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

The Learner Profile

MAY: Balanced

We understand the importance of balancing different aspects of our lives - intellectual, physical, and emotional - to achieve well -being for ourselves and others. We recognize our interdependence with other people and with the world in which we live.

Inquiry in the Primary Years Programme

Gearing up for Exhibition

The students are in the beginning stages of inquiring into their exhibition topics. They have begun to meet with their mentors and creating questions that will take them into a deeper inquiry of their central idea:

Economics contribute to personal and societal decision making.

Below you will find the documents that the students are working with to support their inquiries.

Do you have a resource that connects to the central idea (above), or the topics (below)? If so, contact Mrs. Lebovitz, PYP Coordinator, at We would love to have you involved.

Check out all of the exciting topics!




Trafficking (1)

Trafficking (2)


Violence (1)

Violence (2)






Environment (1)

Environment (2)



Child Homelessness

Disease (1)

Disease (2)

Rights (1)

Rights (2)

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According to the IB "The key aim of collaboration is to fuse knowledge from a number of different disciplines and engage with stakeholders in the process of generating knowledge." And "through sustained collaboration, members of the learning community develop:

openness towards other perspectives;

engagement with ideas different to one's own;

respect for the contribution of their subjects to the inquiry;

appreciation for rigor in debate and discussion;

appreciation for collective interpretation and reinterpretation of knowledge

Here at Peirce we do this in a variety of ways. Below are two examples of current collaboration practice to enhance the learning of all students.

4th and 8th Graders explore Pilsen for Spanish classes

1st and 6th Graders explore geology to support inquiries in Science and Literacy

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Support for Inquiry at Home

Do you know how to use SOAR (the Online Library System)?

Your children do! So have them teach you, or use these two pieces of information to learn more!


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How can you support inquiry at home?

Ask about what your child is learning in class - "Here are 30 Questions to Ask Your Kid Instead of How Was Your Day."
  • Support and encourage interest and curiosity by following up with activities at home.
  • Encourage and practice good communication skills such as starting conversations and debates about current events.
  • Help your kids develop research skills online and from text.
  • Enjoy building projects together in the home.

Here are "50 Fun Questions to Get Your Kid Talking"

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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Career Day at Peirce was held on April 12, 2019. On that day, 35 professionals representing a wide variety of career fields came in to share with our students information about their work. Here are a pictures of a few of our distinguished guests:

Learner Profile Focus: RISK TAKER

MYP teacher, Mariel Frauenheim on being a RISK-TAKER:

I think I am a risk-taker. I moved to Spain, alone, to teach in a public school for a year. One month after, I traveled to Israel, alone for weeks, because I wanted to visit the place where my relatives lived and I wanted to learn Hebrew and experience more of my culture. I worked for 5 years to save enough money to afford the travels and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

I also moved to Chicago, without knowing anyone except my fiance, and I can safely say that taking these risks to travel have taught me more than I ever imagined possible. I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to travel because experiencing different cultures causes you to be open-minded and challenges you to be open to new experiences and perspectives, as well as meeting new people.

Photos of my experiences in Spain, all with fellow teachers!

Here's the Scoop on Specials at Peirce

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During 2nd semester this year our MYP students got to sign up for elective classes in the Creative Arts. We are piloting this program this year with full implementation expected next year. Students went to their elective class every other day during the quarter. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both students and teachers!

Here are the classes that we offered during 3rd quarter in addition to Physical Education and Spanish:

MYP YEAR 1 STUDENTS : Mixed Media (visual art); Animation (computer-based visual art); Acting & Improvisation (performing art);

MYP YEAR 2 STUDENTS : Mixed Media (visual art); Canva Graphic Design (computer-based visual art); Soundtrap (computer-based music); Acting & Improvisation (performing art);

MYP YEAR 3 STUDENTS : Mixed Media (visual art); Soundtrap (computer-based music); Acting & Improvisation (performing art);

For 4th quarter, here are the classes being offered:

MYP YEAR 1 STUDENTS : Sculpture 3D (visual art); Animation (computer-based visual art); Soundtrap (computer-based music);

MYP YEAR 2 STUDENTS : Sculpture 3D (visual art); Canva Graphic Design (computer-based visual art); Soundtrap (computer-based music); World Percussion (performing art);

MYP YEAR 3 STUDENTS : Sculpture 3D (visual art); Soundtrap (computer-based music); Art Rage (computer-based visual art); Vocal Production (performing art);

Acting & Improvisation- Mrs. Brooke Thompson

Students in MYP Years 1-3 were able to choose this elective during 3rd quarter. In this class we engaged in activities that got us to think quickly on our feet, listen closely to others and react appropriately in an improvisation setting. The students enjoyed the challenges that were presented and got to be really creative. It was a joy to teach this class!


Students have been working on improving their cardiovascular endurance this month. Students have been learning how to jump rope and have been incorporating their skills with jump rope games. Keep encouraging students to jump rope, if they have one available at home. Students have improved, but practice makes perfect. Students also have a 5 minute cardiovascular run. Based on their number of laps, students right their name on the poster and will look on improving their score.

Lastly, 4th grade has been working on our bowling unit, and on March 22nd they used their skills for our bowling field trip at Diversey Bowl. Students have worked on how to hold the ball correctly, using a pendulum arm to keep the ball straight, and taking a one step approach with the correct foot in front. I am excited for the field trip and the students should have a blast

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PYP Spanish- Mrs. Marisela Sandoval

This quarter in PYP Spanish:

Kindergarten and First Grade students worked in a human body unit named “Our body and Senses”

They learned body parts in the target language. They studied how to formulate questions about injuries and respond to them. Students also explored their senses and learned them in Spanish. We reviewed colors, numbers from 11-100 as well as days of the week and months of the year.

