SOLE (Self-Organized Learning Environment)
Sole helps students develop critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, research, and communication skills.
Teachers across disciplines (subject areas), use writing-to-learn and writing-to-demonstrate knowledge strategies to deepen the learning of students in all content areas.
Writing promotes learning
• Integration of writing and the writing process promotes student participation, a diversity of student voices, and engage students as critical thinkers while promoting their texts as important resources and thinking tools
• Effective writing instruction integrates disciplines
• Opportunities to write in every class develops good writers
• Only by practicing the thinking and writing conventions of an academic discipline will students begin to communicate effectively within that discipline.
Ways we support writing, no matter what subject we're teaching:
- Journal Writing: Informal writing that provides a safe place for students to summarize their thoughts while building confidence.
- Think-Pair-Share: After a lecture or presentation, students are invited to record their thoughts. Then they are paired up with another student to discuss the topic. Finally, the discussion is opened up to the whole class. Discussions are richer when students have an opportunity to organize their thinking and gain perspective from others prior to discussing with the whole group. (also builds on confidence)
- Quick-Writes: Quick-writes are great ways to get students to practice writing and critical thinking skills. They’re designed to focus the student’s thinking. Timers are set for 10 minutes and students are given a writing prompt, picture, quote, or a question...anything to get them thinking and writing.
- Self-Assessments: Throughout the year students are invited to self-assess their learning (reflect) within their units of inquiry and character development (The Learner Profile). Ask them what the most difficult part of the class has been or what they’ve loved learning. Not only will they get practice writing, you’ll get valuable insight into how your child is learning and what you can do to help them even more!
- Real World Writing: Mathematicians write theorems and textbook problems. Scientists write lab reports. Journalists in all fields write articles, writers write books, journal articles, parents write notes, lists, etc. This type of writing shows students the relevancy of writing skills and how it is applied in daily life.
- Note Taking: We begin working on this in kindergarten with our pictures and labels of what we learned from listening to the teacher. By grade 1, students are practicing this with their research skills using SOLE and independent research. The toughest part is helping them "put it in their own words" paraphrasing.
- Research Projects: The Common Core Standards and IB require all students to be able to research a topic in any discipline and write about it. The goal is for all students to become self-directed learners that are adept at researching, writing, and presenting a wide variety of subjects.
Names (nominated by)
Vivian Cox (Dudik)
Claire Brazalovics (Arens)
Isabel Wood (Taylor)
Amiyah Hart (Perry)
Catherine Mullin-Vanneste (Thomas)
Victor Boyd (Weber)
Nalmah Ali (Orbash)
Carli Jordan (Kane)
Terri Jackson (Mishaga)
Where We are in Place and Time
Researching with SOLE
Researching Famous Black Americans
Researching using SOLE on Economic Choices
Researching and using evidence to support writing
Black History Research
Exploring African American History and Culture website to prepare for Black History Research papers
A Long Walk to Water
MARI BLACK TRIO
Featuring: Mari Black, violin; Conor Hearn, guitar; Joe Magar, bass
Classically-Infused Folk, Rock, Jazz instrumental guitar
Chef Eric Wells
Kent State University
Education students studying to become IB teachers visited CIS to see the IB curriculum in action.
Celebrating Friendship on No One Eats Alone Day
Red, White, and Blue Day for the Opening of the
Winter Olympic Games
When asked by a visitor from Kent State, "What do you like the most about the IB curriculum and Campus International?" 4th grader Yazmeen replied,
"Everybody fits in...no one is left out."
Keep choosing kindness, CIS!