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Happy Holidays From all at A.I.S.R.

Dracula! A production with real bite...

Inside: • Director’s and Principal’s letters • Dracula Reviewed • Grade 2 Update • C.A.S. Round Up • Sporting News

The American International School of Rotterdam

December 2010


Graham Gamble

From the Director

From the Director

Graham Gamble

Dear Parents, In Clement Clarke Moore’s great seasonal poem, “The Night Before Christmas”, “visions of sugar plums” dance in the children’s sleeping heads. As I write this, I have visions of snowflakes and snowdrops (or rather, children dressed as such), dancing in mine… For this week is quite dominated by exhausting rehearsals leading up to the Elementary School’s production of “The Snow Queen”. By the time you read this, the show will have been and gone, so I hope you enjoyed it. Right now, though, we are very much preoccupied with the complicated logistics and careful timings that go into staging a spectacle involving every single member of the elementary school. It has, once again, been huge fun working with your children and sharing the development of their creativity. It’s a delight to be reminded of why we do such projects: just one of the reasons why I think the arts and all extra curricular activities are so important in school is that putting on a play is really just an extension of everything else we do in our building. We work in teams, we are focused on getting the best out of the children, the whole experience leads, we hope, to further understanding and fond memories and, last but not least, none of this has anything to do with material gain! Didn’t Scrooge learn a lesson or two along similar lines? Thursday night’s event brings to a fitting climax a semester which has been full of memorable events – productive learning, energetically played sports, well supported charity functions and many more. Everyone will have their own special recollection of the months that have sped by since we returned to our school in August. Enjoy looking back on what the many things we have achieved together at AISR lately as you relax with your families this holiday. Furthermore, I know you would want me to express your profound thanks to my very hard working colleagues who continue to do so much to realize the individual successes of your children. I hope you all have an excellent vacation together and look forward to meeting again in the New Year.

From the Elementary Principal

Anne - Marie Blitz

Graham Gamble

From the Elementary Principal

Anne - Marie Blitz

It is really hard to believe that this is the last Shark for 2010... This is also one of those the times that we have to say “Good-bye” to some of our students. Fortunately, we only have three students leaving in December. So, “Good Luck” to Christian (Grade 2), Yeon Jae (Grade 5) and Berra (Kindergarten) – please keep in touch and let us know how you get on in your new school. In January, we hope to welcome several new students. I will keep you informed in the first Shark of the New Year. Thank you also to the PTSA for providing a wonderful seasonal breakfast for all the staff on Monday 6 December. There was so much food that it carried over into a festive lunch! As you read this Shark, the performance of Snow Queen will have taken place. All I can say is that if the performance on the night compares to the enthusiasm of the students, then we are in for a very special treat! Please remember that Report cards will be posted home on Friday January 21. On behalf of all the Elementary Staff, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very enjoyable Christmas and a happy and successful start to the New Year.


Anne Marie Blitz

The Giving Season II

CAS and the spirit of giving is alive and well at AISR. Just recently, we have had the Thanksgiving Drive with the PTSA, and 4 great big bags of hats, scarves, gloves and toiletries were dispatched to the homeless shelter in the first week of December. These presents were used to make attractive and useful Sinterklaas gifts for the homeless, which were very much appreciated.

On Friday, December 3, Ralph’s Mom, Renée took Maylin, Stefanie, Ralph and me down to the shelter and our soup was nearly all eaten in no time at all. As with every organization, they are also starting to feel the pinch of the recession, so it would not be a bad idea at all for us to increase our efforts in this area if it is at all possible. I will put out a list of dates in the New Year and ask for volunteers to help. It was so wonderful that we had parent help last time. The Elementary Craft Fair run by High School Student Council was a great success and the students absolutely loved it. It was very well organized by the High School students and definitely worth repeating. Thank you to all of the parents who brought in supplies for us to use. It was most appreciated!

The recent Charity Concert for Flood Victims of India and Pakistan on December 3 was a massive success, with children from 3 years to 18 years performing! There were readings, piano solos, guitar solos, vocal numbers and our very own school band, “Silence in A Minor” stole the show with their numbers, which included own compositions of Drew and Alexander. Lynda Boot

C.A.S. Round Up

C.A.S. Round Up

High School Art -ART Munch Trip @ AISR


Nikki van Leijden and David Blackburn

Secondary School Update... Our Middle School Art students have been creating art that was inspired by a ‘holiday adventures’ theme that studies and displays the use of ‘reminiscence’ commonly found in many historical and contemporary artist’s work. They explored the historic and lavishly illustrated Celtic ‘Book of Kells’ and experimented with graphic design techniques to create an image inspired by Indian Mandala maps, that seek to display the physical and spiritual world as one. Art tech studies this past term involved in the study of storybook cover design and the use of Adobe Photoshop. High school art started the year with to record as carefully as they could of their model. Life studies are always produced some fine work. They then inspired by a visit to central Rotterdam, city’s ‘essence’ on canvas as a painting. student’s efforts to paint on canvas, with showing qualities of composition and ‘painterly’ touch. At the moment they are for their exam in December.

