The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update


The Current State of IB at Peirce

Primary Years Programme (PYP) - Candidate School - Authorization Visit Spring 2017

**The Application for Authorization has been ACCEPTED! The Verification Visit will be scheduled for the late spring. Dates will be forthcoming. **

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


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The Learner Profile


We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.

Alimentamos nuestra curiosidad, habilidades para la investigación y la investigación en desarrollo. Sabemos cómo aprender de manera independiente y con los demás. Aprendemos con entusiasmo y mantenemos nuestro amor por el aprendizaje durante toda la vida.


Spotlight on IB

Student Led Conference Success in Kindergarten through 5th Grades!

The PYP at Peirce

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Transdisciplinary Learning

With a transdisciplinary approach, students are able to explore concepts that transcend a particular subject area, in turn allowing them to acquire skills in context and make authentic connections to construct their knowledge.

Understanding the Concept of Movement

The 2nd Grade PYP Students learned about the concept of movement during 1st Quarter in the Dance, Visual Arts, and PE classes.

In Dance the students studied ballet, and learned different ballet positions. They had to understand the movement and placement of each body part for the different positions.

In Visual Arts the students studied the artist Keith Haring, and learned how he used movement to create different artworks. The students used the ballet positions they learned in dance and created their own life sized Keith Haring inspired artworks.

In Physical Education the students studied movement, and learned how to create a sequence of movements. They used the Keith Haring inspired artworks, and the ballet positions they learned develop sequences. These sequences of movements were then demonstrated using an app called LightBomber.

Arts Partnerships

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2nd Grade Arts Partnership with CAPE

Arts Partnerships and PYP Transdisciplinary Themes

Kindergarten - Music Institute - Sharing the Planet

1st Grade - Raven Theater - How We Express Ourselves

2nd Grade - Dream Big and CAPE - Where We Are In Place and Time

3rd Grade - Lookingglass Theater - How We Express Oursleves

4th Grade - Barrel of Monkeys - How We Express Ourselves

5th Grade - Giordano Dance - Who We Are

The MYP at Peirce

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: How were you an Inquirer during the Month of October?

What's new for November, MYP???

Ms. Brugman- Language and Literature

Right now, students are glued to our class texts, either Warriors Don’t Cry, a memoir from one of the Little Rock 9 who integrated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, or The Circuit, a memoir from a child of migrant workers in California during the 1940s. We are working on reading strategies, reviewing literary devices and vocabulary, and practicing Cornell Notes while also analyzing related historical documents.

Next, students will read The House on Mango Street and work with our cooperating partner, Writer’s Theater. Students will work individually and with a group to dramatize their writing and perform for an audience.

Mr. Skvarenina- Physical and Health Education

In November, students will complete second quarter fitness testing and see how much they have grown, then students will move into invasion games unit. It gives them a chance to use all the fitness training we have done so far and apply it to a game setting. Students will learn about time and space as it applies to sports.

Mr. Greenwell- Spanish

For November, sixth grade students will be learning about school in Mexico. They will learn about present tense verbs and talk about their classes.

Seventh grade students will continue their investigation into learning about Spain by discussing community activities and stem changing present tense verbs.

Eighth grade students will continue to learn about leisure activities and the Dominican Republic. Students will deepen their understanding of past tense actions by learning irregular verb forms and expanding their discussion of events in the past.

Ms. Hopkins- Mathematics

This month, students in 8th grade will use linear equations and systems of linear equations to represent, analyze, and solve a variety of problems. Students will also be required to recognize equations for proportions (y/x = m or y = mx) as special linear equations (y = mx + b).

Ms. Hernandez- Science

We are currently exploring the concept of ecosystems in the 7th grade, specifically focusing on introduced versus invasive species. Students have begun to classify what makes a species invasive to an environment. In 8th grade science we have begun our unit on Chemistry and are exploring the periodic table. We will also be evaluating how we select sources, and what makes a source credible in both 7th and 8th grade sciences.

New for November, in 7th grade we move through our understanding of invasive species we will be identifying a specific species to study and create a wanted poster that includes characteristics, environmental impacts, and location. In 8th grade science we will begin the Chemistry unit and explore the periodic table in the upcoming weeks. Students will garner new understanding of how chemistry impacts our world.

