Page 1

GAIS Headliner November / December 2012 Edition

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS











’S B





17 16 15 14






7 13 8










Rooms 8 & 9: Crafts & Letters to Santa


Main Building

LIST OF VENDORS: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Diane & Lisa Rauchwerger Carol Ferrieri & Karin Rohlfs Emily Shieh Keiko Hayachi Anderson Dagmar Stullich & Peichi Liu & Fred Lindow Miki Shim Rutter Lilit Makarian Christine Burris Shannon Ciortea Janet Roitsch Carol & Joe Eder Susi Lindley Beate Blau Kathleen O’Brien Isabelle Heller Lauren Walters Katrin Hülse

Winterfest Map Our International Holiday Bazaar will take place on our Campus @ 275 Elliott Drive, Menlo Park, CA 94025 Parking is available.

Welcome to our Winterfest 2012! The Holiday Break is coming fast. We invite you to our Winterfest 2012, which takes place on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. Please join us for this wonderful event – an International Holiday Bazaar with a large variety of homemade and handcrafted goods, a holiday raffle, a visit from Santa Claus and much more awaits you…

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

Winterfest 2012 Saturday, December 1, 2012 2:00pm – 5:00pm 2:00 pm: 2:05 pm: 2:15 pm:

2:45 pm:

3:15 pm: 3:30 pm: Traditional 3:45 pm: 4:00 pm:

4:15 pm: 4:30 pm: 4:50 pm:

Welcome by Dominic Liechti & Heike Schmalstieg Preschool Performances Vorschule Aquarium: Cuckoo Vorschule Jungle: Echo Canon for Owls Grade 1D: Chase the Squirrel Grade 1G: Wind up the Tree Grade 2H: Five Little Snowmen Grade 2K: Little Shell Grade 3S: Wee Willie Winkie Grade 3K: The North Wind Grade 4B: Come Butter Come A Visit from Santa Claus* String Ensemble: Coro, by G.F. Handel Carol of the Bells, Name That Christmas Carol, by Feldstein and Clark Senior Band: O’ Thou Joyful Day, Sicilian Folk Song Green Sleeves, traditional, arr. by Michael Sweeney Announcement of Raffle Winners** Jazz Band: Jammin’ With Charlie, by Dean Sorensen Farewell by Sally Thorogood & Amanda Afshar and announcement of Jar Game Winner* Junior Band:

* Sponsored by Bears & Buddies (

** All raffle items are sponsored by vendors

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

Words from the Managing Director and Editor “Innovation is our objective and quality is our maxim”.* As you may remember, at the last members’ meeting, I started my strategic plan presentation with this quote.* The school quality development and its quality assurance planning is an ongoing and intensive process. Our action and strategic plan has been developed carefully with the team and board committees to meet the needs of our key stakeholders.

We are fortunate that these concepts are embodied within the IB framework and that each student has the opportunity to embrace them. With this in mind, I would like to wish you all a great holiday break and a Happy New Year. Yours sincerely, Dominic Liechti Managing Director


I’m very proud to see how productively the revised organizational and communication structure is working out. We are aware that this process has different dynamic phases and I am grateful that we have a great team of passionate teachers and administrators on board who are committed to its vision. That said, there is still a long way to go. The principals and teams are working with great dedication on their action items, which have already resulted in qualitative outcomes such as scope and sequence documents for the International Middle School, amazing discussions and implementation strategies about the social and emotional development in all grades, a productive work environment in which interdisciplinary teams are forming and collaborating to make content meaningful in context, and a fine-tuned alignment of our curriculum and reporting system to smooth the transition. I am also thrilled that the IB curriculum is impelling our students to take ownership and to cultivate their own learning. During my visits in the classrooms, discussion with the students and collaboration with teachers, I have observed intrinsically motivated students who are hungry to learn more and teachers who are planting the seeds to help that passion grow. To conclude, I would like to cite Daniel Pink, author of the book A Whole New Mind. He states that we have moved from an Industrial Age to a Conceptual Age, characterized by the following six concepts, which are shaping our children in the 21st century world. • • • • • •

Not just function but also DESIGN Not just argument but also STORY Not just focus but also SYMPHONY Not just logic but also EMPATHY Not just seriousness but also PLAY Not just accumulation but also MEANING

I am very excited to announce the second edition of our monthly magazine “GAIS HEADLINER”. In this special issue, which will also be released as a print version, you will find information about our Winterfest 2012, words from our Managing Director and School Principals, articles about daily GAIS school life, and information about upcoming events. Please feel free to comment on the magazine, send your contributions, or just get in touch with us at I am looking forward to hearing from you and wish you all a wonderful and relaxing holiday break and a Happy New Year 2013. Yours sincerely, Roman Bruegger Communications Manager and Editor

