Browsing Tag:

international school

    Volleyball Spirit Week & Games

    Our high school volleyball teams competed in their season tournament in the middle of October. We had three spirit days and a short pep assembly to support the teams.

    Wednesday was Superhero Day. Teachers and students dressed as their favorite heroes from movies, books, history, and real life. As you can imagine, the lower elementary kids LOVED this day. Capes, masks, and ninja moves galore!


    Superhero Day




    David reused his Mr. Incredible costume from last year’s Character Day. One of his former students was an Incredible, too!




    This was one of my favorite costumes from the day:


    Rosie the Riveter


    Superhero teacher


    Thursday was Tourist Day. Some kids wore shirts from places they’ve traveled, and others wore typical tourist attire (think hats and sunglasses):


    Tourist with map


    This guy was so proud of his homemade camera:


    Tourist Day


    Boy with binoculars


    Tourist Day


    Friday was School Colors Day and we had a quick pep assembly with a silly pass-the-hula-hoop game:


    Pep assembly


    The tournament took place over Friday and Saturday.


    Volleyball serve


    David helped coach the men’s volleyball team this fall:


    David coaching


    Volleyball tip


    Volleyball team


    The teams played hard and the guys placed third in the tournament. Two of the guys were named to the All-Tournament team, and one of our girls was named the MVP of the girls tournament.


    Students Say the Funniest Things: Part 4

    Our international school has approximately 230 preschool through 12th grade students. I see all of the elementary classes once a week for library and some high school students for an elective. David has his sixth grade class and also sees many of the elementary kids for Bible, Character, and PE. Here are some quotes from the past few months.


    Mismatched kids



    In the Korea, I will miss you forever.” — Preschool student at the end of last year. Her family moved back to Korea. 🙁



    Preschooler: “I want to go to the Japan because the mother is in the Japan.”
    Me: “I think I’ve seen your mom recently. Do you mean your grandmother?”
    Preschooler: “Yes, the mother.”



    Mrs. B, we like informational books. Do you have any informational books?” — Kindergarteners last year. The boys especially loved science books!



    Before school, a preschooler was singing along to himself.
    Me: “What are you singing?”
    Preschooler: “The uh oh snail.”
    Me: “Is that from a movie or TV show?”
    Preschooler: “My brother taught it to me. The uh oh snail! The uh oh snail!”



    First grader: “If I had another piece of paper I’d use it in this hand to fly [down the stairs]… But I think you need feathers for that.”
    Me: “Probably. But it’d still be fun.”
    First grader: “Yeah, SO fun!”



    I had the kindergartners for library. I asked them what letter they learned about that day, and they told me the letter B. I said, “Hey! Like me! Mrs. Benedict! Mrs. B!”
    K5: “Oh yeah! Miss B!”
    Me: “And Mr. B, too.”
    K5 girl: “Are you married?”
    Me: “Yes, I am.”
    K5 girl: “PPPPPPFFFF! You can’t be married.”
    Me: “Oh no? Why not?”
    K5 girl: “Cause you’re a library girl. Library girls don’t get married.”



    David had the first and second graders for character class. He was using toothpaste as an illustration. He showed the tube to them and asked the kids what it was.
    Kids: “Toothpaste!”
    First Grader: “I like to EAT that stuff!”
    The student continued to say how they wanted to eat the toothpaste throughout the lesson.



    Preschooler: “I have to look down to watch my feet so I can practice my walking. When I’m five, I don’t have to practice any more.”



    There is a preschooler who’s first language is Turkish. She is in the process of learning English this year. She heard the other kids calling David “Mista B” and started referring to him as ağabi (pronounced ahh-bee), which is a respectful term meaning “older brother.” So cute!



    » Read Students Say the Funniest Things: Part 1
    » Read Students Say the Funniest Things: Part 2
    » Read Students Say the Funniest Things: Part 3



    Library Tour!

    Welcome to the library! It’s the coolest (and during the warm months, the hottest) place to be in the school. I got a couple of upgrades this year and finished updating the signage.

    When you walk into the library, the book return bin is on your left and the reference and periodical sections are to your right:


    Reference and periodicals


    The main room has a large carpet for story time, a cozy reading area, pillows for the kids to use, and the nonfiction shelves:




    I added an extra table to the work area. Behind the tables is my desk and the circulation computer:


    Library tour


    And now for the upgrades… tada! Check out the fiction room! Brand new carpet and another set of shelving! I’m so excited. You can also see the student catalog computer on the right:


    Fiction room


    Last year, the picture book shelves were so cramped it was difficult for the elementary students to look through and take out the books. No more! The picture books can breathe now! I tried to keep as many off of the very bottom shelf as possible. It’s a pain to get down there. But also, it leaves room to grow in the future.


