By: Eden Andom (Junior at Spring Valley High School)
In the last year of the Middle-Years Programme, MYP students complete the personal project and explore an area of personal interest over an extended period. This is a very unique experience provided by the International Baccalaureate Program as this is a project about the student and a topic is chosen by the student to pursue. The project's topics can range from learning how to play Chopin on the piano, starting a business or even researching your family tree.
During this extended period, MYP students are meant to create an outcome or product, document their progress along the way and write a reflection after the fact. To be successful in this project it is important for MYP students to develop and nurture skills such as time-management, open-mindedness and research. Being able to create a challenging yet tangible goal allows students to enjoy their research and experience. Upon reflecting on their personal interests, students finalize their idea and start the action of the project.
Documentation throughout this process is typically done in a process journal and this is one of the most fundamental aspects of the project. Students record their work, what they have learned from their work and ideas for continuing and demonstrate self-management skills while doing so. This process journal can include sketches, drafts, photographs and written accounts to document the development of this project.
Once students have ended the time frame, reflection becomes one of the most significant parts of the Personal Project, and IB as an organization as they create reflective learners throughout the years. This reflection is typically done in writing but is an accumulation of all the work, progress and reflection in the process journal.
Finally comes the exhibition and showcase, a time for you to present your project to your peers, parents and faculty. This is an extremely rewarding way to wrap up this experience and showcase the hard work put into the project.
By Noah Dee (11th, Spring Valley HS)
Information on CAS
With the end of the first quarter, which is often times the due date for 2 CAS experiences for Spring Valley High School students, many current Juniors new to the IB program are struggling to navigate ManageBac and CAS in general. This post will break down all the components needed to understand the CAS process.
To start off, CAS is a service event that IB students must accomplish. The amount of needed experiences can vary from school to school, but in Spring Valley, one must have 8 experiences by the end of the year minimum, meaning 2 per quarter and 4 per semester. CAS stands for Creativity, Action, and Service. In other words, any event you choose that falls into these categories will work! Tutored your friend for an hour? Service! Painted for two hours? Creativity! Walked a mile just to enjoy the new fall weather? Activity!
IB Target Learning Goals
Yes, anything you so desire to do can be counted as CAS as long as it fits within the guidelines presented above. There are also many other activities you can explore such as learning how to bike or cook. Once you navigate to ManageBac, you'll immediately be greeted by the homepage. Navigate to the left-hand tool bar and press "IB Manager". From there, multiple options will drop down; select CAS. On the top right, you will then see "Add CAS experience." Once pressed, you will need to fill out the information needed, including the amount of hours you worked for, a supervisor contact, and the IB Target goals you met.
Speaking of the IB Target Learning Goals, what are they? They're just a list of values that your work should demonstrate. They include:
Reflection and Evidence
Once you finish the steps on the first page, you'll be transitioned into the next stage: Reflections and Evidence. These are where photos can come in handy. Your photos (preferably with your face or evidently you doing the task) are crucial to providing evidence to the person approving your experience. In other words, your IB Counselor or Coordinator may choose to approve or disprove of your CAS experience, hence the importance of being very specific. You can also choose to enter a Journal reflection. If you scroll down the page, you will see a list of questions to guide your reflection. Don't feel like writing? You can use a video to explain your experience if you'd like! Ultimately, your reflection should encapsulate and reflect the IB Learning Goals you mentioned in the first page of adding your experience.
"What if my counselor disagrees with my CAS categories and thinks my Creative-Service experience should only classify as Creativity?" or "What if my counselor thinks the IB Target Learning Goal I put, Ethics of Choices and Actions, isn't viable in this scenario?" Don't be discouraged, and most importantly, don't remove what you put originally. If you put the that option as a box in the first place, then you probably have a good reason to do so. Take your case to court! Literally. Email them or reply to their message, explaining why you believe you hit that criteria. You can also edit your reflection or add a whole new reflection to further explain why you think your experience falls under that criteria.
Need more information? Check this detailed video out!
To all viewers of this website, I want to wish you a very warm welcome and thank you for taking the time to stop by. My name is Bobby Degeratu. I am a proud senior in the IB Program at Valley HS, and this will be my third and final year taking part in the NAIBWS Student Leadership Board. For the first time since a student leadership board was established, we have come together to create a website that will work to benefit the IB community statewide. But what are we looking to achieve with this effort?
In the coming weeks, we hope to be posting more as we offer words of wisdom from our own years of IB, and hopefully, you can take away a thing or two that can enhance your experience that much more.