‘Life-studies’. Each student took time the proportion and positional ‘mass’ a challenge, but the students went on to produce paintings with the challenge of recording the I was very pleased with the one student Artist of month color work with a very unique working on a ‘Poster & Packaging’ design project and preparing

I will be looking for evidence that the students show good understanding of elements and principals of art, such as planning, originality and experimentation. That they can critique and discuss artwork. That they are good at looking after materials in class and can keep their art studio as a ‘useable’ work space.   The International Baccalaureate Organization Art course encourages students to explore and experiment within their artistic endeavors and to use their workbook to record the developments, experiments and investigations. Our students are working on the 60/40 percentage, studio work / critical investigation option, at both Higher and Standard Levels. We now have two students following the Higher Level option with Kelli working on an intriguing study, where she is ‘sculpting’ a face from the pages of a novel and Nela who is painting a Venetian style masked face on wood. The standard level students are working on a great variety of projects. Jyona is working on a photomontage of a detailed view looking at a pedestrian walkway crossing the Molelan road, not far from school.  Stefanie is working on a typically Dutch scene, building an image with paper noten and other Dutch Kinderin delights. Nadine has one study looking into Amsterdam with a Pop art perspective . The class is aiming to show “...good technical competence, thoughtful development,  good understanding of ideas and techniques”. What I know for certain about the IB exam moderators is that they are looking for ‘consistency’ . A difficult task to accomplish as students have to follow the full IB 6 subjects with essays and unwavering academic demands. The IB art work will be presented in the April Exhibition. Nikki van Leijden

Artist Of The Month... José Grade 2 “Happy Holidays” Pen and Pencils José was one of the elementary students tasked with designing a card for the Winter holiday that could appeal to all. He fixed upon the symbol of the evergreen tree. The bringing of an evergreen tree into the home is a tradition whose origins have been obscured by time. Originating in Northern Europe from a pre-Christian era with clear Pagan links, the tree is welcomed into many peoples homes at this time of year. It has taken on many meanings over the centuries, but fundamentally has come to symbolize a time of thought and contemplation about the past and the future. Happy Holidays.


The P.T.S.A.

...the Giving Tree

The giving tree program is being started by the PTSA this year as it has been popular and very successful in other schools that some PTSA members have attended.   It allows parents to give ‘gifts’ to teachers and the school by matching talents and resources with needs and wants.  Examples of Giving Tree items are: ·       Building a reading loft in a classroom ·       Donating a used couch, chairs, bean bags, and pillows for reading corner ·       Giving used camera/video equipment to a class room to allow new projects ·       Donating new or used videos and books to classrooms or library ·       Sewing costumes for a school play ·       Donating a new/used coffee machine for use in the lounge The size and type of thing asked for can vary widely and the match-up is often surprising.  While popular for use as gift items to teachers, families can often fulfill wishes of teachers with items, talents, or contacts that they have. To begin this process, we are asking all teachers to please enter each of your items in the form found by clicking on form or by using the following link: formkey=dHZxM3h1NnROSlVEcUUteEZvMWFBYWc6MQ This link will be added to the website so that it can be easily accessed and donations can be tracked.  Meanwhile, a ‘tree’ will be added to the lobby so that the gift requests can be displayed and physically ‘picked’.  We will also need to track gifts received and will finalize this system over the next weeks. Any questions or feedback should be directed to me in person or by email ( Thank you,

Julie Hartig

The Dinner Dance...

