The Communicator

PYP and MYP Update

December 2016

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


How do you like the newsletter? What would you like to see in our next edition? Please share your feedback here!

The Learner Profile


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

Developing Critical Thinking Skills in your children

Think About It: Critical Thinking - a resource from Scholastic

The PYP at Peirce

Concept Based Learning in PYP

Purposeful, structured inquiry is a powerful vehicle for learning that promotes meaning and understanding, and challenges students to engage with significant ideas.

Use these concepts at home by asking the questions that go with them.


Function - HOW DOES IT WORK?



Causation - WHY IS IT LIKE IT IS?



Reflection - HOW DO WE KNOW?

Spotlight on IB

Kindergarten ended their How the World Works unit on Push and Pull by having their students participate in interactive inquiry centers around the concepts of change, function, and reflection.

Kindergarten's Current Unit

How We Express Ourselves

Central Idea: Celebrations and traditions are expressions of shared beliefs and values.

Key Concepts: Perspective, Form, Responsibility

Lines of Inquiry:

1. Why people celebrate

2. Features of traditions and celebrations

3. Symbolic representations of celebrations and traditions

How We Organize Ourselves - 4th Grade

Central Idea: Governments are organized to provide structure for groups of people.

Key Concepts: Form, Function, Responsibility

Related Concepts: Government, Representation, Cooperation, Freedom, Justice, Roles

Lines of Inquiry

1. Why governments are formed

2. The role of government in societies

3. The rights of people according to their governments

Learning a Language

From the PYP Language Scope and Sequence Document:

"Every learner benefits from having access to different languages, and, through that access, to different cultures and perspectives. Acquisition of more than one language enriches personal development and helps facilitate international-mindedness."

"Exposure to and experience with languages, with all their richness and diversity, creates an inquisitiveness about life and learning, and a confidence about creating new social interactions. Language provides a vehicle for learners to engage with the world and, in an IB World School, to relate to, and accepts, responsibility for the missing of the IB to 'help to create a better and more peaceful world.'"

Big image

Technology in the PYP

Information, Communication, Technology in the PYP encompasses the use of a wide range of digital tools, media and learning environments for teaching, learning and assessing. ICT provides opportunities for the transformation of teaching and learning and enables students to investigate, create, communicate, collaborate, organize and be responsible for their own learning and actions. ICT allows students to make connections and reach a deeper understanding of its relevance and applicability to their everyday lives. Through the use of ICT, learners develop and apply strategies for critical and creative thinking, engage in inquiry, make connections, and apply new understandings and skills in different contexts.

2nd Grade How the World Works Animations 2016

PYP Behind the Scenes

The PYP Behind the Scenes Tours have been extremely successful.

Check out the information that has been shared on the Peirce Website.

One constant that was discussed, was how it is difficult to get students to open up about what they are learning in school and how their day was. Check out this article on Edutopia - "15 Questions to Replace 'How Was School Today'."


4th Grade - Second Step - Monday, December 5th - 8:15-9:30

Kindergarten - Morning Meeting and Inquiry - Thursday, December 8th - 8:15-9:30

Look for more in the Spring!

The MYP at Peirce

Our Learner Profile Focus is on being KNOWLEDGEABLE!

We develop and use conceptual understanding, exploring knowledge across a range of disciplines. We engage with issues and ideas that have local and global significance.

Big image

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Turning Knowledge into ACTION! What can you do in the WORLD with what you are learning in the CLASSROOM?

Here's what MYP students will be learning this month...

Ms. Brugman- Language and Literature

Students in 2nd period will be performing their skits from Writer’s Theater; 3rd period will be completing To Kill a Mockingbird and constructing scrapbooks that tell the story from another character’s point-of-view; 4th period will conclude a two unit study on Civil Rights that included the Little Rock Nine, the Freedom Riders, and a graphic novel, March, by John Lewis

Mr. Skvarenina- Physical and Health Education

As the weather gets colder we will begin a focus on Health related topics.

In 6th, we will study Human Systems. Seventh grade will learn about Nutrition, and

8th graders will explore the FITT Principle.

Mr. Greenwell- Spanish

In 6th grade, students will be learning about how to describe ourselves and our friends.