Ms. Keiner- 7th Grade Math & 8th Grade Science

Students shared their summative assessment math stories with first graders and reflected on their experiences in the weeks of October. Seventh graders are now focused on our negative and positive integer unit, “Find It” and its final project. Look for their stop motion pictures that explain negative and positive integers coming at the end of November/beginning of December. All summative assessments will be posted on

Ms. Lawrenz- Language and Literature

In seventh grade, talent and creativity were on display as students shared original work and read classic poems at the middle school poetry slam during Family Literacy Night. In language arts classes, students are building arguments by using claims, text evidence and reasoning. Classes will have argument-based seminars and write argument essays in the upcoming quarter.

Ms Jetton- Science

Students are completing their end of unit assessment on a Space topic of their choice. They will present their discoveries next week! In November, we will begin our second unit, Ch-Ch-Changes that focuses on the various systems of Earth, and how these systems are continually changing the Earth.

Ms. Kerkstra- Mathematics

We’ve just finished our first unit and we are now moving into our second unit called “Wrap It Up, I’ll Take It!” Students will be working with fractions, ratios and percents. Students are encouraged to discover how these skills are all around us on a daily basis!

Students put a ton of time and effort into their first summative assessment - thanks to all those who went above and beyond to share information on their favorite number! Come check out all the great posters and essays in Room 303.

Ms. Puente- Language and Literature

We have completed our summative assessment of an argument essay. It was very challenging to write but at the same time very rewarding. New for November, we will soon be conducting Desktop Debates using all the research we collected in class from the summative assessment. I am very proud of the amazing writing the students produced.

Additionally, all the 6th graders have been working hard to become more self-driven and self directed. The one and most important way is through their agendas. While there are some that still need our support most of the students have demonstrated excellent self management skills. Go IB!

Ms. Mangas- 6th -8th Grade Humanities

This month in 6th Grade, students are finishing their summative assessment essays. We have begun Unit 2: Ancient Egypt. Students will be exploring the culture, customs, and politics of that ancient civilization, Seventh grade students are well into their 2nd unit: Exploring the Beginnings of the New World. In eighth grade, we will spend the month of November working our way through the Civil War. We are exploring many different sources and a multitude of perspectives as they learn.

Mr. Roche-

Eighth graders are going to learn to solve multi-step equations.

Seventh graders will be reading some short stories that focus on tone and mood.

Get to know our MYP Teachers & The BOOKS they LOVE !

Field Trips on the Forecast

  • The sixth graders will be heading out to Indiana to explore the Dunes Nature Center February 2-3, 2016.

  • 7th graders will enjoy an outdoor education at the Lorado Taft Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Date TBA

  • On Friday, June 9th, 7th graders will also be visiting our Springfield during the third quarter to learn more about the history and government of the state of Illinois.

  • Both 7th and 8th graders will invited to attend Peirce School's trip to our Nation's Capital, Washington, DC from May 10-12, 2017.

Fundrasing: Support needed

To help defray some of the cost of the DC trip ($1189 per student), and to enable us to offer full and partial scholarships for students, fundraising effort are currently underway. In the meantime, you can donate to our DC Trip fund by writing a check to Peirce School, and dropping it off in the main office. Every little bit helps.

For questions, contact Talyia Riemer, IB MYP Coordinator @ (773)534-2440.

Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies

Kimberly Lebovitz - PYP Coordinator


Dr. Talyia Eve Riemer - MYP Coordinator


PYP Disclaimer for Being A Candidate School in the International Baccalaureate

Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies is a candidate school* for the Primary Years Programme. This school is pursuing authorization as an IB World School. These are schools that share a common philosophy—a commitment to high quality, challenging, international education that Peirce Elementary School believes is important for our students.

*Only schools authorized by the IB Organization can offer any of its four academic programmes: the Primary Years Programme (PYP), the Middle Years Programme (MYP), the Diploma Programme or the Career-related Programme (CP). Candidate status gives no guarantee that authorization will be granted.

For further information about the IB and its programmes, visit