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Short and Sweet

Last week we introduced the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020! It is totally voluntary, and we were happy to see many excited students starting straight away! We’d like to emphasize to please take your time for it, no need to rush it. The earliest it can be handed in would be on Tuesday, January the 12th, and the latest on the 19th. So dive in, have fun and play with it!

We will look at the submitted work carefully. We want to see students have put time and effort in completing the challenges, and that they’ve done so with care and attention. Some students were quick to hand in their “finished” work, to which we responded that they’ve made a great start, a good draft, but it’s not done yet. There’s a reason why it’s called a reading challenge!

For more detailed information about the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge, navigate to the Special Events page “ISGR Winter Reading Challenge” of this library blog. If you have any further questions, please contact Fleur:

We are happy to announce that next week, students are welcome to check out books during their library lessons! In the previous years, we had to deal with so much backlog and big re-organization projects that we used the week before the Winter Break to do these things. This year we are all up to date, and would like to encourage students to choose great reading material for their break!

Apart from checking out books, we will also color bookmarks. Students love doing this, and we have saved this special and relaxing activity for the end of the term. We will try to laminate the colored bookmarks before the end of their library lesson, so they can be used many times and will last for a while.

This post is short and sweet!

Happy Reading!

Your Library Team: Sophie & Fleur

The 171st Post

Wow, it was 170 posts ago that we started this library blog. The first post was on August the 27th, 2018. We currently have 105 followers of this blog, which means that 105 people will receive a notification as soon as something is posted. Some followers are ISGR parents, some aren’t (like my dad. He’s the biggest fan of our library.) Maybe you will become the 106th followers? The 107th?

I know, I know. It’s not about the quantity of things, but about the quality. Yes. But the more people in our ISGR community (and beyond, perhaps) read our library blog, the more they will realize how important and fun it is to read – and how they can support, encourage and inspire their children to read as well. Also, you will know exactly what is happening in our school library. How fun is that?!

Now back to library business.

Last week, students shared their ideas and wishes for the next Creative School events. Ideas ranged from clay/sculpting to drawing manga, from belly dancing to paper craft/art. We will collate all these ideas into a formal action plan, which we will then submit to the National Council of the Arts. After they have (hopefully) approved it, we can then start organizing the events we had written the action plan for. The events students have now expressed their wishes for, will take place next school year. It is long process, but it is worth it!

Next week, the focus will be on introducing the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020. All students are invited to join. Students can start the challenge on December 14th. Here is how the ISGR Winter Reading Challange 2020 works:

The goal is to complete challenges that will add up to 80 points.

You can pick and choose challenges. You are allowed to repeat a challenge. 

You can complete the challenges in any language you wish. 

The last day to submit this completed form, and all your work, is the 19th of January, 2021.

With your permission, we would like to post the photos (of your work) or recordings you have created to complete the challenges, on our library blog. Email your photos or recordings to

All participants who have successfully completed challenges adding up to a total of 80 points, will receive a cloth book bag with a unique design as a memento of the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020.

To download the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020 form, visit this Special Events page of our libary blog. Students may pick up a printed copy during their library lesson, or they can choose a bookmark with a QR code, if they need to have some to think about it.

Our next board game session is next week as well. On Friday, December 11th all students from grade 2 and up are welcome to join us, from 14.30 until 15.00ish. Come one, come all!

A quick aquarium update: we were totally wrong about our guppies! We thought we had three females (one of which possibly pregnant) and two males. Nope. Turns out that they are all “teenagers”, one females and the other four males! One of our PYP 2 students and his dad gave us two more guppies; a fully grown female with one of her babies. They taught us a lot about guppies and their habitat. For example how to tell the males and females apart (shape of the fins), and what kind of water plants we need. Thank you Thejus and Jagadeesh! Later in the week, one of our LGRP 5 students brought four more male guppies to live in our tank! That should be plenty for a while. Thank you, Nevia and Boris!

We’ve got a practicality to end with; our library will close at 14.45 on Wednesday, 9th of December due to a meeting we need to attend. Thank you for your understanding!

That is the end of the 171st post! We are looking forward to a fun and varied week!

Happy Reading!

