What I am excited about this week…
This week Ms. Julie Frederick's Language and Literature students are engaging in the Individual Oral Commentaries (IOC). This internal assessment is worth 15% of the students' IBDP Lang. Lit. grade and is a nail biter for many students because it is one of the first high-stakes assessments. The IOC is a 15 minute oral commentary about a passage from a book, poem, or play read during the course of the semester. Students read two (SL) or three (HL) works this spring, 1984 (George Orwell), poems from Carol Ann Duffy, the UK's poet laureate, and A Streetcar Named Desire a play by Tennessee Williams. Students randomly select a pre-prepared passage and are given 20 minutes to prepare their commentary. Students' commentaries are a critical examination of the extract and allow students to analyze the relationship between formal literary elements and meaning in the text they select. Good luck language and literature students!
Many thanks to the parents and students who returned library items when they were due this past Monday 28 May. We are issuing bills for those patrons with lost items and add 30% to the bill to cover international shipping & library bindings and processing. Every year a few items end up packed in shipments, left behind during a last camping trip, or eaten by the family dog, and we want all our patrons to know that we would MUCH rather have our resources & needing to be replaced occasionally rather than collecting dust on a shelf!
As soon as we complete our annual inventory, holiday checkouts (10 per patron) will run from 7 June to 14 June for returning patrons with clear records.
July Hours (note: closed until July 18th for light construction & repairs)
9.00 to 12.00 as follows:
18 July (Weds)
21 July (Fri)
24 July (Weds)
27 July (Fri)
Please consider joining us in having a family DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) challenge this holiday! All you need to do is find 2 times a week (or more if you like!) when your whole family commits to reading together (individually or as a family).
We'd also love to have images of you and your children reading in their favorite places over the holiday! You can either tweet the picture to @terryamaguire #aislravereads or email it us!
For more information on great booklists, writing contests, maker fun, and other holiday activities please check out our holiday learning libguides:
Thanks for a great year, everyone! Keep the book love going!!
If you are leaving or if you're just wanting to save a record of some of the amazing work your son/daughter has produced over the year, there is a way to download your child's Seesaw journal, including images, videos, audio recordings, and text notes or captions. Here's how:
This past Monday secondary students had the fantastic opportunity to attend three different sessions with experts who work in fields connected with the sciences, an event organized by the secondary Science Department with support from the secondary librarian. The sessions spanned topics from wildlife conservation to HIV / AIDS prevention to malaria eradication to forest biodiversity and more! A couple of students even remarked that some of the presenters changed the career path they are planning to take!
Interestingly, many presenters cited the following skills as essential for their work: problem-solving, resilience, strong written and verbal communication, innovation, and asking the right questions. Do these skills sound familiar? They are also skills that are among the IB Learner Profile attributes and they are central to our AISL Portrait of a Learner.
Please join us in extending our gratitude to the following parents who made this event the success it was and for taking time away from professional demands to enrich student learning at AISL:
Mr. Rhett Harrison, Senior Scientist - World Agroforestry Centre
Mr. Keyvan Izadi, Environmental Management Technical Advisor to ZEMA (US Forest Service)
Mr. John Miller, Senior Malaria Technical Advisor - PATH Institute
Dr. Michael Herce, Asst. Professor & Director of Implementation Science, U. of North Carolina & CIDRZ
Dr. Abdi Mohamed, Senior Technical Advisor - PATH Institute and Zambian Ministry of Health
Mr. Wikus Swanepoel, Wilderness Guiding & Guide Training
Ms. Driekie Smith, Radiographer formerly with BRad Diagnostic (SA)
Ms. Melanie Luick Martins, Health Officer - USAID
Dr. Karen Laurenson, Wildlife Epidemiologist & Conservation Project Manager - Frankfurt Zoological Society
Dr. Tommy Asinga, Veterinary Doctor - Loving Hands Veterinary Clinic
We are hoping to expand on this event and to explore offering a broader career fair for next academic year. We will be asking for some parent help & input in the new school year!
The other day I was reminded once again of what a blessing our verdant campus is with its many outdoor learning spaces for students. Ms. Conte's Gr6 language & literature students are exploring a wide range of poetic forms, so to go a little deeper into some of these types of poems students tried their hand at writing concrete poetry, sonnets, limericks, haiku and other forms and also spent time reading poems for two voices with a partner. Many of our outdoor picnic tables were set up as activity centers where students could experiment with a certain poetic form. Students chose favorite shady garden patches where they could read poetry aloud with a partner. What a lovely environment for learning! (photos by T. Maguire)
Grade 9 & 10 MYP Visual Arts students as well as many of our primary students had the fantastic opportunity today to meet Mr. Jeffrey McDonald, a renowned fantasy & science fiction illustrator currently residing in Lusaka. Mr. McDonald has been creating art since he was a child and regularly attends some of the biggest ComicCons in the United States. Today he shared his artwork with students as well as his process for creating and refining his work. He also participated in the AISL Primary School's ComicCon. Mr. McDonald's message to our secondary students was that talent isn't something you are simply born with- that excelling at any endeavour is a matter of regular, consistent practice and a passion for what you do. We are so grateful to community members who share their expertise with our students. If you have a particular skill, hobby, or passion you would like to share with our students please contact Terry Maguire, Secondary Teacher-Librarian.
Many thanks to the PTA for coordinating this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week and for all the parents and students who participated. If you did not get a chance to participate, it is never too late. Please find a teacher, teaching assistant, counselor, teacher-librarian, or administrator and tell him or her how grateful you are for their work with your child.
Unless you have tried it, it is hard to understand how difficult teaching is. Teachers have to be ready every day with engaging lessons across a variety of topics and then be ready to adjust those lessons to the abilities, background knowledge, mental blocks, passions, and daily mood swings of as many as two dozen unique individuals sitting before them. If a teacher is tired or having a bad day, there is no flexibility in their schedule – the students will still arrive when the lesson is scheduled to begin and will be expecting the teacher to perform at 100% no matter what. Teachers navigate literally thousands of large and small decisions and social interactions every day. When the lessons are done, there are papers to grade, Managebac or SeeSaw posts to update, meetings to attend, and extra help sessions to support students. And then it’s time to switch gears and coach, advise an activity, chaperone an event, or work on a professional development or service activity - much of which is done on a volunteer basis. Then it all starts again the next day. At other times, a teacher may volunteer to take on the very heavy burden of in loco parentis responsibility for other people’s children on a field trip, an athletic trip, or even a multi-day Explore Zambia or international trip. That kind of 24/7 responsibility is truly exhausting.
Although teaching is very hard work, teachers do it because they love to support students and rejoice with them as they have ‘a-ha’ moments or demonstrate a new skill they have mastered. They do it because they love to help build confident young people who are prepared for the future. They do it because they are committed to change and to helping build a better world.
As I walk around campus, I am daily humbled by the dedication and hard work of the teachers at AISL. Our teachers pour themselves into their work every day and deserve a very large measure of all-too-rare appreciation and gratitude. Please do these fine professionals a favor and find a few moments to recognize the teachers who have had an important impact on your child.
What I am excited about this week…
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday: 07:15 - 15:45 / Friday: 07:15 - 14:30