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Stallion News December 12, 2012

 

MISSION STATEMENT Yanbu International School, a K-12 college preparatory institution, is committed to providing the highest quality U.S.-based education. Dedicated professional educators will empower our community of multi-national students to achieve their wildest dreams in a world increasingly without borders.

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Principal’s Ponderings Big Changes for Next School Year This week, the ISG District Office announced the names of the next ISG Superintendent and the next Assistant Principal of Yanbu International School. Dr. Paul Richards has been appointed as the next International Schools Group Superintendent and Mr. Ronnie Caldwell has been appointed as Assistant Principal of YIS. Both of these appointments are effective August 1, 2013. Dr. Richards earned his master’s degree from Harvard University and his doctorate from Boston College. He is currently the high school principal at The American School in London. Mr. Caldwell completed his master’s degree in Educational Leadership at Concordia University, and is currently serving as a High School Social Studies teacher at YIS. Mr. Caldwell is the facilitator for our school improvement plan for AFG. He is also the facilitator for the teacher design team. The design team is working on the design for the new school from the teacher’s perspective. We are all excited about Mr. Caldwell’s appointment to the ISG administrative team and we look forward to his positive contributions to our YIS community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the YIS teachers, students, and parents who volunteered to interview the superintendent candidates. The volunteers had to interview the candidates for three hours on two separate days. All of the candidates remarked on the excellent interview questions that were asked.

Counselor’s Chronicles Grades 8-10

Students in grades 8-10 are just starting to create a transcript. In the U.S. system, the transcript is the document that records credit, grades, and courses taken in secondary school. This is the document that most universities will ask for once they realize that a student has a diploma from a school employing an American based curriculum. Many institutions have a minimum score in terms of GPA. Once you’re in 11th and 12th grade, it can become very difficult to make significant changes in to your GPA. Making as good grades as you can in grades 8-10 is very important to your GPA. Be sure you are talking to teachers and paying attention to the feedback they are providing you. Don’t end up with a D or an F on your transcript! Particularly don’t end up with a D or F in a core class (Math, English, Science or Social Studies). Low marks in a core class can do long term damage to your GPA and are a red flag to university admissions people that this might not be someone they want as part of their institution.

Grade 5 On Wednesday, November 28, the Grade 5 classes enjoyed a field trip to a mud-brick village near Yanbu Al Nakhl. Since we are currently studying how early Americans adapted to their different environments, and how they changed their environments to meet their needs, this field trip provided an excellent “outdoor classroom” and helped bring our studies to life. The students did an excellent job of investigating the various buildings and surroundings, sketching evidence they found, and postulating theories about how the people who lived in this area adapted to their environment, and how they used the resources available. Ms. Naso and Ms Vaishali were very pleased with the students’ enthusiasm, behavior, and focus on the task at hand. The field trip would not have been possible without the assistance of our three volunteers, Mrs. Murgatroyd, Mrs. Sairafi, and Ms. Gnanasekar. We greatly appreciate their help.


Grade 2L

4th Grade MATH CORNER

It has been a busy few months for the class of 2L! We came together a little later in the year and took some time getting to know each other. In October we had a special Pumpkin Day! We spent the entire day working with pumpkins. The students wrote silly pumpkin stories using adjectives describing their pumpkins. They practiced math skills by lining up the pumpkins in order of weight and size. For science, they made predictions about what the inside would feel and look like, and then they proceeded to scoop out the goopy seeds and pulp. Using estimation, they tried to guess how many seeds they would have. In the end, we threw in some art time and they painted their pumpkins in beautiful colors! It was a wonderful day!

What an exciting way to conclude the first trimester! A couple of weeks ago students in 4th grade were introduced to Algebra for the first time. Our students are more thrilled than I with the progress they have made taking baby steps into the strange world of variables, equations and expression.

In November, we spent the month learning about early American history in our social studies. We discussed and learned about the first Thanksgiving and even visited a virtual Plymouth village via the internet! We talked each day about things that we were thankful for in our lives. It was touching to hear what each student thought was important to them. The month of December will be spent finishing up our study of insects in science and beginning our cultural studies in social studies. Look for a home project coming soon…The Culture Box! We are enjoying our reading stories and cruising through our math lessons. And of course, everyone is looking forward to the upcoming holiday break! We will see you next year! 

         

What is Happening in 1M? In math, we are continuing with addition and subtraction relationships. We are working on counting strategies, number patterns, and models as a means for solving basic addition and subtraction fact problems. The students have lots of fun playing with their fact family numbers. In language arts we are focusing on peer reading and group writing. The strategy focus is on sequence and order of events in their stories. We are also noting details in comprehension and learning about personal narratives. Art is a fun part of our program, and we have started using art along with our writing projects. Our high frequency Words for this week are; about, books, family, name, people, read, work, and writing. Students will be tested on these words on Wednesday’s spelling Test.

Thank you for your help and support and remember to read with your child 30 minutes every night!

