making it difficult to carry out tasks later in the day?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Healthy eating habits begin in the first years of life; breastfeeding favors healthy growth and improves cognitive development; in addition, it can provide long-term benefits […]” in the case of non-breastfeeding children, food plays a more important role, since it is their main source of nutrients.
If the child’s diet is high in sugar and carbohydrates (usually found in processed foods or sausages), these enter the bloodstream quickly, producing rapid changes in blood sugar levels. This can cause a child to become more active and, as a consequence, can cause a hyperactive/anxious condition, which consists of the child behaving in a more impulsive manner, showing repetitive movements in hands or feet, having difficulty concentrating on a task, moving quickly causing tripping or bumping into things/people, among others.
We share some tips for a balanced diet in children:
- Proteins. Choose seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Fruits. Have your child eat different fruits, whether fresh, frozen or dried, instead of fruit juices, as these often contain added sugars.
- Vegetables. Serve a variety of vegetables, whether fresh, frozen or dried. Each week, try to offer a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange vegetables.
- Grains. Choose whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains, such as white bread, noodles and rice.
- Dairy. Encourage your child to eat and drink low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as milk, yogurt (without added sugar), cheese or fortified soy beverages.
However, since we know they are children and it is impossible for them to stop consuming sweets, soda, cookies, chocolates, among other foods with high sugar content, I also share with you techniques for children’s relaxation, which help reduce anxiety, improve sleep problems, improve memory and concentration, increase confidence in children, reduce muscle tension and ultimately achieve a state of general wellbeing. In addition, as they are simple and playful games, they can be practiced at home with the help of parents. (CADAH Foundation)
The lemon game. Muscle groups: hands and arms.
“Imagine you have a lemon on your left hand, you have to try to squeeze it to get all the juice out of it. Focus on how your hand and arm tighten, on how they squeeze as you try to get all the juice out of it. Now, drop the lemon. Notice how your muscles feel as they relax.” Repeat the process three times with each hand.
The heavy fly. Muscle groups: face, nose and forehead.
“You’re sitting down, unconcerned, entertained. All of the sudden, a fly, a very annoying fly has come to mess with you and has landed on your nose. You try to shoo it away, but you can’t use your hands. It’s a bit tricky. Try to shoo it away by wrinkling your nose as hard as you can, as much as you possibly can. Come on, you can shoo it away! Notice that when you wrinkle your nose, your cheeks, mouth and forehead also wrinkle, they also get tight. Even your eyes get tense.
Good, the fly is gone, it has finally left you alone. You can now relax your whole face: your nose, your cheeks, your forehead… Your face is calm, without a single wrinkle. You too are calm and relaxed.” We repeat the process three times.
The lazy cat. Muscle groups: arms and shoulders.
“Now let’s imagine that we are a very, very lazy cat and we want to stretch… Stretch your arms out in front of you as far as you can. Now lift them up, above your head, forcefully pull them back. Notice the strong pull you feel in your shoulders. Now let them fall to the sides, let them rest from the effort. Great. See how good a kitten feels when it’s relaxed? Very happy and very at ease.” The exercise is repeated five times.
“Azúcar E Hiperactividad: MedlinePlus Enciclopedia Médica.” Medlineplus.gov, 18 Feb. 2022, medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/002426.htm. Accessed 10 Mar. 2022.
Clinic, Mayo. “¿Cuáles Son Los Nutrientes Que Tu Hijo Necesita En Este Momento?” Mayo Clinic, 14 Dec. 2021, www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/nutrition-for-kids/art-20049335. Accessed 10 Mar. 2022.
Cunningham, Bob. “Entender La Hiperactividad.” Www.understood.org, 2022, www.understood.org/articles/es-mx/understanding-hyperactivity. Accessed 10 Mar. 2022.
OMS. “Alimentación Sana.” Www.who.int, 2018, www.who.int/es/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet. Accessed 10 Mar. 2022. Osorio Quintana, Lucia. “TDAH: Relajación Muscular de Koeppen Para El Control de La Ansiedad En Niños.” Www.fundacioncadah.org, 2015, www.fundacioncadah.org/web/articulo/tdah-relajacion-muscular-de-koeppen-para-el-control-de-la-ansiedad-en-ninos-.html. Accessed 11 Mar. 2022.