Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hi !! I Am Flat Ben

" Hi !! I am Flat Ben. I shall be your friend for the whole week of Spring Break. I am very excited, we are going to have a lot of fun together."

On Friday 16th of April, Ilham brought home a new friend "Flat Ben" to spend the Spring Break with us. Ilham was very excited about it. He was supposed to bring Flat Ben whenever he goes and he would write about their adventures together in the book provided by the teacher.

So, for the first few days, Ilham brought Flat Ben wherever he goes. They slept together at night with Flat Ben under the pillow. He brushed his teeth in the morning with Flat Ben standing next to the tooth paste. They ate and watched TV together, practically everything they did together . They even swam together (against my advice) in the bath tub :) I have to admit that Flat Ben was a good swimmer and he floats well in the water. You don't have to worry that he might drown in the bubble bath... Flat Ben loved water and would not have come out of the water had Ilham not realised that his colour had started to run!!!

But then, after a few days, Ilham started to feel the responsibility of bringing Flat Ben everywhere was kind of boring. Luckily Ilham's mother always had her big bag with her, so in Flat Ben into her bag and he would only come out once in a while to play with Ilham. But it's ok because he still followed them everywhere.... to Hoorn, The Hague, Amsterdam and the Flower Parade in Haarlem. The most interesting place was the Ajax shop where he bought Ilham his favourite Ajax jersey. You don't know Ajax? Why Ajax is the most famous football club in the whole of The Netherlands!!! It is kind of like that over famous club in the UK, you know that M..M..M something, aahh MU I think.

Ilham was used to having Flat Ben around that he felt very sad when he had to send Flat Ben back to his flat world when school reopened yesterday. He was actually crying that Sunday night!!! I told him that Flat Ben will only be going for a little while, he will come back to live with him when the school closes for Summer Holiday. Only then, he quietened a bit.

I think it is amazing that a little friend like that can have an impact on a child's life. What I like is it encourages Ilham to write in the book almost every day, sometimes with a lot of persuasion by his mother of course :) When I talked to one of Ilham's friend's mother this morning, she too said that it was a good idea for her son to have a "friend" like that.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Character Dress Up Day

Let's view all these cute kids in their costumes....

And of course these clowns....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey, I'm Dumpi

Who are you?

Hey ! I'm Dumpi !

Dumpi? Who is Dumpi?

I'm Dumpi, the crumpled paper bag. I'm on a mission to stop world-wide waste to save the planet !!!

And here I am .......

That is what Ilham decided to be for Book Character Dress Up day last Friday, after deliberating between "Greg" from Diary of The Wimpy Kid, a vampire and a penguin (yuck, he said). My dear husband then suggested that maybe he should be Dumpi instead since they just bought the book "World-wide Waste" the week before. Ilham jumped on the idea, and both of them were buzy trying to "transform" him into a recycled bag. They couldn't get a big enough brown paper bag(or paper), so finally they decided to use the rubbish bag instead. My DH painstakingly tried to make a hole to fit Ilham's big head and two holes for the arms to get through. I personally thought that the neck was too big on Ilham (alas, he is not a tailor!). The next morning, I redesigned another bag just like the real Dumpi in the book, complete with the strings tied at the neck, an orange hat and green glove.

I, actually had doubts about Ilham being Dumpi and wearing a rubbish bag, well I'm a mother!! I do not want him to be teased and made fun by other children! But I kept quiet, and did not voice out my thoughts for I did not want him to be self-conscious and also gave him negative ideas which he never realise before. I wanted him to be brave and dare to be different.

His classmates and other friends were curious and kept asking "who are you". His EAL teacher said that was a good idea, his Dutch teacher teasingly wanted to put paper in him so that he could recycle the paper and his karate trainer commented that it was good for the environment and that we must take care of our planet etc..etc.. !!

I'm glad that I did not discourage him...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mystery Reader In The Library

I gave up trying to upload a video clip of Mr De Burca entertaining the kids with his story, I tried 3 times and all of them ended up with contact Help Support. So instead, I'm going to write about Mystery Reader in the library of Lower School. This time, we only managed to attend only two occassions of the Mystery Reader in the library. Couldn't help it, we were late....

The first day, Paula the librarian and her assistant had read "Once Upon A Motorcycle Dude". They even dressed up as a princess and the ruffy dude. I have read the book, it is very funny :). It is a shame that I forgot to bring the camera that day!!

