Posted by: TominThai | 13/02/2012

Don’t forget to dress for the occasion!

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Posted by: TominThai | 06/02/2012

February begins with Birthdays and Beanstalks ^__^

Happy Monday Moms & Dads!

The month of Saint Valentine has gotten off to a great start, thanks in no small part to some super yummy bits of cake courtesy of Mr. Pieter’s Mom and Dad.  Last Friday we got to celebrate Pieter’s birthday with him here at school, and I want to extend a special thanks to his Mom and Dad for the delicious ice cream cakes!  It was definitely the best way to finish off our week and start the month of February!

We’ve got a couple of big events coming up over the next 2 weeks, aside from our usual class activities, so i wanted to write and attempt to get you up to speed on what’s going on here at GIS.  This Friday the 10th of February we will be having our annual “Humanities Day” here at GIS.  So, we will be having an Around the World/International Day at school to celebrate and highlight different countries from around the globe.  The children are encouraged to come to school dressed in their native clothing/costumes and we will be having special “country” themed activities in all the classrooms here in the First School.  Each teacher has picked out a country to represent, so the children will divide up in groups and travel around to different “countries” to participate in special fun activities.  We will have a special assembly on Friday morning to begin the day and a parade of nations around the Garden before we begin the day of globe trotting.  School hours will be as normal, so there is no need to worry about picking up or dropping off early on the day.  Just come in as normal, and make sure your little one is here on time so they don’t miss out on any of the special activities.

Then, on next Wednesday the 15th of February we will be having our annual GIS Swimming Gala from 9AM till noon at the Goethe Institute on Sathorn Soi 1.   If it is your first time visiting the Goethe Institute then you can view a map by clicking here.  Letters about the Swimming Gala went out last week and I have received slips back from everyone with one exception, so I’m looking forward to seeing how well the little ones glide through the water. It should be a super fun morning!

 

We’ve this week and next till we reach the end of the term, and we’re going to be getting ready to wrap up our fairy tale unit with Jack & the Beanstalk this week.   This story always is one of Mr. Tom’s favorites and i’m hoping to get the kids acting out parts of the story on their own by the end of the week.  Also, in Math we will be looking at ordinal numbers.  We will be working on using the correct vocabulary associated with 1st, 2nd, 3rd…..and hopefully they will be able to identify and match the correct words by the end of the week.  In science this week we are going to be getting ready to finish up our look at growing plants by talking about why we need to grow plants.  Why do people have farms and why do we prefer to grow certain plants in mass and not others?

Finally, in topic we will be taking a look at the Giant Pandas of China and talk about what it means when an animal is “endangered” and what it means to be “extinct.”   We will be looking at some interesting facts about Giant Pandas so be sure to quiz them about it when they come home on Thursday.

I hope you everyone has a fantastic week ahead and as always please feel free to email me or comment directly here on the blog if you have any concerns or questions!

Posted by: TominThai | 24/01/2012

Happy New year Again! ^__^

Hello Moms and Dads!

I trust the festive Chinese New Year holiday is finding you well and that the fireworks aren’t keeping you and your little ones up to late at night.  Thanks so much for the tasty little Chinese goodies i’ve received thus far, as it’s always nice to sample new homemade treats.

We’ve had a very productive Term thus far, and I’m sure the kids have been giving you regular updates about the material we’ve been covering in class.  The kids have really enjoyed taking a look at the different fairy tales each week, and we are currently reading through the classic story of the Gingerbread Man. It’s great fun and the kids are really enjoying the activities we’ve been completing to compliment the stories.

In Mathematics this week we’re taking a look at measuring liquids using standard and non-standard units of measurements.  We had a great time today measuring out how much water different containers would hold, and the kids seem to be grasping the concepts quite well.

Science has been particularly fun thus far this term, and our unit on ‘growing plants’ is coming along splendidly.  The kids got a chance to get their hands in the soil and plant their own seeds last week and the little seedlings have already started to grow.

Also, in our topic work we are still exploring the fascinating culture and land of China, so i want to send out a special thanks to our parents that have contributed bits from home for us to look at and talk about. We’ve still got several weeks to go, but fortunately there are so many excting things to learn about from our larger neighbour to the north…China.

