MYP Notes Semester 2 2010-2011

1. The Personal Project

Class of 2013

Once again, thank you to everyone for your dedication to completing the standardization work for the projects- it was a gruelling task. I have requested an entire teacher only day for this process for next year.

Class of 2014

These students have begun thinking about their projects and have made their initial selection of supervisor. I am working with them to redo their selections as almost all of them selected their lovely homeroom teacher! I have labeled the personal project site Personal Project 2011-2018 to reflect the lifespan of the brand new guide. Please spend some time becoming familiar with this site as it is meant to be comprehensive and easy to use. If it fails in either of these goals, please let me know.

I have added some very specific guidance for supervisors to ensure that everyone knows what is expected. Some things may have remained in my head. Again, please let me know if there is anything unclear.

2. Moderation Samples

Thank you again, for the excellent work in ensuring that all of our samples are beautifully stored on our special Google Site 001529 moderation 2011. I have had praise from IBCA, who wish that “everyone used Google Sites as we do” and several other schools are interested in our strategies.

Please take note that I will be removing teacher access to your moderation work this week and adding access to the external moderators. Once the moderation process is completed, you will have your access returned. The purpose of this action is to prevent any contact between schools and the moderators. All communication must take place via IBCA (IB Curriculum and Assessment- half of whom are in the Hague and half still in Cardiff).

3. History of the MYP

This excellent publication details the origins and purpose of our beloved programme. I especially enjoy the first chapter’s title “Out of Africa” where it all began. Perhaps that is a personal bias.

4. Command terms in the MYP

The IB have published a set of command terms– similar to a project undertaken in the Diploma Programme. The purpose of these terms is to help teachers and students understand what we mean when we use instruction terms.

5. New MYP Self study documents

In conjunction with the new Programmes Standards and Practices (IB, Dec 2010), there is now a new self-study questionnaire. We will be preparing for our next Evaluation Visit starting in the 2011-2012 academic year. Please take the time to become familiar with this document.

6. The areas of interaction

As you will recall, we spent a meeting exploring examples of the different AOIs as they might appear outside of school. Please continue to explore these Bookmarks and add any relevant comments and links. The purpose of sharing these Bookmarks with you is to help you find inspiration for your unit planning. Here are the links once more:

Approaches to Learning


Community and Service

Health and Social Education

Human Ingenuity

8. Language Portfolios

As part of a larger IB project, we are working with the students to create language profiles as part of a language portfolio. This is envisioned as a life long project for individuals. I have been meeting with different grades on Flexi day to get these started. Over time, I will be sharing this work with you and collecting your responses.

Posted in Areas of Interaction, Human Ingenuity, IB MYP news, Moderation, MYP Evaluation Visit Report, Personal Project, Standardization | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the 2010-2011 Academic Year! Notes for August 2010

Notes for ALL teachers in the Middle Years Programme

The Personal Project!

Yes, almost every single teacher is supervising a mass of students this year. Why? You might ask. The answer is easy: we have a massive number of students. Those teachers who have more students to supervise, have been given more time on their scheduling, apparently.

Here is the link to the Personal Project site:

If, in some moment of delirium, you forgot who you are supervising, here is the list.

Please note that at this stage all students who were at the school last year will need to have already completed the first two stages of their Personal Project Planner. This is a difficult process and they will need to have a lot of discussion with you about what they wrote to ensure that their project is truly meaningful.

For students who are new to BIS this year, please help them catch up as quickly as possible. Please also guide the students so that they chose a project that may be completed within the time remaining. I will be meeting with new supervisors and students to assist in this process.

Notes for grade 10 teachers only


I have a site dedicated to helping you prepare for moderation. This site may be accessed directly from the side bar in the Secondary Site (for staff) under the MYP section. It is labelled “Moderation” (surprise!). Here is the link to that site should you wish to book mark it separately.

