AN IB WORLD SCHOOL

IB News

IB Jokes (for your enjoyment):

"After IB Physics, I will throw a textbook off a cliff… and calculate the momentum when it hits the ground."

TOK:  "Dogs like peanut butter.  I like peanut butter.  Therefore, I am a dog…do dogs even know they like peanut butter?  Do I know that they know? What do I even know…?"

"Chemistry pick up line: I got my ion you <33"

"IB problems are real. The only long term relationship you have is with your Extended Essay."

"Now I understand why 42 is the answer to life!!" (42 is the max points you can receive for each of the 6 courses)

"Students have almost finished the IB program, but still use google to spell “baccalaureate” correctly."

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include running for ASB office, passing out ribbons for Day of Silence, painting flowers, taking a mindfulness walk around campus, being an assistant soccer coach, setting up and facilitating Casino Night, participating in the photography overnight.

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.  

CAS Project: Our full IB diploma students complete CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) projects that are part of an 18-month portfolio, including reflections on their experiences.  Junior Chase Foster’s CAS Project is to collect donated items for students in the West African nation of Liberia.  The items – warm weather clothing, new and used shoes, sports equipment, children’s book, and school supplies – will be sent to Liberia through the Lutheran Church this summer and distributed by Chase’s grandparents when they arrive in November to build schools in that country.  See Chase’s Liberia Donation Flyer for more details on the items he’s collecting, which can be dropped off in the green bucket by the Upper School courtyard stairs through Friday, May 21.

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include helping sick animals, making meals for grandparents, working in the yard, running, walking, and playing basketball.  

CORE Update: The juniors are working on Extended Essay outlines and getting ready to do some writing of their EE before the end of the year. In Theory of Knowledge, the students are exploring theme of knowledge and politics to continue their quest for TOK in the real world around us.  They are also preparing for their final exhibitions, which they will share with sophomores on May 20.

IB Question of the Week: Who is the new Director General of the IB?  Olli-Pekka-Heinonen was just named the 8th Director General.  You can see a video here: https://vimeo.com/543632524/10d9a0d5f3

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.  

Upper School students complete Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) projects and reflect on them.  This week there were a variety of CAS projects that students engaged in.

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include helping with the Joya penny drive posters, snorkeling, playing tennis, doing a photo overnight, participating in the Day of Silence, tutoring, making Day of Silence ribbons, volunteering at the Better Living Center, Helping with Casino Night, helping plant the storm garden, going surfing, making blankets, going skiing, house sitting, and team training activities.  

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 senior International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidates have their work on display in the Upper School in April.  See photo galleries of Josie Melville's Exhibit that's in the Art Gallery, Dana Mogensen's Exhibit that is in the space in front of Founders Theater, and Sydney Bledsoe's Exhibit in the Photography Room and Dark Room just to the right of the Art Gallery.  Here's what each senior had to say about their artwork...

Sydney:  "This body of work explores themes of the esoteric and paranormal. I’ve always been interested in the supernatural, not because I see it as a method of explaining the inherent strangeness of the world but rather because I enjoy the stories, questions, and ideas that come along with attempting to research things beyond our world. The paranormal themes explored in these pieces come from a wide array of folklore, conspiracy theories, and magical practices. In addition, the works as a whole were inspired by the fantastical illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley as well as more contemporary media, such as Western cartoons and comics."  

Josie:  “This exhibition explores the connection between humanity and the natural world, or what is perceived to be natural.  Throughout my life I have seen and built a connection to what is natural. I have also observed how other people do not see themselves connected to nature and do not perceive themselves as natural beings. The natural and human themes explored in these pieces are used as commentary and expression, I built my exhibition to show others how I perceive myself and the world around us.”  

Dana:  "I live on a hillside that overlooks a valley and across are layers of hills and mountains. It is just a few miles from our city that has a river (sometimes raging) that runs through it creating a juxtaposition between nature and manmade structures.  I have always been drawn to these environments that surround me —landscapes, mountains, and cityscapes. These influences led to inspire a range of pieces for my exhibition.  I also wanted to present my personal abilities to work with a multitude of medias. It was the range of medias that motivated me to include them in my exhibition. I also explored a sense of connection to the world that both natural and manmade views make, without the presence of people. It allows the viewers to enjoy the piece in their own eyes and in their own time."  

IB Question of the Week: What do English A Literature exam questions look like?
The IB English A Literature exam requires students to answer just one essay question, basing their answer on at least two works that they have studied.  How well could you compare and contrast two literary works in response to these questions:
 
Drama
1. Explore the techniques used by at least two playwrights you have studied to portray characters constrained by social expectations, and the effects created. 
2. In the works of at least two playwrights you have studied, compare the ways in which plot and structure are used to engage the audience.
3. Explore the techniques used to interweave elements of comedy and tragedy in the work of at least two playwrights you have studied.
 