Finally, we have had a bit of a schedule change for our “Around the World” International Day, so please be aware and make a note of it on your calendars. We will now be doing our special day on the 10th of February, instead of the 26th as originally intended.  Each teacher will be planning an activity from a different country, and the children will rotate around to the different rooms on a schedule similar to the activity day we had earlier in the year for Diwali.  The school day will begin and finish as normal, but please feel free to dress up the kids in their native clothing or costumes for the big day.  I will be sure and provide you with more information when i receive it closer to the event.

Thanks again and Happy Year of the Dragon to you and your families!

Posted by: TominThai | 09/01/2012

Hi!! Moms and Dads,

Happy New Year once again and welcome to Term 2! I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday break. This is an email copy of the letter i sent out last week, but I thought i would touch base with you again just to keep the lines of communication as open as possible. As previously stated, we’ve got another busy Term 2 ahead for you and the little ones, so here are a few reminders to get the ball rolling for a successful and productive Spring Term.

 

Reminders

  • The Chinese New Year Show will be this Friday the 13th of January at 8:30 AM so don’t forget to dress the children up in red.
  • International Day & activities will be Thursday the 26th of January and children are invited to wear costumes representing their native countries.
  • PE kit must still be brought in or worn on Mondays and Fridays as last term.
  • Also, again please make sure and send Swimming kits in on Wednesdays, as last term some children missed out a few times due to a lack of swimming attire.
  • Diary, reading books and reading records need to be signed and returned to school daily….Again, please at least sign the reading records so i know you have read with them.
  • Also, again PLEASE do not allow toys to come to school from home, as Mr. Tom cannot be responsible if they get lost or go missing!

Thanks so much for signing up for clubs this term, if you have already done so, as i know the current system for getting them into the clubs can be a bit of a inconvenience. I have the following lists ready to go and if you have any questions/changes/additions then please let me know as soon as possible:

  • Monday/Cooking–Khao, Pieter, Saliou, Tai Heng, Anise
  • Tuesday/Paper Crafts–Tai-Heng, Sunn, Anise
  • Wednesday/Tennis–Anise
  • Thursday/Word Search–Khao, Saliou
  • Thursday/Painting & Drawing–Pieter, Tai Heng, Sunn, Anaelle, Anise, Lucie

As always, If you have any questions you may write them in the homework diary or email me here at this address and I will try to answer them as promptly as possible. Additionally, I am going to do a better job with our class website and information blog at www.gardenyear1.wordpress.com so please take a moment to go visit and sign up for regular email updates.  I haven’t updated the spelling list on the website just yet, but i will be doing so for sure before the end of the week.  Again, welcome back and let’s have a great Term 2 here in Year 1.

Yours sincerely

Mr. Tom

Posted by: TominThai | 14/11/2011

Christmas concerts and Spelling tests!

HI Moms and Dads!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend, and it sure was great to see most of the kids back at school last week.  We only have five weeks to go till the end of the term now, and a lot of ground to cover until we get there.  We started practicing for our Christmas concert as soon as we returned to school last week, and the kids really seem to enjoy this year’s music selection.

Our Year children will be angels in this year’s concert, and we fortunately have some costumes for them to wear already.  Year 1 will be on stage singing 2 songs for the show, so please make sure to spend a little extra time practicing these at home.  Our songs can be found over at the First School Youtube page and they will be “Good News” and “Away in a Manager.”  Also, a few of the Year 1 children will be taking speaking parts in this year’s performance, so please be on the lookout for their lines to come home this week in their folders.  The children will be paired with a Year2 student to say the lines and the scripts will need to be memorized if possible by the time the show rolls around on the last week of school.

Also, I’ve given it some thought concerning our missed spelling words over the past 2 weeks and I’ve decided to roll over the words from where we were supposed to start 2 weeks ago at the original back to school date following the mid-term holiday.  I will make the adjustments on the spelling page this evening, and also the words that come home in their communication books today will be the words we would have previously started with as well.

