The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

The Current State of IB at Peirce

Primary Years Programme (PYP) - IB World School

Middle Years Programme (MYP) - IB World School - Evaluation Fall 2017 -

November 8-10 - Report to follow shortly

The Learner Profile Attributes

The Learner Profile Attributes



We use critical and creative thinking skills to analyse and take responsible action on complex problems. We exercise initiative in making reasoned, ethical decisions.



We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language an in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.

Let us know how you encouraged your child to be a THINKER, or any of the Learner Profile Attributes, by using the form at the bottom of the newsletter!


Exhibition Parent Information

See below for the powerpoint and handout from the Exhibition Parent Meeting that was held December 13, 2017. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Kimberly Lebovitz, PYP Coordinator.

The PYP in Pictures

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As a part of the music program, 3rd grade students get to learn the Ukulele.
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Students in 1st Grade inquired into things from then and now during their "Where We Are In Place and Time" unit. They created timelines of where they were then to now!


What is Action?

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What can you do to support action at Peirce?

We would love to know all of the great things that are happening out side of school. Use the questions and ideas below to help guide your children.

And then...

Fill out this form any time you see your child taking action based on their learning.

Peirce Student Action Form

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Have you looked at the Peirce PYP Documents lately?

Check them out on the Peirce Website!

You will find:

PYP Assessment Policy

PYP Language Policy

Peirce PYP Programme of Inquiry

Peirce Specialists Programmes of Inquiry

...And Much More!

The MYP at Peirce

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Read all about what the MYP did this December!

Ms. Hooper-MYP Year 3 Language and Literature & Individuals and Societies

In MYP Year 3, we have been working on symbolism and finding textual evidence to support our claims. Within the novel, The House on Mango Street, we have been close-reading and analyzing the text to be able to decode the author’s message. The students have been labeling symbols that are used in the text and using textual evidence to support their meaning. They have then incorporated this within their own writings. Students have been able to write about themselves and create their own symbols to represent their lives.

Learn more by visiting my class website. CLICK HERE.

Brian Girard -MYP Year 3 MATH

We’ve been working on…


Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in real-world and mathematical problems in two and three dimensions.

Students have been using area squares to pick up on patterns with right triangles and using it to solve real world problems.

Ms. Brugman- MYP Years 1-3 Physical Education & Health

MYP Year 1 students have learned the fundamentals of floor hockey and engaged in a multi-day tournament that has brought many smiles, shouts of excitement, and some groans in defeat. Students have worked on communication, an ATL for IB. They will be reflecting on their performance in regards to Criterion D which is Reflecting and Improving Performance. MYP Year 2 and 3 students have learned the fundamentals of basketball and also had a multi-day tournament. Both Year 2 and 3 were assessed according to Criterion C which is Applying and Performing.

Learn more by visiting my class website. CLICK HERE.

Ms. Chiang- MYP Year 2 Science & Design

We are wrapping up our human body unit! For our final project, 7th graders have chosen a research question that is personally meaningful to them. Questions students chose include how fast they ski, how they can become more flexible, or how they can solve Rubiks cubes faster. They will be collecting data on how they improve in these tasks over 10 days over winter break and coming back to share their findings with the class. Students will create a visual model to show how these activities affect their cells and how practice makes perfect on a cellular level.

Learn more by visiting my class website. CLICK HERE.

Ms. Kerkstra- Year 1 Mathematics

Students have been working on operations with fractions. They have been adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions. We are learning the real life context of these problems and how to tell the difference between fraction division and fraction multiplication.

Learn more by visiting my Google Classroom. Email me for access.

Ms. Ferrand- MYP Year 2- Individuals and Societies

MYP Year 2 I&S, students are working to develop strong persuasive skills using primary and secondary source data as we continue our study of American History, currently the causes and beginnings of the American Revolution and formation of a new nation called the United States.

Learn more by visiting my class website. CLICK HERE.

Erin Lenihan- Spanish MYP Years 1-3

MYP Year 1 students have been working with definite and indefinite articles in order to describe themselves and those around them. MYP Year 2 students have been working on around town vocabulary as well as some new verb conjugations. The goal for this unit is to be able to describe the places and activities around their own neighborhood. MYP Year 3 students have been continuing to work on the use of the preterite tense and have now covered all ar, er and ir verbs as well as a few “rule breakers”.

Our IAS class has been learning about the American Revolution and the events that led up to the creation of our country. We are excited to return after break to begin working on our So You Want to Be the President projects.

SS.CV.1.6-8.MdC: Describe the roles of political, civil and economic organizations in shaping people’s lives. SS.CV.1.6-8.MC: Evaluate the powers and responsibilities of citizens, political parties, interest groups, and the media.

Ms. Hopkins- MYP Year 3 Science

Students have continued their work on the unit, “What’s the Matter?” (MS-PS1 Matter and Its Interactions) which introduces materials science and the basics of chemistry to our Year 3 students. Students are exploring the connection between the chemical makeup of materials and their uses, as well as their environmental impact. We have been moving from our exploration of elements and the periodic table to looking at polymers and e-waste. We’ll continue this exploration and look at how we can make responsible decisions about materials in everyday life using our understanding of chemistry and the life cycle of products (IB Criterion D: Reflecting on the impacts of science).

Learn more by visiting my class website. CLICK HERE.

Mr. Rossiter- MYP Year 2 Math


Solve word problems leading to equations of the form px + q = r and p(x + q) = r, where p, q, and r are specific rational numbers.


Solve word problems leading to inequalities of the form px + q > r or px + q < r, where p, q, and r are specific rational numbers.

In preparation for our summative assessment, students are working on how to solve equations and inequalities so that they can create their own problem puzzle. This necessary for students to have fluency in solving multi-step equations.

