October Author of the Month: Linda Sue Park

1 Oct
Photo by: Jaya Shanker

Photo by: Jaya Shanker

The next time you step into our Grade 6 classroom library, check out our author of the month series. Linda Sue Park is the “daughter of Korean immigrants, she has been writing poems and stories since she was four years old, and her favorite thing to do as a child was read.”  Take a look at the Facts (aka FAQS) page on her website to learn more about her and see the books she has written. Her website features all kinds of information about Linda Sue Park. Sign out one of her books to read. Finally, you are all added to our book review blogs. Congratulations and thanks to the students who have already written and shared book reviews. Please write a review about a book you have read this year, or find new books on our blogs.
photo (3) copy

Photo by: Jaya Shanker

October Birthdays

1 Oct

birthday-cake-clip-art_Happy birthday to the following Grade 6 students celebrating birthdays this month: Tsukiho (2nd), Ai (5th), Aaron (12), Woosung (25th), Junsik (27th), and Min Wook/Eric (28th). If we made any errors or left anyone off the list, please let us know ASAP. Have a great day!  Happy birthday!  Ms. Jaya, Mrs, Hall and Mr. Martin


Word Hippo

1 Oct

Image Source: Word Hippo

Vikram shared a really cool website with me and some of this table partners today in Language Arts. Word Hippo is a website that you can use to find word meanings, rhyming words, word forms (past tense, future, tense, and much more!), example sentences, and translations. It looks like a great website that would be helpful to all students. We are always looking for great sites to add to our Moodle pages and our class blog. If you find helpful websites for Language Arts or Social Studies, please send the links to Mrs. Hall, Ms. Jaya, or me. Thanks, Vikram!

Thanks! Mr. Martin

Out of Eden: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Answers Us!

26 Sep
Image source: npr.org

Image source: npr.org

Great news! Paul Salopek responded to our questions we sent to him. Currently, Mr. Salopek is in Turkey observing and writing about the refugee crisis on the border of Syria. Last week, we brainstormed a list of questions we would ask him if we had an opportunity. Mr. Martin sent four questions from Tsukiho, Hanung, Yuki I., and Kennedy. He answered those questions on his blog.  We have cut and pasted his response below:
From Paul:
Thanks so much, Rob. To answer the questions:
1. What do you think your entire budget will be for this journey (Yuki, Japanese)?
Paul: It’s evolving, Yuki. I started on a shoestring. Thanks to great partners such as National Geographic and the Knight Foundation, the Abundance Foundation, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and Project Zero, I’ve now got the shoes to go with it. Daily expenses have ranged from about $2 USD to $500 USD, depending on whether I was traveling with camels and a full team of desert guides in Saudi Arabia or walking alone across Cyprus and living on iced coffee.
2. What has been the best moment of your journey, so far (Kennedy, American)?
Paul: An impossible question, Kennedy—like asking which is the best moment of your life so far? All journeys, short and small, are made up of highs and lows that we sometimes only recognize years later. Mohammed Banounah’s jokes. Seeing the Gulf of Aden from the rocky hills of Djibouti. Or the hundreds of “ordinary” days when walking seems effortless—steeped in meaning and beautiful. Take your pick.
3. How many articles of clothing do you carry with you (Tsukiho, Japan)?
Paul: I’m still wearing the same t-shirt I started with in Ethiopia. My original pants were beyond repair, though. I have replaced them twice.
Mr. Martin’s note: see this article from NPR – What do you pack for a seven year journey?
4. What will you do when you finish this journey—write a book (Hanung, Korean)?
Paul: A couple of books are coming. I’ll pause halfway (2016) to write the first.
Read more about his seven-year journey in our other blog post or on this National Public Radio article (hear him talk in this interview!). Please add other questions in the comment section here. We will continue to ask him questions throughout the year. You can also follow his blog posts and journey using the RSS feed listed on our blog (scroll down and look on the right side of the blog).
Have a great weekend and add some more questions. First, look at his website and the links and learn more about his journey before thinking of questions.