Dear AISR Parents, Teachers and Staff, As we near the end of our school semester and many of you prepare to return to your home countries I wonder if I could ask a favor on behalf of the school? Every March our school hosts a wonderful dinner dance and auction to raise money to help fund activities throughout the year and to purchase needful items for the school. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year. When we resume school after our holiday break, the PTSA will begin soliciting for donations from local businesses in the Rotterdam area. We welcome all AISR parents to join us. If you know of a local business that would be willing to give a donation to the school please let us know and we or yourself can approach them for a donation. NO DONATION IS TOO SMALL!   We would also like to have a variety of items that would better reflect our wonderfully diverse school family.  This holiday season, when many of us will be in our home countries, will also be a great time to look for items that are likely to do well at our auction. Items such as sculptures, paintings and other art pieces typically do well. Electronic devices such as ipads, or iphones are also popular items as well as jewelry and textiles (purses, silk clothing, scarves, etc.). Perhaps you have family

members or friends in your home countries engaged in a business that might be willing to donate an item.  In previous years some have offered the use of a summer or vacation home to be auctioned. We have forms that will be available in the school office that you may take with you to record any donations that you acquire and a receipt to give to the donors. Thank you for your help to make our auction a great success and we look forward to working with you all in the new year. Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at Have a wonderful holiday, 

Shelly Moseley PTSA President

Dracula – A Tour inside the Mind

Dracula – A Tour inside the Mind

By Lynda Boot

The play, ‘Dracula’ adapted from Bram Stoker’s novel, by Liz Lochhead, is not one concerned simply with a Victorian trip to the wild side of life. It is a work in which each and every actor, director, crew member and part of the audience is forced to become an active participant in a personal decision of faith as to whether or not they would succumb to the belief that a mere person could possess extraordinary powers. Similar leaps of faith need to occur in our daily lives in areas about which we cannot be sure. Only mathematics, and the natural sciences have any degree of certainty of knowledge, but because most of us take many things in life for granted as being true or correct, because they are a part of our culture, it is easy to take knowledge for granted. The character, Dracula, is also a part of our culture, in the role of being a northern European myth. Usually associated with Halloween costumes which include complimentary sets of plastic fangs, a large black cloak and a pack of “blood”, to be bitten into at the appropriate moment, the character has been somewhat “played out” of late. However, the character we saw in the recent AISR production, played by Drew, was frighteningly seductive, a beauty to behold, and a masterful believer in his own powers. His attractiveness told us all of the evil within us! With a few changes of cloth and material, and more focus on a spooky castle backcloth (painted by David Blackburn), we were swept backwards and forwards from the supposedly safe and civilized world of the “plastic” characters, Jonathan Harker (played by Nick) and Doctor Arthur Seward (played by Alexander) and the fearfully interesting and drawing world of Count Vlad Dracula (Drew). Pretty soon, the differences between the two worlds began to cloud over and this figure of evil, began to enter the hearts of some of the characters, and maybe those of some of the audience as well. The amazing ability of Nick and Alexander, to play extremely boring characters, with endlessly boring lines and totally boring lives, rang very true to me. As a member of the audience, my attraction quickly began to grow towards the greater area of risk posed by belief in the powers of Dracula. “Which of the two sisters (Mina, played by Anna, or Lucy, played by Stefanie) would succumb?” I asked myself.

Although somewhat typecast as a headstrong young woman, knowing what she wanted and did not want, Mina (Anna) was having none of it. She delightfully swayed between a slight dalliance with, and total rejection of this devil figure, whereas the simpering Lucy (Stefanie) was to end up as Vampire Bride number 3! This was well played, because in real life, I could imagine that this young actress would be the last person to succumb without at least displaying a recourse to her powers of reason. Jyona, somewhat typecast from a previous performance, as Florrie Hathersage, did a marvelous of job of looking after the ladies, and swearing right to the end that she could not succumb; but she did, right within the character she had so well presented, become Vampire Bride Number 2! Staked at completely opposite sides of the belief spectrum, the characters of Renfield, the madman (played by Micah), and Professor Anna Helsing (played by Erica) presented the ultimate voyage into the soul of all those present. The personal question to be asked was, “Who was really telling the truth?” At times, the brilliant acting of Micah, as Renfield, led us to believe that the world had turned topsy turvey and that the madder the people sounded, the more truth they could perceive. Professor Helsing’s world did not simply win the day, however. Before her will was done, belief in goodness and an understanding that many of the characters (and, let’s face it, many of the audience) had possessed evil thoughts, and had been madly attracted to this exciting proposition of selling their souls to Dracula or to the devil. However, as physically imaginary as the stake was, that went through Dracula’s heart, so was the idea that the end that good had triumphed over evil, but ONLY FOR NOW. The ending of the play left plenty of chance for Dracula to rise again. The excellent lighting, stage sets, music and makeup of the actors, held the whole already wonderfully produced piece together to present the idea that Dracula could always return at any moment; that the guilt and the temptation will always lie within us, and that it was maybe the madman who was really telling the truth all the time. Kudos to Mr. Graham Gamble for once again being able to find a way exploit the very great acting talent and burgeoning knowledge of stage production, that many students in our school possess. Lynda Boot

Grade 2 Update

Grade 2D Class update...

