Newspaper- Discover Early Years Program - Kindergarten
The American International School of Kingston, hosted a virtual open house for their Early Years Program last Wednesday, June 3rd. The webinar introduced the public to the schools teaching methods, core values, and use of technology.
Deputy Head of School, Anna Wallace, began the discussion by outlining AISK beliefs on effective teaching, creativity, critical thinking, empowerment and technology by speaking of the school’s dedication to recruiting and keeping well-trained teachers, providing a technologically forward classroom, and ensuring that children are happy.
Teaching and Learning Director, Sylvia Browne, expanded on how AISK keeps students engaged and learning. At AISK they encourage students to be aware of their thinking by having them lead the learning process. This is done with guided discussions that encourage students to question. Ms.Edwards, one of our early childhood teachers at AISK, followed this with an example - her students create the rules for her classroom after having numerous conversations on why rules exist and why they are important.
AISK uses the High Scope curriculum which encourages students to plan, do and review. While students direct their learning process, teachers are constantly evaluating the children's level of communication and their ability to think critically, so that they can adjust and find the best method to influence growth in those areas.
Aside from the school’s pedagogy, parents were able to hear about its use of technology. AISK is a one to one school, which means that each student has their own device - in the case of the Early Years Program each child has an iPad. The teachers make use of the iPads by using varied software programs to teach different concepts, and they create opportunities for the students to incorporate technology into their learning projects.
Along with this AISK focuses on differentiated learning and the importance of reading comprehension. When it comes to differentiated learning, their teachers make sure that they know the individual level of each student. This helps them to challenge a strong reader with more difficult work or to slow things down for a student who needs a little more time, and of course, this is assisted by the software available to the educators.
And when it comes to learning how to read, the school not only teaches students how to decode but also how to understand what the words mean and what the message is. The Early childhood program is the foundation for learning how to read in kindergarten, so it’s so important that this foundation is set correctly, so AISK ensures that happens through early exposure.
By the end of the webinar, parents got to hear about AISK’s use of technology, their teaching beliefs, how they implement our teaching methods and how they continue to stretch themselves through constant training.
5 Ways to Engage Students in Our Digital World
5 Ways to Engage Students in Our Digital World
In today’s digital world, children begin playing games on mobile devices at an early age. As they grow older, they often spend hours a day texting, interacting with friends on social media apps,
and watching music videos online. Is all this technology a distraction from school?In many ways, yes. However, when schools and teachers learn to utilize technology in a way that engages students in the learning process, it can be a win for both families and schools. Here are five meaningful ways student learning can incorporate digital devices and programs.
1. Help Students Develop a Deeper Grasp of a Concept
Videos, slide presentations, and online interactive maps are just a few of the ways teachers may enhance lessons and material to help students develop a more in-depth view of a topic or concept. These digital resources can be used in the classroom or posted to a class website for students to work with outside of class.
2. Teach Children to Collaborate
Shared documents, presentation applications, and other programs let students collaborate, either working together in person or collaborating virtually from home. Digital group projects have the potential to let more reserved students make equal contributions. They also make it easier for students with different schedules to collaborate.
3. Put Education at their Fingertips
Digital learning resources and assignments help students learn at any time and from any location. In addition to supplemental online materials and assignments, some schools have embraced digital textbooks across the board and provided every child with a tablet or laptop to ensure they can access materials both in and out of school.
4. Encourage Creativity
Online learning allows teachers and students to be more creative. Teachers are able to use social apps in innovative ways, such as setting up a private Facebook page for the class to discuss an assignment. Some teachers have used the concept of a webquest, asking students to find specific information online in order to learn more about a topic. Having students summarize what they have learned in an online presentation allows them to get very creative, pulling together images, music, charts, and more to show how they have mastered a new concept.
5. Teach Students to Navigate and Analyze Information
Many schools today not only incorporate technology into the curriculum, but also teach students smart rules of the online world, such as:
How to stay safe online, including privacy settings, apps and websites to avoid, and the importance of reporting concerning issues to a trusted adult
How to find reputable websites for research and information
How to analyze and check information that appears online to determine if it is true and provided by a reliable source
Technology at AISK
Students from kindergarten to grade 12 at the American International School of Kingston are benefitting from a culture that fully integrates technology into the learning experience in order to enhance engagement, creativity, communication, and collaboration. This rich technological environment taps into the digital immersion of today’s student to enable them to learn any time, anywhere.
1:1 devices starting in first grade. Students in first through fourth grade use Apple iPads while students in grades 5 through 12 use Apple MacBook laptops. Preschool and Kindergarten classrooms are all fitted with touch-sensitive interactive boards and accessories.
Every classroom is digitally connected.
Students use Schoology, a learning management system that includes personalized homepages with courses, homework, calendars, grades, email, classroom blogs, etc.
Digital textbooks and course materials.
AISK teaches the skills required to successfully navigate the information highway, including determining what is a good information source, how to use a research engine or database, and using information that is pertinent to the hypothesis of the project. These skills are required at the university level and in the future work life of the student.
An IT Help Desk offers hands-on technical support to our students and staff.
Want to Learn More About AISK?
To learn more about the American International School of Kingston, download our School Profile today. You’ll discover information about test scores and accreditation, a profile of the student body, faculty credentials, and more.
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