Cave Paintings and Prehistoric Art

25 Sep
In Chapter 2, we are learning about Early Human Culture and the development of art. There are many examples of ancient cave paintings, particularly in France and Spain. Watch the playlist and also check out website for the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France (also mentioned in pages 6-7 in your textbook). Click ‘visit the cave’ to enter this cool website that features some really amazing early art. Women made most of the oldest-known cave art paintings, suggests a new analysis of ancient handprints. Here is a link with other examples of cave paintings around the world. The Bradshaw Foundation also features good information on cave art around the world.
What does this art tell us about early humans?  Where are some of the places where prehistoric art or cave art has been found (see Bradshaw Foundation link and other links in this post).



Otzi, the Ice Man

24 Sep
Image source: South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Italy

Image source: South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Italy

Why is Otzi’s discovery so important to archaeology and the world?

You can learn more about Otzi and the artifacts they found with his body by viewing the link of the museum where he now resides:

South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, Italy



21 Sep

Here is a video playlist which nicely describes memoirs.

Out of Eden Walk

19 Sep
Source: pulitzercenter.org

Source: pulitzercenter.org

In class we are learning about early humans and migration. Follow this great story and blog by National Geographic writer, Paul Salopek as he makes a seven year journey following the footsteps of man.  His Out of Eden blog can be found here. Read more about his project here:

From 2013 to 2020, writer Paul Salopek is recreating that epic journey on foot, starting at humankind’s birthplace in Ethiopia and ending at the southern tip of South America, where our forebears ran out of horizon. Along the way he is engaging with the major stories of our time — from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival — by walking alongside the people who inhabit these headlines every day. Moving at the slow beat of his footsteps, Paul is also seeking the quieter, hidden stories of people who rarely make the news.

You can follow his blog or dispatches on our class blog. There is an RSS feed listed on the right side of the blog and you will see his most recent posts. You can also ask Mr. Salopek questions about his journey. He posts thematic maps here and you can see where he currently is, if you see this Google Map. This is a very cool story, one that you can follow for the next several years. In class, we are brainstorming questions we would ask Paul. We will collect the best questions and post a message on his blog, Out of Eden Walk. Hopefully we will respond during his trek. Below is a video playlist about his journey and human migration (see pages 46-47 in our textbook).


United Nations International Day of Peace

19 Sep
Source: un.org

Source: un.org

Celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace at AISC. Post a comment and tell us something you enjoyed about how UN Day was celebrated at school and your feelings about peace. What does peace mean to you? Watch UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s video message.




E-Books @ AISC

18 Sep

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Mr. Jet came to our Language Arts classes this week to talk about e-books and how to access them. We learned that we have thousands of new e-books. You can access the list of e-book links and passwords via Moodle. Go to the main Middle School Moodle page, scroll down to the CIC section and click on the link that says ‘Great CIC online subscriptions and e-books.’  You can also find them on our Moodle page under general resources. Just as we are reading ‘just right’ books, please choose just right e-books. Have fun exploring the new e-books and tell a friend about a great book you have read.



International Mindedness @ AISC

15 Sep

This week at AISC, we celebrate Dot Day and UN International Peace Day. How do you define international mindedness? What have you learned about ‘international mindedness’ as a student at an international school like AISC? (click on the images below to see a larger image).  Share your opinion. 

United Nations

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Website

International Mindness (1)

International Mindness Mug Design

Source: AISC website

Source: AISC website



History is Cool!

10 Sep
Source: G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Source: G. Hartwig/Universal History Archive/Getty Images

Here is a really cool article I saw on National Public Radio (NPR) about a ship that was lost more than 160 years ago. It was recently discovered by Canadian archaeologists. Click on the link to read the story.


9 Sep

In advisory class today, all grade 6 students did an activity related to The Dot by Peter Reynolds. What does this story mean to you? Do you ever feel like Vashti? How do you feel about starting something new? How do you feel when things seem difficult to do? What is something you would like to improve? How will you “make your mark” on 6th grade? Post a comment, and answer one or more of these questions. Share a story or your opinion on The Dot.  Here are some other links related to the story:

Peter Reynolds website – the author of The Dot

International Dot Day – September 15th is DOT Day


Scholastic Book Fair!