Sharing the Joy

Last week, we noticed how during our Quiet Reading Time of the library lesson, students often choose to read together. The main purpose of our library and the library lessons is that students get excited about reading their chosen “just right” book(s)! Sharing the joy of reading supports that idea.

We had fun playing board games last Friday. We even had two old PYP students come and visit us. Our next session is on Friday, December 11th from 14.30 until 15.00ish. Students from grade 2 and up are welcome to join us!

Conceição brought us some nice big plants for in our library. Beautiful to look at it, and good for the air in the library! She is also the one who beautified our reception and staffroom. If you are interested in following her and her flower/plant business, you can find her on instagram: @conceicaosgarden. Thank you, Conceição!

Last week, our library lesson was all about the aquarium and the fish. Questions were asked and agreements were made! A poster with all the questions will be posted up above the aquarium on Tuesday.

Students looked at the fish with a lot of interest, focus and full of wonder!

If your child likes to be part of the Aquarium Club, email Fleur by Monday, November 30th at the latest! We will meet on Thursday, December 3rd to decide who will be feeding/cleaning the fish when. We will take turns to feed the fish. It’s a little tricky feeding the fish with 20 students at the same time!. Parents who have registered their child, will receive an invitation/confirmation on Tuesday for the meeting on Thursday, December 3rd.

Next week during our library lesson, students will have a chance to express their wish for the next round of Creative School events taking place in the school year of 2020 – 2021.

In week 50 we will introduce the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020! It will run from December 14th 2020 until January 15th 2021. Students who complete the ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020, will receive a cloth book bag (either made from recycled fibres or organic and fair trade cotton) with a fun ISGR Winter Reading Challenge 2020 print on it!

In week 51, the last week before the break, we traditionally had students return all their books so we can make an inventory of the books. We are so organized this year, that this is not necessary. So this year, students get to check out books over the winter break! During our library lesson, students can share what they will be celebrating during the winter break and of course they get to color bookmarks.

We are looking forward to three fun-filled weeks!

Happy Reading!

Not Just Fish in the Library

It is clear to me that most of our students are super curious about other people’s lives. We read about many “normal” people that have done extraordinary things from Kids who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks. All of our copies of that kind of book, have been checked out. We ordered a few more copies from AdLibris, so we’re hoping to both satisfy their curiosity as well as spark more questions!

It was interesting to hear what students would like to be known for. The ideas ranged from professional sports, being an expert in something and becoming a teacher in that area, to being a “strong feminist”. Not everyone had a turn to share what kind of extraordinary things they would like to do in their lives, and how that could help make the world a better place. Perhaps you could talk about that with your child, and share what you do to make the world just a little bit better for everyone.

Last week, we had a teacher librarian colleague visit. Marie Noëlle from the International School in Stockholm came to visit our school library. We exchanged best practices and she observed our library lessons. This is how she described our ISGR school library:

The library is a nice place where their [ISGR] students feel excited, comfortable, happy, creative, and welcome from the start. Students benefit from a huge range of fiction and nonfiction books. The signage inside the library is well thought through, relevant and effective: a genuine source of inspiration for “my library”. Fleur and Sophie did an outstanding job. It conveys both a welcoming environment and makes it easy for students to spot the book they are looking for.

Thanks, Marie-Noëlle for visiting us!

In the darker days, we (or maybe it’s just me!) have more need for cozy indoor spaces. So we put up some paper lanterns in our library! Talking about improvement of our library environment: we’ve dedicated some of our budget to beautiful plants, fun board games for the Library Club (so we don’t have to use our personal ones), as well as construction material (Lego and Plus Plus). Little things that can make a big difference!

The Aquarium Club fish “release party” was a success! The five guppies (one pregnant one, so it seems!) survived the journey from their old home to their new one in the library, and thanks to expert help from our Aquarium Club members and our Friday Volunteer (Friday Library Fairy!) Patty, the fish happily explored their new habitat. But we saw that the water plants weren’t doing so well… So that will be a natural continuation for our Aquarium Club: inquiring into how to maintain a healthy habitat for the fish and how to best take care of them. The Aquarium Club is now open to new members! Please send Fleur an email ( with your child’s name and class. All students from grade 2 and up are welcome. Our next meeting will be held on Thursday, December 3rd in the library, from 14.30 – 15.00ish.

