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international school

    Students Say The Funniest Things: Part 2

    Our international school has approximately 250 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 6th grade classroom and also sees many of the elementary and middle school kids for Bible and Character Development. Here are a few quotes from the past couple of months.


    Kids waiting outside



    Conversations with a 2nd grader:
    “Mrs. Benedict, are you and Mr. Benedict married?”
    “Yes, we are.”
    “Why don’t you have a baby?”
    “Well, we haven’t been married very long and haven’t decided to have a baby yet. Besides, if I had a baby, I wouldn’t be able to teach you! Would you rather me be your teacher or have a baby?”
    “Have a baby!!! Pleeeeeease?!”



    Quotes from a Chinese kindergartner during David’s Bible class:

    I sat down funny, so she looked up, smiled and said, “Today I look like Mr. B is very funny. Today look like a funny and happy day for Mr. B.”

    When I introduced the lesson, Jesus Calming the Storm, she said, “Why we talka about Jesus all day long? Because-ah my mom, at home-ah, talk about Jesus too.”

    And on a different day:
    “Mr. B, your face look like so funny today!”



    I always read a book to the kids during their library time. The kintergardeners love to ask, “Why?” or “How come?” as I am reading. I always tell them, “Keep listening! We’ll find out!” The kindergartener mentioned above caught onto this.

    Mrs. B always say we’ll find out. We’ll find out! We’ll find out!”

    For the rest of the book, every time I finished a page, she would say, “Why? …We’ll find out!” She got such a kick out of it and laughed and laughed.



    3rd grader during computers talking to a friend:
    “Windows 95 is old. Everyone always talks about how great it is, but it is so old!”



    I went to pick up the 2nd graders for library. While we were waiting for everyone to line up, one girl said, “Mrs. Benedict, I like your shoes!”

    I said, “Thank you!” I was wearing my pointed-toe metallic flats.

    They look like elf shoes.”

    You think so? I guess they kind of are my elf shoes!”



    D: My Italian student walked into my classroom one morning and handed me his iPad and headphones. He said, “Mr. Benedict, you have to listen… Is very good song!” I placed the headphones on my ears and what I heard was mind baffling. The voices of the Backstreet Boys sang, “I want it that way.”



    D: One morning, an ESL (English as a second language) preschool student said, “Poopy.”
    I said, “That is not a very nice thing to say. You need to watch your mouth. That’s not appropriate.”
    As tears welled up in his eyes, I instantly knew I had hit a language barrier.
    Through sobs and deep breaths he blubbered, “I can’t even see my mouth!”
    (That’s the last time I tell an ESL student they need to watch their mouth!)



    I had the first graders for library one day. I showed them the cover of the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and told them the title. Next, I turned the book around to show them the picture of the author and told them, “This is who wrote the book.”

    One of our new students who does not know a lot of English shouted, “This boy is no beautiful!”

    Take a look:


    Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree cover



    » Read Students Say the Funniest Things: Part 1



    Oasis Cheerleaders

    I’ve been helping coach the 3rd through 7th grade cheerleaders. We meet once a week to practice cheers, jumps, basic stunts, and dances.

    Several basketball games were cancelled this year, including the big tournament. The school arranged one final game for Monday. The girls were super excited not only to cheer, but also for their first ever halftime performance! They worked hard in practice to perfect their stunt groups:


    Cheerleading thigh stands


    We found out the day of the game that the other team dropped out. We didn’t want the players and the cheerleaders to be disappointed again. Since we had already rented the space, the teachers and parents quickly assembled teams.

    The cheerleaders used a projector and markers to create a  good luck sign earlier in the semester, and we hung it up in the gym:


    Oasis Cheerleaders


    David and Daniel played in the men vs. boys game. Both student teams beat the adults.


    Students vs Staff basketball game


    My friend has done a fantastic job coaching the cheerleaders! It’s been fun for me to help. She has thought of everything, even down to the hair ribbons with super cute glitter paw prints (our mascot is the lion):


    Cheerleading ribbons


    The girls performed 3 short cheers and chants for their halftime show. The last cheer ended in thigh stand formations. The girls were so cute and did a really great job!


    Cheering at the halftime show


    I think it worked out well that the game was student vs. staff. It was laid back and took a lot of pressure off of the cheerleaders, especially with it being their first performance. What a sweet group of girls!


    Goofy cheerleaders



    100th Day of School

    Last week included the 100th day school has been in session this year. To celebrate, the lower elementary dressed up like 100-year-old men and women. I was excited because it was my day to teach the K4 (Preschool) and K5 (Kindergarten) Bible class.


    Elementary Bible Class


    When I went to pick up the K4 and K5 students, I came around the corner to a number of ancient looking boys and girls. We had a lot of fun in Bible class. I made a Psalm 100 coloring page and we sang it as a song. “Shout for joy to the Lord!”

    I enjoyed acting like an old man and tying in a Bible lesson to the 100th day of school activities. I have so much fun with all my Bible classes. I am often humbled by the faith these little individuals have in their Creator.

    But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14 (ESV)


    Coloring in Bible


    100th Day of School in Bible


    100th Day of School in Bible


    100th Day of School in Bible


    Leah took a few pictures of 100th Day of School festivities, too:


    100th Day of School glasses


    100th Day of School Sign



    Creating Chimeras

    I teach a Computer Graphic Design class comprised of mostly 11th and 12th graders. We started the semester learning about vectors and branding, and then moved onto raster graphics. Our school uses Gimp, a photo editing program similar to Photoshop.

