During March Break (March 14-21 2016), two teachers from Toronto Ryerson Community School visited their sister-school in Shanghai (Huaping Primary School) for the first time and participated in Huaping's school life. During their visit, they cotaught three lessons with their sister-school colleagues in the areas of Science and Technology, Language and Character Education. They also had an opportunity to experience various professional learning and teaching research activities in the context of their sister-school.
Between Sept 2015 and June 2016, a sister-class partnership was formed between Huaping Grade 4 Class and Ryerson Grade 3 Class. Students from the classes exchanged letters with each other. Their teacher also exchanged teaching strategies with one another too.
To celebrate the World Water Day, Room 26 @ Ryerson was turned into a Watery Wonderland during the week of March 23 - 27, 2015. All Grade 4 and 5 students and teachers from Room 26 participated in educating other students in Ryerson about H2O and the importance of preserving and conserving water. The same week, Huaping celebrated the World Water Day by organizing a Water Science Gala and in-class water education sessions. Prior to the Water Day celebration, with the help of computer technologies, Ryerson and Huaping students also had an opportunity to jointly design a series of water-character (水) posters from a distance. Huaping students designed various kinds of “水” characters whereas Ryerson students filled the water characters with slogans and pictures. Their jointly produced water character 水 posters were displayed in both sister-schools during the water week celebration. On May 27, 2015, students from RCS and HPS had a skype meeting on the theme of water. At the meeting, RCS student carried out a water science experiment under the instruction of HPS students. Likewise, HPS students completed a watershed activity under the guidance of RCS students. Students from schools discussed the results of their activities with each other.
2015年3月23日－27日，怀雅逊26教室的师生们将他们花了一个月时间布置的“水乐园”课室开放给全校师生参观，以纪念 3.22 世界水日，提高师生们对水的认识。“水乐园”里设有7个以水为主题的活动角 （如：河狸筑坝、沉浮船、油污染、溢油事、塑料岛等），由26号教室的学生亲自负责管理与运作。在地球的另一个角落，华坪小学也同时开展了“探秘水世界和乐嘉年华”活动， 其宗旨旨在第二十 三届“世界水日”(3 月 22 日)、第二十八界“中国水周”(3 月 22 日-28 日)之际,进 一步引导广大青少年学生增强爱水护水节水意识,树立水生态文明理念。 华坪小学的水庆典以“水科技”活动和“水教育”活动为主，内容包括： 活动内容:水的肚量、自动抽水机、硬币盛水、人造漩涡、倒不出来的水、水滴放大镜等。一进华坪小学南校区的校门，映入眼帘的是是华坪的学生月怀雅逊学生共同完成 的“水”字作品，这是两国孩子共同的“水”作品,意味着全世界人民共同保护水资源。这些“水”字作品同时也在怀雅逊小学里展出。 2015年5月27日晚上，华坪小学与加拿大怀雅逊姐妹校进行了项目开展以来规模最大的视频交流会。此次交流的主题是“有趣的水实验活动“，学生就实验内容、实验流程、操作要点、实验中的收获开展了积极互动。其中， 双方再现了前期水周活动中的一个实验活动：中方学生首先介绍了由加方学生提出的分水岭模型制作和相关探究活动；而后，加方学生则在华坪学生的指导下开展了“利用液体测量石块的体积”、“水的表面张力”等活动。
Between Nov 2015 and June 2016, Ryerson and Huaping students furthered their reciprocal learning on water through a joint scientific inquiry into indigenous water problems in Canada.
The tangram, or the Chinese Puzzle, is a dissection puzzle that consists of seven flat pieces — two large triangles, one medium triangle, two small triangles, one square and one parallelogram. It had been around in China for a long time (perhaps since the Song dynasty). The goal of the puzzle is to place all seven pieces on a flat surface to form diagrams in the shapes of objects, landscapes, animals or human figures. Though invented in China, the tangrams are now widely available in all parts of the world. In a school like Ryerson, tangrams are often used in math lessons. For many years, Huaping prided itself for having a school culture on the theme of the tangram-art. For instance, it delivered a weekly tangram enrichment program to its Grade 1- 5 students. Students’ tangram art work could also be seen around the school campus. Huaping’s tangram was slightly different from the traditional Chinese tangram as it consisted of additional shapes - circles. At a Skype meeting in October 2014, teachers from Ryerson and Huaping agreed to collaborate on a reciprocal learning project on the theme of “tangram.” Between November and December 2014, Ryerson teachers purchased those “new” tangrams commonly used in Huaping and carried out a series of math-art integrated lessons using both the traditional and “new” tangrams. Meanwhile, Ryerson and Huaping teachers also exchanged classroom notes and teaching observations with one another.
The Toronto-Shanghai sister school project is one of the foundation programs in Xu and Connelly's (2013-2020) SSHRC Partnership Grant Project. Dr. Michael Connelly as the SSHRC Partnership Project Co-Director leads the General
Education and Culture Team and collaborates with Professor Lan Ye and Yuhua Bu at East China Normal University in developing, facilitating and maintaining the communication and collaboration between Toronto and Shanghai sister
principals and teachers.
Each school year, the sister-teachers would discuss and decide on a theme of focus and the shared vision would usually result in a collaborative project, such as the Annual World Water Day project developed by Ms. Rigler, Mr. Shao
and Ms. Liu, and the My School project developed by Mrs. Fenton, Ms. Wang and Ms. Ding. The teachers would integrate collaborative projects with their lessons while responding to their own local curriculum. Weekly and daily
conversations revolve around lesson planning, classroom activities, new ideas and reflections on the on-going projects.
The two schools’ forms of collaboration include school visits, co-authorship and co-presentation, and more frequent communication on weekly and daily basis.
Research assistants from UT/OISE and ECNU visit Mrs. Fenton and Ms. Rigler’s lessons and arrange narrative fieldnotes based on what they observe. Thoughts and reflections are shared in the form of fieldnotes and Wechat communication.
Ms. Adrienne Rigler (Toronto) and Mr. Yimin Shao and Ms. Yufei Liu (Shanghai) extended their partnership from teacher-teacher communications to include students. They started forming student-student collaborations since 2018, and the teachers’ excitement from the partnership, which was shared with students in class, encouraged students to participate actively in their WeChat conversations and Skype meetings. Teacher and student partners exchanged pictures and videos of each class’s works and ideas around the topic of Water Education.