Next week’s library lesson will be all about our aquarium. Together, we will answer the question: How can we keep our fish safe and happy, while at the same time keeping our students safe and happy? We will create agreements on how we can enjoy the aquarium and the fish, while still being focused on finding the best fit book, and reading it after checking out.

Our next Board Game Afternoon will be on Friday, November 27th. From 14.30 – 15.00ish, in the library. Students from grade 2 and up are very welcome! Bring your own board game, or play what we have. After the Winter Break, Library Club will include Board Game Afternoons (every other week), Construction Club (on Tuesdays or Thursdays, depending on staff meetings) and Aquarium Club (monthly meeting, and every week two different students have the task to take care of the fish). If you and/or your child have any ideas for other events we should include on the Library Club calender, let us know!

Check out our NEW BOOK DISPLAYS for great reading ideas!

The NEW BOOKS keep coming in…

Happy Reading!


Sophie & Fleur

(Auto) Biographies Continued

We had fun playing the role-playing game Werewolves last Friday (the 13th!). Our next board game session is on Friday the 27th.

We had a great time with the Stories for Kids who Dare to be Different book by Ben Brooks, as well as the Life of a Firefly by local author Sandra Brown Lindstedt. The students were interested in listening to parts of both books. Some great questions came up. For example, “How do we know these stories are real? Maybe they’ve just made it up!”. That speaks to our independently and critically thinking IB minds that our students are developing!

Next week, we will continue using the above mentioned books to learn about true stories and (auto)biographies. Last week, our plan was to share the stories then ask the students what they would write about themselves – but it turned out that the students had many questions about what we read, and we used our time brainstorming answers. After that, they wanted to hear more! So this week, we will read more and then pause to think about our own lives, and what we would write about in our own autobiography. What are facts or events worth sharing? But first, what qualities make a fact or event worth sharing?

The two lucky students who are the first to check out Life of a Firefly by Sandra Brown Lindstedt. Many more have put their name in line to borrow the book.
Remember to enter the Life of a Firefly Christmas Contest! You can download the book onto your Kindle via Amazon here. Or you can read our library copy, of course.

The inquiry cycle can help organize our exploration of new knowledge and skills. Setting up the aquarium in our library has been quite the learning journey! We’ve bounced around that inquiry cycle for some time, but now we are happy to announce that the aquarium is all set up and ready to go for the fish to move in on Friday, November 20th. All current Aquarium Club members will receive a personal invitation. After that, we will re-open Aquarium (Maintenance) Club for new members who will help out with caring for the fish and their habitat.

Home Sweet Home

That was the library news for this week! And as always…

Happy Reading!

Your Library Team

True Stories

Last week, we all reminded ourselves about our Library Rules & Routines. It was clear that the students know exactly how things work in the library! It’s good to recognize that we’re all on the same page!

This upcoming week is all about true stories and (auto)biographies. Most of our displays are devoted to that, as well as our library lesson. We will read aloud from “Life of a Firefly” written by local author Sandra Brown-Lindstedt and from “Stories for Kids who Dare to be Different” by Ben Brooks. Both books are available in our school library. After the read aloud, we will “think, turn & talk” with the person next to us in the circle and share what we would write about ourselves, about our lives. We are very curious to hear the students’ perspective on their own lives, and what they think is worth learning about!

To learn more about “Life of a Firefly”, please visit Sandy’s Author Facebook page. There is also a contest to name her next book! It would be great if our ISGR students can be part of this, as it was Sandra’s visit to our school a few years ago that inspired her to write “Life of a Firefly”!

This week, we will have Board Games on Friday, November 13th. We will be playing Werewolves, but there will be other games to choose from if you’d rather not play a scary game on Friday, the 13th…

All the ISGR Scholastic Book Club orders have come in and have been distributed, so everyone should have received their books. If you haven’t yet, please email Fleur! Thank you again for all your orders, it allowed us to have many free Scholastic books for the library! Also, our annual big (BIG!) fiction order as arrived from AdLibris (about a 100 books!). This means a lot (a LOT) of new books for our students will be trickling in as they get covered and cataloged in the next couple of months. We are thankful and priviliged.