    When I took a design class in high school, we created chimeras. I thought my students would enjoy the project, too.

    A chimera is a Greek mythological creature made up of parts from a lion, goat, and snake. It was mentioned in Homer’s Illiad. Today, the term chimera describes any fictional animal made of 2 or more animal parts.

    My students had to use parts from at least 3 different animals. They mostly used layer masks and color adjustments to create their chimeras.

    They are a very talented group of students, and I am very proud of them!


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Chimera created by an OIS Ankara student


    Which one was your favorite?



    Library Book Sale

    This week is a short week with two half days for parent/teacher conferences and Thursday off for Thanksgiving. Today was the first day of parent/teacher conferences.

    Keeping with the plans of the previous librarian, I ran the annual Library Book Sale to raise funds for new books. Our school receives many donations, not all of which we can use or have room for in our library. We also include damaged and other discarded books in the sale. There were several hundred magazines and picture, juvenile fiction, adult fiction, and non-fiction books. All items cost 1 lira regardless of size or condition.


    Students browsing books at the book sale.


    Kids and parents stopped by before class, during breaks and recess, and in between conferences. I can’t believe how quickly everything sold! There are not nearly as many books left for the sale tomorrow. I was also amazed that people purchased the ratty, worn books. There was one book with its front and back cover completely torn off. And yet, someone liked the book enough to purchase it!

    Seeing the joy in the kids’ eyes was a lot of fun for me. Very few books were in new condition, yet they were so excited to have new books to read and call their own.  It made me want to pull all of the unprocessed books and put them in the sale. (Don’t worry – I didn’t!) Several kids came back to the sale three, sometimes four times today.

    I can relate. I was an absolute bookworm when I was younger. I’d get in trouble for reading by my nightlight when I should have been in bed. I remember filling out a worksheet in 3rd grade that asked about my dream job. I wrote down librarian. Since 3rd grade, my dreams and aspirations went down different paths. I never would have guessed I’d become a librarian so many years later!

    It was also surprising to hear the students talk to their parents. We have an English-only rule during the school day. I did several double takes when I heard kids speaking a different language. Many of our students speak English so well I had no idea it wasn’t the language they spoke at home.

    Literacy is a gift denied to many. I pray our students will have a lifetime love of reading.


    [box]“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” – Frederick Douglass[/box]


    [box]“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” – A. C. Grayling[/box]


    [box]“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” – Walt Disney[/box]



    Students Say The Funniest Things

    Our international school has approximately 250 preschool through 12th grade students. I see all of the elementary classes once a week for library. David has his 6th grade classroom and also sees many of the elementary and middle school kids for Bible and Character Development. Here are a few recent quotes.


    Flags hanging in our school

    Our school displays flags from all of the home countries of our students.



    Mrs. B! Go fly, bee! Bee!” – K4 kids to me
    It is hard for them to say Benedict, so I told them they could call me Mrs. B. I drew a picture of a bee on the chalkboard. Not all of the K4 kids are native English speakers, but they all laughed when they made the connection.



    Mrs. Benedict, do you have a rubber?” – High school student
    “A what?!” – Me
    “An eraser?”  – High school student
    “Oh, yes.”  – Me

    Some European and US terms have different meanings.



    Mrs. Benedict, do you have a child?” – 2nd grader
    “No, I do not.” – Me
    “Oh. Are you going to have one?” – 2nd grader



    At home, we speak-a the Chinese because we from-a the Chinese.” — Kindergartner to David

    Teacha no like talk, quiet!” – Same kindergartner to classmates when told to be quiet.



    I teach Graphic Design to high schoolers. I recently gave a quiz over raster graphics that included file extensions. I gave the abbreviation and students had to tell what the letters represented. For TIFF (tagged image file format), one student put “Extra Terrestrial’s Intergalatic File Format.” A for effort!



    There is one preschool student who is learning English. She must have recently learned colors and always says, “Pink! Pink! I like pink!” when we color. (It sounds more like “peeeeeeeeeeeeeeenk”!) In library, I read Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman. When we finished the book, I asked them questions about what their mothers looked like.

    What color is your mother’s hair?” – Me
    “Black.” – Student 1
    “What color is your mother’s hair?” – Me
    “Black.” – Student 2
    “What color is your mother’s hair?” – Me
    “Black.” – Student 3  (Since I pointed to my hair when I asked hair color, maybe they misunderstood the question…)
    “What color is your mother’s hair?” – Me
    PIIIIIIINK!” – Student 4



    David was handing a K4 student his lost jacket one morning when a 2nd grade student walked up and said, “Mr. B., I think that looks like it’s mine.”
    To which David replied, “Andrea, I don’t think so… I think you are wearing yours.”
    He looked down at himself so his chin was in his chest, grinned, and said, “Oh…”



    Mrs. Benedict, how many pairs of earrings do you have?” – 3rd grader
    “Oh, probably less than 10 pairs.” – Me
    “I should get you some more earrings for your birthday.” – 3rd grader



    The drops from your eyes are what hurts my heart the most.” – One of David’s Spanish speaking students translating a song into English.



    Er-rur-ruh-tated.” – An ESL student trying to say the two r’s in irritated.


    We have the coolest students ever!