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10th grade graduation?

International Baccalaureate (IB) schools have a different structure than most schools in the states.

  • Early Years Program (EYP grades K-5)

  • Middle Years Program (MYP grades 6-10)

  • Diploma Program (DP grades 11-12)

The DP program is serious business. It feels like an all encompassing Advanced Placement program that covers a wide variety of subjects and and ends in a huge battery of tests.

Students at the end of the MYP complete a large project. The school celebrates this day by having students present their projects to the school and community. Just outside my classroom on the fourth floor right now all the 10th graders are dressed formally standing with their projects. All day long younger students get to see what sort of projects the 10th graders completed.

Later tonight parents and the larger community will come in to see what students did for their projects. Having the adults later will be nice for the parents, but letting all the younger grade students see examples year after year is a very cool idea. The younger students were excited and it was awesome to see all my 10th graders shine getting to talk about things they were passionate about.

These 10th graders had to complete their project and a paper detailing all their steps.

  • Learning goals

  • Action plan and timeline

  • Journal of their process

  • Final reflection

  • Final product

The topics ranged from food topics to mental health to art to fashion. Here were some of my favorites. Helen and Amy both produced a book. Like, an actual hard cover book. Helen's was a bilingual children's book about going to the dentist. The story in in the book with both English and Chinese on every page. Amy's book is about anxiety and depression. Amy did all her own artwork and the story details her own personal struggles.

Alex did a GarageBand project with a baseball bat hitting random objects. Yuna collected data on sex education opinions. Here's here a link if you care to participate. Who will answer "perfect"? Hmmm.

And then there's my favorite project. Roxanna made her own dress. She had several other designs and was excited about creating some of the others in the future. She went to a clothing manufacturing location here in China and learned a lot about the business and having your ideas come to fruition. I really liked the roses. Super cool.

There was an enormous variety of other projects. Saarvi made her own online game while learning to code in both HTML and Java. Andrew created a website from scratch about healthy eating including recipes. He was able to tie his website into a much larger website with an enormous database of recipes.

Okay. Graduation? This project is the culmination of their MYP experience. There's a large ceremony for them just like high school graduation as they enter the DP program next year. I have to admit, DP feels a lot more like college than high school so I guess this being the culmination of a high school experience seems about right.

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Amazing stuff!! Puts what we do to shame! Love how individualistic it is, truly letting them explore their own interests.

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