Lower School

Readers and Writers Workshop in K-5th

Ms. Reid Working with Students in Readers and Writers Workshop

Three years ago, I joined CAIS. The first time I walked into a 1st grade classroom, watching the students having a writing workshop, my jaw dropped! Students spread out into every area in the classroom, self-managed, and engaged in different writing tasks. Some of them were brainstorming writing ideas with their partners, some of them were doing peer edits, some of them were having a conference with the teachers discussing the writing, and some of them were just focused on writing!

It is incredible to see that our students, even those young learners in kindergarten and first grade, are confident, engaged, and competent writers and readers with interesting ideas and stories to tell! It blew my mind again after I found out that at CAIS, our students learn and develop their Chinese literacy skills in an aligned philosophy and structure of writing and reading workshops on their Chinese day. As an experienced educator, I know that the work behind what I have observed—an autonomous, self-motivated, and engaging learning environment with students who are showing competence in learning how to read authentic materials and write meaningful and interesting pieces of writing, requires our curriculum directors and the teachers to put forth constant efforts, continuous learning, intentional design, and collaboration. It has been an endeavor years in the making.

Experiencing learning language and literacy in entirely different ways myself growing up in Shanghai, there have been constant jaw-dropping moments for me as I observe the great potential our teachers have been getting students and themselves to reach by utilizing their creativity, passion, and perseverance! Every day and every minute, I have seen “教学相长” – 《礼记》 (Teaching and learning promote and enhance each other- Book of Rites) in action at CAIS!