2nd grade students are focusing on a unit titled La Casa. Students will provide information about their home in a project planned for May 6, 2019. They have been learning about different rooms of the house in the target language. They learned how to use verb haber, writing simple sentences. Students will describe their favorite room in the house using adjectives. In addition, they will compare homes from Latin-American countries and homes in Chicago

3rd grade students are learning about “actividades y pasatiempos” hobbies & activities. They learned how to read about activities people like and dislike doing in the target language. They participated in conversations expressing their likes and dislikes. They learned how to describe favorite activities and ask others about theirs. They practiced how to conjugate “gustar” singular, using subject pronoun “yo” which takes the place of indirect subject pronoun “me”

4th grade students are currently working on a unit titled “Para mantener la salud” staying healthy. They are having conversations about healthy food choices. They are learning how to express food preferences healthy and unhealthy lifestyles in the target language. They will learn how to describe meals that are healthy and compare healthy foods with unhealthy food. They will make food Pyramid and write a healthy recipe to do in class.

PYP & MYP Art - Mrs. Alicia Zapata

Last Quarter, MYP YEAR 1 STUDENTS learned about the artistic movement of surrealism and created surrealistic landscapes and drawings.

For fourth quarter students will be focusing on sculpture. We will be creating work out of recycled objects.

MYP YEAR 2 STUDENTS during 3rd quarter learned about how light and shadow works to create depth in two dimensional space.

MYP YEAR 2 STUDENTS also learned about perspective and created tape murals to demonstrate their understanding of how perspective works in a two-dimensional work of art.

During fourth quarter MYP YEAR 2 STUDENTS will focus on sculpture. Our units will be ceramics and mask making.

MYP YEAR 3 STUDENTS during 3rd quarter learned about stained glass from all over the world and designed and created their own mandalas.

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Eighth grade also experimented with tessellations. They created and designed their own tessellations and drew them out.

For fourth quarter, eighth grade will also be focusing on sculpture. Students will be learning relief sculpture and also creating three dimensional works out of found objects.

All MYP art classes will be working on the bricolage starting at the end of April.

PYP & MYP Spanish - Ms. Lenihan

This quarter MYP year 1 students learned about school schedules and how to describe what they do in each of their classes. Students started forming longer sentences and even paragraphs by learning the -AR verb conjugations.

MYP Year 2 students continued their work with verb “rule breakers” or verbs that change spelling. We are also working on a unit on “fiestas” in which students plan a hypothetical party for their family and friends.

MYP Year 3 students have continued working on speaking in the past tense. They just completed a research project in which they talked about a fictional vacation that they took to a Spanish speaking country. The students really enjoyed learning about other countries.

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MYP Year 3 students have continued working on speaking in the past tense. They are currently working on an advertisement campaign for a technology company which requires them to describe the company in both the present and past tense.

PYP ART- Mrs. Meredith Buchbinder

This quarter 4th grade students are old enough to work on the Bricolage that we will be working on during the school day! We will be putting it up by the playground, so start looking for the work that students will be doing using tiles, mortar, and grout.

3rd grade is working on learning about abstract art and we are starting to research other cultures and patterns that are a part of different cultures.We will be doing a collage once we learn how to create the patterns.Students will also be working on what the difference is between representational art and abstract art, so make sure and talk to your children to see if they can tell you in their own words what the differences and similarities are!

2nd Grade students are studying ballet in Dance class, and are currently doing a transdisciplinary unit in which they take the ballet positions and poses that they learned to create ballet flip books and stop motion animation using the figure drawings they have drawn.

1st Grade students are continuing their exploration of color theory by creating color wheels where they mix the oil pastels to create secondary colors and then come up with a creative background for their wheels.

Kindergarteners are circling back to self portraits. Students develop so many skills during kindergarten and now they can put all of the elements they learned about (color, shape, line, texture, form, space, and value) together in a life size self portrait! This is a transdiciplinary unit where they are using their knowledge about the human body to draw their masterpieces!

Mrs. Moritz- PYP & MYP Dance

Last quarter marked the shift of dance classes from MYP to PYP students. Kindergarteners have just finished up learning about the major bones in their bodies, along with exploring how to move using specific body parts. Using the elements of dance to create line dance variations has captured the hearts of the first graders. Second and third graders have begun to work on their choreography for spring concert (second graders utilizing their freshly developed body alignment and ballet knowledge, third graders tippity tapping along in their tap shoes). Choreography devices have taken over and led our fourth grade learning, with small group exploration projects being the basis of our learning.

Join us at the spring concert on May 3rd to watch 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade dance classes perform, along with ASAS performance groups!

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Mr. Leighton- MYP Physical Education and Health

This past quarter our first unit focus was Team Handball. Basketball was our second unit focus of the quarter. For quarter four, we will focus on outdoor leisure activities such as: Frisbee, wiffle ball, kickball.
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Happy Times at Hopleaf!

As a follow up to his Career Day visit, Mr. Michael Roper, Owner and General Manager at Hopleaf Restaurant opened his doors to a small group of MYP Students who selected Culinary arts and Hospitality as their number one career choice. In addition to providing a behind the scenes tour of his kitchen, coolers, water filtration system and solar panels, Mr. Roper treated the students to a delicious lunch "on the house". Thank you, Mr. Roper & staff!
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Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies

Kimberly Lebovitz - PYP Coordinator


Dr. Talyia Eve Riemer - MYP Coordinator


For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit