Please join us on Thursday for the last Thursday Night Live of the year. TLN is always a great event, showcasing our students’ many talents, but this Thursday it’s an even more special night as it will honor John Fortin, a well-loved science teacher at IST. Mr. Fortin taught here from 2008 to 2011, and moved in August to a new international posting at the International School of Ventiane, in Laos.
Mr. Fortin is undergoing treatment for cancer and to show our support during April is Poetry Month, we encouraged his old students to write to him with encouragement. Mr. Fortin received the first batch of postcards this week and was extremely pleased.
The school will be collecting donations for Mr. Fortin on the evening of Thursday Night Live. We will continue to receive postcards for posting to him and his family. Mr. Fortin said via email, “Your support has been amazing and has played a large role in helping me get through all this.”
We hope you will come to Thursday Night Live. It promises to be a delightful evening for a good cause.
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We had our final meeting of the IST Library Parent Book Club yesterday. We had a lively discussion of the book, Please Look After Mom, by Korean author Kyung Sook Shin. We agreed that the book was certainly distinctive because of its second person narrative and that we see our parents more in their role as parents and less as individuals.
Here’s a list of the books we read in the 2012-2013 school year. The photo above features our book club members with several of the books, but most of them are currently checked out so we couldn’t include them all. I’m not surprised they’re checked out. They’re all great reads!
- August 2012 – The Illuminator, by Brenda Rickman Varese
- September 2012 – The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton
- October 2012 – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
- November 2012 – Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner
- January 2013 – Shifu, You’ll Do Anything for a Laugh, by Mo Yan
- February 2013 – The Lost and Forgotten Languages of Shanghai, by Riuyan Xu
- March 2013 – Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gouda
- April 2013 – Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell
- May 2013 – Please Look After Mom, by Kyung Sook Shin
What a great list! As I look over it, I am delighted to see how it reflects the international flavor of our members. While I enjoyed reading all of the books, my favorite part was always the discussions when one of our members could take the lead in explaining cultural references about the setting and/or characters.
We are sad to bid farewell to several of our members in June: Carla Pamfilio, Brenda Didelot and Angela Woods. Thanks for the wonderful discussions and the great book recommendations. We hope you’ll stay in touch. I’m on Goodreads if you’d like to join me there. My username is fitziane.
Our first meeting in August will be on Wednesday, the 14th. We will be discussing Bad Karma, by German author Eric Safier. This is a humorous book about a man who reincarnates in several different animals before finally returning to life as a human. It is available on Amazon.com, but not yet on a Kindle version as it’s a very recent title.
The IST Library Parent Book Club is open to all expats in Tianjin who love to read. Please register via the sidebar widget.
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Tags: book club·books·parents
The IST Library Parent Book Club will be meeting next Wednesday, 15 May, to discuss the book Please Look After Mom, by Kyung Sook Shin. Ms. Shin is a best-selling Korean author. This particular novel is about a family who loses their elderly mother at a busy Seoul subway station. It is told in the second person, which makes it a very interesting read. We really have to exercise our inference skills to distinguish which character the narrator is addressing in each section of the book.
We are looking forward to the discussion this month. Click here for a discussion guide on LitLovers.com.
Click here for an interview with the author by the online magazine Samsonia Way.
If you would like to join our IST Library Parent Book Club, please register via the link on the left sidebar or contact us via email: library at istianjin.net. Our book club is open to all Tianjin expats who love to read. While this will be our last book club meeting for the 2012-2013 school year, we are looking forward to resuming our discussions in August after our summer holiday.
To our current members, please bring your recommendations for our summer reading. See you on Wednesday. Cross your fingers for good weather so we can sit outside.
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Tags: book club
Congratulations to Rohan who celebrates his birthday with us for the third year since he arrived at IST. Rohan and his family have been great supporters of the IST library and we are delighted to receive his latest birthday donation, Mask of the Sensei, book 2 of the very popular Lego Ninjago series. We will be getting more next year with next year’s budget, so it was great to be able to purchase one more copy this year thanks to Rohan.
Previous donations from Rohan were 6 books of the Animal Kingdom series and Dragonbreath, the elementary fiction graphic novel by Ursula Vernon.
We are particularly pleased with this year’s birthday book choice because the Lego Ninjago series is so popular with our nursery, grade 2 and 3 students.
Thanks again, Rohan, for once again celebrating your birthday with us. We wish you much success as a reader wherever life may take you.
If you would like to participate in the IST Library Birthday Book Club, please contact the library through the comments or by emailing library at istianjin dot net. A brief explanation of how the Birthday Book Club works can be found in our FAQs.
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Tags: 2012-2013·birthday club·students
Post a Poem is a new activity we’re trying out this year for Poetry Month. Ms. Surridge made lovely postcards inspired by the National Poetry Month 2013 poster and they are available for free at the library. There will be a cost for delivery.
The post cards feature 4 different poetry related illustration and space on the back for a poem and an address. Everyone is invited to send poems to family and friends. You can choose to mail/deliver the postcards yourself or use our delivery options.
1 rmb for delivery within the IST campus
1 rmb for delivery by ChinaPost within China
5 rmb for delivery by ChinaPost outside of China
Proceeds from the sale will offset the cost of printing the postcards and any profit will be used to purchase library furnishings.