Vicky Dudley-Owen

Grade 2D started the year off well. It was an exciting beginning with many new children from all over the world. We started the year learning all about Ancient Greece. The children read many myths and legends and even wrote their own legends. They learned about the many gods and goddesses and spent a lot of time rehearsing for the Greek Play. Everyone had a part in the play and a lot of lines had to be memorized. The Ancient Greeks loved to decorate their pots with things they did in their daily lives and this was exactly what Grade 2D did too. In math the children learned about double facts and the many strategies that can be used to add two or three numbers. During the language lessons, the children read many stories, they read and acted out many short plays and re-capped a lot of the sounds used in the English language to help improve their spelling and reading. The second quarter was very exciting. It was a time where we learned a lot about each other. In our IPC unit, “Different People, Different Lives,” the children learned a lot about each nationality represented in our class. Each nationality in our class was put in the limelight for a whole week and many fun activities were done and much was learned about each country. We learned about the major rivers and major mountain ranges, the climate, food and the traditions of each country. In the week of Japan, the children listened to a Japanese legend that was told using a Japanese story-telling box. They also learned how to make origami and they played a popular Japanese game, namely juggling using bean bags. In the ‘Portugal week’, the children learned about the Portuguese climate and houses, and they learned some Portuguese words. In the week of Germany, the children decorated German cookies and in the week of America, the children learned about the history of the American flag, and they even tasted some traditional pumpkin pie. We are busy making a classroom mural where each child will paint an object symbolizing their country. In addition, Grade 2D learned how to subtract with one and two-digit numbers. The children are currently making classroom math games for the class so everyone can practice their one and two digit subtraction. We also went on a great fieldtrip the “Wereld Museum” in Rotterdam where they saw many objects from countries all over the world. We then took a tour on the Spido that took us through the harbor of Rotterdam. Much fun was had by all the children! Come and have a look at the classroom mural and the “World Books” that are filled with the children’s hard work! Vicky Dudley-Owen

Lynda Boot and Sanna Heinonen

A recent trip made by the 12th Grade to the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) was made very special, because it combined two interrelated disciplines, that of Physics and the Theory of Knowledge. It was a marvelous way of integrating top university research to high school sciences, and hands-on technology to High School level teaching. The students had the privilege to go to the most appreciated faculty of Aerospace Engineering in Europe, where novel materials and structures are being developed and tested. For example, a material called Glare® – now used in Airbus A380 – was fully developed in their laboratories. Students met with scientist and get to know how the materials are developed, from making of and testing materials to actual real-size airplanes. This offered real-life experiences and inspiration while learning outside of the classroom.

Seeing some actual tension tests done on different materials, and being able to surmise a personal hypothesis beforehand, proved that the scientific method learned in school, as boring and rigid as it often may seem, is really valid and is used in top universities, such as TU Delft. In fact, the scientific method is one of the safeguards that ensures that experiments and their results are carried out and written up in a certain way, so as to ensure that the highest level of certainty about the knowledge obtained can be obtained, at least until that knowledge may later be disproved or modified by further research. The students underwent a three-step assessment and reflection process. The physics students produced “glogster” or electronic posters, to which parents have been treated on the electronic notice board in the front hallway. The Theory of Knowledge part of the assessment included a discussion on students’ beliefs in the possibility of ultimate truth in the area of physics, and the production of a Power Point Presentation to share these points of knowledge with future students. Warm thanks to Dr. Christiaan de Ruijter for sharing his experience and passion for research and Mr. Berthil Grashof for the fascinating tour through the laboratories. Kudos to Ms. Sanna Heinonen for organizing this wonderful trip and for inspiring our students with such a wonderful experience. Lynda Boot

TU Delft Visit

Physics and Theory of Knowledge Trip to TU Delft

Rob Zeilstra

Sports -

Sporting News

! s m a e T 
 e h T 
 t e

Rob Zeilstra


U14 Girls Basketball The 2010-2011 U14 girls basketball season has the promise to be a very exciting one. My name is Launa Hochstetler and I am very excited to be coaching this team. Marianne, Glara, Sophie, Emma, Gabi, Asli, Bethany, Milou, Yebin, and Katie make up a great group of girls who really want to learn and are excited about being in the gym. We have a mix of players that includes players who have played basketball for a couple years and some players that are trying their hand at basketball for the first time. This mix gives the team an exciting opportunity to really work together, learn a lot from each other, and see each other improve. I am looking forward to seeing the strides this team makes as the season goes on. Go Sharks!!

