English Class Takes Research to the Next Level
June 12, 2015
In May, Fossa had the opportunity to persue their own interests and research deeper into a subject that they had learnt about this term, either in school or as an extra curricular activity.
The main learning target was to produce a clear and coherent presentation in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. They also needed to have a creative element and a written element.
Pam says, "I was overwhelmed by the quality and amount of work that many students put into their projects. Students displayed their work to their peers and also gave useful feedback on ways to change or improve the presentations."
We would like to share 2 of these final presentations; from the Icelandic Stream we have a PowerPoint presentation by Klara, raising awareness about Climate Change. From the English Stream we have slides by Viktor about breaking Metalhead stereotypes.
Click to download Klara´s presentation!
English Class Explores Growth Mindsets
May 18, 2015
In Fossá English class, students recently learned about how to nurture a growth mindset.
They discussed how to develop their own intelligence and watched videos that communicated the idea of the brain being malleable, and that the best way to make our brains stronger is to embrace new challenges. Learning new things and finding strategies to overcome failiures is an important part of this process that can help students throughout their lives.
After listening to a story of how Pam learned to cross country ski, students then had to find their own story of a time when they had to learn something new, and identify strategies which help them overcome challenges in their daily life.
Here is Viktor's story. In it, he tells us how he learned to play bass guitar.
Don't miss more photos from the event in the Gallery here!
ISI-PTA Flea Market Brings Fun Every Year!
May 2, 2015
Parents, children, and the local community were able to enjoy some fun family time and good food while getting great bargains on children´s clothes, toys, books and more. Sigrún Boatwright, PTA Chairperson, would like to thank ISI parents for all their efforts to make donations and support this event! Many families took advantage of the great bargains while the children enjoyed bouncing in the Bouncy Castle in the sunny weather.
In keeping with tradition, the bake sale also produced several international delights for those in attendance to enjoy and take home. Crepes, cake pops, cupcakes, chocolate banana bread, cookies and whole cakes were among few international delights baked by volunteer parents.
The older students were a big help this year and so a special thank you goes to them (and one ISI alumni who also volunteered to help!) for keeping the children smiling at the face painting station and for helping the little ones decorate their cupcakes.
As always, the left over donated clothing and toys were donated to charity in the end as a way to give back to the community of the Greater Reykjavik Area, Thank you to all who donated and attended.
Morning Singing Performance
Recently, ISI student Ásta Dóra wowed the crowd in Morning Singing, showing off her considerable skill in playing the piano with this lovely rendition of Mozart´s Sonata in C Major. Vel spilað, Ásta Dóra!
On April 21, students competed in a swimming competition in Hafnarfjörður against 21 other schools. Justin, our P.E. teacher and homeroom teacher, reported that students swam well and had a lot of fun. All the students in grades 5-7 came and cheered on the 8 swimmers. See more pictures here!
ISI Adding Middle School Program!
March 17, 2014
During a meeting on February 3, 2015, ISI´s School Board approved the motion to add grade 8 in the 2015-2016 school year, as well as adding grades 9 and 10 as soon as is feasible.
The move to expand the school has been a goal for ISI, as can be seen on the Our History page. “We have wanted to do this for a while,” said Berta Faber, Chairman of the Board. “But responsible growth is key. The new grades will be included in our accreditation process, ensuring they are up to international standards.
The program will also provide a smooth transition to the IB program offered at Menntaskólinn við Hamrahlíð (MH) for those looking for an English-only education. For our bilingual students, the goal is to keep their options open so that they can continue in a secondary school where the language of instruction is either Icelandic or English.
For more information on the program, please contact the school at firstname.lastname@example.org Applications are currently being accepted for grades K-8 for the 2015-16 school year.
ISI Annual Easter Egg Hunt Welcomes Spring!
March 26, 2015
During the final period of school on Thursday, March 26, the Parent-Teacher Association welcomed Spring to ISI with our annual Easter Egg Hunt, held in the school cafeteria and the surrounding grounds.
At the start of the event, students headed outside to look for the colorful eggs, hidden earlier in the day by the PTA and parent volunteers. The sun was shining and the air was certainly bracing as Iceland once again begins to make up its mind about which season we might be in: Is it winter, or is it spring?
Teachers reported that students were exctied to get outside, like animals in the spring after being cooped up inside all winter. For Lára, a homeroom teacher, it brought to mind the Icelandic expression "Sletta úr klaufunum!"
