G-Star IB News

February 2016

IB Juniors - Theory of Knowledge

This month, Mrs. Webber and her TOK classes are covering reasoning.

How can you incorporate this into your class?

Teachers can draw links between what they are teaching and logic. "We know this is true because when we use reasoning..." "Are there any logical fallacies in this author's argument?" "can you express this idea in a syllogism?"

Environmental Science and Societies

Mr. Adams and his classes are exploring food and water resources as well as global imbalances and scarcity, as well as carrying capacity.

His suggestions for incorporating his curriculum into your own:

Math: Global data analysis/graphing of water or food consumption. TOK: Is it ethical to waste food in one nation that could go to feed starving people in another?

History: Discuss historical food shortage events. Could talk about global relations and how they've become stressed as the effects of climate change increase.

IB Juniors - Film

Mrs. Tieche's students are working on "Self-Portrait’ productions. Memories can play a key role in creativity and the images, characters and stories in our minds can be the seeds for film ideas that are rich with personal spirit. Students learn the importance of “spending time” with their thoughts and creating a portrait of themselves for others to interpret. Up next: Soviet montage theory is an approach to understanding and creating cinema that relies heavily upon editing as montage is demonstrated in the majority of narrative fiction film today. A literal grammar of film; a semiotic understanding of film, a dialectic approach to film form and the production of films and how and under what conditions films were made around 1918. A quick peak at the history of film just after the Russian Revolution and just how crucial the importance of cinema was to Soviet leadership and filmmakers.

This presents opportunities for students to reflect on the impact of cinema on societies and the persuasive tactics used by world leaders.

IB Seniors - Film

Ask any senior in film what they learned most in film this year and time management will be a likely response. A three assessment parallel journey of research, production, writing, theories, analyzing, etc. in the preparation and production of their film assessments. February is the month for Valentine’s, but for film students it’s the beginning of the end as all three required film assessments converge in the final stages of production. Students have been working independently all year to prioritize, organize, and schedule diverse responsibilities and activities simultaneously. Their Oral Film Analysis Presentations begin February 12th, the deadline for their Independent Study Documentary script is due February 25th and their Production Portfolio is in post and due at the end of this quarter.

Enhanced organization can be integrated into any class by encouraging them to use their planners, Google calendar... across the board and continually using and referencing whatever system works for them.


Students in Mr. Tannen's Block 6 will be doing their required individual Internal Assessment investigation, which starts Feb 2 and will be completed by Feb 28. This investigation and report will represent 20% of their IB grade for this course.

Tannen asks that if a student requests your input and/or advise regarding their research project, to please feel free to help them but do not do any specific work on their behalf.

As for general advice, he suggests "Reading anything 5-6 times over an extended period will provide better retention of the information than trying to cram the material the day (or night) before. This is based on marketing research that demonstrates people retain what they see by the 5th or 6th time they are exposed to the material. Think about the ads you see on TV or your phone!"


This month, theatre students are focusing on collaboration.

The Collaborative Project is a way for students to take a starting point such as a book, theme, or event and by working in small groups, create a performance that addresses an idea inspired by the starting point. The students share all the responsibilities that go into making a performance piece, such as script writing and directing. Theatre students are assigned mini collaborative projects starting in Acting I. However, in order to get a stronger understanding on what goes into creating a successful devised theatrical performance, each group is required to reach out to a professional theatre company, like Labyrinth Theatre Company in NY, who specialize in devised/collaborative theatre. Some groups communicate through e-mail with the educational outreach department while others have been lucky enough to have a live chat, through phone calls or Skype with a company's director. This aspect allows the IB students to conduct an interview and learn some of the pitfalls the tips for successful collaboration the professional theatre company encounters while working on creating their performance pieces.

Collaboration Tip from Mr. Olson:

"One way I started out the school year was to tape a large piece of paper on the wall. Each student took time to list their approaches to theatre, experience and interest in what they still wanted to learn. Then, they added to other student's lists with qualities/talents they have noticed about each other. This aided the class in reflecting on which classmates would fit best while creating their groups for the collaborative project."

More Theatre news:

The Theatre Department's main stage production of Big Love, by Charles Mee open on February 10 and runs through the 19, with performances Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. An In - School show will be held on February 10 during 6th and 7th block. Tickets can be purchased in theTheatre Office, located in H Building. $12 for students and $15 for adults. On March 1, we will be presenting our annual I.E. Benefit Show at The Palm Beaches Theatre in Manalapan (former Plaza Theatre/Florida Stage) at 7pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door and beginning the week before in the Theatre Office.

IB Seniors - English

Ms. Snedeker's classes will be reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. They will be continuing to discuss themes of identity and the individual as they move to the second of four novels. With Things Fall Apart, they explore gender, familial heritage and traditions, colonization of Nigeria, language as communication and its effects, and societal change.

How can this be integrated into other subjects?

History: colonization and Imperialism especially in Africa. Questions regarding societal change and civilization vs. the deterioration of a culture.

Philosophy/TOK: What is civilized? There is a lot of exploration of tribal religion and practices clashing with western beliefs and practices. Any exploration of familial heritage and ancestral memory affecting the individual. Discussions about the ability of language to communicate.

Science: The development of language; communication of species(?)

Theater and Film: There have been both film and stage adaptations (The Roots have also have an album called Things Fall Apart in tribute to Achebe). Similar themes and the examination of them in different media would also be beneficial.

A note from Ms. Snedeker - The Woman, The Myth, The Legend:

"As we come closer to the end of the year and Papers, I implore all teachers to work with your students' writing. Please mark grammar and mechanical errors. Crack down on usage and awkward or informal writing even for handwritten informal assignments."


Later this month, Miss Fuller will be meeting with all seniors individually to formally mark their CAS as complete, or to give them the specific guidance needed so that they can finish before spring break. If you are a CAS supervisor, this is a great time to log in and give the feedback that they need. Sometimes a few words can go a long way to motivate and inspire a student to continue or complete activities.

Fuller will meet individually with juniors early next month, but overall they had a very strong start with their first six months of CAS.

We will be visiting New York City in September, and have many great fundraisers planned. Miss Fuller will be coaching students throughout the process as to how they will incorporate their efforts into CAS projects.


Seniors should be finishing their viva voces February 5. After that, supervisors will do the predicted grades and fill out the supervisors' reports, and then we'll be done with this round! Thanks to all of our EE supervisors for guiding our DP16 class through this process.

The juniors will be scheduling their first meetings with their supervisors soon, and Miss Fuller will be working with them to develop their research questions. Also, each student will be given an exemplar within their chosen subject to read and reflect upon. In the past, while all students have been given exemplars, few actually read them. Now, it will be for a grade, so hopefully they'll take the time to do so.