We are very excited to have an awesome array of fabulous new field guides in the library! Many thanks to AISL parent (and wilderness guide!) Wikus Swanepoel for helping us select the best books for this order. Our library also has the following available for checkout: a Go Pro camera, a motion-activated trail camera, and a UV light. Make sure to stop by so you can stock up on items that will enhance your next trip out to the bush!
You can also find Lonely Planet & Bradt guides, field guides, and regional reads right along the walkway in the library on your left when you are passing through.
As the school year comes to a close, we would like to take this moment to say a very big thank-you to a few familiar faces in our Primary community who have connected closely with our students and teachers and are moving on to new 'chapters'.
Thank you to Ms. Sandra Martin-Hofmann for her four years years as a substitute teacher at AISL as well as all of the volunteer hours she put forward to support numerous events over the years. We wish her and her family the very best as they return to Germany.
Thank you to Ms. Stephanie Devalia for her contribution to the school through many 'hats' over the past few years. She has been a regular substitute teacher in the Primary school as well as a lead coach for the Torpedoes and the co-director of the Leopard's Hill Football League. We wish Stephanie the very best as she takes on a full-time teaching position at LICS next year.
Thank you to Ms. Lauren Wassink for her contribution to Primary as a G3 teacher and a long-term substitute PE teacher. She has been instrumental in helping to organize our annual Triathlon, being a lead coach for the Torpedoes, and helping with our G4&5 Dances these past few years. We wish her all the best in the UK next year.
Our holiday learning & enrichment Libguides are excellent places to start if you are looking for booklists, activity ideas, maker fun, and more. Our librarians have put these together with our students and community in mind. The MS (Middle School) Favorite Reads Padlet & the HS (High School) Favorite Reads Padlet have excellent recommendations from our own students. These guides also have recommendations for podcasts, news, and more! The password is the same as for parent portal. Ask a member of our staff or your child if you need it.
Secondary Holiday Learning
Primary Holiday Learning
We'd love to see pictures of you and your children reading over the holiday! This is not a photo contest and you don't need to be in an exotic locale for your picture. Sometimes a favorite place to read might just be on the living room couch with the family cat or dog curled up nearby. Please send pictures of secondary students (Gr6-12) reading or you reading (or your whole family reading!) however works best for you from these options:
We’ve had several queries about where to go for free audio books for over the holidays. Here are a few recommendations:
Tales2Go: Tales2Go gives you more than 7,000 audio books to choose from! The app (for iPhone or iPad or you can use it on desktop) is very easy to use and you can search by genre, grade range, title, author, or even narrator! We have a school-wide subscription for Tales2Go but each student has a unique log-in. The log-in format is the student’s graduation year followed by first initial and last name (i.e., 2021jsmith). The password is right on the Tales2Go icon when you visit our virtual library (virtual library password is the same as for parent portal) or please ask a member of our staff for help if you need it. The only down side is that this is a streaming service so the books cannot be downloaded, but they can be bookmarked. The selection is fantastic and Tales2Go also has books & music in French and Spanish.
AudioSync: AudioSync has a special promotional program to support literacy especially during school holiday time! This special allows anyone to download TWO free audio books (paired) every week through 25 July. The books are geared for students ages 13+ (mainly young adult fiction & non-fiction). You will need to have Overdrive on the device you plan to use (it is a free app). Then you are good to go! Please ask any member of our library team for help.
Lit2Go is a good site for public domain audio books that are easily searchable by genre. The books are generally classics but they’re good ones and all are free!
Open Culture has a bit of everything from free audio books to ebooks to MOOCS (Massive Open On-line Courses) and more!
Of course there are other sites out there- but these are a handful to get you started!
Thank you to all our community members for your terrific support in returning all library materials so we could conduct our annual inventory and generate a list of items to be replaced / billed. It helps us to ensure that our collection is in good shape! This is particularly important as more than 90% of our inventory comes in only once a year in the big annual shipment.
Please come in to check out a bunch of holiday reads as long as you are returning and have cleared your record from this year. Each patron (regardless of age) may check out 10 items. These items are due on the first day of school: 8 August. Beginning next school year, all holiday items must be returned before patrons may resume checkouts for the academic year.
Thank you for a wonderful year, everyone!
If you've passed through the library this past week, you've probably wondered what is going on with all the book shuffling & shelf moves and other changes. Here's a peek at what we've been up to:
New computer station area in primary: This will be used for a variety of purposes, including Mind Craft gaming for upper primary and middle school students. Students will have supervision and boundaries with the use of this area.
New tinker table in primary: This is a great way for students to inquire, explore, and engage in hands-on learning by taking apart every day objects and more! They are already using it and loving it!
New sections in primary: Miss Jill has created specific sections for holiday picture books, fractured fairy tales (funny re-tellings of classic fairy tales), and a dedicated area for "SuperSeries"- books that are fantastic for children who are looking for more of a read than beginner chapter books, but who aren't quite ready for junior fiction. Come check it out!
New sections in secondary: The DVDs, which are gradually going the way of Blockbuster Video and Redbox, are being shifted to the departments that use them for easier access during units of study. The DVDs were taking up a lot of "prime realty" right by the coffee bar. That space will now be used for some new genrified sections: real-life survival and adventure stories, high-interest non-fiction, wellness, teen sexuality, and high-interest biographies. You'll also notice a new shelf on the walkway with "Regional Reads" & regional travel books. Our hope is that our patrons can find what they want more easily this way.
New fort for secondary students: Secondary students helped design a new "fort" for the back, left-hand corner of the secondary library. This will be built over the first part of the break. It will have a lower and upper level that will give them a fantastic space to enjoy reading.
A Spruced Up Coffee Bar: Our "bundu" coffee bar will get a face lift! We have some simple but inspired design plans to make it more inviting for all. You'll see the changes when you come in after the break. Huge thanks to Primary IT Teacher Mr. Frank Louw for helping to create the plans for the redesign.
A semi-enclosed quiet study space: Though our overall space makes it tricky for real quiet space (our new facility will have several glassed in study rooms for that purpose), we are trying to create a couple more quiet zones so people can focus on what they need to do.
A new craft / maker table: In Secondary School student have a dedicated Maker Space in the Middle School Design Lab. But we also want to promote hands-on activities & problem-solving in the library. We will have a weekly activity or challenge on a large table where the computers used to be.
Laptops for Check-Out for Work in the Library: We will have 4 laptops available to be used in the library starting in August for those people who used to work at the desktops. With the laptops you can work anywhere you'd like, which will give you greater flexibility and allow us to use our space more effectively.
Thanks for bearing with us while we make our space better to meet our patrons' needs! We are always open to your suggestions!
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!!
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)
Mac & Cheese
Sweet & Sour Chicken
BBQ Brisket with Potato Wedges
Creamy Garlic Pesto Chicken
Pork Chops with Pineapple
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