After students had collected their prizes, they headed inside so that the children could enjoy their treats and meet the Easter Bunny. Many where very excited to see him and most were trying to figure out if it was the real thing. Our young students displayed some deductive reasoning: as one first grader said, "I know because I saw skin between the gloves!" The relief was apparent. It is more fun to deal with an adult in a costume. A real 6-foot-tall bunny rabbit can be intimidating for some!
Teachers were again impressed by the helpfulness and good cheer of the students. "We had some very enthusiastic egg hunters," said Lára later. "Many were yelling out ´She only has 3 - come over here, there are more over here!´ and ´I´ll help you´ which always warms my teacher´s heart."
Sharing was also abundant. Students were overheard saying things like, "You only got the gummy bears and not the other candy. Here, I´ll give you some of mine". In short a lot of excited, thankful, appreciative and considerate children had an excellent time today at the Easter Egg Hunt.
What a wonderful start to our Spring Break, which will be from March 30 - April 6.
Thank you again to the ISI PTA and parent volunteers for making this cherished yearly event a success! Happy Easter to our ISI family and enjoy your vacation!
ISI: An Asset to the Community
January 29, 2015
A special luncheon was held at Iðno on Thursday, January 29, attended by education specialist George Hobson from the Council of International Schools (CIS), representatives from the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture and other members of the diplomatic community, business community and municipalities. The purpose was to present the significance of international accreditation to our esteemed guests and to introduce them to CIS.
The Minister of Education, Science and Culture opened with a discussion of the need for international education in Iceland. He also spoke about ISI´s progress throughout our 10-year history and how they hope to continue supporting the school. Berta Faber, Head of Academics at ISI, gave a presentation outlining the highlights of our school from 2004 to the present.
George described the accreditation process we are currently undergoing and then stated that ISI is an asset to the community. After his 2-day visit, he told the audience, he had seen a great curriculum, happy children and passionate leadership. He spoke of the need of the community to nurture and support this endeavour.
Membership to the prestigious Council of International Schools comprises more than 680 primary and secondary schools, 490 higher education colleges and universities, and represents 109 countries. All members must demonstrate a fundamental commitment to providing students with the knowledge, skills and abilities to pursue their lives as global citizens.
“The luncheon was a great success!“ said Berta. “It was a busy week and I´m glad it has gone so well.“
ISI Celebrates World Book Day
March 5, 2015
This has been a great week for focusing on Books and reading at ISI.
During our daily literacy time we are making the transition from having a Read Aloud book to choosing individual reading books for our next session of Drop Everything And Read.
As it happens, this transition has also been taking place internationally this week. March 4, 2015, was the World Read Aloud Day followed by World Book Day on March 5.
On the Read aloud website they have a quote from The Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research. "Reading aloud to children every day puts them almost a year ahead of children who do not receive daily read alouds regardless of parental income, education level or cultural background." This is so exciting to our language teachers and our book lovers on staff, and we strive to pass our passion on to the students.
A lot of research about daily reading stresses that gives students an added advantage. According to an article by Christopher Bergland in Psychology Today, reading even contributes to increased connectivity in the brain, especially when we read novels.
At ISI, we always like to have an opportunity to focus on reading and this year it was the teachers and staff who started the ball rolling by writing about the last book they had read. Karen enjoyed rereading a beloved Harry Potter novel, while Beth connected with the heroes of old in Volsungasaga, among others!
Many students drew or wrote their own recommendations for a good read, while the students in Elidaá and Fossá took part in a treasure hunt to find out more about what their teachers like to read and find out more about the fun stuff on the website for the World Book Day.
If you would like to find out more about these two special days, please take a look at these websites:
Fossá Poetry Corner
Pam´s Fossá poetry class has been working on a special project. Students chose a poem and then had to memorize and present it, thinking about how to use their bodies and voices for the best effect. Well done, poets!
ISI Students On Stage at the University of Iceland
January 27, 2014
Success! On Tuesday, January 27, ISI students took the stage of the Main Exhibition Hall in the Main Building at the University of Iceland to help welcome the UNESCO Year of Light to our country. See Morgunblaðið´s coverage of the event on the ISI in the Media page!
Individual students made short presentations to share their thoughts on the importance of light. Did you know that light travels really fast? It can go around the world 7 times in one second!
