In this November newsletter, I would like to share with you three authors who currently have an impact on bilingual education. These three authors are showing the diversity of bilingual individuals by sharing their years of study and personal experience.
Mirza Kopelman, Director of Enrichment & Athletics
We are very excited with the news that vaccinations for children ages 5 to 13 are around the corner. Once the vast majority of students (we are not sure what our exact threshold will be) are vaccinated we will allow free movement of children on the playground during recess and aftercare.
We are off to a great start in middle school science this year—it is exciting to return to the classroom and to hands-on activities and labs! We opened the year with an Astronomy unit, which provides a great jumping-off point to explore a wide range of scientific topics.
Each day in the halls, the yard, and throughout our classrooms you can feel the energy being back on campus together brings. Students are navigating the world of Middle School valiantly and are jumping right into the different experiences Middle School brings. Some highlights of our year together so far have been Citizenship Day, Movie Night, World Celebrations and Spirit Week! You can read a little more about each below.
Affinity groups are safe spaces for people who share a common identity. These groups provide an opportunity to learn, share aspects of their identity and lived experiences while connecting with others.
Our school has created a new council called “le Conseil Ecole-College” (Lower School-Middle School Council). The mission of the Conseil Ecole-Collège is pedagogical and is requested by the French Ministry of Education.
What a joy to be back in school and discussing literature and writing in larger groups! In all three grades this semester we began the school year with community building exercises, routines, discussions and creative writing designed by Facing History and Ourselves to build community and socio-emotional skills for connection and learning. We prioritized nurturing community, building relationships and identifying and supporting students’ social emotional needs.
Art 8 spent the fall months studying photography and composition. We began with a study of documentary photography of the Black Panther Movement (from the SF MOMA collection) by asking the questions: What stories do photographs tell? How do various ways of looking at photographs tell us stories, and what is our lasting perception of those stories based on our mental impression from photographs?
We all want our kids to do certain things. Like take their breakfast dishes to the sink, or take out the trash, or make their bed.
Do you have trouble getting your kids to do the things they're supposed to do? You tell your child to do the thing. They don't do it. You remind them to do it. They still don't do it. You remind them again. They don't do it. You remind them again. And now you're nagging, or now you're yelling. Maybe at one point you bribed them and then eventually they do it. But you're frustrated and fed up by the time they do.
The DELF exam, created by the Centre International d’Études Pédagogiques, is an official French proficiency test. Students in 8th grade take the test at the B1 level. DELF B1 is required to obtain French nationality. It is also necessary to validate some diplomas, such as a diploma from the AUF or Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie.
Christopher, SEL Coach, works to incorporate lessons that reflect the world in which we live in: the theme for this year is black joy. The idea around focusing on Black Lives Matter during January and not February, is that lessons are not necessarily about history but more about black voices, allyship, representation, inclusion, and empathy. Essentially, the theme of Black Lives Matter is seen through the lens of SEL with compassion and empathy being the key entry points. Christopher looks at his lessons as the “primer” prior to Black History Month! And of course, many of the themes and discussions will be ongoing throughout the year and years.
The development of critical thinking is at the center of the mission assigned to the French education system. Present in many teaching programs, the work of training students to decipher reality and to progressively build an enlightened, autonomous, and critical mind is a major ambition of the...
Greetings from the garden! Well, this has been quite a challenging year for most of us—parents, teachers, and especially students. The garden was, of course, no exception when the era of learning with all our senses came to an abrupt end back in March. Teaching gardening—a necessarily very hands-on, experiential class—during distance learning was definitely a challenge.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, much has changed across the globe. An entire generation of students has had their education disrupted with schools looking and feeling different than they have in years past. However, through it all, at Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley some things have remained the same: teaching and learning continues for our students in pedagogically sound ways, and each day our teachers and staff continue to build the spirit and feeling of community that makes EB so special.
During this period, students in Kindergarten went on a virtual field trip to the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. Over a span of three weeks, the students joined the Lindsay Wildlife Experience for a live virtual program featuring their animal ambassadors! Lindsay offered innovative school programs designed with distance learning models in mind. Each program included three 30 minute classes, and each class featured a different animal ambassador as well as natural history specimens. These programs follow topics designed to support California Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Message from Mr. Lyon None of us could have known last year around this time what this year around this time would look like. It’s incredible what our students have been through and what they have ultimately achieved since last March. With a vaccine on way, we have hope for the future that we might once again all feel safe about being able to come together sooner than later, which is what all of us want. However, let’s take a moment to recognize the resiliency and perseverance of your students and of all of you. It is indeed through adversity that we find ourselves. I sincerely hope that all of you can refresh, reflect and refuel during these next two weeks. I’m grateful to be part of such a wonderful community. Take some time to recognize just how wonderful you ard during this season.
Science Both the 6th and 7th Graders are concluding their units on Cell Biology with a timely study of Viruses. They have investigated viruses as occupying a kind of middle ground between living cells and non-living molecules, and (surprisingly!) as an essential part of the vast, complex...