Poetry
1. In the work of at least two poets you have studied, compare the techniques used to reveal the speaker, and the effects achieved.
2. With reference to the work of at least two poets you have studied, compare in what ways and to what effect language has been used to create intense and/or unforgettable moments.
3. Some poets shine a light on particular issues, while others criticize explicitly. Compare these different approaches in the work of at least two poets you have studied. 
 
Prose: novel and short story
1. Compare the different approaches to narrative that are used to create suspense in the works of at least two authors you have studied.
2. Some works end with a neat resolution; others are less clear cut. With reference to the work of at least two authors you have studied, compare the techniques used to create such endings and the effects achieved.
3. With reference to the works of at least two authors you have studied, compare the ways in which trapped or confined characters are used to highlight social issues.
 
Prose other than fiction
1. How and to what effect are seemingly minor details resulting in major consequences presented in the work of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied?
2. With reference to the works of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied, compare the techniques used to portray misunderstanding and its effects.
3. In the works of at least two authors of prose other than fiction you have studied, discuss the creation of setting and its role in providing an emotional landscape for the reader. 
 
CAS Experiences Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include planting trees, riding a camel, participating in track, meditating, cooking Lobster Marinara, participating in community service club, holding a RELAX group meeting, and helping vaccinate livestock.
 
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.  

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include helping with the All-School Talent Show, volunteering at a local food bank, taking a dog on a jog, taking pictures, donating blood, walking dogs, making cookies, bowling, participating in cross country, participating in FTC Robotics, hiking, participating in the trans day of visibility, making rings, replanting flowers, attending a hand gun shooting class, volunteering at a café, caring for stray dogs at a shelter, teaching younger kids piano, and hiking at Palouse Falls.   

IB Question of the Week:  What are other countries doing about administering IB exams this year?  
In the United States, whether a school is on the exam or non-exam route for May 2021 exams is determined individually, since each school can have a different status.  SGS is on the non-exam route.  These countries also are on the non-exam route like SGS: Panama, Indonesia, Poland, Lebanon, India, Turkey, United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Iraq, Canada, Colombia, Pakistan and Ecuador.  These countries are giving exams: Egypt, Norway, Spain, Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania, Greece, Switzerland, Zambia, Jordan, Bulgaria, Argentina, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Ukraine, Iceland, Australia, Costa Rica, Sweden, China and Romania.

IB Visual Arts Highlight:
In IB Visual Art, students are assessed in three ways: 
1. A comparative study in which students analyze and compare different artworks by different artists. This independent critical and contextual investigation explores artworks, objects and artifacts from differing cultural contexts;
2. A process portfolio in which students submit carefully selected materials which evidence their experimentation, exploration, manipulation and refinement of a variety of visual arts activities during the two year course;
3. And an exhibition in which the selected pieces should show evidence of their technical accomplishment during the visual arts course and an understanding of the use of materials, ideas and practices appropriate to visual communication.

Three IB Visual Art seniors, Sydney Bledsoe, Dana Mogensen and Josie Melville, have their exhibitions completed and on display in the Upper School.  See the article on the IB Art Exhibits for details about each student's artwork and links to see their exhibits.

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.  

SGS senior Erika Piotrowski created a bunny therapy program for her CAS project last fall, and has continued to offer this stress reducing opportunity this spring.  "I started a bunny therapy session because I noticed that some of my peers and neighbors would benefit from a stress reducing activity. So, I thought, 'who doesn't love a cute little bunny' and decided to offer petting sessions for people that wanted to de-stress while shooting the breeze. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, because I think people often forget to take a step back and remember the positives life have to offer. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I have the most adorable bunnies, Cadburry and Mopsy, who sell the program."  

Students in the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course explored a variety of "Knowledge Questions" in their exhibitions.

CORE Highlight: TOK Questions

Readers might be interested to see a selection of the Knowledge Questions students explored in exhibitions for their Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course.  They explored questions like the ones below with themes such as knowledge and language, technology, politics, religion, or indigenous societies:

> To what extent does hope affect our thoughts and actions?
> How does our culture affect our emotions?
> To what extent does religious belief help or hinder us?
> What does the quote “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” really mean?
> What role does aggression play in society?
> What role does seeking pleasure have in a teenager’s life?
> To what extent does our social class define how we are viewed and treated in society?
> To what extent does racism affect religion?
> To what extent does culture affect our perception of right and wrong?
> What role does “agency” have in people’s lives?
> To what extent does having a sense of purpose affect how we view the world?
> What effect does history have on our views of privilege and power?
> How does our outer appearance interact with our inner life to make us who we are?
> What is the role of sound in society?
> To what extent are all languages connected and how does that affect our overall knowledge?
> To what extent does humor reflect our ethics and morals?
> Does the pursuit of money help or hinder us in our efforts to become the best people we can be?
> What drives people to be cruel?
> To what extent is someone’s poverty their own fault?
> Under what circumstance are people willing to be consistent or non-consistent with their sense of morality?
> What is the price of happiness?
> To what extent do we let our emotions dictate our actions?