Then, on another day, they had an EAL teacher as the Mystery Reader. He was reading a book about this baby crocodile who wants to eat a child. Hmm... quite interesting. Here's some photos of him.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Story Telling At ISA

Niall De Burca I have been told, is a story teller from Ireland. He had been invited to the ISA to entertain the students during the Book Week last Tuesday and Wednesday. I actually had been expecting an author to come as last year an author was invited, and he had given a workshop to students and parents on how to write your own story. I found the workshop to be very interesting and yet quite alarming experience as well, maybe I should write about it one day. Anyway, since Ilham found Mr De Burca to be very funny (he met him earlier in the morning), I decided to join the workshop in the afternoon and managed to get a video clip and few photos of Mr De Burca entertaining the children. Ilham certainly enjoyed his story from the way he was laughing :))

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Week

Book Week here at ISA has always been quite an exciting event for the children. This year, the Book Week starts from 12th until 16th April 2010. The school will normally arrange for a few events to foster the goodness of reading in children and adults alike, and they do it in such interesting ways too.

Normally on Monday, there is a "Poem In My Pocket" day. On this day, whoever wants to participate will write a poem(s) and keep them in the pocket. If someone asks them, they will read the poem to that person. You can write your own poem or copy your favourite poem from the book. To ensure that people are aware that you have a poem, a sticker will be given by the homeroom teacher and you can paste it on your clothes.

Every morning from 8.15 to 8.30 am (before classes start), there is a mystery reader in the library. Children do love for someone to read a story to them!! The mystery reader could be a teacher, a parent or an invited author and the best thing is, sometimes they dress the parts too.

During one of the day in the week, the school will invite an author to come and visit the Lower School classes. The author will be the mystery reader in the morning and later after school, he/she will conduct a workshop for parents and students on topics related to "writing a book or story". This year's invited author is someone from Ireland I believe.

During one day of the week, at a specified time everybody must stop whatever they are doing and read for half an hour. Now I do not know how they actually do this because last year, I was not in school area at that time. But I think it must be interesting to see everybody reading.

There is also Book Fair in the school foyer from Monday to Thursday. The school will normally invite at least 2 bookshops (English) and also by this Scholastic Books publisher (I think).

And last but the most exciting event of all for the kids, on Friday they get to dress as their favourite book characters for the whole day of school! So you will get to see many princesses, witches, animal characters, knights, Harry Porter look-alike, even superheroes (not encouraged) and so on. Not only the students, but the teachers and the staff must also dress up!!

During the morning assembly, they should bring their books as well (from which the character comes from).

Here are some pictures from Book Week last year. Ilham had dressed up as a penguin after his favourite book at the time "Tacky the Penguin". So for the whole day, whenever his teacher was referring to him, she would call him Tacky :))

Tacky the funny penguin and Kai the Knight-in-shining Armor and below, with Nandinee the Wicked Witch ...

Listening avidly to the mystery reader in the library with friends Pau the Monkey and Stanley the Bee.Sitting at the front, Ilham (in bright green shirt) listening to the story read by the PE teacher.

Teachers dressing up as book character and also as mystery readers

This year, Ilham doesn't want to be a penguin anymore, he wants to be Greg from Diary Of The Wimpy Kid book. Greg always wears white shirt and a black short. What kind of dressing is that? No one will recognise him as Greg because the clothes are too normal. I told him to a vampire or a Harry Porter because we already have a cape and we have the books too. But he doesn't want to be a Harry Porter because he has yet to read the book !!! So we just have to wait and see what's going to happen in the next few days....

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Student-Led Conference

Student-Led Conference provides an opportunity for student to show parents their learning and works which they are proud of. During the conference students are in charge, not the teacher and not parents. The students will guide and share their selected works and and talk about their learning experiences, what they think they do best and the things which they find challenging or difficult. They will also talk about their goals for the rest of the year and how they are going to achieve it. They are encouraged to speak and talk in their mother tongue or their most comfortable language.

The teacher will act as facilitator and will be there to support and guide the students and help to maintain focus on the learning and to confirm student goals for the rest of the year. Now, the role of the parents is to encourage students to talk confidently about their learning and achievements. We are asked to be sensitive to our child's feeling as sometimes their thoughts and opinions may not be a true reflection of their ability and achievements. If we have any concerns, we may talk to the teacher at another time.

Ilham's conference was on the 26th March at 2.10 pm. His EAL teacher was also there, which was a disappointment because I had already made an appointment to see him separately at 3 pm !! I had so much to ask him and the conference did not allow me to do that because time was limited. Apart from that, everything went well. Ilham said he likes Grade 2 and he likes Unit Of Inquiry the best. He thinks he is a good reader and can spell hard and difficult words :) He likes reading a variety of books and his favourite is Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. He finds mathematics rather challenging (in other words difficult). His goals are to improve his cursive hand writing (which is messy) and to practice Mathematics at home.
He showed me his "book" called "The Dragon and The King", which according to the teacher he wrote himself based on a folktale during the previous Unit Of Inquiry.

That is a very nice and long story Ilham, keep writing.... And I can see why you want to improve your handwriting !!!

Don't worry, Mama will ensure that you practice at home ok. Ms Kimura had already given me the book on "Handwriting" to photocopy :)


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