Have you ever heard of cross-grade classes? In such classes, senior students participate in and guide the learning process of students of lower grades, and the latter exchanges their original ideas with students of higher grades. The class setup and learning way help students concentrate on productive learning, expand their imagination and enjoy the learning process. Ultimately, they will build a interpersonal relationship conducive to lifelong learning, in which participating students will jointly explore the promising future new world.
Recently, two special classes have been launched in Kaiwen Academy in Haidian district: the cross-grade P.E. class and art class. What wonderful stories will happen when middle school students meet pupils in the same class? Let's have a look.
Cross-P.E. class: acquiring leadership
Leadership is the capability to translate vision into reality.
--- Warren Bennis
Led by elder brothers and sisters of the 11th Grade, pupils of the second Grade took part in entertaining events in the gym of the elementary education department. Thanks to the organization and guidance of senior students, younger ones sweat through grouping activities, rope skipping, bowling playing, obstacles crossing while balancing balls, and ball dodging, showing clear and sincere smile on their face.
Speaking of the P.E. class, teaching Claudia Soalca said, "Leadership is about influence. Students of the 11th Grade gradually adapted to their new roles. They put full energy into guiding the younger students and made great P.E. class."
The class was independently designed by students of the 11th Grade, who took characteristics of second-grade students into full account. "We chose events that are interactive and easy, where children of the second Grade can have practice in an entertaining environment. They can also learn how to play in turns, how to wait for their turns, how to maintain morale when losing the ball, and not taking all the credits when their teams triumphed," said Lucas Huang, a student from the 11th Grade.
In the growth, every student needs to know when they should play the role of leaders, and when they should work as a member of the team so as to improve the solidarity of the entire team. P.E. teachers at Kaiwen encourage students to give play of their leaderships with opportunities like the cross-grade P.E. class. This will help students understand who they want to be and how to lead.
Cross-grade art class: acquiring creativity
Every child is an artist.
--- Pablo Picasso
In the classroom of the Art Center, when the group discussion started, a student of the 11th Grade asked, “what do you want to make?” A child from the second Grade replied with enthusiasm, “A robot with three heads and six arms!” Other answers included a big bird with six wings, or an alien I never saw. This was a cross-grade art class where students of the 11th and second grades fully discussed their ideas, unleashed their talents, and spurred each other to create and develop capabilities of innovative thinking.
“Children of the second Grade are full of extraordinary creativity, whereas those of the 11th Grade have some experience in art creation. By cooperation, students of the two grades will ignite wonderful sparks of art,” said Elizabeth Lasure, art teacher of the 11th Grade. She was excited to see students of the two grades integrate their exquisite original ideas and blue sky thinking into the artwork. Szilvia Nemeth, art teacher of the second Grade, echoed, “My students are full of artistic imaginations. What they need to do is to translate their ideas into works.”
In the following class, students of the two grades put themselves totally into art creation. Those of the 11th Grade were the leading light, whereas children of the second Grade helped the elder brothers and sisters to paste and color the works. Laughing was frequent throughout the collaboration. “Brother, can I put the tail here?” “Of course, you can. But you cannot change it when you do so.” “Sister, there are buttons on its clothes. Can I put a tie on it?” After the class, students of the 11th Grade said with honest, “The younger students are truly creative.”
The cross-grade art class brings students of the 11th and second grades together so that they can experience the outside world under one roof. With different perspectives of observation, they awakened, unleashed their talents, created works and grow together in the process of exchange and exploration. Such a way of art creation highlights the creativity of students in the Kaiwen Academy, and enables them to fully express their real ideas from the heart. Just as the teaching philosophy of art in the Haidian campus of Kaiwen, students are made the protagonist of classes, and every piece of artwork is to boost students’ confidence.
These two classes just represent the preliminary success of Kaiwen in offering cross-grade classes. In the following, the school will roll out more interesting classes in this regard. For example, the English reading partner initiative slated to happen in May will create an opportunity for students of different grades to further exchanges and ignite more sparks of wisdom. Let’s wait for its coming.