by Mr. Andrew Powell, EY-12 Principal
As we move further into May we find ourselves in the position of measuring the remaining school year in weeks rather than months. While there continues to be a focus on teachable moments in the classroom it is also a time to celebrate learning that has and is taking place. A few recent and upcoming events help to crystalize this.
G12 Graduating Class of 2022 Celebration
We held a delightful celebration for our Graduating Class of 2022 yesterday. Students, parents, faculty, and staff were able to share in the significant accomplishments of this cohort as they celebrated the completion of all their required coursework and assessments. It was great to be able to share in this moment and listen to memories of CIS as well as the future aspirations of our students. We look forward to their next steps and know that they will contribute positively to society and the making of a better world.
On the back of our recent production success, Arts Week was launched this week. Please do take some time to view the Virtual Gallery of work that features a range of media from the various grade levels and subjects. It is incredible to note the growth that our students demonstrate as they have developed their skills through creating, performing, and presenting. The depth of thought and reflection that accompanies their work particularly in the older grades, is especially poignant.
ES Celebration of Learning
On Wednesday, May 18 our elementary students will be showcasing the growth and development that they have made throughout the year. Elementary parents have been invited to sign-up for a virtual, three-way conference with their child’s teacher on this day so that they may celebrate the learning that has occurred. There will be no face-to-face classes for EY – Grade 5 students on Wednesday, May 18 but students will be assigned asynchronous work to complete when not involved in their conference.
Theory of Knowledge Exhibition
Our Grade 11 students will be sharing their Theory of Knowledge Exhibition virtually on May 18. Students have been provided the opportunity to select from a variety of prompts to demonstrate their knowledge of the course themes and the way in which Theory of Knowledge concepts are manifested in the world around us. Students have identified three objects and their specific real-world contexts and have created individual exhibitions which explain the links between the objects and the chosen prompt, along with justification for the inclusion of each object.
Personal Project Showcase
On Wednesday, May 18 our Grade 10 students will be presenting their Personal Project Showcase. This is the culmination of a year-long project in which students had the opportunity to explore their own personal interests and has resulted in a diverse range of products. Students will showcase their achievements on this day and have also submitted a 13–15-page report for moderation by the IB. The quality of the work is exceptionally high and will make for great viewing.
TEDx Cebu International School
One of our schools’ core beliefs is that learning includes contributing to the world through service learning. We are proud of the various ways that this takes place at CIS. This weekend, a group of Grade 11 students led by Selly, Katrina, Renoa and Anya have organised the first ever TEDx event at CIS. Inspired by challenges faced during the pandemic, these students have created an event in which speakers have been invited to share their experiences of overcoming challenges and proving that anything is possible. They hope that this event provides opportunities for people in our community to reconnect with new and familiar faces, producing fruitful conversations and relationships as they rediscover and reignite their desire to learn and create.
Grade 5 PYP Exhibition
Mrs. Aimee Underwood, Grade 5 Homeroom Teacher
Last Thursday, the Grade 5 students successfully launched their Virtual PYP Exhibition Showcase with an hour-long synchronous event on Google Meet. Approximately 200 attendees joined from across multiple timezones to engage in stimulating conversations with the students about their unique learning journeys. To quote a visitor, “It was truly fantastic to hear the students speaking so articulately about how their central ideas and inquiry have helped them develop their understanding of the UN SDGs!”
As the event came to a close, words cannot describe the incredibly moving scene that unfolded in the Grade 5 classroom. The students united as one to sing “Change The World” and the many tiny tiles on our computer screens filled with proud beaming smiles, as well as tears of pride and joy all around. Logging off the call, the Grade 5s were then immediately greeted by students and teachers from across the Elementary and Middle High School who rushed over to clap and cheer for them in person. Congratulations! Well done! That was amazing!
While this event was most visible and memorable, it is important to also highlight the learning that occurred behind the scenes. The PYP Exhibition–as with much of what we believe to be true about education–focuses on the “process” rather than the “final product.” Indeed, the Grade 5 students have sharpened a wide range of Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills, reflected on and overcome failures and false starts, capitalized on the serendipitous lightbulb moments, and celebrated the many milestones, successes, and massive achievements throughout each stage of the PYPx.
If you have not had a chance to do so already, we invite you to take a glimpse of their journey in the Opening Video and explore each student’s experience through their individual websites.
We also recognize that the learning journey does not end here. In fact, it has only begun with many new doors opened to further ideas and possibilities! We look forward to seeing how this talented group of students–armed with important life-long learning skills, knowledge, understanding, and passions guided by purpose–will continue to “help create a better and more peaceful world” (IB Mission Statement). Here are a few highlights from the students themselves:
Student action! Check out Diana cultivating a love of reading in students, Ari encouraging responsible diving, Ofri learning and teaching about clean water, Creag raising awareness of the refugee crisis and promoting empathy, Riku demonstrating the importance of trees, Aubrey teaching others to sew and participate in sustainable slow fashion… and more!
Thank you to everyone who has supported the Grade 5s through their PYPx journeys — faculty, staff members, family and community members, and everyone who visited the Showcase synchronously and asynchronously! It has been a truly remarkable community experience that united us all this year.
