Design Thinking: From Planning to Creation to Reflection to Improvement

The KS and 3B learning buddies have been concentrating on being design thinkers throughout this year. Design thinkers plan, create, reflect, and improve. The improvement may occur during the design cycle, or it might occur after the cycle, when a new design might be inspired or planned. The learning is continuous. Currently the students are at different stages in their design thinking, with designs ranging from books to pop-up cards, bird houses to pencil holders. We hope you enjoy this link to the Design Thinking with KS and 3B Flickr album, where you can view a few photos from our learning or toggle your own slideshow if desired.

Caring YIS

In the last month the students have extended their kindness and help in so many ways, learning as they try new experiences with younger students as well as extending to the outside community – reading with their KS buddies, playing games with their service learning America-yama Garden buddies, adding cheer to the Van der Poel Christmas Party for two orphanages with their Christmas cards and Gingerbread houses (which also went to a home for the elderly and the Kunmoin School for the Blind),  supporting the 5th grade service learning initiatives of Fresh Fruit Friday and the Giving Tree for the homeless and the seafarers.

A few of the 3B students wanted to have a blog post that shared some of their photos of their gingerbread houses as well as their Christmas cards and to share some feelings about all of these service learning projects. You can see more gingerbread house photos on last week’s 3N blogA big thank you goes out to the class moms for their help in organizing and preparing the items for the gingerbread houses.

I was happy to help the orphans and give them the gingerbread house – Lara

I enjoyed playing with the Japanese kindergarten, the card game. I enjoyed it because they learned English about those things. – Carolina

It was fun because we’re making the cards for orphans. – Paula

I like having Maker Space with my KS buddy. – William

I liked making the gingerbread houses because its important to give things to people so that they don’t get more poor. – Thanina

I liked drawing the Christmas card because it is important to make other people happy. – Jingyi

I like making Christmas cards because I like helping people. – Seonyul

I like making the gingerbread house because I want to help the blind people. – Lindsey

I like helping all of the people we help. – Valmik

Gingerbread Houses and Cards for Others

Inviting a Response – John Cage’s Composition: 4′ 33″

Our How We Express Ourselves Unit has taken off with great fervour.  This unit spreads across all our subject areas with the inquiries being looked at in the homeroom, Art, Music, Drama, and PE with the central idea of : Creativity is a key element of performance that engages an audience and invites a response.

The Unit has started out with particular attention to how a performance invites a response. The students preconceived ideas and expectations of performance was particularly challenged in their Music class as they viewed John Cage’s 1952 composition entitled 4’33”.

Below are a few responses from Grade 3 students.

Enjoy these few comments, as well as the composition itself. We wonder what kind of response you would make after seeing 4’33”, for “Everything we do is music.” -John Cage

Strong responses directly after the viewing:

“I was thinking when is he going to start?” Carolina, 3B

“I was thinking what he was doing because I think it was not music” Lara, 3B

“I was feeling curious” Jingye, 3B

“It is boring – waste of money” Will 3B

“What if he’s timing 4’33’’?” George 3M

“I was thinking what was he doing on earth?” Thanina 3B

Student responses after reflection, and the students discovering that the sounds that the audience made while watching the piece, was the music!

“I was thinking John Cage’s idea was smart” Chanseo, 3N

“I thought it was interesting because he was timing 4 minutes and 33 seconds and that’s the name” Ali, 3N

“I was engaged because I did not know what he was going to do next” Vivian 3M

“Music is something that brings peace” Yellana 3M

How We Express Ourselves and the Mannequin Challenge

With the recent YIS interest in the internet meme of the mannequin challenge, the students fully embraced the idea of being creative while expressing themselves through their own chosen mannequin locations and poses.

The rare November snowfall of Thursday propelled the students’ creativity towards attempting a pose among the snowflakes – a short 30 second “freeze”on the playground, with snowflakes landing on heads and tongues.

Further inquiry into the concepts of  form, function, and reflection with the related concepts of creativity, expression, performance, collaboration, ensemble, and audience, will occur throughout this unit as we inquiry into the central idea of:

Creativity is a key element of performance that engages an audience and invites a response.

Please enjoy these three mannequin challenge attempts as well as the students’ initial inquiry into performance in PE, with their 30 second first explorations of performances.

First attempts at a gymnastic performance:

Group A: TM, JC, WM
Group B: HC, LC, TG

Group C: AY, SK, JR

Group D: KN,LJ, VS

Group E: CRM, LK, PJ

First mannequin attempt:

Freeze like a mannequin in PE from MsBrownsClass on Vimeo.

Second mannequin attempt:

Freeze like a mannequin with the snowflakes from MsBrownsClass on Vimeo.

Third mannequin attempt:

Freeze like a mannequin in the classroom from MsBrownsClass on Vimeo.




We did it! A Great Cross County Day


We were all winners today at our YIS Cross Country event. Every student ran the 1.3 kilometer course, or the 2.6 kilometer course, with determination and desire to do their best.

The positive energy was abounding with great cheering and support from friends, parents, and teachers.

When we returned to school we relished in our accomplishment and started to describe the feelings of the day. With a focus on exclamatory phrases with img_0140exclamation points, the students all shared a thought that ran through their minds at any point during the race, whether that thought be from the cheering crowd or from their own “strong minds,” as Mr. Claydon would say.

Enjoy the energy of the day through their responses:

Come on! You can do it! – Thanina

Keep Going! – Paula

I think I can do it! – Seonyul

Yeah! I’m here! – Carolinaimg_0103

Well done! – Lara

I did it! – Hamish

Have a strong mind!- Lindsey

I’m dead! – Logan

Don’t give up! Kane

I’m going to lose! Valmik

I want to be at least third! – Junsei

I’m tired! – Will

Yeah! I came second! -Carolina

I’m so tired! My side is killing me! I can’t breathe any more!- Troyimg_0150

I’m dead! – Alex

I’m so thirsty! – Carolina

Be a risk taker! – Thanina

Do the monkey jog! – Paula

I can do it! -Jingyi

We used these opening statements to inspire us as we began our recount writing about the experience, and we will continue in our writing efforts next week.