Thanks so much for all your hard work and patience over the past few weeks, and I’m looking forward to a great 4 weeks ahead with the little ones!  Take care and have a great week!

Mr. Tom

Posted by: TominThai | 09/11/2011

Welcome Back to the 2nd Half!

Dear Moms & Dads!

I’m very pleased to finally be able to officially write a hearty “Welcome Back to School!”  As you are probably already aware, we have received permission from the Ministry of Education and so we can finally begin the second half of the Autumn Term here at GIS.  The entire teaching staff have been into school every day since last week, but  I look forward to seeing each and every one of you guys tomorrow morning cause we’ve missed the kids very much!  It is definitely going to be a busy few weeks coming up as we make our way to the end of the Term 1 and the holiday season.

I would like to remind you to please also check with your child if they have any other important letters to give you in the coming weeks – as this is particularly relevant this time of the year as we have so many events  coming up that they are taking part in and for which they may need their PE kits on special days or return slips for participation confirmation in special events.  Thank You.

Reports
Make sure and be on the look out for a special envelope coming home with your child towards the end of the term as it is nearly that time of year when we start preparing progress reports for your little ones.  the reports for Year 1 are a short summary to keep you informed about how your child is progressing so far this year.  After you have received your reports, you will be able to discuss this further at “Parents Evenings” should you have any questions or concerns you would like to discuss.

KS1 Christmas Show

All of the teachers here in KS1 having been working hard and we are currently preparing to hit the ground running tomorrow in regards to our upcoming Christmas Show.  There will be lots of rehearsals and practices planned during the weeks ahead and you will be informed shortly if your child has any speaking parts to memorize for their prospective parts in the show.  I have also posted all the songs we will be working on in the show over at our new First School Youtube page, so please go visit and practice at home if you have some time to spare in the coming weeks.

Bangkok Flood and GIS

Finally, I have heard from some of you guys and I know that you have been personally affected in some way by the tragic floods that have affected Thailand over the past month.  I would like to request that you contact me and let me know should you be unable to return to school regularly at this time, so we can make sure everyone is still safe and sound.  Also, I can continue to provide daily updates with class material over at our Studyladder.co.uk page to keep your child abreast with the material we will be cover in the 2nd half of Term 1.  Please stay safe in the coming weeks and I will endeavor to update our Year 1 page here in case anything changes in regards to the situation her at GIS.

So in closing…keep your eye on the page here regularly and I will see most of you guys tomorrow morning!

Posted by: TominThai | 03/11/2011

Gold Stars All Around!

Hi Moms and Dads!

I just wanted to check in with you and thank everyone for their support in making the week productive despite the physical limitations brought on by the Floods.  I have gone in at night to change the activities out to make  sure to keep the Literacy/Maths review rolling along and I’m rather proud to report that more than half the children in our class has taken the time to log into studyladder.co.uk every day this week.

This has been an excellent test this week with the homework system and I hope to keep our collaboration over at  Studyladder going once we return to normal.

I’ve also been keeping an eye on the success rate in completing the activities and with your encouraging support at home the kids deserve lots of praise and gold stars!  Well done and I hope to see the kids next week  if we get to return as normal.  Be sure to check Studdyladder again tomorrow for the Friday assignments and I hope you’ve been able to spend a bit of time over at Starfall.com as well working through the interactive reading material.  Take care and please stay dry!

 

 

Posted by: TominThai | 31/10/2011

Year 1 Homework Links for the Flood Holiday…

A little homework for the floods....

Dear Year 1 Parents,

I sincerely hope you and your families are well, and that all of your homes are far from the flood affected areas here in Bangkok and the surrounding countryside.  I’m sure by now you are aware that the school will unfortunately continue to remain closed at least until Monday the 7th November, but we hope to be back to normal as soon as possible once we get the official “ok” from the Thai government.

As this is such an unusual circumstance causing us to miss school this week, I thought it might be a helpful to provide some supplementary learning opportunities by giving you some online homework options you can do with your children while we wait for the school to reopen.   The children in Year 1 have spent a little time in our ICT classes exploring an excellent homework website called studyladder.co.uk.  The website is easy to use and it can serve as a fun supplement for the work we do in school or miss out on as the case may be this week.  The students already have usernames and passwords that allow for easy home access for each child to log in and complete 3 activities set by their teachers.  I can track their progress as they complete the activities and I can set new tasks to correspond to the material we are covering in class.