Mathematics Analysis and Approaches Higher Level
by Mr. Daniel Monfre, MYP and DP Math Teacher
The grade 11 Math AA HL students have recently completed their introductory unit to differential calculus. This unit is often one of the most challenging units for students and can take a long time to master. There is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein that says “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” After studying derivatives and related rates the students completed a summative test to demonstrate their understanding, then to further show the depth of their understanding the students created videos explaining the solutions to the problems from the test. Below are some examples of the videos that the students have created.
Students in grade 7 math have been studying 3D solids, naming the shapes, labeling and identifying their parts, and calculating the surface area and volume.
To help students better understand the surface area of shape we ask students to draw the net (a 2D shape that can be folded to make the 3D figure.) These nets show students the different 2D shapes that are present on the surface of the 3D figure. Seeing the shape in 2D helps them to connect the 3D figure to the shapes they learned about in previous years.
As a final project, students created a “Book of Shapes” that has diagrams, definitions, and formulas for all of the shapes we studied in class. To really make the connection between 2D and 3D students created “pop-up” pages of their books where the 2D net of a shape can be transformed into its 3D form by pulling a string. Take a look at some animations of their pop-up books:
School Production 2022: Fireworks – Dream and Believe
by Ms. Stefanny Hemias, MYP Drama Teacher
Despite the pandemic and typhoon Odette, our school production titled “Fireworks- Dream and Believe” was successfully premiered on Friday, April 29, 2022. It’s our second year of producing a virtual production which showcases elementary, middle and high school students’ talents in acting, singing and dancing. The production team was able to come up with an original story and also featured several popular songs and dances such as Celebration by Kool & The Gang, Firework by Katy Perry, Three Little Birds by Bob Marley and a lot more. Though students encountered some struggles when rehearsing online, recording their voices and filming on the green screen, these didn’t hinder them from giving their best performance in order for us to produce an entertaining and exceptional virtual production.
If you have not watched the show yet, please click on the link.
Students Supporting Students
In the following article, Sophia N. reflects on how she and her friends are supporting the education of other students through their Akyat Aklatan project.
Looking back, my friends and I often took school libraries for granted — research gold mines, hangout spots, and study havens all in one — simply because we could access them anytime we wanted. We realized as we got older that not everyone had the privilege of being able to access educational materials as easily as we did, and that was what we had in mind when we started Akyat Aklatan: a long-term legacy to further the education of high school students just like us.
Balao National High School was one of the sites we encountered in our search for a beneficiary, and there we saw the rundown infrastructure, their improvised classrooms, and finally their (former) library — a little closet no bigger than a parking lot space that the librarian described as “more of a stockroom of books than a library”.
“Mawad-an sila’g gana mo-tuon [They lose their appetite to study] because we don’t have the books or the space,” she told us.
And thus, we set to work to change that. We got a team together, planned the project, proposed it to the Rotary Club of Metro Mandaue 2006, and launched last August 2021. With several fundraisers like the Rhythm of Hope concert (some of which were led by my fellow classmates here in CIS!), we were able to raise more than 700,000 pesos to donate not only a fully-furnished library last April 18 but also a brand-new printer, 3 laptops, and more than 700 books!
It especially touches us to know that at this very moment the students of Balao NHS are using the library, especially since they commenced face-to-face classes last March. Currently, we intend to carry on Akyat Aklatan in the future beyond physical structures, potentially through mentoring programs in public high schools. Once again, thank you to everyone who supported Akyat Aklatan!
All throughout history, 13 has been associated with bad luck and misfortune. If you’ve noticed some hotel elevators lacking the 13th floor, you know what I’m talking about. Okay, so 13 is an unlucky number, but why? Read more about Friday the 13th on http://dragonsprint.cis.edu.
College/Careers Counselor Corner
by Ms. Jenny Basa, College/Careers Counselor Corner
Question of the Week: What do I write about in my College Essay?
Most universities in North America and the UK will require a student to write an essay or a personal statement. The content of the college essay entirely depends on where you are applying to. If you are applying to a US university, there is usually a prompt that is provided by the university. Here are some sample questions from the CommonApp:
1) Some students have a background, identity, interest, or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
2) The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback, or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
3) Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
4) Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
5) Discuss an accomplishment, event, or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
6) Describe a topic, idea, or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
7) Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you’ve already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
Upcoming Virtual Events and Fairs: (students & parents are welcome)
Glion Institute of Higher Education (Switzerland)
Masterclass 3: The Art of Leadership and Multicultural Team Management
University of Oxford Webinar Series
May 11: This is ‘An introduction to applying to Oxford’ webinar will be interactive, and is designed to help students understand the different aspects and stages of the application process.
May 18: This is a webinar for parents on “ Supporting your child’s application to Oxford.” It will cover information about the UCAS form, admissions tests and interviews, and again opportunities to ask questions.
May 25: This ‘Writing your personal statement’ webinar will be interactive, and is designed to help students on what makes a good personal statement, the role of super and extra-curricular activities, and what tutors look for.
Engaging Distinctive Universities: a collaborative, engaging virtual event hosted by Emory University, Rice University, the University of Michigan and the University of Washington. Join this session to help you decide which college is the best fit for you.
Enderun Colleges (Philippines) – Join the Admissions Roadshow at the Quest Hotel & Conference Center
9:15 – 10:15am
Mini Workshop on Writing your College Essay – This is a mini-workshop arranged by the school with an admissions rep from York College Pennsylvania. All 11th graders are required to attend.