Every year I wait in anticipation for my favorite event of the school year - Personal Project exhibition night. It encapsulates the entire experience that students partake in and the concepts, skills, and understanding they develop during their five years of the Middle Years Programme. I have the pleasure of witnessing students' hard work and discoveries every day and love that I get to share that wonder and excitement with the whole community that night.
This past week our sophomores' project exhibition was during the high school open house. All of our students were full of smiles as they explained their projects to community members and discussed how they determined their project topic with eighth graders getting ready to make the transition to high school. For those students who had gone to Keller Elementary, their teachers were amazed at how they have grown as learners and built on the lessons they learned during their PYP exhibition. Overall the our students were amazing and should be proud of their accomplishments.
If you were unable to make it to the exhibition, please check out some of the projects our students worked on below.
One of the key components of being an IB student is service learning as action. By applying the skills, concepts, and knowledge students have learned in school to the world outside its doors, they are able to take principled action to serve their larger local and global communities.
With this in mind, I encourage ROMS and ROHS students and families to participate in the annual MLK Jr. Day of Service this January 15, 2018. It is an opportunity for all of us to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by taking part in what he championed - serving others and being the voice for those not heard. The service day is a collaboration between Berkley and Royal Oak schools, and this year will take place at Berkley High School. There are opportunities to volunteer both at the high school and at off-site locations. All service options remind us just how much we can do for our community when we come together. For more information about how you can sign up and/or support this day, please visit www.romi.gov/998/MLK-Service-Day.
It's almost time for winter break, and all our students are excited for the coming weeks. To keep their wonder and sense of inquiry fresh over the winter break, check out the TED Ed videos series. There are a number of topics spanning from "How Things Work" to "Superhero Science" to "Mysteries of Vernacular." There is something to engage any child and peak their interest. In the spirit of winter break, The Science of Snowflakes is linked below. Have a wonderful rest, embracing the learner profile trait of balance.
Our students' personal projects are in full swing here at Royal Oak High School. Many have finished their product or outcome, and others are working on finishing touches and writing their report. There are many opportunities to support our students as their wrap up their work.
Finally, remind students that they can come to the remaining Personal Project Planning days (P3) on December 13 and January 10. Mr. McMann, Ms. Belzyt, and Ms. Reimold work with students after school, answering any questions they have, helping them problem solve, and supporting them as they plan their next step or work on their report. P3 days are in the multi-media room (MMR) above the learning commons, and snacks are always provided.
It truly is exciting to see our students hard at work and nearing the end of their journey. Be sure to mark your calendars for the projects exhibition on February 15th during the Royal Oak High School open house.
The mission of Story Corps is "to preserve and share humanity's stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world." The goal of the group is to help bring people together to have a meaningful conversation and share our personal histories, developing understanding and preserving all voices. As students work more and more on becoming effective communicators and participate in our schools as caring and principled young adults, this opportunity to partake in learning more about family and community helps students see the value of those around them and how outside of school there is a rich "classroom" from which they can learn.
Teachers who are interested in helping their students participate in this experience can use the Teacher Toolkit created by Story Corps to help find a spot in their curriculum. For parents and family that would like to participate, they can check out the Story Corps app, which helps make the recording and structuring the conversation easier. The app does not share the story unless you want to, so it is a nice way to save conversations just for your family or if made public, with the wider world.
While students work on these outcomes in class, we also encourage students to take part in activities outside of class that focus on these action and service outcomes as well. One new opportunity to do just this is the World of 7 Billion student video contest. The contest is open to grades 6-12 around the world. Students create a short video that is solution-oriented regarding an issue connected to our growing world population: feeding 10 billion, preventing pollution, or advancing women and girls. More information about the contest and the sub-issues students might focus on is found on the contest's website, linked previously in this paragraph. Entries are due by February 22, 2018.
This year I am trying to just that by starting something new - Coffee with the Coordinator. It is a chance for you to meet with me, the MYP coordinator for ROMS and ROHS, to find out what the staff has been working on in terms of the Middle Years Programme, learn more about the programme, and ask any questions you might have. And of course, all while sharing a great cup of joe. Our first meeting will be on October 19th at 8:15 am. in the MYP office of ROMS (just past the main office next to the elevator). This will allow the parking lot to settle down a bit to ensure the hallways are clear for you. If you would like to contact me before that, please feel free to send me a message in the coming days.
Ms. Belzyt is the MYP Coordinator for the Royal Oak Middle and High Schools, an IB educator, and life-long learner
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