We will end this post with our latest additions to our library:

Happy Reading,

Your Library Team

Revisiting Rules & Routines

Welcome back! We hope you’ve had a wonderful (Reading) Break, with lots of time to rest, read and play.

This week in the library, according to Responsive Classroom practices, we will revisit the rules and routines we have in our library. We will remind ourselves what our library rules are and why we have them. Understanding why we have the rules that we have, makes it logical and easier to follow them. Depending on developmental level and group dynamic of the class, we will play the Where’s Wally game (moving safely through the library), Clap around the Circle game (community building and turn taking) or the Genre Matching game (responding to the chime/practicing self-control).

It is important to revisit rules and routines throughout the year. “Revisiting routines throughout the school year can empower students in the classroom: when they have a clear understanding of expectations, they will be less reliant on you. Routines can also maximize their learning time and give them a focus that leads to engaged and purposeful learning. This will free you up to engage in the fun parts of teaching, such as having deeper conversations with students and helping them explore new concepts.” Read the full article on revisiting routines with students, on the Responsive Classroom website here.

You can read our ISGR Library Agreements in these pdf documents, which are the posters we have up in the library.

Here are the three simple and clear library rules, stated in positive language.

ISGR Library Club will continue with Board Games every other Friday! See poster below for dates. We welcome all students from grades 2 and up!

Our aquarium is just a tank with water and rocks right now. Plants, special mangrove wood, and more rocks are ordered and on their way! Soon it will be a proper aquarium… just without fish. We would like to have guppy fish, because they are apparently easy to keep, adaptable and our tank is big enough for quite a few. We can buy them, but we if you have baby guppies at home that need a new aquarium to live in, please email us: Thank you!

We hope to have a “release” party when we release the fish in our tank on Friday, November 20th. All Aquarium Club members are welcome (they will receive a separate email as well). After that, the students who are interested will take turns taking care of the fish.

That was it for this week. Rest me to say to stay safe and healthy, and of course… Happy Reading!

Windy, rainy and dark outside? Curl up with a good book!

Your Library Team,

Sophie (Monday – Thursday) and Fleur (Tuesday – Friday).

P.s. Did you miss the previous post (before the break) with all the book recommendations, new books and displays? Read it here.

Ready For Läs Lov!

Last week, some students worked on their book recommendations of their favorite books during their library lessons. See below for the results! Maybe it will give you an idea of something new to try?

Since our school library is closed, the best place to get your books is the public library of Gothenburg. Of course! If you don’t have a library card for the amazing network of libraries in our city, follow this link to set one up.

We would like to thank Rebecca Leonard for teaching PYP and LGRP F and 1 students dancing, singing, acting and listening skills in her fun and inspiring Musical Theatre workshops!

What an amazingly successful ISGR Scholastic Book Club we had this time around! 183 orders were placed, which allowed us to choose Scholastic books for 3211 SEK! Thank you very, very much! See the photo below of the second batch of books we chose (see our previous post for the first batch of books). What now? Your ordered books will be shipped to Sweden. They will arrive at our school, where we will sort them out. In week 45 or 46, your child will receive their books during their library lesson.

The Aquarium Club worked on setting up the tank last week. We are hoping to have fish happily swimming in our carefully prepared habitat in a few weeks!

The displays in the library are set up for after the break, and are focused on autobiographies and true stories. The Swedish display recommends books if you enjoy reading Nikkis Dagbok or Dagbok for alla mina fans! We also have a bunch of new non-fiction titles in English!

Maybe this was a visually overwhelming post with LOTS of books, titles and front covers to process… Perhaps it’s worth checking again later. The idea is to feel prepared for the Läs Lov (Reading Break), with lots of inspiration and time to read!

Next week on the blog, the new library club dates will be announced, as well as when the “release party” for the fish will be held.

Rest me only to say: Happy UN-Day (one day too late, sorry), Happy Reading and…

Happy Halloween!

The Week Before Höst Lov

First of all, we would like to thank our guest teacher Lauren and our library parent volunteer Patty for holding the fort when both Sophie and I were absent last week on Thursday and Friday. Thank you, Lauren and Patty, for taking care of our students and the library!

