A Monday Enrichment Program for our middle school students allows teachers a precious hour to talk. This term students are baking, dancing, learning first aid, catching up on homework or catching up on sleep!

Collaboration among teachers is an important practice that enhances learning for middle school students and teaching practices for teachers. There are many articles and studies that support this and we are pleased that we have made collaboration a priority this year. Here is a sampling of our topics addressed in these first few months:

  • Authentic tasks – read and discussed an article about authentic tasks and evaluated and improved our own
  • MAP results – an in depth look at the test results of all students to identify where we can differentiate learning
  • Professional Development recap and resource sharing
  • Department grouping to align scope and sequence

At one of our last gatherings, IPS teacher and MYP Coordinator, Charlotte led us in an activity looking at Global Contexts which guide units in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB-MYP). In partners from different subject areas, we looked at the same photo (kids playing soccer on a dirt field) and came up with key and related concepts and a global concept to create a statement of inquiry. After that, she challenged us to pick a new global context and write another statement of inquiry. The goal of this activity was to show how important a global context is to the direction and focus of a unit.

Head of school, Scott and Charlotte brought this activity to the IB-MYP information night for parents and had the parents do the same exercise. This insight into the planning behind each unit was a definite eye opener and helped parents understand what it is their children are talking about!

Jennifer Henrichsen,

IPS Teacher and Assistant Head of School