So, I thought it would be a good idea to use this website to keep the children actively engaged on a daily basis with your help and support at home.  Click here and the link will take you directly to the log in page I’ve set up for the children in class.  Follow the link through to Studyladder.co.uk and don’t forget to save the address to your favourites in your web browser.  Once you arrive at the page you will see a name list for the children in our class, and I encourage you to scroll down and click on the button under your child’s name. Normally, this would take you to a long in page with usernames and passwords, but we can set that up at a later date.  The button will take you to a menu page and if you scroll down the page just a little you will see the tasks that I have set for your child to complete.  Click on the picture with the tasks and you may begin the work with your child giving support as needed.  I’ve already set up 1 Literacy and 2 Mathematics activities for you to complete on the website, and just for this week I will go in every evening before I go to bed and change the activities for the following day to review the material we’ve covered thus far this school year.  Some of the activities are completely online and interactive, and there are also worksheets available you can print of for the little ones to do at home.  I will try to mix up the options I provide for you daily to keep the review interesting for you and your children.

Also, as a way to supplement the missed reading this week I would like to encourage you to visit the website Starfall.com.  I’ve been using this website for a few years now with my students, and it is yet another excellent resource for encouraging and developing the reading ability of children.  I’ve been using it during the “expat English” sessions, so some of the students should be familiar with the website once you click on it to visit.  I think for most of the students in our class you can start with the stories reached by clicking on the number 3 button marked “It’s Fun To Read” Start with “All About me” and allow the children to work their way down the list doing one a day, making sure they take their time and read through the interactive stories.  There is the smallest possibility that they will be inclined to click through the stories as quickly as possible, but please encourage them to take their time and read through each page using the audio guides as needed for support.

I thoughts go out to everyone this disaster has touched and I feel most certain you also look forward to a return to normal life as soon as possible.  Let’s all hope the floodwaters pass quickly and recede so that we can return to our lives as normal soon.  Please stay safe and I hope to see your little ones return to school as normal at the beginning of next week.

Take care,

Mr. Tom

Posted by: TominThai | 30/10/2011

A Message to our GIS Parents from the Principal…

Dear Parents,

Following the recent Ministry of Education (MoE) announcement dated 26 October 2011 addressed to all schools from the Secretary General of the Office of the Private Education Commission (OPEC), it is mandatory that all schools in Bangkok close from 1-14 November and re-open 15 November 2011.

However individual schools are able to request that they open at an earlier date if the flooding has had a minimal effect on the pupils and staff of their school. Therefore I intend to apply to open the school on Monday 7th November as soon as we are certain that the school and the local area will remain free from the effects of flooding.

During this, and any subsequent period of school closure I can assure you that the teachers will be providing your child with online learning opportunities that should serve as a temporary replacement for the excellent education that is normally provided. As soon as school re-opens we will review the online learning opportunities provided and then provide a further programme of study to ensure that your child does not miss out on the education that they are entitled to.

Please contact me directly should you have any further concerns and I will keep you informed as soon as there are any further developments.

Regards,

Jeremy Stokes MA Ed.

Principal
Garden International School, Bangkok

Posted by: TominThai | 05/10/2011

Performance Day Success & Swimming Mix up…

I”m happy to report that our GIS Performance day came off as rousing success, and there were many entertaining and talented students performing today at school.  I’d like to send out  a special thanks to the parents that came along to watch, and i’m sure the students appreciated the extra support.

Also, as I’m sure your already aware, there was a mix up with our swimming today.  It was decided earlier in the year that swimming would be canceled this week, due to the pending “Performance Day” but unfortunately subsequent decision was not shared in time with the staff here in the First school.   So, I would like to extend my apologies for the mix-up and swimming should be back to normal next week for sure.

Thanks again!

Mr. Tom
Regards,

Jeremy Stokes MA Ed.

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