Posts Tagged ‘IB’

Genius Hour + IB = ?

By Kristina

Today at EdCamp Boston, I learned about Genius Hour from Daniel Welty (who led a lunch session about it). Genius Hour is inspired by Google’s “20% time” for employees to pursue projects that they are passionate about. For the classroom, students are challenged to explore a project, work on it in a set amount of time, and share it with the class or school. This enables students to take ownership of their learning and encourages a positive approach to learning, rather than the students trying to cheat their way through questions or teachers trying to catch students cheating their way through questions. For example, rather than a student simply Googling “why is ice slippery?” he or she could explore different theories and compare and contrast them.

Upon hearing about this, my ears perked up. As my school continues to get better at IB, the old structure of the day fits our academic needs less and less. For example, students and staff need the appropriate time and support for completing Personal Projects, Creativity, Action (soon to be changed to Activity), and Service Projects, and Extended Essays. All of these things can’t be accomplished in advisory periods, especially when students and staff don’t have strong processes in place for doing or guiding this type of self-directed learning.

I would love to see some Genius Hour time in our classes. As teachers, we often revert to the way we were taught. We’re used to structure and sometimes fear the unstructured. However, the unstructured time can enable some awesome learning (see also: EdCamp). Could this work for making an IB-for-all culture? I hope so.

For reference: #geniushour and Wikispace


IB markscheme

By Kristina

I’ve started giving students more IB exam problems so that they’ll be familiar with the problem format, wording, and content. I recently gave them a sequences and series one as a Do Now after they’d finished the unit. I told them to pretend as if it was a quiz so that they (and I) could see where they would stack up in a real IB problem situation. Similarly, I did not circulate to answer any questions (even clarifying ones), since I wanted to see if students would have any issues interpreting the directions.

My intern created a representative set of responses for us to bring to math team meeting, where I shared it with the 6th-11th grade math teachers. We are going to be sharing student work and IB rubrics over the coming year so that we are familiar with all levels of the curriculum.  We all graded the student work and shared how we graded. We had a hard time deciding how tough to be as graders on some of them!

Student #1

Student #2

Student #3

Student #4

According to the markscheme, how would you grade the four students?