In addition, ISI shared a lovely rendition of You Are My Sunshine, as well as the Icelandic version, "Með sól í hjarta" ("With Sunshine in My Heart"). Thank you also to Sjálandskóli´s music teacher, Óli Schram, for his accompaniment on piano.
Students were energetic and happy surrounded by balloons and color during the performance. See a special 'Backstage Pass' video of their final rehearsal below, just before their appearance on stage.
Also in attendance during this special event were the president of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, and the rector of the university, Kristín Ingólfsdóttir. The ISI teachers were very proud of the students´ effort and poise during the performance. They were all shining brightly!
"I am so proud of my group and everyone," said homeroom teacher Lára. "They did such an amazing job!"
What is the UNESCO Year of Light 2015 All About?
On December 20, 2013, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies.
In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its
applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century.
UNESCO Year of Light Ceremony
On Tuesday, January 27, ISI students dazzled at a special performance to introduce the UNESCO Year of Light 2015 to Iceland. Redeem your backstage pass now to view their final rehearsal of featured songs "You Are My Sunshine" and the Icelandic version, "Með Sól í Hjarta." Simply sparkling!
Student Imagination Takes Flight
January 26, 2014
Yonatan Afework Tesfahunegn visited ISI on Monday, January 26, to share his experiences as a scholar and engineer. He is a Marie-Curie Postdoctoral fellow at Reykjavik University, and wanted to display his project work with our students as a part of the Outreach program.
He is a Mechanical Engineer who is doing research on design of an airplane wing. His goal was to explain what he is doing in a very simple way with interactive tasks on how to design a paper airplane so that the students will be able to create their own paper airplanes. He hoped that from these interactive tasks they could easily understand how airplanes fly.
There certainly was a fluury of excitement (and paper!) in the hallway as students tested their design.
PTA Brings Holiday Cheer to Local Children´s Hospital
December 23, 2014
On December 23, the ISI PTA visited the Childrens Hospital (Barnaspítali Hringsins) in Reykjavik.
The kids and parents were pleasantly surprised to have a break in their routine, and were very grateful.
The hospital also donated approximately 10 copies of an Icelandic book to our school. The book, called Regnbogafuglinn, teaches children about diversity. The hospital originally received the books as a donation, and wanted to share their good fortune with ISI.
The children asked about the International School of Iceland and said that it is important to have an international school in Iceland to help children, whether they are Icelandic or new to our country.
Thank you to the ISI PTA for their generous spirit and the gift of time and effort they have made to the Children´s Hospital. This organization has definitely made some people smile!
ISI Makes a Big Holiday Book Donation
December 19, 2014
Congratulations to the parents, staff and students of ISI for another successful book donation to ABC Children´s Aid International, an organization dedicated to providing education to underprivileged children in needy countries.
Last year, the school was able to donate more than 100 books to a new school in Nairobi and we are proud to continue our mission of giving the gift of literacy during this holiday season.
All the books donated this year were given to Thorunn Helgadóttir, who is the founder of ABC Kenya. The school there has more than 600 children of all ages who will be thrilled to receive these books!
MONDAY, AUGUST 25
OPEN HOUSE at 10:00 AM
Begin the school year with ISI!
TUESDAY, AUGUST 26
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
Early Release at 12:00 PM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
Tree Planting with Sjálandsskóli
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
NEW PARENT EVENING
5-6 PM for New Parents ONLY
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
8:15 - 9:00 AM for all parents
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Samræmdpróf Day 1 - Icelandic
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26
Samræmdpróf Day 2 - Math
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14
PARENT CONFERENCE DAY
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17
IPC SCIENCE FAIR
8:15 - 9:00 AM - ISI Family welcome!
MONDAY, OCTOBER 27
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 28
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29
All-school event (Details TBA)
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 22
ISI BOOK FAIR
11 AM - 3 PM - Everyone welcome!
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25
10 AM - 12 PM - In school
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26
10 AM - 12 PM - In school
MONDAY, DECEMBER 8
HOUR OF CODE
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM -- ISI students participate in the Hour of Code
MONDAY, DECEMBER 8
THE YULE LADS ARE COMING!
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM - Our PTA shares holiday stories and cocoa with you!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 11
WEAR RED DAY
We celebrate the holidays by dressing up in red, red, red today!