The U14 girls team had a great start to their season. They took part in a mini tournament in Amsterdam, playing against AIS, ISA, and ASH. The girls did great. They fought hard and had a lot of team spirit. They played against some tough teams but they never gave up. The best things they did in the tournament was improve each game. Each time they took the court they played a little better than the last time which is so important to see early in the season. The girls should be very proud of their effort!

Launa Hochstetler

U14 Boys Basketball The U14 basketball season is well under way. The team is set and all the team members are eager for a great season. This year due to the number of participants, we will be a co-ed team. I, Josué Gutiérrez, will be the coach for the 2010-2011 season. I am really looking forward to working with this age group and helping them learn and have fun playing the sport of basketball. It’s going to be a fun and exciting season for all the players and myself. Tournament review: This past Saturday, 4th of December the U14 basketball team had a great turnout at our home tournament. The team showed great effort and an awesome attitude in every game. The Sharks came short in points in all three games, but never once did they stop playing basketball. They all displayed a great deal of heart and spirit that everyone in attendance can attest to. Honorable mention for the tournament goes out to Nico, who showed great hustle and scored at least one basket in each game. The team improved their defense, ball handling skills and comfort in playing the sport in each game played. I foresee this improvement continuing throughout the season. Great effort by all!


Coach Zeilstra



Away Games Coming Up.... Please check the Athletics page on the AISR website ical for future scheduled games:

Sporting News

Sports Evening Awards 2010 - 2011

Community Announcements And Classifieds

To Advertise here contact: or Tel + 31 (0)10 422 5351

If you have an article you would like to publish in the Shark, please send it to : The deadline for submissions is Monday 24th January.

Crafts POLISH POTTERY Contact us: email:    mobile: +31 653157976 (after 05:00 p.m.).

Languages Would you like to improve your English ? Now is a great time to start studying in small friendly groups of adults with English teacher, Susannah Tomlinson. “Why not give it a go?” More details are available at reception, or contact Susannah via email: or telephone: 040-8428486

Services Treasured memories? Old or damaged photos restored: I can repair most images to a high level of presentation and provide a digital image and photo-print of the restored image. If interested please email me, David Blackburn.

Therapy and Personal Development “Hands to help and hearts to care” Do you need to talk to someone to express your difficulties and challenges with raising your child? Katherine Fortier, an educational and child psychologist, will lead the parents group. “ opportunity to discuss their concerns and develop strategies to help their children and manage their own stress.” For further information or to register, Please email or call Rubina Anis on mobile 06-52072084.

LIFE COACHING – MIND AND BODY INC. With my skills, I can help you: • UNDERSTAND YOURSELF BETTER! • USE YOUR INHERENT SKILLS MORE EFFECTIVELY  • CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT AND STAY FIT IN A NATURAL WAY  • UNDERSTAND YOUR CHILDREN BETTER • ULTIMATELY LEARN THAT JOY IS WITHIN YOU SPECIAL NEEDS TUTORING for Children • Gifted and Talented (including underachieving gifted), ADD and ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Behavior Management, Asperger's, Autism, Down's Syndrome, Fine Motor Skills. • HELP AND SUPPORT FOR PARENTS of children with Special Needs


Culture BALLET CLASSES: For ages 3 and up in the AISR building. The classes will be taught by Sue Manville who trained at The Royal Academy of Dance in London. Sue has 20 years experience of ballet teaching and choreography, in the United States, UK, Australia, Greece, Spain and Brazil. If interested, please email Sue Manville at stating your child’s age.

GUITAR LESSONS: Private Guitar Lessons, after school at AISR or at home. Please contact or visit more info. All ages and styles, flexible scheduling for both students and parents!


Sandra B.A. Psychology, M.A. English Literature, M.S. Special Education (USA).

Help Wanted LOOKING FOR AN ENGLISH SPEAKING AU PAIR: We are looking for a “live out” Au Pair to work full time (7:45 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) from Tuesday to Friday to look after 3 children ages 5, 3 and 9 months. We are looking for someone who has experience with young children.   If you are interested please contact me via email:


PIANO LESSONS: Do you love music, can you already read notes, and would you like to take piano lessons? Dr. Elizabeth Karelse is fluent in both Dutch and English and welcomes students of all ages for weekly hourlong, or half-hour long lessons. Please send Elizabeth an email at:, or call at 06-26932322.

The AISR accepts no responsibility for the community announcements, services and items advertised.

2010 December Shark  

The American International School of Rotterdam's school magazine.

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