In this site, you will find the very latest requirements for moderation, as well as Section F from the 2010-2011 Coordinator’s Handbook. This section details all moderation procedures and requirements. This is also where you will find the grade boundaries for your subjects that show how the criteria add up and become a number out of 7. Note that we only ever use a number out of 7 on the semester reports. ALL assessment should ONLY be based on the assessment criteria. No other method is acceptable. For clarification, refer to MYP: From Principles into Practice, pages 40 and following in the chapter on Assessment.

As we did last year, all of our moderation will be done electronically. This means that you should be collecting electronic copies of all student work from the beginning. Should your work require scanning, as the case would be for written tests, have that work scanned immediately after submission, not just before the moderation deadline. I have set the deadline for your final submission of completed work for moderation as 25 March 2011. This is the last day of term 3. I need to check every sample and sign all the cover sheets. Samples have to reach the external moderators by 15 April 2011, right after our holiday.

I have created a site for each subject- links may be found on the main moderation page. Please have a look at that work now.

We will receive our moderation reports in the first week of September 2010.

Who in grade 10 will be registered for an MYP Record of Achievement and an MYP Certificate?

We are in the process of registering all of the grade 10 students. Here are some points of which you should be aware:

1. Any grade 10 student who enrolls at BIS before or on 15 October 2010, will be registered for an MYP Record of Achievement. (This is a pretty piece of paper that shows all of the subjects taken by the student and the final, externally moderated, results achieved for those subjects. (A number out of 7, like the DP).

2. Students who meet the following criteria will additionally be eligible to receive an MYP Certificate. (This is an even prettier, almost spectacular, piece of paper with the name of the student and the words MYP Certificate on it.). The conditions are as follows:

  1. Must have been in the MYP for at least the last two years.
  2. Must have completed one subject from each of the 8 subject groups.
  3. Must have successfully completed the Personal Project. (Minimum 3).
  4. Must have completed the school’s requirements for Community and Service (GCP at BIS).
  5. Must have achieved a total of no less than 36 out of 63 for all subjects combined.

This means that you may use the work of ANY grade 10 student who is enrolled by 15 Oct 2010 for your moderation samples. Note that if you are teaching one half of a group of the grade 10s, then you MUST ensure that all assessment is standardized and that the final sample of work is drawn from the whole grade 10 group, not one class only.

We are still required to submit samples of work for 8 students for each subject. (2 comparatively good, four comp. average and 2 comp. weak).

We only register students by their legal names. If the name is not on a passport, we do not use it. No matter how cute it might be.

Notes especially for Indonesian and French Language B teachers

Students are registered according the their level of Language B. For example, French B Advanced or Bahasa Indonesia B Foundation.

Every year we register students for their language B options and every year I am given final results for students in a level for which they are not registered. It may be cute to reward student improvement by  moving that student from a Standard to an Advanced course after 15 October. That move costs us USD50 per change. Please write to me before changing a student’s level. The costs will come from your department’s budget.

Notes especially for Mathematics teachers

Once students have been placed in a suitable level for Mathematics: Standard or Extended, please do NOT change that student’s course after 15 October. Any change costs us USD 50. We allow one change once because the parents agreed to pay the USD50 charge.

As we use our meetings for working on planning, the expectation is that these notes are read carefully. I am happy to discuss any issues arising from these with you in person.

Posted in Deadlines, IB MYP news, Language B, Mathematics, Moderation, MYP Certification requirements, Personal Project | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Personal Project Class of 2013 Checklist

Personal Project Supervisors please ensure that the students whom you are supervising have completed the following tasks before the end of year break (11 June 2010):

  1. Completed the Topic Notification Form indicating the subject of their project.
  2. Created her/his own copy of the Draft guide to the written statement.
  3. Created his/her own copy of the Personal Project Timeline
  4. Created her/his own copy of the Personal Project Planner
  5. Created his/her Process Journal as either a Google Document or Site.

Please note that for 2-5, these must be created using the document template found in the BIS Google Docs. I gave each class demonstration lessons to help them create these documents.

Each of these documents must be shared with both you, the supervisor, and with me.

