One of the ten IB Learner Profile traits that MYP students strive to develop is compassion. Adolescence can be a time where students feel like others different from others and alone, so focusing on ways that we can connect with others around us and in the wider world is important to building a sense of compassion. This month at ROMS, students in their LEAP classes worked to help others have a sense of compassion by spreading awareness about different charities that work to help groups at both a local and national level. Students designed doors to inform the school about the organization. After the doors were completed, students voted for the door decoration that conveyed the intention of the charity the best; third, second, and first prize were each awarded a monetary prize ranging between $20 and $50, which would be donated to the charity the door depicted. Students' excitement as they worked on their doors was contagious. Walking around the school, you could hear students discuss the reasons why their choices supported the ideas of the charity and how important their charity was to the wider community. This compassion and commitment service are evidence of the power of letting students take charge of their learning by exploring how it connects to the larger world. Check out the wonderful work our ROMS students created in the short video montage below.
Royal Oak High School is in project mode this March! This year's sophomores have completed their projects, written and submitted their reports, and will be sharing their products, outcomes, and hard work during the high school Open House , March 29th from 6-8p. If you are interested taking part in all the amazing work our students have done, stop by to chat with students and experience this capstone of MYP.
As we are celebrating the completion of sophomore projects, the ninth graders are gearing up to start their own. Last week during students' seminar class, freshmen met in the auditorium with Mr. McMann and Ms. Belzyt for a presentation about the Personal Project. This project allows students to demonstrate the knowledge, understanding, and skills they have developed over the course of their five years in the Middle Years Programme; students begin the project at the end of their freshman year and complete as sophomores. Over the next few weeks, before students have Enrichment Learning Time (ELT) again, they will begin brainstorming potential topics for their project. Students were enrolled in a Google Classroom and provided with an electronic workbook to help support them through the process of the project. They also signed up for Remind 101 messages and were shown how to access all the materials they will need on their Google Classroom and Projects Website. If you would like to see presentation they viewed, click here. Freshmen will be getting a preview of the current sophomores' project exhibition during 6th hour on March 29th to give them a better idea of the types of products or outcomes they might explore.
After spring break, ROHS will be hosting an informational night about the Personal Project and how families can support their students throughout it on April 19th at 7p. in the ROHS Learning Commons. Mr. McMann and Ms. Belzyt will discuss what the project is, how students will be supported in school, and what role families can take to ensure student success. We encourage families before this meeting to visit the projects website, as well as the parent resource page on the Royal Oak MYP website, and look at the projects workbook and Google Classroom with their student. If you have any questions regarding projects before the informational night, please feel free to contact Ms. Belzyt or Mr. McMann with questions.
,While it is important for our students to be thinkers, it is even more so for them to be aware that thinking is a process and what that process looks like. By having visual representations that break down the steps of different forms of thinking, students are able to internalize the steps they need to take in different situations so they can begin to independently problem solve, make connections, reason with evidence, build explanations, and consider different viewpoints.
Part of each MYP unit in each of the eight MYP subjects is the Statement of Inquiry (SOI). This is a statement that is comprised of the Key Concepts, Related Concepts, and Global Contexts students will be learning in the unit. It serves as the conceptual learning goal for the unit: at the end of the unit, students will understand this big idea that is important to our daily lives. The SOI, or learning goal, is not a secret, but rather shared with students from the beginning of the unit so that they can link the skills and understanding they develop to it over the course of the unit.
Teachers share the SOI with students and have them reflect upon it in many different ways. Some might use interactive methods, such as in a an interactive notebook, binder divider, or online word cloud or mind-mapping program. Others might use a more visual method by having it displayed and color coded in their classroom, so students can pick apart the Key and Related Concepts and Global Context. The other day when I visited Ms. Bockhausen's room, she had transformed the SOI for her two different courses into a translation activity, where students had to brainstorm different synonyms or word associations for each part of the statement, looking for new understanding based on the multiple layers of meaning they create. Through each of these methods, students are recording their thinking and becoming aware of how to use different thinking strategies later in other contexts.
One way to reinforce these thinking skills is to talk with your students about questioning and thinking at home as well. For ideas for how to do so, please see the Parent Resources page for resources on modeling questions and supporting student skills.
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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