ISY Elementary Blog

Is The Season to be Reminded of how much you are Appreciated !!!

Sandy Sheppard , Elementary School Principal

16th December, 2022

Dear all,

Thank you to all of you! Your actions on a daily basis are what make ISY such a wonderful place for our students to grow and learn.

I know last week was a bit stressful, but as always, you showed your resilience and support to the school through all your positive actions. It is appreciated.

Thanks to all those that supported the holiday bazaar. It is planned for this event to become a permanent fixture in our school calendar.

Thank you to Patty for organizing the Holiday Assembly and Bekka/Patty for ensuring the traditional holiday dance lives on.

Thank you for updating your curriculum documents.





This year’s Compassion Conference will be on Thursday, March 2. The date has changed as SEASAC tournaments will take some teachers away on the original date, February 3.

More details will follow, but I wanted to introduce our keynote speaker. Kathryn Berkett will speak to us in 2 workshops:

The Impact of Early Development and Adolescent Brain Changes. If you want to learn more about Kathryn and her work, check out the resources on this website:

Kathryn will present to us in the morning. The afternoon session will be set aside for teacher workshops. This is a great opportunity for us to hear from those teachers who have put together a workshop proposal for EARCOS, along with any other teachers who have an idea or practice to share. Please let Mike or Sandy know if you would like to share something.


See below; you are encouraged to read these ‘focus on learning’ short write-ups each week. Feel free to share things you think your colleagues might be interested in. In particular, anything to do with our year-long focus areas:

  • Guided Reading
  • Inclusive Practices
  • Sustainable Development Goal


A report developed by the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA) and funded by the National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) tells teachers to “Read aloud daily to your students.” Reading to children, the report says, “increases their knowledge of the world, their vocabulary, their familiarity with written language (‘book language’), and their interest in reading.

From – Education World Article

Reading aloud is a good modeling opportunity, but remember, it does not substitute good guided reading practices.

Some suggested activities for read-aloud:

  • Make sure the text is understandable and relatable
  • Expose students to good literature by reading aloud for short times, e.g., reading aloud a short poem or a short story
  • Demonstrate fluent reading by reading aloud yourself from the guided reading text.
  • Have students read aloud their writing. 
  • Read aloud from Science or Social Studies text. These are perfect opportunities to introduce students to expository texts and to teach comprehension strategies. 
  • Consider reading aloud from articles or newspapers 
  • Start the day or end the day by reading aloud for 10-15 minutes. Never make the time too long, as it may lose its purpose, and make sure the majority of students will be able to follow the reading choice.
  • Ensure engagement; otherwise, there is no purpose.
  •  Make the books read aloud available in the classroom library to encourage them to read on their own as well.



Grade two has been learning about two-digit addition. To practice these skills and to show their understanding, they were asked to inquire into a provocation based on the Yangon Animal Shelter.  Not only is this relatable to students and engaging, but it also ties in with service learning.

This not only enriches learning but can be easily differentiated. Here is a link to Dan’s Google Slides with ideas on how to differentiate the task for leveled math groups.

When using a performance task like this, students will be able to think more creatively when faced with real-world math problems. Using a model like GRASPS to help create these assessments provide opportunities for students to actively apply what they have learned and create a product to demonstrate mastery aligned with standards.

Jay McTighe describes performance tasks as follows: A performance task is any learning activity or assessment that asks students to perform to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, and proficiency. Performance tasks yield a tangible product or performance that serves as evidence of learning. Unlike a selected-response item (e.g., multiple-choice or matching) that asks students to select from given alternatives, a performance task presents a situation that calls for learners to apply their learning in context.

During planning meetings, we can reflect on assessments and look at ways to integrate authentic contexts like the SDGs and Service learning. If you are interested in observing Dan, please let us know, and we can arrange cover. 



Ian Nixon – 16th December

Enjoy your special day!


Quarter 2 Reports Timeline & Instructions 2022-2023

We will work to basically the same timeline as we did for Quarter 1 reports. 

However, we will peer review our comments, and I will check them before they are entered on Powerschool. Therefore we will write our comments on a Google Document which will be shared with peer reviewers.

Monday, January 16

  • Subject blurbs to be entered on Grade Level documents
  • documents here

    Monday, January 23, by 8am

    • All comments (Subject Blurb + Personalized Comment = 800 characters max) are to be written on a Google Document and shared with the peer reviewer and Sandy.
    • Monday afternoon is set aside for peer-reviewing report comments.

    Tuesday, January 25, by 5pm

    • Sandy will let teachers know comments are ok to be entered into Powerschool.

    Wednesday, January 25, by 5pm

    • All comments and grades are to be entered into Powerschool. Copy and paste comments from Google Documents to Powerschool


    Reports can be found here

    Professional Growth Plans

    Everything can be found on our ISY Faculty Pages.

    Thank you all for completing your Professional Growth Plans. 

    Quarter 2 Colleague Observations / Assisted Reflections 

    For Quarter 2, please arrange for a colleague to observe you and help you reflect on your practice. It can be very effective to ask your colleague to provide feedback on your Professional Growth Plan focus.

    Just make another copy of the Assisted Reflection Form in your Professional Growth Folder. 

    Observers, please remember to also complete the ISY Inclusive Practices Checklist (UDL: Engagement) at the top of the Assisted Reflection Form. This is an anonymous form that gives good school-wide data about the inclusive practices we are using.


    Winter Holiday – December 19th – January 6th

    13th January – Assembly

    20th January – Annual Olympiad event 

    20th January – Quarter 2 ends

    20th January – 2nd peer observation completed

    3rd February – Compassion Conference (no school for students)

    18th February – Family Fun Fair

    2nd March – Compassion Conference


    • Beginning in Quarter 3, there will be a shift in how we teach languages. We will be adding an additional Mandarin teacher. 

    We have students at all levels of language proficiency. The schedule change will allow for students in different grade levels to learn together based on their language proficiency levels and language learning needs. This will allow for students to receive more targeted language instruction at their proficiency level. 

    The change will be as follows:

    In Elementary School Grade, 2 and 3 will have languages at the same time. Grades 4, and 5 will have languages separately; however, the schedules will change.

    There will need to be a change in scheduling for Quarter 3. New schedules will be shared after the break and will not come into effect until the 23rd of January. 

    • We will be starting playground clean-up duties after the break. Each week a class will be assigned. This will start the week of the 16th of January. More information to come once we are back.

    Enjoy a selection of photos from the past couple of weeks. We have:

    Grade 4 and Kindergarten solar power projects

    Grade 4 composting project

    The Holiday Bazaar

    Grade 4 learning about how ISY supports the SDGs

    Kindergarten nativity display

    DUTIES BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL (for frist week back)

    Monday – Ian, Saw John, Tuesday – Bekka, Mabel Wednesday – Jono, Me Me, Thursday – Charlie, Swe Zin, Friday – Isabel, Ei Ei

    NOTE – when there are no ASA’s afternoon duty can finish earlier.

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