Thursday, May 31, 2012

Waterpuppet show

Back in April I was able to chaperone the field trip with the drama and choir classes to a water puppet show! This is a traditional form of art in Vietnam, originating from Hanoi in the north.

We went to the water puppet theater that is right next door to the Saigon Zoo and Botanic Gardens...


Most of the pieces are stories of cultural legends/folktales or depicting national history...

My favorite piece was the dance of the water fairies!...

The artists came out at the end of for a bow!

And two of them even stayed for a bit to answer our questions and tell us more about this art form in Vietnam.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

AIS Teachers' Next Stop...

The Student Council members came up with a great idea! ...They've created a world map poster (located on the bulletin board between the 2nd and 3rd floors...) showing where the departing teachers are off to next!

I think it turned out really well and is a lovely gesture to these teachers...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thi Nghe donation #2

Last Wednesday some students went with Ms. Elizabeth and Ms. Patrice to volunteer their time and loving care at the Thi Nghe Orphanage.

At that time, they also delivered the second round of donation items that have been collected!

I must say, I am incredibly impressed by the generosity of the AIS middle school students! Thank you for all that you've given. The orphanage really appreciates the items!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

you read everywhere!

I've taken to bringing my current book into the lobby, just outside the library doors, during the morning and afternoon breaks. I like being among the bustle of the students during this time... and it's fun to have many students stop as they walk by to check out what I'm reading!

Keiny, in 6th grade, just made my day... he came up to me during the afternoon break and said, "Ms. Stacia, I wish I had a camera because you read everywhere and it's so funny." Hahaha. Thanks Keiny! I take that as a huge compliment.  :)  ...He went into the library to get my camera to take the picture above.  :P

[I've just started Sarah Dessen's book, That Summer.]

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reading Buddies -- April Visit

I have really enjoyed being a part of Reading Buddies with Ms. Sarah and her 6th grade ESL class this year! We have kept up regularly with our monthly visits... and I believe that our visit to Saigon Pearl at the end of April was the best one yet!

This experience has been wonderful... to see the growth of our 6th graders in their English language skills, their reading skills, and their ability to keep a 3-year-old entertained with books! Not only that... but the 3-year-olds have blossomed throughout the school year as well... they are not as shy, they enjoy the books with our students, AND they are much taller now!

I talked with one of the preschool teachers from Saigon Pearl and she said that she definitely wants to keep Reading Buddies going next year -- what a compliment to us and our students!

Well done to Ms. Sarah's class :) ...and hopefully we can fit one more visit in this month before the school year ends.

Ms. Stacia - new 6th grader

Tina, in 8th grade, put together a wonderful video to show to next year's incoming 6th graders... all about middle school... and how much it ROCKS!

Enjoy  :)

Thanks to everyone who helped in the making of this video! The 5th graders come to the middle school this morning for an orientation of our campus and this video will be a part of that.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Below are some reminders...

We will continue checking books out for the next couple weeks... but all student checkouts are due by May 30th!
Ms. Winny and I need to begin making sure we receive all library materials back before the summer break begins.

Monday, May 7, 2012

favorite place to read

I was going through old emails this morning and re-found the following photo:

Ms. Sarah had her students post a picture on their blogs showing their favorite place to read. This was an assignment for over the Tet Break... and Keiny's (6th grade) was one of my favorites! I really like how he used his love for Lego's in the photo.  :)

What a great / fun 'assignment'! I remember being in the classroom as each student shared their photo(s) and it was a nice way to get to know a bit more about each student...

The Book Whisperer

Do you recognize the book below from Ms. Sarah's READ poster?!?

A middle school reading / social studies teacher in Texas, U.S. wrote, The Book Whisperer, and tells about some great ideas to use in the classroom that help get students excited about reading! The Book Whisperer started as a blog that she kept... you can see her blog by clicking here. Not only is Donalyn Miller able to get students excited about reading... but she teaching them to love reading for life.

I really like, The Book Whisperer, and it is one of the few books that I actually packed to bring with me when I moved to Vietnam from the States this past summer.

Last year at the elementary school that I was working at, each teacher was able to choose one book to receive as a gift from our principal for Teacher Appreciation Week... this is the book I chose.

When I arrived at the AIS middle school in July, I noticed that we also had a brand new copy of it here! ...Great! I had not ready my copy yet and was excited to get to reading it soon... but first, I had an entire library collection to try and get familiar with.

I put the school's copy of, The Book Whisperer, on display ...and it caught Ms. Sarah's eye. She really enjoyed the book and she recommended it to me, as I still hadn't gotten around to reading my copy yet.  :P

This book is meant for teachers to read... and how teachers can get their students to love reading -- on their own, not just for school -- ...but I wanted to share with you through this post, how books can make connections between people.

When Ms. Sarah checked out, The Book Whisperer, her and I barely knew one another. Now, she is one of my closest friends! ...This book was the basis of many talks between us as we got to know one another in the beginning of the school year.   :)  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

AIS MS spring concert

A few students requested me to video the spring concert... 
below are the videos...   :)

[And a wonderful job to Ms. Patrice, Mr. Arunski, and Mr. Ryan for a great concert!]


Although I don't love the dog-eared page in the picture below... I do love the post-it note that I found while checking the book back into the library...

This is in the book, The Angel Experiement, by James Patterson... which is the first book in the Maximum Ride series (which you might recognize from Ms. Patrice's READ poster!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

website reliability checks

I'm currently working with Mr. Michael and his 7th grade classes 
in ICT to review and discuss how to determine whether 
a website is reliable or unreliable.

Below are the key factors we've come up with... to look into... and then decide whether you think the information is reliable...
  • Reliable and qualified author / organization
  • Up-to-date
  • Is the information biased?
  • The site is relevant to me
  • URL domain (.com   .net   .gov   .edu)
  • Site has choices and all links work
  • Information can be checked on other sources
  • Clear aims of the site
  • Site achieves its aims

the library is BIGGER!

You've probably already noticed that the study carol dividers 
on the library tables have been removed.


The library feels opened up and a lot BIGGER!

The main reason behind this change is to create a more friendly, collaborative space with the library. Now, when students and classes come to the library, it will be easier to work together.

Note: Please do not move the computers from where they are set up. 
We would like to keep the computers plugged in 
and in the positions they are set up in. Thanks!

1st donation drive load for the orphanage

Last week some of the Student Council members went with Ms. Sarah and Ms. Shelly to the Thi Nghe Orphanage for our 3rd visit... and brought the first load of items collected through the drive!

Rice, milk, toothbrushes and paste, toilet paper, shampoo, and more was brought to the orphanage. These are all items that the orphanage has said that they can use and are in need of.

Thank you, thank you, to all AIS students who donated items to our drive! We appreciate your generosity... and are continuing the drive for more items through the rest of the school year.