The students will find it very difficult working with the Personal Project planner that was based on the MYP Unit planner. It will be a powerful investment into the success of the project to spend quality time with your students explaining the different aspects of this planner. If this is done well, a good foundation will have been laid.

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Thinking about Mathematics

Our venerable Mathematics Leader, Tim Knight, introduced me to the work of Dan Meyer, an inspiring educator who is passionate about teaching students to understand how Mathematics works. To see his ten minute presentation on, click here. To read his provocative and stimulating blog, click here.

To whet your appetites, here is an extract from Dan Meyer’s blog About page

I’m Dan Meyer. This is my sixth year teaching high school math. My hobbies include graphic design, filmmaking, motion graphics, and infographics, most of which have found their way into my practice in some way or another. My specific interests include curriculum design (answering the question, “how we design the ideal learning experience for students?”) and teacher education (answering the questions, “how do teachers learn?” and “how do we retain more teachers?” and “how do we teach teachers to teach?”). I work part-time for Google. I live in Santa Cruz, CA.

To quote Tim, “this is what MYP Mathematics is really about”.

I encourage anyone who is interested in how children think and learn to watch this short presentation and savour the blog.

Thank you, Tim!

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MYP News 19 May 2010

1. Personal Project Reports for the class of 2012 (this year’s grade 10 class)

Personal Project supervisors are reminded that you will need to complete a report for the student/s you supervised from this class. The report is to be found where all the other Semester 2 reports are. I will include the general comment, please include the final, internally standardized grade and your comments. To avoid the crush at the very end of this semester, you are strongly encouraged to complete that report as soon as possible.

2. Submission of final grades for the class of 2012.

The final grades that will be submitted to the IB Curriculum and Assessment office (IBCA) in Cardiff, are the grades that you record in the semester 2 reports. You need take no action at all, apart from report writing. These grades will be adjusted according to the moderation of your work. The final grades authorised by the IB will appear on the MYP Record of Achievement. As you know, some of our grade 10 class are not eligible for the MYP Certificate, primarily because they have not been in the MYP for the final two years of the programme. These students will still Receive a record of Achievement from the IB.

It is vital that you revisit the final section of your respective subject guides and pages 54 and 55 of the MYP From Principles into Practice. Please note that this applies to each year of the MYP at BIS.

Determining final levels of achievement

The absence of any external, formal examination structure in the MYP provides teachers with opportunities to carry out assessments using tasks developed with a range of strategies and tools. In designing these tasks, it is essential that students be given adequate opportunities to show clearly what they can achieve in relation to the objectives of each subject group. Teachers must ensure that they assess their students’ performance fairly, fully and appropriately.

Using professional judgment

To determine the final level of achievement in each of the criteria for each student, teachers must gather sufficient evidence from a range of assessment tasks to enable them to make a professional and informed judgment. The judgments will reflect the teacher’s professional opinion on the achievement level of each student in each of the criteria at the end of the programme. In gathering the evidence for the judgment to be made, teachers will analyse the achievement levels of students over the course of the final school year, which represents their summative performance in the programme, paying particular attention to:

• patterns in the data, such as an increasing level of performance

• anomalous or unexpected achievement levels

• other influencing factors.

For example, a student working consistently at, say, level 4 will, in all probability, be awarded level 4 in the final assessment. If the student worked at level 4 and returned one performance of level 5, the teacher would need to decide whether level 5 truly reflected the level at which the student was performing at the end of the programme. If the teacher did not believe that level 5 was a true reflection of the student’s performance at the end of the programme, level 4 would be awarded. In another example, a student might have demonstrated an erratic performance over the assessment period, achieving a range of different levels for different tasks, for example, achieving 1, 8, 3, 4, 7 and 2 within a series of six assessment tasks. In this case, the teacher would look carefully at the individual student’s situation with regard to each assessment task.

Were there any mitigating circumstances at the time of any of the tasks that would render the level(s) invalid?

Does the student have special needs that were not catered for in particular tasks? Did the student have an inappropriate level of support (too much or too little) for any of the tasks?