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

General Section Open Classroom Day

“Teaching is the highest form of understanding.” Aristotle

School Spirit Week

Our Open Classroom Day on November 12, 2012, was a great success. Many visitors toured the campus and got a real taste of what a school day is like at GAIS. Some took advantage of the opportunity to check out classes and talk to the Managing Director, School Principals or Teachers and gather information about our school and events and what their children will encounter in the years ahead. We would like to thank our GAIS staff, all parent volunteers as well as all Alumni for graciously accommodating the visitors and making our Open Classroom Day 2012 a successful and unforgettable event. See you next year! by Roman Bruegger (Editor)


The School Spirit Week took place from November 6 to November 9, 2012. The Spirit Week started on Tuesday with “School color day”. The next day was pajama day; lots of cool pajamas were seen on campus. And on Thursday it was crazy hair day, and finally on Friday there was Jersey day. Spirit week represented the spirit of the school. We were seeing how many people would get in the spirit and join in on this fun week. We had over 90% participation and celebrated the success with a treat for all students and teachers. by Ivy B. (Student Grade 6 and Member of the Student Leadership Academy)

Having lived in England until 15 years ago and then in Germany until a few months ago I have never actually celebrated Halloween. So, as with any move to a new country, one of the most interesting parts is experiencing events associated with the host culture. It became evident from the plans being made at GAIS that I would need to find a suitable costume; my simple witch outfit turned out to be severely outclassed by the children’s costumes. There was a celebratory atmosphere from the start of the day, although admittedly some of the smiles disappeared during a visit to the Haunted House. The IMS students (under Maike Silver’s guidance) had done a wonderful job of transforming the gym into an incredibly dark and spooky environment. It was so dark I actually got lost during my visit with one of the classes! Having been suitably scared, the sense of joy returned during the Halloween Parade as each class showed off their costumes to the rest of the Elementary School. by Sally Thorogood (Elementary School Principal)

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

PreSchool Section St. Martin’s Day On November 9, 2012, we celebrated our annual lantern parade, celebrating the legend of St. Martin. Every year on November 11, German children celebrate St Martin's Day. In many regions children walk through the streets singing special songs. Sometimes they perform a little play with a very specific piece of the saint’s life. It is the story about how Martin meets a beggar on a cold night and, because he feels sorry for him, cuts his cloak in half to share it with the beggar. Martin used to be a soldier, who then decided to give up his sword and dedicate his life to helping people in need. He later became a very popular bishop.

Drama Unit All preschool classes are in the middle of our drama unit, which is a yearlong unit. Our central idea is: "Dramatic play is a form of expression to make sense of the world. During the unit, we will explore the different components of dramatic performances, different ways of re-enacting stories and how to communicate emotions through dramatic play. One class used the traditional tales of “Goldilocks”, “The three Billy Goats” and “The three Bears”. These are great stories, as they are well known and very appealing to the children. The stories employ repetitive language, which make them especially suitable for German learners. In the group, the children came -up with ideas on how to create plays, which included props, backdrop, different roles to play, as well as different elements needed during the play. They soon realized that they needed an audience and 'sold' tickets to the other classes. They also prepared popcorn, chairs for the audience, etc. The children were very enthusiastic during all stages and eagerly performed to their peers. There will be many opportunities throughout the year to work on the unit and many more stories that will inspire dramatic performances in many different forms. The children will also see a professional marionette theatre, which will visit the school in the spring, while the older children will have the opportunity to visit a theatre performance. The performance will be one of the highlights; going on a yellow school bus will be another. by Heike Schmalstieg (Principal Preschool)

All classes made lanterns, practiced the traditional songs and talked about the story of St. Martin, stressing the fact that it is important to help others and share with others. In order to encourage the children to help each other, the teachers in some groups have started a poster and will write down (with the name and the action) when anyone sees that somebody helping another child, e.g.: helping another child ride a bike, giving another child a push on the swing, school children sharing some brownies with us, helping another child during snack time, etc. Seeing their actions written down on paper and recognized by all can be very motivating and rewarding for the children.

