Mix It Up Lunches at ISB
By Angel Jin, ISB Communications
Published on Thursday, May 18, 2023
Mix it Up Lunches, created by the organization, Teaching Tolerance, challenges students to step out of their comfort zone and engage with others, helping to create a more inclusive learning environment. The International School of Beijing (ISB)’s Elementary School (ES) has been trialing Mix It Up Lunches, where lunches are organized between different grade levels, with conversation prompts and fun activities, giving these students the opportunity to communicate and build connections. Interactions across grades encourage friendships between students of different ages and gives students the chance to share their varying knowledge and experiences. Events like these are also a great catalyst in helping young students overcome fears and insecurities of meeting new people.
As one of ISB’s strategic focus areas this school year is to promote peer to peer communication across lines of difference, one of ES’s divisional goals has been to offer more ways for different grade levels to connect, naturally and purposefully. Hence, the Mix It Up Lunches, which greatly complements ES’s efforts of cross-grade interaction in the classroom. Through Mix It Up Lunches and ES’s broader efforts in promoting cross-grade collaboration, students’ network extend beyond their grade level, where they can learn from ISB’s broader school community.
And although Mix It Up Lunches has just been introduced at ISB, the feedback has already been overwhelmingly positive. Just ask Annelise (Kindergarten student), who says: “I like to line up and sit with the big kids and I like Mix It Up Lunch.” And David (Grade 5 student): “We really got to know our Kindergarten friends and it was fun to experience kindergarteners’ lunch time.” The younger students have especially benefited, as through these lunches, the older students have also helped lead kindergarteners through the transition into Grade 1, where they will start to order lunch themselves.
“I loved the kids and how enthusiastic they were. And I really liked the food.” - Kane, Grade 5 student
“I liked that we communicated with the kindergarteners. And that the kindergarteners could experience how to order lunch in Grade 1.” – Siwoo, Grade 5 student
These Mix It Up Lunches are a great example of the social-emotional learning culture at ISB, as it offers a wonderful opportunity for students to connect, collaborate, and cultivate meaningful relationships within our diverse school community.
ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.