What knowledge/concepts/skills has the student consistently demonstrated?

After answering these types of questions, the teacher would revert to the school-based holistic rubric (for years 1–4), or the published assessment criteria (for year 5) to make a best-fit judgment for that student. It is the teacher who, in the opinion of the IB, is best placed to judge which final level should be awarded. Ultimately, teachers will use the evidence provided in the student work to use a best-fit approach to make a final decision. They will then use a whole number to best describe the level achieved by the student.

During the formulation of school-wide agreements on assessment, which will in turn lead to an assessment policy supported by assessment procedures, teachers must come to a common agreement on how they will decide student levels. This is particularly important when student performance has been erratic.

Internal standardization

Where more than one teacher is teaching the same subject or subject group, the process of internal standardization must take place before final levels of achievement are awarded. The process involves teachers meeting to come to a common understanding on the criteria and levels of achievement and how they are applied. In so doing, teachers are increasing the reliability of their judgments. (The term “reliability” used here refers to the likelihood of two different assessors producing the same judgment. Clearly, internal standardization, if correctly carried out, can significantly increase the reliability of assessment.) It is recommended that teachers internally standardize right from the beginning of the school year, and at intervals thereafter, to ensure ongoing consistency.

Inappropriate practices

The final level of achievement will not be an arithmetical average of the summative performance scores over the year. To take the average score over the course of the year will not be a reliable measure of the student’s level at the end of the programme. Other inappropriate methods include the practice of awarding final levels, or even grades, determined by a proportion of classwork, homework and test scores. Achievement levels are described by whole numbers—fractions must not be used. Criterion-related assessment is based on descriptors of achievement and fractions of whole numbers are meaningless in this context.

Posted in Assessment, Moderation, Personal Project, Report writing, Reporting | Leave a comment

May News 2010

The Personal Project

  • Many thanks to the staff who supported the Personal Project Exhibition yesterday, the grade 10 students appreciated the interest shown in their work.
  • The Class of 2013 (grade 9s) has made a very good start with their personal projects- I would like to thank all supervisors for the time that you have taken to make this meaningful.
  • As I showed everyone at our last face to face meeting, apart from the Personal Project Site as the chief resource, each student is required to create the following three documents from Google Docs from the a/ google docs [Create New, Choose from Template]:
    1. Personal Project Planner (based on the MYP unit planner)
    2. Guide to the draft of the written report
    3. Personal Project timeline (spreadsheet)
  • In addition to these documents, students must also create either a Google Doc or Site for the process journal
  • All of the above documents must be shared with both the supervisor and me at
  • I have spent two English lessons with each grade 9 class, where I took them through the process of creating these documents.
  • Through focusing on getting students to use a significant concept  as the starting point, and through working through the very difficult questions in the PP Planner, we will be in an excellent position to produce the most MEANINGFUL personal projects yet.
  • I have found that it helps to ask “why?” to three responses from a student. For example, a student wishes to build a community library; I ask why? The reply is to bring literacy to a community; again I ask why? The reply is that it will develop critical thinking skills; I ask why? The reply is to help communities become self empowered participants in their political structures!

Interdisciplinary Unit Guide

The IB has published the long awaited MYP Guide to Interdisciplinary Teaching. This publication was written by Veronica Boix Mansilla, of Harvard’s Project Zero. It will be well worth our while to work through this lengthy guide.

Moderation for May 2011

As you are all aware, the process of preparing for moderation is a lengthy one. I strongly recommend that all grade 9 and 10 teachers begin looking at the moderation requirements for your subject now. In order to have a successeful moderation preparation period for May 2011, I strongly recommend the following steps:

  1. Save all tasks for all students in grade 10 electronically. Ideally, have the students use Google Docs.
  2. Where work is handwritten, have it scanned immediately after marking and save the PDF on your moderation site.
  3. Please note that absolutely NOTHING related to the MYP in anyway is to be found on the school server anymore. While no old moderation samples have been removed, they will be archived by the end of this school year. All up to date information is to be communicated here and on the respective google sites. There is a large group of teachers available to help you bring your technology skills up to date.
  4. I have already created the sites for the 2011 moderation sample, let me know if you would like access before the end of this academic year.
  5. At the back of each subject guide, you will find excellent advice for preparing your sample. I am happy to sit with anyone who would like clarification about any of these procedures.