Learn more by visiting my class website. CLICK HERE.

Laura Migas-Dance MYP Years 1-3

In dance, students are learning how different dance styles take similar movements and manipulate the dance elements in order for that step to fit the desired styles. They are also working on how to create short movement sentences that are created through their prior and current dance/movement knowledge and then manipulated using different elements and genres. We have also been learning a dance combination that challenges the students to see how movements can be used in hip hop, jazz and/or ballet.

International (Global) Mindedness & Service as Action

Two big components of our Middle Years Programme here at Peirce are promoting International Mindedness and Service as action. International-mindedness is a view of the world in which people see themselves connected to the global community and assume a sense of responsibility to its members (from Classroom Culture, Jan.2017).

Service as Action is when apply what they are learning in the classroom and beyond. IB learners strive to be caring members of the community who demonstrate a commitment to service—making a positive difference to the lives of others and to the environment (from

Here's how students at Peirce are demonstrating International Mindedness and Service as Action!

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All of our MYP Year 1 students are thinking globally about how we are impacting the environment and causing landslides. They are exploring and finding ways in which to solve the problem, and advocate for change.

Samantha Becker was inspired about what she was learning in Science, and is starting a recycling club at our school.

Lagos Garcia is globally minded because he is constantly thinking of how history relates to situations that exist in our current global environment. He also understands how American policies can have a global impact and what we can do to inflict real change in our world. Our class is lucky to have his perspective on a daily basis!
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Amelia Harding, Marlene Benitez, Stephanie Torres, and Christine Fabian examined bivariate data with the intention to impact the world beyond Peirce. This group created a model that examined the correlation between state education expenditures per capita and state GDP per capita, after making a prediction, students shared this information with the governor of Mississippi.

There will be MYP Year 2 students working with 4th grade students in January during their basketball unit. They will be working with small groups to help with fundamental basketball skills.

On an RTI note, Emilia Mladjan, Isabel Korte, Luz Valenzuela., Phin Merrill, Kody Carro, Elliott Topp, and Ethan Stark have all been working with individual English Language Learners or reading with younger students the last twenty minutes of each day. The program is just up and running, but we look forward to seeing our 7th graders helping other students throughout our school!.

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Gavin Plahutnik and Nathan Wong want to bring health and fitness to the Peirce community by filming group led workouts for our school community. The boys are part of the Panther Media Group and decided that they would like to show healthy fast workouts as service to our students. Gavin shared “maybe people will be healthy and live longer if they work out. They can show their friends what they learn and their friends can be healthy too”. Nathan wants people to be healthy because “when people work out it makes them feel good and happy”. With their little media two minute workout these boys are trying to serve the Peirce community by bringing healthy habits and happiness to our school at large.
Rachel Nguyen and Sydney Hoppenworth created a model that modeled minimum wage by state and GDP per capita and then used that information to write a letter to Bruce Rauner. See it here! Both projects were outstanding and highlighted our global mindset.
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Our 7th grade human body experts designed lessons to share their knowledge of how our bodies work with younger students. Students partnered up with 1st, 3rd and 6th grade classrooms and got to be teachers for a day! They chose their lesson objective, planned their activities and designed an assessment to measure the success of their lesson.

Amaia Gutierrez, Mila Rolon, Ingrid Vinalay and Nayetzi Platon taught a wonderful lesson to 6th graders about the components in our blood and what they do for our body. They used homemade slime to represent plasma, orbies to show red blood cells and various round objects to show white blood cells and platelets. Both the 6th and 7th graders had a blast learning from this hands-on science activity!

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While many students have demonstrated global-mindedness as they considered the topic of e-waste and its financial and environmental impacts on developing countries in particular, Marlene Benitez and Amelia Harding articulated both the risks and benefits particularly well. They were able to recognize that recycling e-waste does create jobs and opportunities, but also presents challenges in terms of regulation and handling toxicity and environmental harm.

Hieu Do took it a step further to include a call to action in his response to reading about waste from electronics such as computers and cell phones.

“I think that this problem still needs a lot of time to find the best solution, so each of us should be conscious of using them thriftily, without wasting them to protect our planet!”

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Muriel Briggs-Scalzo compared the treatment of Native American tribes by the British Army and colonists with the current treatment of Native Americans in Utah (and elsewhere) by the President of the United States. She drew stark similarities to the disparit power dynamic and viewpoints of the historic people and those of today.
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Washington D.C. Fundraising

This year, Peirce is looking to raise $11,500 in scholarship money to help students in Year 2 and Year 3 go to Washington D.C this coming May. So far we have raised a little over $300.00. Here are some ways that you can help us reach our goal!!!

  • PEIRCE SWAG for sale. T-shirts available for $10! Drawstring Bags for $3. Pick -up yours at Report Card Pick-Up!
  • If neither of the options described above appeal to you, you can always make a donation in the Peirce Main Office. No amount is too small and every contribution gets us a little closer to our goal.

    Make checks payable to HELEN C. PEIRCE school of International Studies, and on the memo line, indicate "D.C. TRIP".

International Dance Night: Thursday, January 25, 2017, 4: 30-6:30 PM

Plans are in the works for the second International FAMILY Dance Night at Peirce. This year’s Dance night will include an International Foods Tasting, to take place in the Lunchroom/MPR, where beverages will be available for purchase. The idea is to have numerous dance classes offered throughout the building, in three different blocks of time. We need volunteers to support us in the following ways:

  • Volunteers to teach dance classes and recruit dance teachers (students and/or adults)

  • Volunteers to donate and/or help sell beverages.

  • Volunteers to help with set-up & breakdown of the event

Want to help? Sign-Up HERE!

Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies

Kimberly Lebovitz - PYP Coordinator


Dr. Talyia Eve Riemer - MYP Coordinator