The Students of MIS are very fortunate to live where they do. North Sumatra has a wealth of natural, geological and beautiful resources. One of these resources is fertile soil and wonderful weather for growing coffee.
Today we were able to go to a place that Starbucks Barista's and Shareholders can only imagine. Thanks to Mr. Henao we were able to go to Brastagi and experience the Starbucks Coffee Farmer Support Center. It was amazing.
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The students learned about: shade grown coffee, pairing plants to grow among the trees, self sustainable farming with plants and animals, coffee sipping, crema, the peaberry, animals living amongst the coffee trees, farmer collaboration and training, factory machines, sorting, cleaning and transportation of beans.
It was a great trip and the last of or field trip extravaganza for our units in 2/3/4/5.
To supplement their unit of inquiry studies on local land use, PYP 4/5 went to Museum Perkebunan Indonesia. Here students learned all about the commodities that Indonesia is famous for: tea, coffee, sugar cane, tobacco, rubber, palm oil and cacao. They learned how these commodities are extracted and used. They also learned about the history of plantations in Indonesia and how the search for spices brought people from Portugal, the Netherlands, and Spain to the region. After touring the museum, students made their own chocolate from molds and learned about how they use palm oil to make chocolate and bread.
Following the museum, students walked next door to Lunar Archery for a Physical Education excursion. There, students learned the basics of archery and had a one hour practice. They learned about the importance of steadiness, focus, and concentration along with the physical skills needed to shoot the arrow. You can find more information about Lunar Archery, (and some photos of us), and their Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lunar.archery/
On August 18th, we celebrated Indonesian Independence Day and also got to know each other better through Meet the Parents and Indonesian Fun Games Night. The event started with a rendition of the Indonesian national anthem from students, followed by playing the games that had been set up around the room including pillow fighting, kerupuk eating, musical ball dance, sack race and bakiak. It ended with a delicious, Indonesian, pot-luck style meal.
PYP 2-5 had a wonderful trip at Musim Mas palm oil factory! We learned about how palm is grown and what it's used it, were given a bus tour around the factory complex, then took a tour of a part of the factory where chocolate is made. This connected with PYP 2/3's unit on habitats and 4/5's unit on land use. The trip led to great discussions back at school about the benefits and challenges of using land for palm production.
To learn more about where we went and our discussions in class, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BRGj0DwYwA
The PYP ended their first week with an excursion to the Orangutan Haven. Our guides taught us about their conservation efforts while we hiked through a section of their 48 hectare property. Some highlights of the trip included planting seeds in their organic farm and getting to cool off in the river at the end of our hike. It was a great bonding experience to end the first week of school and directly complimented each class's first Unit of Inquiry.
To learn more about The Orangutan Haven, click here: http://sumatranorangutan.org/orangutan-haven-3
Kindergarten and Grade 1 learners have worked collaboratively over the past 4 weeks to build their own class website to share the significant learning they have done about endangered Sumatran animals. The website features the extensive writing they have done throughout our final Unit of Inquiry this year. Our central idea has been: Understanding the special characteristics of animals helps people support their survival. Please check out our class website (http://sumatranendangeredanimals.weebly.com) to find out more about some of the interesting endangered animals of Sumatra and the beautiful Sumatran jungles where they live. Included on the website are helping organisations and our own ideas for action to support endangered animals' survival.
Kindergarten and Grade 1 had an interesting visit, for the morning, to the Medan Zoo as part of our learning about the characteristics of animals. We especially enjoyed seeing the large, interesting birds, the elephant and the Sumatran tigers. A few of the animals we saw are endangered. We had many discussions about the bodies, behaviors and needs of the different animals we were seeing. We have since been able to reflect on how the animals needs were being provided by the zoo as part of our learning about ways we can share our planet with animals.
This year at MIS we have combined STUCO spirit days with assemblies. During this assembly EC presented Humpty Dumpty, K/1 presented plays they wrote themselves, 2/3 dressed as Roman countrymen and played lyres, 4/5 presented on children's rights, 6/7/8 debated sustainable energy and 9/10 taught us about the different forms of energy. We sang happy birthday for the May and June birthdays in both English and Bahasa Indonesia. STUCO also gave out awards & prizes to each class for the learner profile attribute that they most achieved thus far: EC-Inquirers, K/1-Communicators, 2/3-Caring, 4/5-Risk-Takers, 6/7/8- Balanced 9/10-Thinkers. The spirit day was “Literature.” Students dressed up as a book character and brought along the book to share with their peers. It was so lovely to see the students interests in literature and the creative costumes involved. It was a busy morning at MIS!
2/3 has begun their last unit for the year under the transdisciplinary theme - Sharing the Planet. The central idea is, “Decisions must be made about how we use the earth’s resources.” As part of the provocation for the students they participated in the Japanese art of “nature bathing” or “Shinrin-yoku.” You can look at shinrin-yoku.org for more information. 2/3 students enjoyed walking in/sitting in nature so much that they asked for it to be their homework for next week! It is good to see the students understanding how they have a responsibility towards nature as well as having an appreciation for it. After participating in nature bathing, the students decorated their classroom door with a truffula tree and wrote on the trunk the different ways in which they speak for the trees. I am excited to see where their learning will take them in this unit.
The lovely people from Lyra/Giotto http://www.lyra.co.id/ came to MIS and let the students unleash their creativity! They painted each others faces and made things out of plasticine and/or oil pastels. It was great to see the students creativity and spirit of trust when painting each other. It was also amazing to see the 3D creations that the students made.