New MYP Notes from IBCA

  • The MYP Coordinator Notes May 2010 has been published. A hard copy is on the board in the staffroom. A soft copy is available here and also on any page of the OCC for MYP.

The Areas of Interaction- now with dedicated sites

We have now created individual sites for each AOI. The idea is to promote everyone’s understanding of each AOI. The structure of each site follows the expected learner outcomes as published in MYP From Principles into Practice. In addition to the standard information about each AOI, we have begun a project to collect examples from the world around us of what each AOI looks like in action. I hope to see more and more contributions to these from colleagues and students.

These sites are included in the pages of Introduction to the MYP but are listed separately here for your perusal.

Approaches to Learning

Human Ingenuity

Health and Social Education

Community and Service


Determining a final grade

As we approach the end of the semester, it is worthwhile refreshing our memories of this information that is at the back of almost every MYP subject guide about making a final judgement. Even though this information refers to the end of the MYP, we apply this to the end of each year too.

When the judgments on the various tasks have been made, teachers will be in a position to establish a final profile of achievement for each student by determining the single most appropriate level for each criterion. Where the judgments for a criterion differ for specific assessment tasks, the teacher must decide which level best represents the student’s final standard of achievement.

Important: Teachers should not average the levels gained in year 5 for any given criterion. Students can develop academically right up to the end of the programme, and teachers must make a professional judgment (that is also supported by work completed) as to which level best corresponds to a student’s general level of performance for each of the criteria towards the end of the programme.

MYP Unit Planner

I have been experimenting with ways of sharing the unit plan with students. There is now a Template MYP unit planner on the school Google Docs. To access this template, open Google Docs,  select  CREATE NEW, scroll to the bottom of the drop down menu, choose FROM TEMPLATE. Then you will see a few BIS documents saved as templates. Select MYP UNIT PLANNER by clicking on “use this template” the document will open and be called “Copy of MYP Unit Planner”. Save the new document with your name and subject information.

As I use a google site for each of my classes, it is now easy simply to insert the unit plan into the page for that unit.

All grade 9 students know how to use templates as they have had to use several for the personal project.

Posted in Areas of Interaction, Determining a final grade, Interdisciplinary Units, Moderation, MYP Unit Planner | Leave a comment

MYP Update 23 March 2010

1. 2010 Moderation samples:

The deadline for completing these samples is 26 March 2010. I will be sending the links to our sites during the holidays. Please contact me if you have any difficulties with your samples. I would like to thank everyone for the time you have given in making these samples well presented.

A reminder that the purpose of moderation is twofold:

a. Our application of assessment criteria is commented on and adjust to ensure international standards.

b. The nature of the work we give students is commented upon to ensure that we allow students every opportunity of achieving at the highest possible levels.

Please double check to ensure that you have met the new requirement for this year: including the Unit Plans for the tasks submitted for moderation.

2. Introduction to the Personal Project for the Class of 2013:

14 April 2010 15:00-16:00 in the MPR

This will be when I will be introducing this project to the current grade 9 students. Their parents have also been invited to attend. Staff are cordially invited to offer your support. This is a very good way of familiarizing yourselves with all of the requirements of the project.

3. The Personal Project Exhibition will be a join exhibition again this year with the PYP Exhibition. This will take place on the 6 May. I would like to ask the supervisors of the Class of 2012 to support your students in ensuring that they have a presentation that beautifully reflects the work that they have done.

A reminder to Personal Project supervisors: we will write a formal report on the Personal Project for the grade 10 students in the Semester 2 final report, along with all their other subjects.