Before we jump into what is happening in the library this week, we would like to bring your attention to a graduation project of a Child Culture Design student who has worked with us last school year, in the Spring Term with PYP 5 students (who are now in MYP 6). Xinyi and the PYP 5 students worked on designing new school library furniture. Xinyi has written a thank you letter to us! Read it here:

She would like to invite us to a joint activity during the Gothenburg Open Week Design Festival with another Child Culture Design graduate on October 23rd (Friday) from 16.30-18.30. There will be art-based workshops and will end with a talk about playful placemaking with children. Xinyi is going to talk about her project a bit more there. We are invited! If you are interested, please let Xinyi know as it is a closed event, so she can reserve your place:

At our school next week (Tuesday – Thursday), we will have dancer and choreographer Rebecca Leonard leading musical theatre workshops for the students in PYP F and 1, and LGRP F and 1! Rebecca is an experienced dancer and choreographer, who has a Performing Arts School both in Ireland and here in Gothenburg. The workshops next week are part of the Creative School (Skapande Skolan) project we run at ISGR, and are funded by the National Council of the Arts. Rebecca will be working with the students on singing, dancing, and acting in a 45 minutes workshop. This song will be used to sing and dance to. Feel free to listen to it at home as well!

For the Aquarium Club this week, we will set up the tank! Once the aquarium has a healthy (bacterial) environment, we will have a “release party” for the fish! We will let you know when the “release date” is.

To prepare ourselves for “Läs Lov” (Reading Break), which is what Höst Lov is now called, we will share with each other during library lesson what our favorite book is. Students are invited to write a note or to make a short video clip in which they are briefly stating what their favorite book is and why. This can be a book in any language, either from home or from a library. Students are welcome to bring their favorite book from home (or pick their favorite book from our school library) to show during library lesson. The idea is that students inspire each other to read books that they’d otherwise not think of reading. All notes and videos will be posted on our library blog on Sunday 25/10 to kick of the a reading-full “Läs Lov”.

We try to put up new displays in our school library regularly to encourage students to try something different. Take a look at our latest displays:

This year, our online ISGR Scholastic Book Club (book sale) is a success! We have already earned 1,189.66 SEK in rewards! This means, because of the orders you placed, we get to choose Scholastic Books for 1,189.66 SEK! So far, we have put the following items for our school library in our “rewards basket”:

We hope many more parents will place book orders for their children! Remember that the deadline is Friday, October 23rd. Place your order here:

Our next book sale, will be the on-site (hopefully!) Usborne Book Sale with Yvonne on March 10th, 2021.

That was it! Wow, that was a lot of different things! Different things, but all with the same underlying goal: to get students excited about reading, inspired to read great books and to develop a life-long habit of reading for pleasure! (Okay, maybe setting up an aquarium is technically not part of the reading promotion program… although one could argue that it contributes to a welcoming school library environment!)

Happy Reading!

An Especially Normal Week

Normal can feel like a hamsterwheel you’re running in. It can feel like the same things over and over again. But normal also gives us structure, purpose and a sense of belonging. And when the world around us feels unstable in some ways, normal becomes something to be appreciated.

So this week in the library will be especially normal: we’ve got new displays up, board games on Tuesday (13/10), and lovely library lessons. We will end our library lessons with reflecting on why we chose the books that we did. There can be many reasons for a book choice, and hearing those different reasons from your peers can spark your wanting-to-read-fire!

Don’t forget that our latest Scholastic Book Club is now online at There are hundreds of fantastic children’s books to choose from, and every €1 you spend on this month’s Book Club will earn 20¢ for our school library in Scholastic Rewards. That means we can choose free books from Scholastic!

Please place your order online by Friday, October 23rd, 2020.

Students have received, or will receive, a book mark with a QR code that directs you to the ordering website and a flyer with examples of Scholastic books to choose from. Once all the orders are in, Scholastic will ship all the books to our school. We will sort them out and make sure all students get their ordered books. Thank you for supporting your child’s healthy reading habits, as well as our library!

We are looking forward to another wonderful, reading-full week with our creative, caring and communicative students!

Your Library Team,

Sophie & Fleur