Important note about addresses:
If delivery to someone at IST, please write his/her full name and class, e.g., Jun Wo Smith, 7K.
If delivery to an address in China, it is best to write the address in Chinese
If delivery to an address outside of China, please write full name and address clearly, and include the country name in capital letters.
The Chinese teachers in the elementary school will be teaching and reviewing how to write country names in Chinese. The Chinese speaking library staff will also be able to assist in the writing of Chinese addresses.
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One of the more popular activities for Poetry Month at IST is Poem in your Pocket.
Poem in your Pocket is actually two different things: the poem pockets and Poem in your Pocket Day.
Poem in your Pocket posters are up around the campus. We’ll be adding poems to the pockets every day for the rest of the month.
How the poem pockets work:
- Take ONE poem out at a time to read and share
- Put the poem back in, either in the original pocket or different one
- You can take home a poem, but only one a day please
- You can write a poem to put in to the pockets, but it must be your best effort. Follow the writing process and type or write in beautiful and clear handwriting.
How Poem in your Pocket Day works:
- This year it’s on Thursday, 18 April, all day
- Everyone is invited to keep a poem in their pocket and share it throughout the day.
- Classes with scheduled library sessions on Thursday will be sharing poems, but classrooms are invited to share at other times as well.
Poem in your Pocket Day is early in the month this year, but the pocket poems will be up for the whole month of April.
We hope you’re enjoying Poetry Month. Do you have ideas about how to make it even better? Write them in the comments.
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April is Poetry Month at IST. Join us as we celebrate poetry in all its forms.
- poetry focus during scheduled elementary classes
- poetry display on our large screen TV
- poetry book checkout
- giant magnetic poetry board
- Poem in Your Pocket Day, 18 April. Read a poem from one of our posters or bring your own!
- Used Book Sale on World Book Day, 23 April. Donations accepted until Monday, 22 April.
- Post a Poem Week, 22 to 25 April. Send one of our Poetry Postcards to family and friends.
- Browse the poetry links on the OPAC Visual tab. (Click on the Poetry Button.)
- Browse the poetry links on the IST Libguides (for secondary students.)
Stay tuned for details on each of these events.
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Students and teachers at IST are principled inquirers. Among the many skills we possess as principled inquirers is that of citing our sources. Students from grade 5 and up are expected to maintain bibliography lists with the sources that they use in their school assignments.
Along with their classroom and subject teachers, the librarians help students cite sources accurately and correctly. One of the tools we provide our students for efficient bibliography making is EasyBib, an online citation engine. Students in grades 5 and up are taught to use EasyBib.
As its name implies, EasyBib is easy to use. It can automatically generate citations for books and websites, and additionally it offers 59 different options for other types of sources. A new feature makes EasyBib even easier: importing of citations from databases and writing/pasting of citations. This last is very useful if a student copies a ready citation from a database or if the student has written it out by hand using the guides in his or her homework log.
As the elementary librarian, I am working with grade 5 students as they research the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for the Grade 5 Exhibition. As they will for major projects in middle school, the fifth graders must submit a bibliography with their other Exhibition assignments. They are becoming quite proficient at using EasyBib and are taking advantage of another great new feature: sharing their bibliographies with other students and teachers.
If you want to learn how to take advantage of EasyBib’s school subscription, please visit us at the library.
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Tags: 2012-2013·academic honesty·citations·citing sources·grade 5·howto·principled·tutorials
Well, he’s going to go around the world three times thanks to the magic of books. Il Sun is our latest IST Library Birthday Book Club recipient. For his birthday donation, Il Sun received Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys, by Matt Phelan.
Around the World is a graphic novel with fictionalized accounts of the ’round-the-world travels of three 19th century explorers: Thomas Stevens, who went on a bicycle, Captain Joshua Slocum, who made the first solo sail around the world, and Nellie Bly, an intrepid woman reporter.
We thank Il Sun for his birthday donation. Il Sun is the first to check out Around the World: Three Remarkable Journeys, and a name plate was attached to the book to commemorate the occasion.
Parents wishing to enroll their children in the IST Library Birthday Book Club should contact the librarians at least one month in advance. The fee is only 150RMB.
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Tags: 2012-2013·birthday club·books·donation
We had a very dynamic discussion this morning in our March session. The book was Secret Daughter, by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. We talked about motherhood, family and multi-cultural relationships. We all enjoyed the book and we probably could have talked for a lot longer, as we could relate to many of the themes. Thanks to all attending for their lively contributions.
The book for April is The Man from Beijing, by Henning Mankell. This is a murder mystery that spans the globe, starting out in Sweden and moving to Beijing, as a Swedish judge tracks a vicious killer. She returns to Beijing and must come to terms with her past as a fervent young revolutionary as well as solve the mystery of the horrendous crime that opens the novel.
Please note that this book is not available in China. The library has one copy that we are happy to lend out. It is also available for purchase from Amazon and iBooks to read in your mobile device.
Our April meeting will be on 17 April, from 8:15 to 9:15. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate with us and we’ll be able to sit outside.
Please register for the book club on the link on the left sidebar. This helps us keep track of the success of our book club, and gives us email addresses in one location. Your email address will only be used for communicating with the library about the book club.
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Tags: 2012-2013·book club·books·parents