The primary years classes went on a Physical Education field trip to the Fun and Fit trampoline park. They were able to better practice their form at the park because of the plethora of options and large size of the trampolines. Trampolines can help students improve their balance and coordination in movement. In addition to being a fun morning, it was cardiovascular as well, as we jumped for 2 hours!
Today the students at MIS gathered to celebrate the powerful life of Kartini. Her biography was reflected upon, poems were read and the Kartini song was sung by all. All the students and staff dressed up and a group photo was taken. It was fun for the students to wear Kabaya, Sarong, Batik and other Indonesian clothing.
The sun was shining bright today as MIS hosted their 2017 Swimming Carnival! In attendance for the competitions were Sampoerna Academy and Siti Hajar. Students grouped by gender and grade level competed in the freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and relay. Scores were compiled from each event and the winning schools were announced in each grade level. Congratulations to all the competitors for being risk-takers and showing that they are balanced today! Also, a special congratulations to MIS Grade 9-10 for winning first place!
Today, Kindergarten and Grade One students enjoyed a fun excursion to several different venues. Our first stop was a craft workshop and gallery where we saw artisans expressing their ideas and skills with wood and other materials. We used our 'See, Think, Wonder' thinking routine to observe and record what we were noticing. Students interviewed the head artisan using questions they had prepared in their Bahasa Indonesia class. We saw many examples of recycling, and use of natural materials, in creative and beautiful art works. We enjoyed a play break and lunch in Taman Deli, a park nearby, and then headed to the Sinaipar Ulos gallery and workshop. Here, we enjoyed seeing hundreds of beautifully patterned Ulos in every color imaginable, as well as other crafts. We were also priviledge to be able to see two artisans working at hand looms making Ulos. Over the next few school days we will look at the observational drawings we made and reflect on what we learned about the visual art elements (line, color, shape, form, value, space and texture) we saw during this wonderful excursion.
Grades 2,3,4, & 5 went on a trip to the future site of the orangutan haven. We did many things on the trip relating to our UOI. We checked our pulse periodically during our hike, we learned about organic farming, saw pinapple, passion fruit and casava plants, hiked through the hills, sat in nature and enjoyed our surroundings and some of us got a little dirty. It is important for students to understand that there are many aspects to keeping our bodies healthy. It is not only important to eat a variety of healthy food, sleep and exercise but it is very important to relax and be balanced. The IB explains balanced as, "We understand the importance of balancing dierent aspects of our lives—intellectual, physical, and emotional—to achieve well-being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live."
As parts of the inquiry process into Who we Are we went to Sushi Tei to learn about sushi. In 2/3 the central idea is: We are responsible for keeping our bodies healthy and safe. In 4/5 the central idea is: Our bodies are made up of systems and our choices affect how they work. For both classes this was a fun way to learn how to prepare healthy food. During class time we talked about food safety, cross contamination, bacteria and refrigeration. As you can see, we had a great time!
During the recent school holiday five of our teachers were busy doing Diploma Programme training in Jakarta. We collaborated with teachers from across southeast Asia resulting in a rich exchange of ideas. We look forward to applying all we've learned in August of 2017 when Medan Independent School starts the Diploma Programme. This will make Medan Independent School the only school to offer the PYP, MYP and DP in Sumatra.
MIS celebrated Indonesian National Batik Day on October 3rd because there was no school on the actual date, October 2nd. According to the UNESCO, "Batik Day is held on the 2nd of October every year in Indonesia to mark the date in 2009 when Indonesian Batik was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and celebrate this cultural heritage." At MIS we had students wear Batik, make Batik on cloth (MYP) and on paper (PYP), two students gave a Batik presentation to the whole school, STUCO had a Batik bake sale during snack and lunch and we had a whole school Batik photo.
What are you most passionate about? Some may find this to be a relatively difficult question to answer. To help, ask yourself: “What do I do when no one is telling me what to do? What do I do when I am supposed to be doing something else? or What kinds of things do I read and watch in my free time?” All of these questions were posed to Grade 4/5 to help them develop a topic for their first Passion Project, (or as the class recently dubbed it, Passion “Fruit” Project). Passion Projects are investigations done by students on any topic of their choosing. Even Google has been credited with adopting a similar policy, “20% Time,” where employees were encouraged to spend 20% of their time working on a project of interest outside of their typical job responsibilities. Student-selected topics for this unit include explorations on video game coding, extraordinary animal senses, predictions about the upcoming iPhone 7, and how menu items in fast food restaurants vary around the world.
The purpose of this project is threefold. Firstly, it is to provide students with opportunities to better identify and explore their passions and interests. Secondly, it is to create a forum to discuss and explore research strategies, such as developing questions, assessing the credibility of sources, note-taking and summarising, and communicating information effectively. Lastly, it is to demonstrate the inquiry cycle, particularly in preparation for PYP Exhibition.
Time is allotted for independent research and teacher-led mini-lessons throughout the week. There are also scheduled teacher-student conferences to set goals and track progress. Students are always encouraged to work on their projects in their free time or when other assignments are finished early. Projects will be completed and posted by the first week of October, so stay tuned! Hopefully this even inspires you to create your own Passion (Fruit) Project!
MIS particpated in the International Day of Sports as organized by Lala Ersan. It was an excellent day of fun, friendship, peace and sport for all students!