4. Please note that I will be out of school on Thursday and Friday as I will be attending the IBAP Regional Conference for Coordinators and Heads of Schools in Singapore. I will be back in Bali on Monday evening.

Once again, many thanks for your hard work this term.

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24 February 2010 News and Views

1. Additional requirement for submission of moderation sample: a copy of the unit planner/s supporting the work submitted.

2. New example unit planners for each subject area available on the Online Curriculum Centre/ Implementation of the Programme. If you don’t see the samples immediately under your subject area name, click on the + sign and all will be revealed. This is a powerful new resource! Please have a look as soon as possible as the OCC and all IB sites will be shut down from 26-28 February 2010 for vital maintenance.

3. New, additional teacher support materials for Language B teachers are now available on the OCC (released 23/02/2010).

4. Intercultural Understanding- Exploring Muslim contexts example MYP and PYP planners, example MYP and PYP planners. This new resource was developed by IB teachers in association with the Aga Khan Foundation. A number of subject areas, as well as interdisciplinary units are shared in this useful resource which is also available on the OCC under SUPPORT AREAS: the IB Continuum.

5. The very latest MYP Statistical Bulletin June 2009 has been published (June 2009), it makes for fascinating reading if you are interested in how many schools and languages and countries are involved, who moderates, which Language A sends the most moderation samples, which country has the most MYP schools etc.

Posted in Language B, Moderation, MYP Unit Planner, OCC, Teacher Support Materials | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Key MYP Events for Semester 2 (2009-2010)

1. Preparation of Moderation samples

If you are a grade 10 teacher, you should have been contacted by me about where you will be preparing your electronic moderation sample. Please ensure that you are familiar with your specific site and contact me for any support you may need.  DO not wait until close to submission deadlines to complete assembling your samples. For many subjects, you should have at the very least your first and hopefully second tasks done.

One of the many ways to access your moderation site is to find it on the school curriculum site:

Go to your respective subject/ Secondary school/Grade 10. At the top of the grade 10 page you will find a link to your subject’s moderation site.

As we are only submitting these samples electronically- not even a CD ROm in the mail, we must ensure that everything is in place before sending the links.

The final deadline for everything related to the moderation samples is 26 March 2010.

2. Personal Projects

FOUR important dates to note:

Students’ FINAL Submission of everything in perfect order  Monday 22 February 2010 (1 hard copy, one electronic copy- the project written statement MUST be on the official Google Docs site created for each student- their permission settings will be changed from Edit to View after this date).

SUPERVISOR completes assessment of project/s Monday 1 March 2010

ALL MYP teachers moderate Personal Projects in a special, catered,  meeting Thursday 4 March 2010

Supervisors ensure that F3.2 forms are completed, reflecting only the standardised grades and comments and are sent electronically to WP. 11 March 2010

3. Extending your professional experience in the MYP by becoming a moderator.

Here is an important message from Colette Crosbie, the MYP Assessment Manager

Dear MYP coordinator,

MYP coordinators are asked to bring this notice to the attention of subject teachers and personal project supervisors.

The IB is seeking applications from MYP teachers to become moderators in all subjects.

Experience of teaching the MYP in the final year of the programme is desirable.

Teachers appointed to become moderators will be invited to attend a two-and-a-half-day meeting, either in Madrid, 23-25 April, or in Bangkok, 30 April-2 May 2010, where training and standardization take place. All travel, accommodation and expenses will be covered by the IB.

Moderators are allocated samples of assessed work, which have been submitted by schools requesting IB-validated grades for their students. It is the moderators‚ responsibility to moderate the samples (usually no more than eight) and to write a report for each sample, which provides feedback to the school and IB personnel.

Interested teachers should contact their MYP coordinator in order to submit a C5 teacher recommendation form (via IBNET) attaching the teacher’s CV.

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Inspiration for Environments!

Once again, Maira Kalman is the source of my inspiration. Have a peak at her amazing blog.

Posted in Areas of Interaction, Environments | Tagged , , | Leave a comment