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18
ISI COZY DAY
Students spend the day with their homeroom classes, making crafts and enjoying our company before a special traditional Christmas lunch.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19
TUESDAY, JANUARY 13
Report cards will be sent home
THURSDAY, JANUARY 15
PARENT CONFERENCE DAY
JANUARY 19 - FEBRUARY 6
TUESDAY, JANUARY 27
UNESCO International Year of Light
4:00 PM at the University of Iceland
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4
International Potluck Dinner
17:30 - 19:00 in the ISI Cafeteria
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 16
SCHOOL RESUMES / BOLLUDAGUR
School begins again at 8:15 AM
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 18
ÖSKUDAGUR (COSTUME DAY)
TUESDAY, MARCH 17
ANNUAL ISI SKI TRIP
The ski trip will of course depend on the weather at Bláfjöll!
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18
FRIDAY, MARCH 20
Students will receive special viewing glasses!
TUESDAY, MARCH 24
PARENT CONFERENCE DAY
Students should attend with parents
MARCH 30 - APRIL 6
TUESDAY, APRIL 7
School begins again at 8:15 AM
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22
DADS & DOUGHNUTS
8:15 - 9:00 AM
THURSDAY, APRIL 23
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29
MOMS & MUFFINS
8:15 - 9:00 AM
SATURDAY, MAY 2
ISI PTA FLEA MARKET
1:00 - 4:00 PM in the Cafeteria area
TUESDAY, MAY 12
MAY 14-15, 2015
NATIONAL HOLIDAY/STAFF DAY
MONDAY, MAY 18
School begins again at 8:15 AM
MONDAY, MAY 25
TUESDAY, MAY 26
School begins again at 8:15 AM
ISI Completes a Successful Fire Drill
October 24, 2014
Congratulations to ISI and Sjálandsskóli for a successful fire drill on October 24.
Students were taken outside to practice this important safety procedure. This is something we do every year in the Fall to help our new students understand what to do and where to go in case of fire.
To read more about our Emergency Evacuation procedure, read here.
Congratulations to Julio Romeral!
October 16, 2014
Teacher Julio Romero Romeral has been recognized for his excellent curriculum development of a Spanish unit titled All About Me. After attending a week-long workshop on curriculum design, offered by the U.S. State Department´s Office of Overseas Schools, Julio went to work on designing a unit that aligns with AERO standards and best practice techniques. The result? He received glowing praise from the trainers and had his unit published on the AERO website - congratulations, Julio, and thank you to Project AERO! See his project here ...
Magic in the Air
October 16, 2014
This morning, Sjálandsskóli and ISI students were treated to a magic show. Einar Mikael and Eyrún Anna appeared with sparkles and magician´s tools to dazzle and delight the crowd.
Students were thrilled by the tricks they saw and were very enthusiastic about the idea of coming onstage to help the magicians perform!
A Visit from LazyTown
October 2, 2014
In Morning Singing, students from Sjálandsskóli and the International School were visited by Sportacus of LazyTown. He spoke to students and did some athletics with them. Students really got moving!
Thank you to the Sjálandsskóli PTA for arranging this exciting visit.
All About Volcanoes!
September 26, 2014
Ágúst Þór Gunnlaugsson, researcher at the University of Iceland and member of the Search and Rescue Scouts of Garðabær, made a presentation for Sjálandsskóli and International School students during Morning Singing.
He has recently been working in the Holahrun area, which has been dealt with eruptions, magma overflows and sulfurous gas clouds in recent weeks.
He even brought a real lava rock to school, which many students thought was lucky to touch!
Children´s Book Author Eva Pengilsdóttir Visits ISI
December 5, 2014
Eva Þengilsdóttur is a busy lady! She lives in Geneva and, like many parents living outside their home country, her children go to the International school there.
Eva pays tribute to the Icelandic stories of her youth with the beautiful children´s book NÁLA riddarasaga. The story is greatly enhanced by the unique illustrations, which mimic cross stitch designs Inspired by the handcrafts of the women in her family.
Pam reports that the children were enthralled by her presentation, and were excited to receive the author´s gift of a bookmark which could also be used to design their own cross stitch picture.
Thank you to Eva Þengilsdóttur for taking the time to introduce this new and different book to our students, who will surely enjoy it.