IB Question of the Week:  What are five pieces of advice from a lifelong IB learner?
This question comes from an IB blog.  Diploma Programme graduate Sobina Yu shares advice for incoming IB students as they embark on their learning journey.  

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include playing volleyball, donating blood, cleaning trash around the school, yard work, playing soccer, painting pictures, working in the Biology greenhouse, baking cookies, helping with the clothing drive, picking up trash, programming for FTC Robotics, teaching computer gaming lessons, rehearsal for the violin, going on a drive, and geocaching. 

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.  

SGS students in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme participated in a variety of Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) experiences in the past few weeks.  Juniors also are working on their Extended Essays.  Here are some details on both...

CAS Experience Highlights: CAS experiences for all of our Upper School students (in the US and in China) include playing volleyball, donating blood, cleaning trash around the school, relocating saplings and smaller trees to a better area, playing soccer, painting pictures, building car tools, painting an electric scooter, decorating a house, working in the Biology greenhouse, baking cookies, helping with the clothing drive, picking up trash, programming for FTC Robotics, teaching computer gaming lessons, making valentines to send to St. Jude’s Hospital, attending a World Sleep Day free clinical treatment as a volunteer, rehearsal for the violin, going on a drive, participating in the WA State Debate Tournament, geocaching, and building a half scale model engine.

CORE Highlight:  Juniors & Extended Essays
The juniors working on their EEs are setting up a time to have their first formal meeting with their supervisor.  This meeting should be a 20-minute discussion about the research question, methodology, and any difficulties they might be having.  The students will then write a reflection about the meeting in ManageBac where they outline:
• Their ideas regarding the topic in general
• The research question they have in mind
• Initial background reading or research they may have conducted
• Possible approaches
• Initial thoughts about the answer to their research question

The initial reflection should be about 100 words.  This is the first of three reflections throughout the process of writing their EE, and it can answer any number of the following Guiding Questions:
• What exactly do I want to find out?
• What possible question(s) might I research?
• Do I have sufficient knowledge of the subject area to fulfill the criteria of an EE?
• Is there sufficient focus to my research area?
• What am I interested in researching and why?
• What are my motivations for undertaking research in this area?
• How will I begin the research process?
• What problems do I anticipate in my research?
• What resources do I plan to use?
• Have I found any sources with conflicting viewpoints?
• Have I been able to find relevant sources from different eras?
• What challenges did I encounter in finding relevant sources?
• How do I think I might use my sources?
• What possible answers might there be to my research question?

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.  

IB Question of the Week

March 29, 2021

IB Question of the Week:  Does the IB perform research to evaluate their goals?  

Yes.  In one case, the IB did research on the effect of the Diploma Programme (DP) on critical thinking development: An international multi-site evaluation.  The summary developed by IB Research was based on a report by: Therese N Hopfenbeck, Kit Double, Yasmine Hachem El Masri and Joshua McGrane, Oxford University Centre for Educational Assessment, University of Oxford, October 2020.

Background: Critical thinking plays an important role both in the classroom and everyday life, including being a key factor for determining individual and collective success in the face of complex global challenges (Butler 2012; Clarke, Double and MacCann 2017; Griffin and Care 2015; Kirschner 2020). In broad terms, critical thinking refers to a person’s ability to analyse, synthesize and evaluate information (Halpern 2001). Given the importance of critical thinking for attaining valued outcomes, the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) has made developing critical thinking a central focus of its programme and approach. This study examined the effects of the DP on the critical thinking skills of students in Australia, England and Norway. Specifically, it investigated whether student participation in the DP contributed to higher levels of critical thinking, as measured by an established critical thinking assessment instrument. Researchers also examined DP curricular elements that may support critical thinking, and explored the perspectives of DP students and teachers.

Summary: The results suggest that the IB embraces a mixed approach to critical thinking development, which is largely in line with evidence-based best practice. This approach makes teaching critical thinking an explicit goal, ensuring that critical thinking instruction is not assumed to necessarily follow from other knowledge gains but is specifically taught within the classroom. Quantitative findings indicate that IB students had significantly higher levels of critical thinking than their non-IB peers—an advantage that held even after relevant covariates were controlled for using regression approaches and propensity score matching. The critical thinking advantage seen in IB students was more pronounced in students that were in the later stage of the DP compared to those at the beginning of the DP. Overall, these results provide evidence that DP participation benefits critical thinking, as measured by a pre-validated critical thinking assessment. However, there are a range of unaccounted for pre-existing differences between IB and non-IB students that may contribute to the observed differences in critical thinking. In interviews, students and teachers shared a belief that TOK, the EE and DP subjects foster the development of critical thinking. Additionally, teachers and students generally believed that the DP better prepares students for further study compared to national or state programmes.


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