AN IB WORLD SCHOOL

Academic News

The 2nd graders have been learning about owls. So when Biology teacher Seth Coleman discovered a Great Horned Owl that had died after getting caught in the baseball outfield net, the class came to the Bio Lab to check it out.  See a Photo Gallery of the students examining how a real owl's feathers, claws, eyes and ears make it such a successful hunter.

An SGS senior has used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore a topic of particular interest to her -- the impact of climate change on Hawaiian coral reefs.
 
EE Highlight: Senior Nicole Cook is writing her Extended Essay on the topic of climate change and coral reefs.  Her research question is: How is climate change impacting the coral reefs of Hawaii?  Nicole says she knew she wanted to focus her EE question on Biology.  She chose her research question because climate change is something that is talked about a lot in today’s world.  She chose to focus her research question on Hawaii because she has “noticed that every time I visit, the coral reefs seem to be less colorful.  I was interested in why this is happening, and if it had anything to do with climate change."
 
CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for our Upper School students (in the US and in China) this week included donating gifts to children in need, chopping trees and stacking logs, painting a car, caring for a dog, taking and editing family Christmas photos, helping out a sister with a debate tournament, and snow and ice removal for a public community.
 
IB Question of the Week: How does the IB and its learner profile trickle down to the learning in the Lower School?  
The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.  The IB learner profile represents 10 attributes valued by IB World Schools. The IB and SGS believe these attributes, and others like them, can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities. 

All of the IB Learner attributes that the Upper school program emphasizes are also seen in the Lower School classrooms.  Below we will talk about three that are emphasized in two activities in the 4th grade classroom right now: 
Thinker: We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyze and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.  
Risk-Taker: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change.
Knowledgeable: We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance
 
The attributes of being a THINKER, being KNOWLEDGEABLE, and being a RISK-TAKER are evident in Rick Petrini and Heidi Melville’s 4th grade classroom.  The 4th graders have been working on phenology, the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant and animal life.  Once a week, they go to different parts of the campus to observe how that same location changes week after week.  They use scientific skills of observation and measurement, taking soil and air temperature readings.  They are training them to be thinkers and risk-takers, becoming more knowledgeable.
 
Rick and Heidi also have implemented a 4th grade math exploratory time.  For 45 minutes, they have open-ended math prompts.  For example, the students might receive random Lego pieces and use those to demonstrate the math vocabulary they are learning in any way they choose.  See a Photo Gallery of some of their Lego math vocabulary that also displays the attributes of knowledgeable, thinker and risk-taker.  
 
For more information about the IB learner profile, please follow this link : https://www.ibo.org/contentassets/fd82f70643ef4086b7d3f292cc214962/learner-profile-en.pdf
 
IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

4th grade teachers Rick Petrini and Heidi Melville have set up math exploratory time in their classroom.  For example, the students might receive random Lego pieces and use those to demonstrate the math vocabulary they are learning in any way they choose.  See a Photo Gallery of some of their Lego math vocabulary that also displays the IB attributes of being knowledgeable, a thinker and a risk-taker.

Matt Melka, who teaches American History and World Geography in the Middle School, wants to help his students understand the ways technology is changing the world.  Thanks to the annual Hannah Joss Fellowship, Matt will be able to spend two weeks in Japan next summer to bring back insights for his classroom.

"It's a dream of mine to visit Japan," he said after the announcement of the award in a online meeting on Monday, Nov. 23.  "Japan is unique in that it has held on to its deep cultural roots, while also leading the world in technological advancements."  Matt will experience ancient temples and modern bullet trains during July 2021, exploring Tokyo, Hiroshima and other cities.  He'll even get to compare how Tokyo Disneyland differs from the Anaheim and Orlando parks -- a true study in globalization!

Other faculty and staff awards announced on Nov. 23 include:
> The Fred Gilbert Distinguished Teaching Award given to MS English teacher Brook Bassett, who was honored for her personalized approach to teaching and passion for her subject. 
> The Harvey W. Clarke Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Mark Rickard, the US Physical Education & Leadership teacher who also advises the ASB and coaches multiple sports. 
> The Jim Stecher Staff Excellence Award went to Technology Specialist Tony Shuler, who's work with teachers and their technology needs has been central to the success of Hybrid learning this fall. 

