Visiting Author Terry McDonagh

For this year’s Book Week the Upper School ISS Learning Commons staff had a real treat in store. Whilst the Lower School hosted author Paul Robson and Susanne Kessler, the Upper School hosted Irish poet, playwright and children’s novelist Terry McDonagh for the second time in the school’s history.

Terry first visited ISS approximately 12 years ago. Since then his writing has become even more prolific and has been rewarded with great success. Only recently his latest anthology of poetry Lady Cassie Peregrina was launched in Ireland to a great reaction.

ISS was eager to host Terry not only because of his literary versatility but also because of what his life experiences can bring to a school like ours. A native of County Mayo in the West of Ireland Terry lives in Hamburg, and as well as English speaks fluent German and according to him, rusty Irish. He is a qualified teacher and has taught in International Schools including the International school of Hamburg where his son attends. Terry’s work has been translated into both German and Indonesian and he works regularly with schools both in Germany and Ireland. So, he is very much an international person.

Terry conducted creative writing workshops with grades 6 to 10 during their scheduled English classes with other subject teachers releasing their students in order that double periods could take place encouraging an unhurried hub of creative activity. The workshops were all held in the Upper School Library.

Picture1

Terry, not only read samples of his poetry, but enticed the students to produce work of their own and read them out loud. Both the teachers and Terry were very impressed with the quality of work that students produced.

Anthologies of Terry’s poetry can be borrowed from ISS libraries or see Mr. Lawrence in the Upper School Library if you are interested in having your own personal signed copy. For more information about Terry do please visit his website.

www.terry-mcdonagh.com 

Degerloch Book Week Assembly

Students in the Degerloch Lower School had a fun time at our closing Book Week assembly. With special guests such as Pig and Elephant, and our amazing guest author Mark Robson, the laughs didn’t stop. All the students also came dressed as their favorite characters so even the audience was diverse and entertaining.

A big thank you to Ms. Lydia for organizing such a wonderful week, as well as to our other librarians Mr. Lawrence, Mrs. Daniel, and Mr. Rose who engaged students across the entire school in celebrating their love of reading.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hour of Code: A great success!

Many students at ISS had opportunity this week to learn more about coding and to experience the thrill of getting a computer to do what they told it! Using a variety of apps such as Kodable and the games available on code.org/learn, the students used block coding to experience worlds such as Minecraft, Star Wars, and Frozen. All students without exception were quickly and easily able to navigate the environment and to reach more complex levels.

Our advice: Keep coding! You can download many of the apps for free and code.org is available year around.

The Hour of Code is coming!

It is time again for the Hour of Code! The Learning Commons Team will be running hour long sessions from December 5th (Monday) to December 9th (Friday) for grades EY to 5 and there will be some session in G6 and 7 Design classes. The Hour of Code provides students with the opportunity to learn basic block programming (coding is basically creating a step by step guide for getting a computer to complete a task). The students use age-appropriate apps to go through levels which get progressively more difficult and which continually builds on the skills they are learning along the way.

The students will be using lots of thinking skills during the hour, specifically – sequencing, patterning, patience and attention to detail. There is lots of information on the Hour of Code website where you can watch tutorials and listen to influential people talk about the benefits of teaching children to code.

Try the following apps yourself or use the Code.org self-guided tutorials.

  • Scratch Jr. or Daisy the Dinosaur
  • Beebots (good for pre-readers)
  • Kodable
  • Hopscotch

 

Parent Forum: Our LC Resources

All Degerloch Lower School parents are invited to attend our Thursday Parent Forum on November 17th at 8:30 in the LS Library. Ms. Rickard and Mrs. Junginger will be sharing with you the digital tools and resources that we have available to support your child’s learning.

  • The Reading Cloud- our new library information system and more!
  • Britannica School and BrainPop- our online reference suite
  • Kid-friendly search engines
  • Linguascope and RAZ Kids

We are also available to answer any questions you may have regarding digital learning (ex. with the iPads) and Learning Commons resources in general

Following the session, Mr. Krusch and Mrs. Junginger will run a second session for Grade 5 parents about our Bring Your Own Laptop program in the Upper School. We will share the guidelines, the requirements, and examples of the type of learning students will be doing beginning in Grade 6. Plan to stay until 10:15 if you are attending both sessions, and 9:30 for the Learning Commons session only