On any given day in Daystar's Middle School, the beginning of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program, you are likely to see a class boarding a bus, clipboards in hand, heading off to one of Chicago's many educational destinations. They will have already spent time earlier in the morning going over what they have learned in their Individuals and Societies unit, and will later return to complete a reflective journal asking what piqued their curiosity. Meanwhile another class is sprawled across the floor of their classroom dreaming up their ideal house layout using a ruler, cardboard, and recently learned geometry skills. Still another class is in the Art Studio, lined up to wash the quickly drying clay from their hands while they admire their pottery sitting on the counter awaiting a kiln.
Each one of these classes demonstrates how the IB program teaches students to be global learners. They embrace the communities around them, whether near or far, applying their classroom learning to real world application. As a faith-based school, Daystar students then take that learning and view it through the lens of God's truth, asking what it means to be a person of faith who loves God and loves others.
About the IB Middle years program
The MYP is a challenging framework that encourages students to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.
The MYP is a five-year programme, which can be implemented in a partnership between schools, or in several abbreviated (two, three or four year) formats. Students who complete the MYP are well-prepared to undertake the IB Diploma Programme (DP) or Career-related Programme (CP).
Taken from the International Baccalaureate website.
In the IB Middle Years Program there are eight subject areas that are constantly intersecting as students learn throughout the program. Students are introduced to the concept of grouping their learning around these subjects in 6th grade and follow this idea through middle school and into high school in 9th and 10th grade.
- Language & Literature
- Individuals & Societies
- Physical Education & Health
- Language Acquisition
- Visual Arts
Individuals and Societies:
MYP Individuals and Societies encourages learners to respect and understand the world around them and equips them with the necessary skills to inquire into historical, contemporary, geographical, political, social, economic, religious, technological and cultural factors that have an impact on individuals, societies and environments. We will continuously consider local and global contexts. The study of individuals and societies helps students to appreciate critically the diversity of human culture, attitudes and beliefs. We hope to foster in each student a lifelong interest in the human story.
MYP science students move through a 3 year rotation of physical science, earth/space science and life science. Using the Next Generation Science Standards and the IB-MYP science objectives as a guide, students explore the created order through unit studies in that year’s science discipline. The program is designed to introduce scientific content through hands-on experience and inquiry, allowing students to gain an understanding of the laws God has established to govern creation, recognize how creation is intricately interdependent and make responsible and service-oriented choices when using Earth’s resources. Classroom and onsite investigations engage students in developing hypotheses, making observations, collecting and interpreting data and discussing results, as well as other skills essential for the development of scientific literacy. Special effort is made to observe and study the natural world and technological innovation at close range. To this end, learning excursions are taken to places that provide a variety of opportunities for students to interact with ecosystems, plants and animals as well as places where students can observe scientific principles at work. In the past some of these places have included Lake Michigan beaches, Chicago parks, the Brookfield or Lincoln Park Zoo, Shedd Aquarium, the Garfield Park Conservatory, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Method Factory, Johnny’s Ice House and the Ignite Glass studio. Students also use their understanding of scientific principles to design, engineer, and test products in cooperation with their Design class.
Physical education and Health:
Physical and health education at Daystar focuses on learning about physical activity and learning through physical activity. Physical and health education units will focus primarily on the concepts of communication, relationships, and change through the lens and context of health, fitness, and sports. Students will participate in and learn about a variety of team sports, individual sports, recreational sports, cooperative games, and movement activities. Students will be expected to pursue improved physical fitness through active class participation and class focused fitness activities. Physical and health education helps students appreciate and respect the ideas of others and develop effective collaboration and communication skills; they create meaningful connections among people, nations, and cultures.
Language Acquisition (Spanish):
At Daystar School, all students learn at least one language in addition to their mother tongue. Language Acquisition classes are Our goal will be to acquire Spanish language. We will be using Comprehensible Input Spanish, and we will use methods and strategies that are based on Dr. Stephen Krashen’s Input Hypothesis. In particular, we will use the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling) method of language instruction that was developed by Blaine Ray and based on the work of Dr. James Asher.
We will focus our class time on the acquisition of high frequency structures (the most frequently used words in a language); between three and six new target structures each unit. (Students will learn more than this but will only assessed on the target structures.) We will use these structures in class discussions, stories, and cultural explorations, and students will be expected to recognize them when they read or hear them and, in time, be able to produce them in speech and writing.
Students engage in sophisticated and in-depth learning of mathematics, using an approach that seeks to bring application to real world situations. Students learn and build skills and understanding to help them master math standards while challenging them to think critically about the world.
The technology in the world today enables anyone to become a creator and a large part of creating is design. At Daystar, students are given opportunities to practice their design abilities both in art classes and digital design through yearbook and student magazine. In each they are given the room to take ownership of their design choices while also being coached so that they can grow in their skills.
In the art studio we focus on expanding our visual vocabulary through an exploration of the elements and principles of design. Students are expected to submit weekly sketch assignments which often prompt students to further their visual language outside of the classroom. Within the classroom students are assessed on their knowing and understanding of the techniques and processes we use, the development of their skills, their creative thinking and their ability to think critically and reflect on visual culture.
Program Overviews by Academic Year
Daystar Middle School Parent
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