IB Highlights: Coral Reefs & Lego Math

November 30, 2020

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 :
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.