In 7th grade, students will learn more stem changing verbs and talking about their community.

In 8th grade, students will learn about Argentina and technology. They will also augment their ability to talk about events in the past by learning more preterite tense verbs.

Seventh grade Native Spanish speakers will learn about preterite and imperfect tenses.

Eighth grade Native Spanish speakers will learn about Puerto Rico and continue to read literature and write in Spanish

Ms. Hopkins- Mathematics

This month, students will be designing stain glass windows using parallel and perpendicular lines.

Ms. Hernandez- Science

This month in Science, students will be considering whether an extinct species should be brought back to life as they examine fossils, consider the lines of evidence for evolution, natural selection, and the role of genetic mutations. Students will also evaluate the impact of humans on the extinction/evolution of species.

Ms. Keiner- Year 2 Math &Year 3 Science

The 7th grade is finishing their summative projects for their second math unit, “Find It”. Look for their stop motion animation videos that will teach students about the rules of integers on

Ms. Lawrenz- Year 2, Language and Literature

This December, classes will explore suspense in the short story Three Skeleton Key and analyze the effectiveness of literary devices in creating suspense. As we continue our work with Argument-Centered Education, students will participate in argument-based seminars to defend claims with evidence and reasoning

Ms Jetton- Year 1 & Year 3 Science

Sixth grade students started their 2nd unit, Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, An Exploration of Earth’s Systems. We will explore various systems on Earth and how they have changed the make-up of the Earth over time.

Eighth grade students are completing their unit on Chemistry and will be assessed at the end of November/beginning of December. Our next unit will focus on Energy.

Ms. Kerkstra- Year 1 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-Year 1, Language and Literature

The next novel that the 6th graders will begin reading is Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman. This nonfiction story dramatizes the major life and career events of the magician Harry Houdini. It details his meteoric rise as the world’s greatest illusionist and entertainer. Students’ will participate in class debates and complete their second argument essay.

Ms. Mangas- Years 1-3, Individuals and Societies

In sixth grade, students will continue their explorations of ancient civilizations. Currently the students are working on their final projects. They are using their research skills to choose an Ancient Egyptian Artifact, become an expert about it and ultimately recreate it. Moving forward, the students will be learning about Ancient Greece.

In seventh grade, students are currently in the unit, New World Meets Old World. They have been discovering how the Old World has impacted the creation of the New World. The unit will be wrapping up shortly, and students will begin working on their final papers.

Eighth grade students have just finished their Civil War Unit. The students will be working on their final papers and then moving on a unit on Reconstruction. Through the use of argument centered education, students will explore this topic.

Mr. Roche-Years 1-3, Diverse Learners

8th graders are really getting the hang of graphing equations and soon will be comparing two equations.

7th graders have been reading short stories to understand how to build suspense, how to build conflict, and how to build characters. We’ll be doing some creating writing soon!

Ms. Ferrand- Library

This month, we are launching our Chicago Public Library card campaign, encouraging students to begin using resources outside of the school library using the research skills they’ve learned at Peirce.

How did our MYP Teachers become so KNOWLEDGEABLE? What schools did they attend? What did they study?

Move Over, Science Fair.... Hello, Energy Fair !

In place of a traditional Science Fair, this school year, Peirce will host its inaugural Energy Fair.The Energy Fair will be held on Tuesday, February 28th from 4:30-6:30 PM . Students will be on hand to deliver presentations to inform the Peirce Community of energy sources currently available, and how these sources compare to one another. Students will also be identifying trade offs or advantages to using the energy source they have researched.

Field Trip Forecast

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

  • January 18-20, 7th graders will enjoy an outdoor education at the Lorado Taft Center on the campus of Northern Illinois University.

  • 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.

International Dance Night

Friday, Jan. 27th 2017 at 4:30pm

1423 West Bryn Mawr Avenue

Chicago, IL

Save the Date: International Dance Night is coming January 27th. Peirce Students and parents will have the opportunity to choose three different dance styles from around the world, from the plethora that will be offered by Perice students, teachers, and friends. There will also be a 50/50 raffle, t-shirts, and refreshments for sale. Cost of Admission

$3 for kids and $5 for adults. All proceeds benefit the Washington D.C.Trip Scholarships.

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