Bahar Mofti

       

I feel very proud of our students; for all the practice and hard work they put in, and, most importantly, their will to inch forward. They truly believe in the adage, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! Mrs. Kumar

In addition, we have the daily skill drill and quiz to help students master essential math skills. These quizzes provide daily practice in every key area of math instruction. Since the quizzes are timed, they help improve the students’ problem solving speed.

Staci Loser

In Algebra each problem focuses on problem solving strategies, logical reasoning, and may have more than one solution. Due to this, students are encouraged to communicate their different approaches to other students in the class. Doing so gave the students the best opportunity to discuss, learn, and discover important concepts with ease. Algebraic manipulatives and games are being used to help students gain a greater understanding through fun.


The YIS Arabic Department We are happy to have Ms. Susan Antar and Ms. Asma Qashou who joined us at YIS in September 2012, as part of the Arabic department. The Arabic program at YIS is going full swing this year. Students are meeting for this course twice to three times per week. Our emphasis is on conversing in the Arabic language about different topics that include going to school, eating in a restaurant, playing sports, enjoying hobbies and other day-today activities. We, as the Arabic department, are introducing a new program called " ‫ "ﺃﻧﺎ ﺃﻗﺮﺃ ﺑﺜﻘﺔ‬or "I Read With Confidence.” This program focuses on the Arabic alphabet and pronunciation. Students are learning techniques that enhance their reading proficiency. Once they are able to recognize the sounds of the Arabic characters, they will feel more comfortable, and therefore more confident, when they start reading in the targeted language. We are starting this program for grades 4 through 12 to ensure that the majority of our students benefit from the techniques and hone their pronunciation skills as they get older.

In Islamic Culture classes, students are busy learning about the Islamic world, capitals and famous Islamic sites. Others are identifying the Hijri Calendar and comparing it to the Gregorian calendar. At the elementary level, students are enjoying the Islamic stories, movies, and activities related to each story.

A Sound Mind in a Sound Body

Arabic classes in grades 11 and 12 were busy learning to speak about food and how to make it. They hosted the first Arab Master Chef competition at YIS. Each group represented an Arab country and prepared dishes from that country. There were seven Arab countries represented. Each one of them served an appetizer, a main dish, and a dessert. Teachers were invited to this event. They tasted the different dishes and voted for the best taste and best appearance. For this project, students learned how to list the ingredients and identify the quantities for their recipes in Arabic. By comparing different kinds of food and by presenting their cultural significances, they demonstrated appreciation for Arabic cuisine and culture. The students put in so much effort. Overall, it was a GREAT SUCCESS!!! The seven participant countries were Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco and Lebanon. The winning country was SYRIA. "YA SALAM!!"

             

We are having a lot of fun year in geometry this year. While the switch to the Common Core Curriculum is certainly welcomed, it has also not been entirely seamless. However, every day the students are getting a better handle on the subject and, just as importantly, how the curriculum is structured and how the new textbooks present it all. There are some key features of the textbook to look at with your children to help their comprehension of geometry. Each section has “Know It Notes” throughout the lesson which highlights the main ideas. Each example problem is followed by a “Check It Out” question and all the answers are published in the Selected Answers portion in the back of the book. As usual, almost all the answers to the odd exercises at the end of each section are printed there too. Besides the Study Guide Review at the end of each chapter, there is also a Test Tackler passage with important strategies for test takers. Hopefully we will soon have online resources to share with the community as well. Like many schools adopting the Common Core, homework is being de-emphasized. After each lesson, questions are certainly still assigned and then concerns are reviewed to begin the following class period. However, most reviews are then followed by a short quiz based on that homework assignment which is where the student’s preparation is now being assessed. Quizzes are then graded and returned for students to revise and to prepare from for future assessments. These quizzes are to be kept together in a portfolio. As the chapter test nears, a student should easily be able to review the important concepts from each section by referring to his or her portfolio. Final test preparations can then be tailored to focus on areas where the student did not perform well. Once the chapter test has been given, students are to turn in the completed portfolios for a grade. So far we have covered the chapters on Foundations for Geometry, Geometric Reasoning, and Parallel and Perpendicular Lines. This week we are finishing Triangle Congruence and starting Properties and Attributes of Triangles. By the end of the semester we will have completed it as well as Polygons and Quadrilaterals. The following quarters will also have three chapters worth of content each. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about geometry, or anything else I am involved with, please let me know. The best way to reach me is by my school email address of SNANNEN@ISGDH.ORG.

Sincerely,

Mr. Nick Nannen

     


DATES TO REMEMBER

   

December 20-January 2

Winter Break (no school)

January 31

Community Day

February 19

Teacher Work Day – No students

February 20

School Holiday

April 6 - 10

Spring Break

May 18

School Holiday

June 16

High School Graduation

June 18

Last day of school for students

(minimum day)

Solution to this week’s puzzle can be found in the next newsletter.

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Solution to November 28th puzzle.

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