    Picture books


    Picture books


    One column of these shelves is dedicated to featuring the new and recommended juvenile books. Another houses the step readers:


    Featured books and step books


    I added these two fiction series shelves last year. Geronimo Stilton, Bailey School Kids, Magic Tree House, Flat Stanley, Series of Unfortunate Events, and The 39 Clues are student favorites:


    Fiction series books


    By the end of this year, we’ll have 10,000 items available for checkout. As you can see, the juvenile fiction section is loaded!


    Juvenile Fiction shelves


    I’m slowly renovating and expanding the secondary fiction section:


    Secondary fiction section


    It’s rewarding to see how much the library has grown. I’m hoping there will be a lot more circulation with the new shelving!


    » See what’s changed by checking out last year’s tour here.



    First Day of School: Year Three

    After an amazing staff retreat and a few days of in-service and preparation, before we knew it the first day of school arrived! We were so excited to see the returning students and to meet the new students.

    Each year on the first day, everyone gathers outside for an assembly. I love seeing the sea of students:


    Students on the first day


    Our director gave a few words and introductions. Then everyone walked around the building to kick off the year with a moment of silent reflection and thankfulness.


    Thankful walk with school and Turkish flag


    We’re glad to be here and are ready for another wonderful year!


    David and Leah on the first day of school



    The Yearbook: Perspective

    With one year of advising the yearbook class under my belt, I felt a little less overwhelmed this time around. I had ten students and we had about 18 weeks to finish our files.


    The yearbook staff


    I kept the same class structure as last year. We discussed publication design and I taught them the basics of the computer programs during the first four weeks of class. Since we had less than a semester, I set the graphic styles and created a design template. Students then made mock ups, wrote and edited articles, and edited and placed photos. We used Gmail and Google Docs throughout the entire process. I constantly referred students to my Spread Assignment Sheet for page numbers and due dates. We used a very specific file structure on the school server, and I graded everything up until the end on the computer.

    Our yearbook is a full-color, 125 page hardcover publication. We used Scribus to layout spreads and Gimp to edit photographs. Some students worked in Inkscape and Blender to create vector artwork. We use a local print company. I can’t believe their turn around – just one week!


    Yearbook delivery piles


    This book was extra special because this year is the tenth anniversary of our school. The students decided on the theme “Perspective.” I had all of the kids create a cover option and they voted for their favorite. A senior designed this year’s cover. Our school is built around an atrium. This is a view of the ceiling and the flags we display for each home country.


    Yearbook cover


    The full cover:


    Full cover


    Title page:


    Title page


    Table of contents:


    Table of Contents


    Letter from the director:


    Letter from the Director


    Every grade had a mugshot page and a feature page:


    Class mugshot page

    Class feature spread


    The seniors were highlighted in their spreads:


    Senior spreads


    Most extra curricular activities had one-page spreads:


    ECA spread


    Sports teams had two-page spreads:


    Soccer spread


    A couple of students were creative with cutouts:


    Spirit Weeks spread


    Two students wrote a fantastic article about the beginning of our school. Our director provided information for a timeline:


    Decade spread


    Year favorites spread:


    Year Favorites Spread


    I have all but one yearbook in the library. It’s exciting to see Volume 10 join the shelf!


    Oasis yearbooks


    The kids did a great job and I’m so proud of them and their finished product. We’ll distribute them on Monday. I can’t believe there’s only two half days of school left!


    » Read about last year’s yearbook here.
    » Download my Spread Assignment Sheet resource here.



    International Days

    Some of my favorite days at our school are the International Days. Every spring our elementary students celebrate their diversity by dressing up in the traditional garb of their home country. They each bring a dish of food and they play games from around the world.

    David was Michigan-ed out with his Detroit Tiger’s hat and his Michigan Awesome shirt and mug (thanks, Mom!).


    David in his Michigan Awesome gear


    Our students represent 42 different countries this year including Egypt:




    And Ecuador:




    Nigeria, America, Gambia:


    International students






    Korea and America:


    Korea and America


    Italy and the UAE:


    Italy and UAE


    Here’s David and his sixth grade class:


    David's sixth grade class


    And the entire upper elementary:


    Upper elementary


    In the afternoon, the students enjoyed the international cafe!


    International Cafe


    We teachers indulged too, of course. 🙂


    International foods


    The lower elementary students had their International Day a week later. I adore the traditional dress from Korea. It’s so beautiful! These pint sized girls looked like perfect little dolls!


    Romania and Korea


    The lower elementary kiddos are just too cute! I love our school!


    Lower elementary


    » Read about last year’s International Day here.