Where Did Grade 12 Go for Week Without Walls?

They went to the Teachers Center!

Twenty-eight students in Grade 12 stayed at IST last week to finish their Extended Essays. Extended Essays are part of the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) core curriculum and are a requisite for earning an IB diploma. These 4,000 word essays can be written in any Diploma Programme (DP) subject studied at IST and range from physics and math to music and literature. The inquiry questions answered in these essays are at an academic level and require deep investigation. The seniors began working on their papers over nine months ago; “rough-rough” drafts were due on the first day of school in August.

This past week was devoted to the writing process. Students participated in Writer’s Workshops and received peer review. They crafted their essays, wrote sound arguments, gave evidence, made citations, and formatted it all for for formal presentation to supervisors. Each student has an assigned supervisor who will comment on this “rough draft” before the papers are edited for final submission and grading, and then sent on to the IB for official scoring. English Chair Joe Schaaf, DP Coordinator Michael Conway, Humanities Teacher Catherine Bartram, and Secondary Teacher-Librarian Virginia Morgan worked tirelessly with the students. The entire group enjoyed a convivial lunch hour every day as they gathered to revive themselves on take-out food and potluck.

Grade 12 students also attended two college guidance sessions with School Guidance Counselor Shallene Austin. Next, they will have write college essays. They should be prepared!

Library Catches Olympic Fever

The Sochi Winter Olympics is underway and Olympic fever has struck at IST.

Get your game on with these library books on the Olympics.

Book cover images and summaries from the library OPAC.

Cover for Original Olympics Call # 796.48 ROS – Discusses the history, traditions, and competitive events connected with the Olympic games held in ancient Greece.
Cover for First Olympics Call # E RIC – After Pelops, son of Tantulus and grandson of the Greek god Zeus, wins the hand of Hippodamia in a chariot race, he decrees that Olympic games are to be held every four years.
Cover for Eyewitness Olympics Call # 796.48 OXL – Surveys the history and traditions of the Olympics, highlighting memorable events from ancient Greece to the present day.
Cover for Ancient Olympics Call # 796.48 OXL – Describes the history, traditions, and competitive events connected with the Olympic games held in ancient Greece.

We’ve added an Olympic Gold Count widget to our sidebar, but for more up-to-date information on the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi, visit:

Official Sochi Olympics website – www.sochi2014.com

Official site for the Olympic Movement – www.olympic.org/sochi-2014-winter-olympics

And of course, there’s an app for that. Download yours.

Do you have any requests for books or materials on the Olympics? Let us know in the comments.

New Year Resolutions Part 1: Keep Up to Date with the News

Nope, it’s not too late to make your New Year Resolutions. After all, they could be resolutions for the Year of the Horse, which won’t start until January 31.

Let the library help you with your resolutions! We’ll post one resolution a day this week. Share your own resolutions with us and let’s see if we can help you keep them.

1. Stay up to date with current affairs.

The library OPAC has a series of links to children’s newspapers in the languages of our community. Navigate to the Visual tab of the OPAC, and click on “Current Events-Many Languages.” (Remember that this week, the library OPAC’s address is http://library.istianjin.net:81)

Current Events button on the OPAC's Visual Tab

There you will find links to many children’s and youth newspapers in many different languages. If you do not see your mother-tongue there and you know of an appropriate online children’s newspaper, please let us know in the comments.

Children's Online Newspapers in the languages of our community

Of particular note is Our Little Earth, an online children’s newspaper published twice a month. Our Little Earth strives to include news items from lots of different countries, and is always up to date. Click here for the first issue of 2014. 

The button on our Visual tab will take you to a wiki page with links to all the issues we’ve received under our subscription. Logging in to the library OPAC with the quick log in or your own personal account will let you access the latest issue. Simply scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. You will see the link on the bottom right hand side.

Make this a family event. Keep up to date with news from your country and discuss those with your children. Have them write to relatives back home to ask questions and to get an opinion. Media outlets often exaggerate news items to create interest in their offerings. Children need to be educated in detecting bias in the media, and by discussing current events at home, they can practice the skills.

DOGO News – Kids Reporting on Current Events

Dogo News is a website that features news reported by kids. It’s updated daily and makes an effort to include news of international interest. A perusal through the most recent headlines include reports on space junk, the Indian festival of Holi, the world’s oldest paragliding grandmother and the impact of global warming on the island nation of Kiribati.

The site also features reviews by readers of books and websites, and an interactive world map. Moving your cursor over the world map reveals pop ups that pinpoint the location of the current events that have been featured on the news page.

All in all, this seems like a great website for current events and an excellent model of newspaper writing for elementary students. We have included a link to it on our Current Events page of the library OPAC’s Visual tab. We hope that you will consider posting your own reviews and comments.

Thanks to Ms. Wang who shared the link from her conference in Bangkok.

DOGO News – Kids news articles! Kids current events; plus kids news on science, sports, and more!.


The Dogo News button is on our Current Events-Many Languages button. Click here for a post with instructions on how to access that.


Young Published Author at IST

Josephine Meier, a former IST grade 10 German student, published her first book this year. Congratulations, Josephine! Gedichte einer 14 jährigen (Poems for 14 Years) is written and illustrated all by herself. It is beautifully designed. This young lady is not only a poet but also a fantastic artist. The poems are written in German and the topics are various on friendship, life, death, love, spring, winter etc. In the “About the Author” section, Tianjin and China are mentioned. The feeling of seeing these words is wonderful.

The library staff is glad to receive Josephine’s donation in time for International School Library Week. Thank you, Josephine! We wish you all the best back in Germany.

The IST library works for the entire IST community and we get support from world languages teachers and students at the same time. People who are interested in publishing their personal books please check Books on Demand.

Is the Power Out? The Library is In!

We had an unexpected day off on Friday thanks to a power outage in the Jinnan District, but our library is open as always.

Do you want to catch up on current events? Visit Our Little Earth, an international newsletter for students from grades 3 and up. Click here for an archive of past issues.

To view the latest issue, you will need to log in to the library OPAC. Our Little Earth is listed at the bottom of our subscribed databases list.

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Click to enlarge the image.

Click to enlarge the image.

Or maybe you want to read a children’s book? Click on the Visual tab of the OPAC search page and then on Online Children’s Books. We have a big selection of websites that offer children’s books. Some are free and some are not. Please let us know which ones you consider the best.