Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

CH-UH International Baccalaureate Newsletter

May 16, 2017 -- Want to learn more about the International Baccalaureate (IB) program or what's happening at the District's IB schools? Download and read the fourth installment of our monthly IB newsletter, which was written and edited by IB Coordinators Melissa Garcar and Leslie Garrett.

CH-UH has three authorized IB schools: Canterbury Elementary, Roxboro Elementary and Roxboro Middle. Two District schools are in the candidate phase: Monticello Middle and Fairfax Elementary. Monticello is expected to receive official authorization this spring.

Fairfax Elementary School
Fairfax first graders took on the economy in their most current IB unit: How We Express Ourselves. Each first grader worked hard to earn “money” in their classroom economy. Part of their responsibility was producing a product to sell to consumers. Each class needed to decide on a product and sale price, considering factors such as what products would be appealing to consumers, what resources they had, and what resources were needed. Ms. Gareau’s class created bird houses, Ms. Elwell’s students painted cupcake banks, and Ms. Bogus’ class painted clay flower pots that included soil and seeds.

When asked how she made sure that her birdhouse would be purchased, one student said, “I needed to do a super neat job or no one would buy it.” When talking to other first graders they knew that people have to make choices every day because we can’t always get what we want. In reflecting, the teachers anticipate using it again next year but are discussing the possibility of creating products made from recycled or repurposed materials.

Roxboro Elementary School
Kindergarten students in Mrs. Postma’s class learned about expressing themselves through art when they worked with Alabama artist Charlie Lucas. The class Skyped with Charlie, saw his studio, viewed his creations, and talked about using discarded objects to produce art. Mr. Lucas sent materials to the class and students went to work. A final Skype and art show took place with family members in attendance. We made Charlie proud!

We are always encouraging action in IB and the students and families of Roxboro did just that! For the third year in a row, Roxboro Elementary took first place in the Jump Rope for Heart competition and raised over $16,000! We are proud of the efforts made by the caring students and Mr. Nemeth! We look forward to what next year brings!

Canterbury Elementary School
Besides all the excitement of 5th grade exhibitions, our team of specialists has been preparing for a fun Creative Arts Friday. On May 12, students in grades K-5 took a walk through North America--literally! National Geographic has giant traveling maps that can be rented for school use. The North American map arrived in early May, and the students were able to experience lessons that incorporated engaging geography and map reading skills.

Canterbury students have also been studying economics. First graders are using Mother’s Day projects to discuss producers and consumers, assembly lines, currency, and goods and services, while third graders are extending this knowledge to market places, budgets, and supply and demand. Fifth graders learned about specialization and explored why nation’s trade with one another.

Roxboro Middle School
Students in grades 6-8 completed a unit on wellness, which included listening to guest speakers from the Rape Crisis Center. Our students learned about healthy relationships and being communicators in positive ways. Meaningful conversations were held, biases discussed, and helpful ideas to handle difficult situations were shared.

Another unit our students enjoyed was the assembly by The SignStage group from the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center. They came to perform for grades 6-8 on April 26. The performance was about conflicts that happen between the deaf and hearing communities. Three actors played out scenes from real life situations, made a little silly by exaggeration the characters. It was a fun and entertaining show but still made a point and an impact on students. The overall theme of the performance demonstrates that it’s possible to communicate with a deaf person even if you don’t know Sign Language. After the performance, students completed an optional reflection activity with their UA teacher.

Monticello Middle School
Monticello 8th graders are in full swing with Community Projects. In its first year of implementation, the staff is working through the complex requirements right alongside the students. With the support of a teacher supervisor, each 8th grader, either as an individual or in a small group, will be looking at a way to enhance their local community. Student goals for the project can be to actively volunteer, raise awareness, create or change behavior, call to action, or advocate for a cause.

For the past few weeks student learning activities have included deciding what they want to learn about, identifying what they already know, and discovering what they will need to know to complete the project. This was followed by creating proposals or criteria for their project, planning their time and materials, and recording developments of the project. Students then began making decisions, solving problems, and communicating with their supervisor and others in order to carry out their project and prepare for their final presentations to supervisors and peers. We look forward to seeing the fruit of their labor, as the students begin presenting on May 19.

In the final year of the PYP, students, carry out an extended project known as the PYP exhibition. This involves students working collaboratively to conduct an in-depth inquiry into real life issues or problems.

Roxboro and Canterbury 5th graders are researching a social issue or real-life concern with their classmates. Twice a week for four weeks students worked on their research, report writing, trifold board creations, and suggested or took action. They capped it off with a presentation to 4th graders, families, and community guests.

Community Projects
The MYP community project provides an important opportunity for students to collaborate and pursue service learning. As students become involved in the self-initiated and self-directed learning process, they develop an understanding of themselves as learners and feel a sense of accomplishment with their service action.

In 8th grade, students work alone or in groups to decide on their own plan for a community project. While the idea of volunteering is not new to many of our students, it is the first time they are required to complete service learning of their choosing in middle school.

Whether it has been volunteering in elementary schools, running basketball clinics, teaching about healthy eating choices, informing adults on popular tech sites, or volunteering at the Home Repair Resource Center, our students are making us proud! They will share their final projects with their peers and teachers on May 19.

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