7 Sep

Book-Fair-ArrowThere will be a Scholastic Book Fair from Monday to Wednesday this week in the Black Box Theater (BBT). Stop by before class, during recess or lunch, or after school. We hope you find something great to read!



Sadako, Paper Cranes, and Perpective

6 Sep


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Students in Block H (SS) were treated to a demonstration of how to make paper cranes by our Japanese students. This was a wonderful opportunity to enrich our learning after reading “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes”. Thanks to Rin, Miyu, and Yumi who demonstrated and to Hidetaka and Yuki H. who helped students when they needed it!  Check out some of these book reviews and trailers that students did last year. You can find copies of the book in the CIC. We will continue talking about perspective next week. Remember to update your books you are reading on the 40 Book Challenge document you have in your L.A. folder.
Book review 1, book review 2, & book review 3.

Primary vs. Secondary Sources

4 Sep

In our final lesson from chapter 1, you will learn about primary and secondary sources and how historians study the past.  Click on the hyperlink to see an Infographic that highlights the differences.  The video playlist has several videos on primary and secondary sources. Check them out!



New Books in the CIC!

3 Sep
CIC Party

CIC Party

The Collaboration and Inquiry Center (CIC) has over 1,500 new books for students to check out, beginning on Thursday. There are a wide range of new books from fiction to non-fiction, and we have many that support our curriculum that are in Japanese, Korean, and other languages. You can see the books on display now, if you visit the CIC (bottom and top floors). The CIC catalogue of books can be found HERE and at the bottom of this blog. Mr. Jet and his staff, along with your teachers, encourage you to visit. Check it out!


MAP Testing Schedule

2 Sep


Math – Friday, Sept. 5th (G Block)

Language Usage – Monday, Sept. 8th (D Block)

Reading – Tuesday, Sept. 9th (H Block)

Science – Friday, Sept. 12th (B Block)


September Birthdays

31 Aug


Happy birthday to the following students celebrating birthdays this month: Aditya and Kazu (9/7), Sravya (9/8), Lucie (9/10), Sriya (9/12), Alice D. (9/15), and Jeremy (9/26). If we forgot anyone or made an error, tell us and we will edit this list. Have a great day!

Mr. Martin, Mrs. Hall, and Ms. Jaya

Maps and GPS

28 Aug

We have been learning about different types of maps and key terms used when reading maps.  The end of chapter 1, lesson 2 (pages 24 – 25)  features information on the future of navigation and the use of satellites of the Global Positioning System, of GPS.  What uses for GPS can you think?



How to become a better writer

26 Aug


Archaeologists and Artifacts

25 Aug

This playlist features information on archaeologists, artifacts and a nice video by Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
Comment: What do archaeologists do? After reading sections 1 – 2 (‘Finding Clues to the Past’ and ‘The Search for Early Humans’) tell us why you think studying early people is so hard for archaeologists. Tell us something new you learned from any of these video clips?

Dangerous Books?

24 Aug


Has any book changed your life?

Find that ‘Just Right’ Book

20 Aug

Just right books Just right books 3



General Reading Expectations:

  • Always bring the book you are reading to L.A. class.

  • Read every night for a minimum of 20-30 minutes.

  • You can take your literacy notebook home, but you need to bring it to L.A. class.

  • Choose a wide variety of genres that are age-appropriate and at your “just right” level.

  • Maintain your 40 Book Challenge!

What is the first book you are reading in 6th grade Language Arts? Write a comment and tell us the title and author.

What should I read next?

18 Aug
Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock


Tomorrow, the remainder of the 6th grade will go to the CIC (library) during advisory to meet Mr. Jet and his staff and to learn more about the M.S. CIC. All students will go to the CIC to get books during L.A. on Wednesday and Thursday.  In order to help you choose a book, take a look at the two book review blogs that your 6th grade L.A./S.S. teachers created last year:
Mr. Martin/Ms. Jaya’s Book Review Blog
Mrs. Hall/Ms. Jaya’s Book Review Blog
We also discovered this cool website – What Should I Read Next? Click on the links and find a book to read. The CIC catalogue link is at the bottom of this blog. Remember that you can go to the CIC before and after school and during breaks or lunch.

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