ISI Student Lights Traditional Norwegian Christmas Tree
December 9, 2014
A special Christmas tree was brought from Oslo to Reykjavik in celebration of the season. It was lit for the first time in a festival in Austurvöllur today. The mayor himself helped to cut down a replacement when the original tree was damaged in a storm. This tree seems denser than its Norwegian predecessor.
Oslo residents have brought a tree to for the past 63 years, the lighting of which marks the beginning of the Christmas season. The storm that hit the country on Sunday caused damage to the original tree.
Dagur B. Eggertsson, mayor, called for solutions on Facebook in the beginning of last week and resorted to finding a new tree in Rauðavatn. The mayor and the ambassador of Norway cut the tree down together
Dagur thanked the Norwegians for their gift even though it has been damaged in the storm on Sunday, before the tree was lit at a ceremony Austurvöllur and Lilja Rán Gunnarsdóttir, a student at the International School of Iceland, sat down with the mayor.
Read the full article (with video!) here...
The Yule Lads Are Coming! (And they did!)
December 9, 2014
The ISI Parent-Teacher Association organized an event on Monday, December 8, inviting all of our parents and students to get into the holiday spirit! Grýla, the mother of the Yule Lads, stopped by our school to tell fascinated children about each of her sons, before each one arrives for Christmas (called Jól in Iceland).
The PTA provided cocoa and other traditional Icelandic treats which were enjoyed by one and all who joined us.
The Yule Lads are an important part of the holidays in Iceland. Every year, the Yule Lads journey from their mother´s home in the far reaches of Iceland, arriving at the first homes on December 12. If you have been good and left something out for the Yule Lads that they will like, you will be rewarded with a small gift in your shoe. Naughty children watch out for potatoes in their shoes!
Grýla goes looking for children to eat around Christmas Eve, bringing with her the fearsome black Yule Cat, who will eat anyone that he can smell. He will not smell you if you are wearing new clothing, though, which is why at least one gift of new clothing is traditional here.
Beware the Yule Cat and Grýla, and be good!
WHEN ARE THE YULE LADS COMING?
Stekkjarstaur December 12
Giljagaur December 13
Stúfur December 14
Þvörusleikir December 15 Pottaskefill December 16
Askasleikir December 17
Hurðaskellir December 18
Skyrgámur December 19
Bjúgnakrækir December 20
Gluggagægir December 21
Gáttaþefur December 22
Ketkrókur December 23
Kertasníkir December 24
ISI Completes the Hour of Code 2014
December 9, 2014
Students in every class at the International School of Iceland in Garðabær completed the Hour of Code on Monday, December 8. The creative force behind the Hour of Code, Code.org, was launched in 2013 as a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools. In 2013, 50 million students tried the Hour of Code and they have set a goal to help 100 million students participate sometime during Computer Science Education Week, December 8-14, 2014. The Hour of Code proves that students of all ages can understand the process of coding and create their first programs in an hour or less! ISI is proud to join millions of students around the world who will be exploring computer science this week.
Some ISI classes tried coding games on the computer, completing 20 levels of a robot game called Lightbot and Frozen-themed animations. Even the teachers said they felt very smart when helping students complete each level of challenges. "That was so fun!" said one student at the end of the hour.
Other classes completed 'unplugged´ activities without a computer, using pencil and paper to write a series of instructions (code) carried out by their partners to get them from one end of an obstacle course to another. In this real-life example, the person who wrote the instructions was a programmer and their partner was the computer. Anyone can code, no computer required!
These fun activities demonstrated logical analysis and computational thinking, two things which are very important in computer science. In another unplugged activity, students designed instructions for their partner (the "computer") to carry out which involved stacking cups in certain patterns.
The event at ISI was organized by Beth Rogers, IT Coordinator and English teacher, with the support of Hanna Hilmarsdottir, principal, and Berta Faber, Head of Academics and the rest of the staff. ISI firmly believes in creating 21st century learners, which means that students should understand that computers can do so much more play than funny cat videos or help with a little research for class.
Learning to code is an integral part of that understanding what computers are capable of and how they work. Beth also runs Coding Club at ISI, a 12-week after-school activity that teaches students how to create apps using MIT´s App Inventor 2. Each semester, students learn to program apps from the simplest button-pushing game to a full minigolf program before using the skills they have learned to create their own app. In addition, she and other teachers teach Digital Literacy to students in all grades as part of their regular curriculum, covering topics such as Internet safety, typing, effective research strategies and website design.