What is an International Baccalaureate® World School?
Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate® (IB) is a non-profit educational foundation offering four highly respected programmes of international education that develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills needed to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world. Schools must be authorized, by the IB organization, to offer any of the programmes and be recognized as an IB World School. Robert E Lee Elementary has gone through a rigorous years-long authorization and certification process and we expect to be fully accredited by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
What IB Programme is Offered at RE Lee Elementary?
RE Lee Elementary has integrated IB PYP. The International Baccalaureate® (IB) Primary Years Programme prepares students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom. Lean more about IB PYP HERE.
What is Different About IB Education?
IB PYP (International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program) is based on connecting information being studied to a culture of transdisciplinary themes. Each 6 weeks curriculum is based around a certain theme: Who we are, Where we are in space and time, How we express ourselves, How the world works, How we organize ourselves, and Sharing the planet.
Every subject studied during those 6 weeks should connect back to the central theme of those 6 weeks. Subjects are taught in a single classroom with emphasis on integration of material rather than separate math, science, social studies, & writing classes. Lee teachers participate in whole school planning to make sure that all classes themes align with the focus for that 6 weeks.
Each grade level focuses on certain learner profile traits, emphasizing 1 or 2 at a time. The profile aims to develop learners who are: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-minded, Caring, Risk-takers, Balanced, & Reflective. You can read more about the IB learner profile HERE.
The main goal of IB is to develop self-sufficient, international minded students. Students are encouraged to be aware of what is happening to them in their lives and how their decisions affect others in other parts of the city, country, and the world. As well as to develop skills for independent inquiry and self-assessment.
What Does IB at Lee Look Like?
Teachers teach the same curriculum that the state requires, the main difference is the way that it is planned out and taught throughout the year. All of their learning relates back to the transdisciplinary theme and each classroom is self-contained, meaning that the same teacher has the same group of students all day long. Instruction will be more project based, theme-based learning rather then standardized lectures & memorization. The teacher’s role is more of a facilitator than solely an instructor. Inquiry based learning encourages students to ask questions and seek their own answers. Want students to learn, then ask questions, then reflect back and say why.
What Does PYP Look Like in the Classroom?
More community service and outreach, figuring out what is going on in their part of the world. All students and class levels have Spanish as an elective throughout the week similar to how art and music are currently scheduled.
How Are Students Evaluated?
We have the same DISD tests and report cards, but students will also have a reflection piece at the end of each 6 week period to do a self-assessment of how they are doing/learning. Teachers will be asking students to reflect on their own learning and teachers are asked to reflect on their own practices and style of teaching.
How Can Parents Support the IB Programme?
We want parents to have high expectations for their students with the goal of fostering college readiness by the time students are done with 5th grade. Parents can help by looking back at homework and relating it back to how this relates to home, community and the world. Expect to see a lot of writing assignments and a lot of reflection.
- Ask questions about how the theme was presented to them and what they were able to take out of it.
- Allow questioning, encourage inquiry and to talk to your students about their learning throughout the day
- Know the units that your child is involved in
- Share your thoughts and reasoning
- Attend IB informational meetings
- Volunteer for activities
To learn more about the IB PYP Programme, please visit the official IB Website.