Wednesday, July 27, 2011

IB MYP Brainstorm

Last summer, I did some summer brainstorming/researching for all the math topics of the upcoming school year, and it was super helpful as a reference guide as I moved through the year, because even during the dreary months when I felt zapped of creative energy, I could still go back to my summer list and tap into that list of ideas.

Now, as I move into a year of craziness -- with 5 preps (grades 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12) and a brand new IB curriculum to tackle, it is even more important for me to brainstorm some ideas before I get slammed with the realities of day-to-day school.

So, I started a rough list of activities, projects, and very rough organization of topics around themes for at least the IB Middle Year Programme (which starts in middle school and lasts through grade 10). I did my brainstorm in Prezi because I am a fan of being able to add things and toggle things as I brainstorm, and I don't really know what other platform would allow me to do that. Prezi also lets you import PDF files page by page, which is nice, because then you can seamlessly integrate just the parts of the PDF file that you want to retain.

Check it out -- it's a very rough draft -- and please give me additional ideas that are missing! Here is my brain dump; it's wordy because it's not meant to be viewed in a presentation context. (If the font is too small, there's a blue tab that will appear on the right edge of the presentation screen if you hover there, that allows you to zoom in and out on a slide...) I will work on my organization of thoughts around the IB Standard Level (grades 11, 12) classes soon... That will no doubt impact how I view the depth of these "middle year" topics.

I'm nervous and excited, all at the same time. :) I've gathered a lot of new ideas from the summer and I hope they will enrich my teaching for the coming year!

Addendum Aug 10, 2011: I took a hiatus but I came back and finished a first run-through draft of the implementation of IB Standard Levels topics here. Some of the things overlap because the kids need to take a test at the end of Grade 12 on the cumulative content, and so a fair bit of review is in order. Other things I have to assume that teachers before them have taught something similar to the IB MYP program I outlined and that they are proficient with the basic skill set.

On a technical note, I also noticed that you can hover over the "More" button in Prezi and it'll allow you to view the slideshow in a full-screen mode. That's definitely more user-friendly than my suggestion before of using the + and - zoom. Suggestions on the outlined content and/or implementation?? I've pulled some good stuff from Sam's filing cabinet, but I'm sure I am still missing tons of good stuff.


  1. Have you seen this site: ?

    I'm looking forward to using lots of their problems.

  2. Thanks! I'll book mark that. I also want to use some Exeter stuff this year -- I saw some amazing videos of productive student discussions when the teacher stepped back and let kids just work through Exeter material. And, for the lower grades I found a neat resource of story problems that are not straight-forward or simple... I'm going to try to work those into my weekly curricula as well!

  3. i love this format idea for organizing thoughts! i decided to make my summer to do list on this. thanks for the inspiration

  4. Mimi, what is that resource with story problems?
    I am looking forward to reading about your experience of the IB and the DP courses especially. Have you any plans on how to incorporate the portfolios?

  5. Julia: I won't be too concerned about the portfolios for now; I already do projects frequently and plan on giving calculator and no-calculator portions on every exam. Eventually my department will schedule a time for all the kids to sit down and take the timed assessments for the portfolio; I don't think it'll be that complicated. The tricky part is how to make sure the 12th-graders I'm taking over know their stuff from 11th grade, and to fill them in as needed...