Newsflash: November 7, 2019

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Elementary News

by Glenn Davies, Elementary Principal/PYP Coordinator

Dear Elementary Community,

Over the past 12 months with the ongoing assistance and support of the PTA, we have been able to add to the quality of the indoor and outdoor learning spaces in elementary school. This began with the building of the large sandbox in the main elementary playground, followed by the up upgrade to the sandbox in the lower elementary playground. Over the summer the school maintenance team developed and opened the lower elementary garden area, and then we moved on to laying of the artificial grass. In addition to this, the PTA has helped subsidize the creation of the elementary Makerspace, as well as additions of rich literature to the classroom libraries. This week the lower elementary playground has been supplied with four new high-quality tricycles, subsidized by the PTA.  When they were delivered this week the students were instantly excited about the addition to their outdoor learning space.

Book Week and the Living Library

Last week was Book Week and all classes worked on their door decoration. The grade 4 door was about a book called The Wild Robot. We read it in Grade 3. First, we covered the door with newspaper and we stuck real leaves to the newspaper because we’re not allowed to stick anything on the glass. We also made the main character, Roz, out of cardboard and recycled cups. It was very fun!

During book we also had the living library. Several visitors came to our school to talk about the challenges and successes they have had. Arnold Balais and his story of the challenges he has had to overcome were particularly inspiring to us.

By the Grade 4 and Grade 5 Students

Dragon’s Print

Have you ever heard of TOK? Just a mention of this acronym is enough to make many IBDP students’ stress levels spike, but its purpose is still relatively obscure to those who don’t take the DP. In truth, TOK is one of the three components of the IB Core and is supposed to complement and enhance the overall academic experience. As this year’s seniors begin their TOK presentations next week, Axelle M. demystifies TOK and tells us why it gets such a bad rap, but also why we shouldn’t fear it. Read about her experience on our website, http://dragonsprint.cis.edu.ph/!

PTA News

by PTA Board of Officers

Dear parents,

Thank you for all of your donations to the Pre-Loved Book Sale. We made over 8,000 pesos last week! A big thank you to the parents who volunteered their time to sit at the booth. You can bring pre-loved books in all year long, and we will make these book sales happen regularly!

Congratulations to Grades 5 and 6 for returning the most stamped passports at International Fair Day! They each won a pizza party sponsored by the PTA.

Please let your friends and family know about the upcoming CIS PTA Christmas Bazaar (see poster following this article). Tickets are only 50 pesos, and we have a lot of high-quality vendors that you will not find anywhere else but our bazaar! Let’s make our biggest fundraiser of the year the biggest one we’ve seen in years!

Thank you

Middle and High School News

by Mr. Dale Wood, Middle and High School Principal

A Focus on Design

One of our steps CIS has taken in our incremental implementation of the MYP this year is the creation and development of Design classes for our Middle Years grades. Inquiry and problem-solving are at the heart of MYP Design, a subject that challenges students to apply practical and creative-thinking skills to solve authentic problems and generate deeper understandings about concepts such as development and innovation. Design requires the use of the design cycle as a tool, which provides the methodology to structure the study.

The cycle may ask students to identify and justify a need for a product, this may involve working with a client. The student then needs to research and analyse the effectiveness of existing products, develop their ideas through detailed design specifications, drawings and plans. The cycle then asks students to create a solution, documenting and justifying changes made to their plan, this involves the application of different technical skills. The final stage of the cycle involves testing and evaluating their solution. In MYP design, a solution can be a model, prototype, product or system independently created and developed by students. MYP design enables students to develop not only practical skills but also strategies for creative and critical thinking.

These images show how Grade 8 student Kathleen U. developed her ideas about social classes and poverty for the Mural Project. Keep your eyes ready for the walls of the car park as her design becomes a mural.

Mr. DeVilla, one of our new CIS Design teachers, reflects that “the design cycle doesn’t follow a linear pattern, but rather, is always open to re-evaluation and re-imagining”. The cycle may continue even after a conclusion or solution has been reached. Although new to Design, it is one of his favorite courses because “each student comes with different ideas in relation to a theme and has the flexibility to explore them.”

Jessie Saclo, one of our CIS Design teachers describes this course as “encouraging students to think critically regarding aspects of design and be adaptive depending on the type of problem they encounter.”

If we review some of the key critical thinking skills (thinking is our ATL focus for November), such as Analysis, Communication, Creative thinking, Open-mindedness, Problem-solving, and Self-regulation, we will see that Design class serves to develop all of these. However, just as with other high-level skills, critical thinking does not just come naturally, even given a high IQ. You need practice to develop them and this takes time. Furthermore, it is not solely dependent on prior knowledge, but involves traits like inspiration, the synthesis of ideas, and experiences where design is applied to real-world situations.

At the moment our Grade 8 Design classes are in the middle of completing their wall murals for the parking lot area directly in front of our future dorm facility. These murals represent the culmination of a long process involving our students’ engagement with the design cycle.

Each group was presented with a Statement of Inquiry and was tasked with choosing one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (i.e. No Poverty). They also were invited to create and problem-solve to design a mural to represent that goal and specific issues related to it pictorially/symbolically. Each group actually had to generate two designs and evaluate which one better communicated their message about the global issue. Students collaborated with their teams, sought feedback from peers and teachers, and presented their products to administrators for final approval.

They are currently in the process of transferring and painting their designs on the walls as you can see in the pictures below.

