Monday, December 4, 2017

Check out NESA WTI and SEC 2018

SEC 2018 Registration now open!
Take advantage of Early Bird registration! Ends February 20.
Who: Educators of all grade levels, subjects and disciplines
What: Keynotes, specialist workshops and multi-day offerings | Teacher-presented workshops | General Interest sessions | Social Events: Welcome Reception and Gala Evening | Professional Learning & Growth!
When: SEC is March 30-April 1, 2018
Where: InterContinental Hotel, Athens, Greece
We'll see you in March!

Don't miss out on WTI 2018 early-bird registration!
Ends December 20
Venue: The American International School of Muscat, Oman

Institute Topics:
  • The Power of "Co": Co-Planning, Co-Teaching, Collaboration
  • Rubrics for Student Learning
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • Cultures of Thinking
  • National Arts Education Standards
  • Communities of Practice
  • ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview
  • Shifting the Culture of the Math Classroom
We'll see you in January!
Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA)
Gravias 6 | Aghia Paraskevi 153 42 | Athens, Greece
Tel: +30 210 600-9821

Saturday, December 2, 2017

DEMS Grade 3 Celebrates Information Writing

By Megan Coleman, DEMS Grade 3

Grade 3 DEMS learners worked hard on becoming fluent in Google Slides whilst going through the writing process as an expository expert writer. They brainstormed, drafted, revised/edited and published! They chose their own topic to teach others, and shared their work via Google Slides published presentations with all grade 3, and SeeSaw. Well done writers!

The Grade 3 Team 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Reader's Workshop - A beginning

By Cabbie Rein, KG teacher at ISG Jubail

After attending the Reader's Workshop (RW) session in Bahrain at the end of last academic year, one of my thoughts was how I was going to get kindergartners to sit still AND begin reading. Although I have taught reading to kindergartners before, I have never been exposed to RW. It was new to both my students and I. The first three weeks of this academic year was spent following mostly Responsive classroom routines and activities with lots of Shared Reading and Read-Alouds, interspersed with fun writing prompts. This set the tone (and excitement) about learning to read. The first week of October we launched Readers Workshop and boom, they got it! We practice together and celebrate good reading behaviors each and every day. My class came up with the idea that we were going to climb a mountain of books to build stamina in reading to self and so we have a picture to remind us of how well we are doing. The students love partner reading where they read a book together and share a favorite part with the rest of the class. It took me all of 10 minutes to string the video clips and photos together to make this short video. I used an app on my iPhone called Shadow Puppet. It's free if you only use 10 pictures/clips per video - check it out, it really is easy!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Join #nesachat tomorrow with our ISG students!

Please join student moderators from ISG and AISR for this week's #nesachat!! Tuesday Nov 7, 10:00 AM AST  on 'Compassionate Action: from Empathy to Action'. Questions here: #nesachat Compassionate Action
Moderators: @tarawaudby @msmileywhite and Special Student Guests from the Compassion Summit:  JOIN US!!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Parents, Students, Staff - You are Invited!

Please join us for a Vision & Values into Practice community event on Saturday, October 28 from 10-2 in the Dhahran Campus Auditorium.  Through storytelling, we will be creating our vision together as a community of students, parents and staff.  We welcome our entire ISG community from any of our campuses to this fun and engaging experience.  

Please see the below flyer for more information and RSVP here by October 19.  

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Collaboration Success Story - DEMS Grade 2

DEMS Grade 2 Team - Wes Sanders, Tiffany Flanders, and Ghinwa El Masri

Last year, if you were to walk in to one of DEMS 2nd grade classrooms during a summative assessment, you would see students independently using their knowledge and skills on an authentic performance tasks. Students are modeling, problem solving, and communicating their reasoning of rich tasks in multiple ways using their knowledge of the mathematical concepts. Students might be scattered around the room or at their tables with their heads down carefully reading and crafting answers to each question.  Some students would get up to read the rubric making sure they were meeting the criteria set forth by the teachers.

While this may not be unique in many classrooms, the real collaboration success story comes with what happens before and after the students are assessed.  These rich task have been collaboratively created by the grade 2 teaching team.  Using various resources, these teachers will create an assessment that provides students the opportunities to use the mathematical practices in an authentic performance task.  Knowing their targets and standards carefully allow them to modify their instruction to meet the needs of their students. As Tiffany Flanders clearly stated if she wants her students to model, reason, and problem solve, then she has “to change my instruction to allow them to practice those.”  

Classrooms have been set up in stations that allow for students to conceptually understand the mathematical concepts using manipulatives and models prior to being introduced to the standard algorithms.  It is not uncommon to see more than 6 different ways students have solved the same problem. The criteria of the rubrics are clear and have become standard procedure for the students use in the class during practice and during assessments.  

After assessments, teachers can sometimes be seen gathering around a stacks of student work.  This collective ownership of student learning is one of the cornerstones of collaboration success.  Instead of 3 teachers teaching 20 students each, it becomes more like 3 teachers teaching 60 students. By going through student work together, teachers can better adapt their future assessments and instructional practices for the next unit.  

Dozens of articles are written to discuss the importance of collaboration and how schools can embed collaboration in their school culture. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (2011) suggests that a school’s professional learning culture is collaborative when: 
  • teachers engage in frequent, ongoing formal and informal conversations about pedagogy and teaching practice (Australian Professional Standards for Teachers) 
  • teachers work together to research, plan and design effective teaching strategies and programs 
  • teachers engage in professional dialogue to evaluate and modify teaching strategies and programs 
  • teachers engage in regular classroom observation and feedback and can articulate how changes in their practice impact on student outcomes 
  • there is collective ownership of learning goals and outcomes, for both the individual and whole-school 
  • teachers undertake leadership roles that include initiating and leading professional discussions with colleagues to evaluate practice (Australian Professional Standards for Teachers) 
  • collaboration is prioritized and sufficient time is given to investing in the practice
While the grade 2 team at DEMS continues to strive to meet all of the criteria to the best of their ability, a huge congratulations should be given to them with what they have been able to do in their mathematics classes last school year. With a new team member coming on board, the collaboration practices already established will help this team be successful for the upcoming year.  

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. (2011, February). Retrieved June 14, 2017, from