WISS Today Article

Today’s Tiger Pride is dedicated to our Primary Action Cubs! Their recent hard work and creativity have earned them a Tiger Pride feature that is far overdue. After months of research and planning, students from the Recess committee came up with a brilliant idea that significantly impacted the playground area. They painted games on our pavements to add more color and fun into the school day!   

Born from the belief that each of us has responsibility and the ability to contribute to our community, Primary Action Cubs provides a unique opportunity for students in Grades 1- 5 to impact the world around them while also developing transferrable skills like good communication, critical thinking, and leadership.  

Action Cubs at the Opening Ceremony of the Playground games

How do Action Cubs Work?   

Action Cubs is organized into different committees: Environment, Recess, Lunch & Snack, Special Events, and Whole School. Students hold weekly sessions with their mentor teachers to chat and discuss the ideas and projects that could benefit the school, especially the Primary grades. Action Cubs is a project that gives voice and choice to students and allows them to take individual and collective action.    

WISS students playing Hopscotch

Ms. Linnea McCully is not only the G4 Red teacher at WISS, but she is also the lead teacher helping to organize Action Cubs. She explains, “In Action Cubs students improve their cooperation skills by working together with their committee to plan actions, events, and activities. They apply their research and thinking skills to gather information and consider how to solve problems. Action Cubs is beneficial for students because it allows them to participate in improving our school actively. It helps students to see that they have agency within their school and have the power to effect change.”  

This year, the playground committee had an excellent idea – transform the grey asphalt into a colorful pavement, painting some games, and sparking creativity.   

WISS students playing Mirror Me

Primary students know that play is an essential part of learning, so they proposed some painted games such as Mirror Me, Snakes and Ladders, and Hopscotch. They even included Kelso’s Choice Wheel to remind them of different ways to solve problems on their own.  

Like any process implemented in our school, students had to follow proper steps to see their favorite games painted on the sidewalk. They know that for a project to be successful, it is essential to involve everyone who can help by collaborating and bringing in their experience. Therefore, these students organized meetings with the Primary PHE teacher, Mr. Holmstrom, to show him their ideas and get his opinion and expertise.  

After they decided on all the games, they met with Ms. Lisa Ellery, WISS Primary Principal, to present the idea. During this meeting, Ms. Ellery advised that the only thing left was to meet the Maintenance Team to plan the best way to carry out this project. But, to her surprise, they had already completed this critical step! 

WISS students playing at the Western International School of Shanghai

Turning a project into reality involves many different processes: brainstorming, teamwork, meetings with other people, and much more. But our Primary Action Cubs are already expert project managers! In the words of Ms. Jessica Ladd, EAL teacher and the mentor teacher for the Action Cubs Playground Committee: “It was great to see the Action Cubs taking action on an issue they experienced during recess time: the need for more games to play. The students had many thoughts about what could be added to the playground but quickly decided that the most feasible idea would be to paint games on the additional space created when the parking lot was redesigned. They enthusiastically used their thinking skills as they brainstormed possible games to add and were excited to research more games. Communication skills were demonstrated as they explained, negotiated, and added on to each other’s contributions. At times, our group was quite noisy as everyone was eager and excited about making contributions to the project. The Action Cubs all knew their strengths and were easily able to identify how they could contribute. Some used their language skills to speak with the Maintenance Team while some Action Cubs were happy to use their design skills to map out and design the new games. Others used their leadership skills to teach other primary students how to play the games. Being able to build on each other’s strengths resulted in the project coming to fruition. Well done, Action Cubs! Way to show perseverance and commitment. ” 

Once again, WISS students have demonstrated how commitment, responsibility, hard work, and creativity can bring ideas to life and impact a community.