Congratulations, Dragons!

An SGS senior has used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore two topics of particular interest to her -- gender equality among professional athletes and how to teach young Chinese students English using Zoom.
 
EE Highlight: For her Extended Essay, senior Winnie Wu is writing on the topic of magazine coverage as an indication of gender issues in professional sports after Title IX, from 1964-2000s.  Her research question is: to what extent was Title IX effective in promoting better gender equality among professional female athletes?
 
CAS Project Highlight: Senior Winnie Wu is also being highlighted for her CAS project.  Being physically in China caused several of our seniors to re-evaluate their CAS project plans.  Winnie jumped right in this summer and founded an online English language learning program for primary students.  She said, “The intention for creating this online learning platform is to enlighten more primary school students in their English learning process.  I had online classes and interacted with the children on a weekly basis for two months.  All the lessons were created by myself and was taught through Zoom with about ten children per class.”
 
CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) this week included attending a bank open day in China, creating a quarantine workout routine, running GLOW club, tie dying shirts, completing soccer workouts after school, participating in Operation Christmas Child by getting items for the shoe box for a child in need, and providing donation commissions.
 
IB Question of the Week: How does the Middle School's Genius Hour prepare students for the EE and CAS components of the IB CORE in their junior and senior years?  
 
In 5th grade, students begin their Genius Hour project and it continues throughout Middle School.  Each year, the students pick something they are interested in.  Teachers are training them to think about something that they care about and are willing to devote time to.  The goal of Genius Hour is not the end product but the experience.  
 
Within the full diploma program, students must complete an Extended Essay (EE) and a CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) project.  Both of these components are driven by what the students are interested in.  With the EE, students choose a topic, do research and produce a 4,000 word research paper.  With the CAS project, students pick something that interests them, research it and find ways to develop experiences that include: 
• real, purposeful activities, with significant outcomes, 
• personal challenge, 
• thoughtful consideration, such as planning, reviewing progress, reporting,
• reflection on outcomes and personal learning.  
The learning from two components of the IB CORE comes from the process.  The end result is icing on the cake, just like in Genius Hour.  
 
IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

The 5th graders spent two days testing their popsicle stick bridge designs to see how much weight they could hold before breaking.  See YouTube videos (each just over 10 minutes long) of the First Day Bridges and the Second Day Bridges breaking in rather dramatic fashion!  And see photo galleries of the students with their bridges from the First Day and the Second Day.

An SGS senior has used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore a topic of particular interest to him -- vegetarian weight lifting!

EE Highlight: For his Extended Essay, senior Nico Morales wanted to test how a vegetarian diet affects his recovery time in an area of sports.  His research question is: Will a vegetarian diet improve recovery time during a weight lifting program?  In the time of COVID-19, he was able to find a subject matter that interested him and occupied his summer when he was missing summer basketball.  We can’t wait to read about his findings.  Remember the EEs live in our school library for our full diploma students from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.  Please talk to Sara Smith or Elizabeth Tender if you want to read any of them.

CAS Project Highlight: Junior Alyssa Zhao is helping Qingqing Ji teach classes for her CAS project.  She is just starting this.  She says she "will create several lectures and activities for the SGS IB Chinese learners.  The purpose is to help them have a better understanding for Chinese and provide some useful tools, materials and additional help.”  When asked what new skills or skill levels she hopes to develop, she responded with "Public speaking, leadership, and event organizing ability."

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) this week included making “SGS obituaries and impact plans” (where students think about the things they have done and the things that they would like to do in their remaining time at SGS), having a weekly yoga meeting for mental health, participating on the Blood Drive Committee, annotating classical Chinese literature, skating, clearing yard waste, participating in a fellow IB student’s IA for Psychology class, playing tennis, creating a self-care menu, making letters and helping with Everlasting Envelopes, running in a 5K, learning the 4x4 cube, volunteering at LIVE House, practicing yoga, donating blood for the blood drive, teaching basic English to persons in China, and starting an Etsy shop.  