Of course, the most exciting part of St. Martin is the lantern parade itself. We had a few hundred parents and children, who gathered in the schoolyard in the evening to watch a shadow play about St. Martin, which was followed by the lantern parade. by Heike Schmalstieg (Principal Preschool)

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

Elementary School Section Making Authentic Connections in our Learning One of the fundamental principles of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is that learning should be authentic. In other words, students should be able to make connections between prior knowledge, new knowledge and real life situations. The recent Grade 2 unit “Where we are in place and time” has provided a wonderful example of this. The central idea is “Communities adapt to changing times” and during this unit the teachers guided the students through an exploration of what community life was like in the time of the Ohlone and the Settlers, in comparison to today. Rather than learning about a community in some far away country in ancient times (the focus of many history lessons when I was a child) the students are learning about the people who lived where they live now. This has allowed for genuine artifacts and a visit from a local expert to enhance the studies. But rather than just studying historical and contemporary facts, the main focus has been on the concept of change, more easily understood through a historical perspective. As with all our units, by focusing on a concept, the learning is transferable and applicable in other situations. When I visited the Grade 2 classrooms the students’ enthusiasm to share their learning was infectious. Each of them had a contribution to make when asked what they had learned or found more interesting, but the most telling comment was the reflection that “everything has changed”; an indication that the learning through this unit has been authentic and meaningful. by Sally Thorogood (Principal Elementary School)

International Middle School Section Moving Forward

Approaches to Learning

Fall in the IMS at GAIS has been a great mix of work and play. All students have now completed their first units of study and accompanying tasks and exams. Through the inquiry-based approach to assessment implemented in the IB Middle Years Programme (MYP), the students have been challenged to engage in several interesting tasks in order to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of their first units of study.

During the month of October, the students focused on the Approach to Learning (ATL) of collaboration. The many hands-on tasks in the IMS create a great need for our students to be excellent collaborators—able to engage and work well in various group settings. The students nominated their following classmates as those whom they feel truly embody the spirit of collaboration in their classes:

In addition to all of this work, fall also brought in a fair amount of play and learning through play. We celebrated Halloween, “Día de los Muertos” (in Spanish lessons), School Spirit Week, and engaged in hands-on activities in the weekly Advisory Lessons related to being an upstander (someone who stands up for what is right) versus a bystander (someone who stands by when difficulties arise). Students attended field trips to the Lawrence Hall of Science, the John Steinbeck Museum as well as to the Egyptian Museum in San Jose.

Jessica H. (8) Robert R. (7) Max C. (6) Emma N. (5K) Kevin C. (5T)

We move ahead looking forward to the collaboration of students, parents, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders as the IMS students progress through this school year by Amanda Afshar (Assistant Principal International Middle School) by Amanda Afshar (Assistant Principal International Middle School)

GAIS Headliner — November/December 2012

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

GAIS Agenda Dec 1

Dec 21Jan 6 Jan 8 Jan 10

Jan 8

Jan 14

WINTERFEST 2012 Please join us for this wonderful event – an International Holiday Bazaar with a big variety of hand-made and handcrafted goods, a holiday raffle, a visit from Santa Claus and much more awaits you… Parking will be available. HOLIDAY BREAK 2012 – 2013 Happy Holidays & a Happy New Year!

PARENT TALKS JANUARY 8, 2013 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM and JANUARY 10, 2013 9:15 AM – 10:30 AM Please join us for our Parent Talks about “Healthy, Safe & Respectful use of Digital Media”. Our presenter will be Holly Pedersen, MFT, PhD. Holly is the Director of Community Education Center at Parents Place in Palo Alto and has taught family sociology at the University of Southern California. More information : INFORMATION EVENING Please join us for the Information Evening about all the sections of our school on January 8, 2012, at 8:00 PM.

APPLICATION DEADLINE INTERNATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL (IMS) The application deadline for new students is January 14, 2013. Please help us spreading the word. Thank you.

GAIS More GAIS FÖRDERVEREIN The GAIS Förderverein is an association in Germany that is dedicated to the development and support of our school. Donations made to the GAIS Förderverein will be directly donated to us. This might just be the meaningful holiday present people are looking for! To learn more about the GAIS Förderverein and for membership applications or donations, please contact or visit our website: DRIVING DIRECTIONS Coming from 101 North or South watch out for the big IKEA sign and then take the University exit and proceed towards Palo Alto. At University Circle, turn right on Woodland Ave, turn right on Manhattan Ave, go 0.1 miles, turn left on O'Connor St., go 0.4 miles, turn left on Elliott Drive, go 0.2 miles to our school. We kindly ask you to observe the speed limit of 15 mph on Elliot Drive. Thank you. THANK YOU The whole team of the German-American International School would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your support and trust in the past. Best wishes for a wonderful holiday and a happy new year! We are looking forward to seeing you in 2013!

German-American International School The International Middle School at GAIS

275 Elliott Drive Menlo Park, CA 94025 / / +1 650 324 8617

GAIS HEADLINER Nov/Dec 12 Special Edition  
GAIS HEADLINER Nov/Dec 12 Special Edition  

This special edition of our GAIS HEADLINER contains specific nformation about the Winterfest 2012.