Grade 8 Paintings and Reflections

The grade 8 mural painting project is going very well. My group’s mural is called Earth: Year 2050. The year 2050 is significant because it is the year when all the global goals should have been achieved. Using other murals as inspiration, we created an image we think will be the future if we do not complete all the global goals. We started creating the mural around 3 sessions ago. The first session was where we sketched out the whole mural with pencils. The second session is when we started painting. We started from the top of the mural, moving down every session. The mural painting project is something I have looked forward to for a long time, so this project is very fun for me. Every class we go out to walls in the parking lot and set out materials to start painting. I think this project is going very well for us and that future murals by other classes would be fun experiences for them as well.

Mahati, Vincent, Liam and Minseong

Our sustainable development goal (SDG) is Life Below Water. This goal is meant to promote awareness for marine life and keep the ocean clean. We represent this in our mural by painting factories on top of clouds that are raining plastic and dirty water into the ocean. The struggles we have faced so far is working and communicating well together. Another challenge we had was being able to finish a lot of work because we need time to walk outside, get materials ready, mix paint, then clean up, and go back, it takes a lot of time out of painting. Working outside has been a pretty rough experience due to all the insects and heat we have to work with. – Sofia, Zhandy, Maki and Jack

We are drawing a scene with hands reaching for clean water to show a view of survival and people fighting for water. There is a drop of water coming out from the hose and everyone is trying to get that drop of water.  I think the mural painting it is going well because we have drawn the hands on the wall, the words and the hose. We have also painted half of the background.  Our group finds the size of the wall and colors challenging. The wall was bigger than what my group thought and it took lots of time to accomplish drawing the design. We also struggled with the mixing of colors.

We are working well as a group. At first, we had a small conflict but we were able to figure out the solution and build good teamwork. When someone is painting the background, others help them or work on the other parts. In the future sessions, we will apply gradient better in the background because it is not really obvious.

Swan, Dennis, Bryan, and Natalie

To start off the project we had to choose a Sustainable Development Goal. Our group decided to choose Goal number 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities. We chose this goal because it is something we are passionate about and it allows us to cover the most topics. We then had to create 2 sketches that we believe would portray our goal. In these sketches, we used symbols to represent different social issues relevant to the world today. For example, we used hands with labels (of different social issues) pulling the Earth apart to help the audience see what will happen if we continue to let these problems control us. After finalizing our designs and choosing one to work with, we presented our pitch to the principal and superintendent. In this presentation, we talked about our design specifications, what our designs represented and much more. We then made changes to our design based on their suggestions and we got them approved. Currently, we are on our 3rd session for painting our murals and we are following an action plan we have previously made. So far things are going to plan and we are trying our best to make our mural pleasing to the human eye. – Bella, Zeke, Max and Esther

Our first unit for Design this semester is the mural painting. We were formed into different groups and the first task was to choose a Sustainable Development Goal. My group chose SDG 1: No Poverty. To brainstorm, we researched different existing murals that have to do with spreading awareness about poverty. After all the research, each of the groups made two designs, picking a design that is preferred more. After presenting to the Administration Team, designs were finalized.

After making the final changes, it was time to proceed to the actual painting process. We first received the materials we needed. Each one of us started with sketching the final design onto the wall with a pencil. As we worked, we had to record a time-lapse of the whole working time span and take pictures in between so we could record the progress. My group luckily finished sketching in the first session, so we started painting the next day. The challenges my group dealt with were scaling up the design onto the wall and adding tonal values. We are working on a bigger space and we found it difficult because the final design we drew was on a smaller paper. We are working with a water-based medium; therefore it was difficult to blend different shades of a color. It was fun to see the group work together while spreading awareness through a mural painting. – Kathleen, Jandra, Eric and Dongmin

Grade 11 Field Trip

by Ma. Socorro Laplana, Asst. Middle & High School Principal/IBDP Coordinator

On November 6th, 2019, the 11th grade class went on a field trip in order to learn real life application of what they are learning in their classes. They visited three places: Cebu Doctors Hospital for Psychology, Cafe Georg for Business, and University of San Carlos for Biology. There, students explored and inquired. Here are some photos that were taken during the trip!

At the Cebu Doctors Hospital PET scanner room

(The CT-PET Scanner machine) I learned the different applications of the imaging technologies we learned about in class like MRI, CT, and PET and how to determine when to use them. I found out that PET is more expensive than an MRI. Before taking a PET scan, you must not exercise excessively for 3 days. -Louise

(Inside the MRI room) Advancements in technology such as MRI, CT and PET allow doctors to better diagnose and treat diseases. Medicinal technology is continually advancing and becoming more complex requiring the work of many experts involved such as better trained-doctors, assistants/nurses, tech operators, medical physicists, etc. These treatments are also very expensive and limited in the Philippines so developments that make healthcare options like these more affordable and accessible will be very beneficial to the public. -Miguel

At Cafe Georg- interview with the owner, Ms. Bunny Alcordo

Being a sole trader can be difficult when managing the business as they will have to think of new ideas and implement these by themselves compared to having a core group who can merge ideas and delegate tasks. I also learned that although opening up a store in malls are pricey, there’s more traffic/customers. -Amanda

I learned of how the many factors to consider when starting a business especially in malls with their high risk and high reward with the risks being high rental space price and also for them, not suitable facilities. However, the rewards that come with starting up in a mall is the amount of possible customers. Another thing I learned was the importance of word of mouth as this form of marketing ensures whoever is being told that the goods sold is of good quality.  -Miggs 

The business owner’s talk taught me the challenges one can face when starting a business. Being a sole trader can be difficult because there are no other people who can support you while making tough decisions for the business or organization. Lastly, the visit to Café Georg taught me about the need to keep pushing forward if you want to succeed and create your own business.   -Yoji 

At the University of San Carlos Entomology Lab

Entomology is disgustingly alluring: the study of insects requires both meticulous attention and morbid curiosity – Venise 

I saw how college research works and how they’re funded. I also saw how they conduct their research and how useful the application of their research is to our world – Justin 

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