IB Question of the Week: How has the IB as an organization adapted its requirements for COVID-19?  The IB Organization is addressing the loss of instruction time through targeted removals and/or amendments of assessment components or submission requirements.  These adaptations aim to empower teachers to address each subject’s aims and objectives with flexibility and fairness in preparation for the May and November 2021 session.  Learn about all of the ways the IB is responding to the extraordinary challenges ahead at https://www.ibo.org/covid-19-support/  

IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

Three SGS seniors have used the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme to explore topics of particular interest to them -- Cryptography and 3D Printing!

EE Highlight:  Senior Jake Gliniak wrote his EE on the topic of Cryptology.  His research question is, "How does RSA encryption use math to secure information?"  RSA encryption is a system that solves what was once one of the biggest problems in cryptography: How can you send someone a coded message without having an opportunity to previously share the code with them?  More about RSA encryption (until you are able to read Jake’s EE) can be found here on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA_(cryptosystem).

CAS Project Highlight:  COVID has created some challenges for students’ CAS projects.  We have students who wanted to do a basketball skills clinic or spearhead the 2nd Harvest Food Bank Drive, but have had to change their plans.  However, some students were able to stick with their plan.  This week we highlight Jake Gliniak, Alec Bunn and Tristan Krzyzanek.  Alec, Tristan, and Jake are creating 3D printed masks to help immune-compromised cancer patients stay safe when it's necessary for them to visit hospitals.  These seniors spent many hours designing and writing up the proposal, recruiting help and support, prototyping and improving the mask, manufacturing and assembling, and distributing the end product to cancer patients.  

Alec and Tristan coordinated the 3D printing, "however, finding strapping or sealant strips for the masks proved difficult due to extreme shortages in supply and limited access," the students wrote in their project proposal.  "We attempted to solve these issues through a number of unconventional solutions including: silicone caulk, elastic shoelaces, weather stripping, etc.  We settled on a combination of elastic shoelaces and weather stripping, which we felt provided the best seal, comfort, and ability to be sanitized."  Jake completed the assembly, with help from senior Sydney Bledsoe, and delivered the first nine prototypes to Summit Cancer Care in Spokane, where "the masks were a big hit."  Their goal is to supply 100 masks to local patients.

CAS Experiences Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) this week included Everlasting Envelopes, painting pumpkins, pumpkin carving, Knowledge Bowl, National Novel writing Month, wiring letters to family members in Spanish, making signs for the blood drive, playing the ukulele, picking up branches and leaves, developing a Performance Management Chart (Tracking Tool) for Athletic Training, and painting poster for the food drive

IB Question of the Week:  How can you find other IB schools around the world?  Follow this link: https://www.ibo.org/programmes/find-an-ib-school/

IB Overview:  The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum for grades 11-12 is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising Theory of Knowledge (TOK), Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) and the Extended Essay (EE).  Please refer to our IB webpage and to the IB Resources page in PowerSchool Learning for detailed IB information.  

After researching the engineering of bridge designs, the 5th grade class tested the weight that their own popsicle stick bridges could carry before breaking.  See photos of the First Group, whose best bridge held 86 lbs., and of the Second Group, who had a bridge carry 112 lbs! 

The 2nd graders, dressed up for Halloween, read scary books to their classmates at home and to the preschoolers at Green Gables Learning Center.  This is part of their service project with the students of that nearby school.  See a Photo Gallery of them sharing their favorite stories with friends old and new who were viewing from their tablets.


Latest News | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10 | Page 11 | Page 12 | Page 13 | Page 14 | Page 15 | Page 16 | Page 17 | Page 18 | Page 19 | Page 20 | Page 21 | Page 22 | Page 23 | Page 24 | Page 25 | Page 26 | Page 27 | Page 28 | Page 29 | Page 30 | Page 31 | Page 32 | Page 33 | Page 34 | Page 35 | Page 36 | Page 37 | Page 38 | Page 39 | Page 40 | Page 41 | Page 42 | Page 43 | Page 44 | Page 45 | Page 46 | Page 47 | Page 48 | Page 49 | Page 50 | Page 51 | Page 52 | Page 53 | Page 54 | Page 55 | Page 56 | Page 57