IB Middle Years Program

Grades 7 - 10

What is the IB MYP?

The International Baccalaureate® Middle Years Program (IB MYP) is an all-inclusive program for Robinson students in grades 7 through 10. We gained official authorization as an IB MYP school in November 2018.  Beginning in 2019-2020, Robinson students can choose to pursue the FCPS MYP Certificate in tenth grade. 

Through the efforts of Robinson’s teachers, the IB MYP stresses inquiry-based learning, the development of skills for learning, a rigorous engagement with academic content, and an understanding of cross-curricular concepts.  In addition, like every IB program, fostering the attributes of the IB Learner Profile stands as the primary goal.

The IB MYP influences how we teach, not what we teach, so Robinson’s teachers will use this model to deliver Fairfax County Public Schools' Program of Studies aligned with the Virginia Standards of Learning.  

Read more about the IB approach to the subject areas and the global contexts 

What is the IB MYP Personal Project?

This project is an important part of the IB MYP here at Robinson and at all IB MYP schools. It’s exactly what it sounds like--a project that is of personal interest to the student. Students choose the topic to explore AND the type of project they will create. In working towards their goal, students practice skills such as self-management, communication, research, and collaboration. They are supported through their English classes throughout 10th grade and complete the project in March of their 10th grade year.

Here are some additional resources regarding the Personal Project:

Short Personal Project Video from Lee High School

Personal Project Rubric

Slideshow from Robinson’s 2018 Personal Project Parent Information Night

Program Contacts

IB MYP Coordinator

Amy Riddick | @email. | 703-426-6886.

IB MYP Personal Project Coordinator

TBD

FAQs Regarding the IB MYP

Does my student need to apply to participate?

No. The IB MYP is in inclusive program. All students in grades 7 to 10 participate in the IB MYP simply by being Robinson students. Since it is an instructional framework and not a curriculum, it can be delivered in any classroom.

What is the difference between the MYP and the IB program?

What is often referred to as the “IB Program” at Robinson is the IB Diploma Program — a program primarily for 11th and 12th graders in which some students can choose to complete the IB Diploma. In fact, both the Diploma Program (DP) and the Middle Years Program (MYP) are IB programs.

Two notable differences between the programs are:

• Robinson students can choose whether or not to participate in DP classes, but the MYP includes all Robinson students in grades 7 to 10

• DP classes include a specific curriculum created by IB, while the MYP offers an instructional framework for delivering the Virginia Standards of Learning and Fairfax County Program of Studies

I have heard there is a Personal Project for 10th grad-ers as part of the IB MYP. What is this all about?

This project is an important part of the IB MYP here at Robinson and at all MYP schools. It’s exactly what it sounds like--a project that is of personal interest to the student. Students choose the topic to explore AND the type of project they will create. In working towards their goal, students practice skills such as self-management, communication, research, and collaboration. They are supported through their English classes throughout 10th grade and complete the project in March of their 10th grade year.

FAQs Regarding the IB MYP Personal Project

What is the Personal Project?

It’s exactly what it sounds like--a project that is of personal interest to the student.  Students get to choose the topic to explore AND the type of project they will create. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate initiative while exploring something personally meaningful.

Through this process, students will:

• Identify a topic of interest

• Conduct research

• Create a goal & focus

• Produce a product or outcome

• Reflect upon & share the personal project in a creative format

What is an example of a Personal Project?

If a student had a passion for gardening, she could set as her goal to grow several herbs and create a family dinner that puts those herbs into each recipe.  The student would investigate to figure out what herbs she wants to grow, what it would take to grow them inside in the winter, and what recipes she wants to make with the chosen herbs.  She would then create a plan for how she is going to get this done—a timeline perhaps—along with self-created criteria for success.  The next step would be to take action—growing the herbs, preparing the meal, and serving it to her family.  Finally, she would reflect by perhaps surveying her family on how the meal turned out or through some kind of self-evaluation.  In addition, reflection is a central component that she would be doing via short written "process journals" (a paragraph or two at a time) throughout the process.  The last step is writing up the final report to summarize what she did at each stage—investigation, planning, taking action, and reflecting.   While the report can feel lengthy, it’s really just the story of the student’s process and many students find that by leaning on their prior written reflections, they are able to write this up pretty easily.

Why are 10th graders completing Personal Projects?

This project is an important part of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) here at Robinson and at all MYP schools. Students in schools all around the world are doing something similar right now! Along with them, students will likely learn a lot by doing what IB refers to as principled action. These experiences, or principled actions, will help students work independently and navigate obstacles and projects in the future.

Some of these principled actions include:

• Developing an area of personal interest

• Sharing new information and understandings with friends, teachers and family

• Changing behavior in response to learning

• Realizing you can make a difference through decisions and actions

• Reflecting regularly on what you have learned

• Connecting how your learning impacts attitudes, behaviors, questions, actions, and decisions

What must be submitted?

Students will submit three components when projects are due.

1. A product /outcome

2. A process journal (individual process journal entries are also due via students’ English 10 Google Classrooms roughly every three weeks)

3. A report

Is the Personal Project graded?

Students are receiving credit in English 10 for meeting the expectations for each of the process journals throughout the year.  They will also receive an English grade in fourth quarter for their final report, regardless of whether their final report is written, audio, video, or some combination.  The grades for the Personal Project will count for approximately 5% of students’ English 10 grades.

What support are students receiving at school to complete the project?

Each English 10 Learning Seminar from now through late March/early April will be focused on the Personal Project.  Students will receive guidance on next steps and will be assigned Process Journal entries with prompts that provide direction for moving forward on the project.  In addition, every student has been assigned a teacher or administrator as his/her Personal Project Supervisor.  Students are expected to meet with their Supervisors at least three times during the year so they can ask questions, receive feedback, and share their current status. 

How can parents support students with their projects?

The number one thing is to be an enthusiastic cheerleader for your student and to help them maintain excitement even when they encounter obstacles.  On a practical level, noting when process journal entries are missing in English progress reports is one way of keeping track of their progress.   The attached student timeline for the project can also be helpful in assessing your student’s progress on a large-scale.  Finally, asking to see Google Classroom is yet another way to stay posted.  Largely, however, projects are student-driven and we want them to learn lessons about time-management, organization, etc. 

When is the Personal Project Exhibition?

For 2019, it will be the same night as the Robinson Art Show, Wednesday, May 1.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!

What are more examples of products/outcomes?

• Advocate for a cause via a series of podcasts

• Change a behavior within yourself and the community, e.g. creating a Couch to 5K program specifically designed for high schoolers

• Organize and produce a concert

• Design a website to display art

• Develop a nutritious monthly meal plan for your family

• Document a family tradition, e.g. “What’s the story behind grandma’s sugar cookies?”

• Document your community’s efforts to “go green” through a photography portfolio

• Learn a computer programming language and create a game for your graphing calculator or an app for your phone

• Learn to draw henna designs and open a henna booth at a school event

• Make a short film, documentary, or computer game

• Plan a themed party

• Raise awareness about a dangerous traffic issue in your neighborhood via an organized social media effort

• Teach students about the history of rap

What does the final report entail?

The report is meant to inform and demonstrate students’ engagement with the Personal Project. Through a format of their choosing, they’ll summarize the skills and experiences recorded through process journal entries.  The contents of this report demonstrate the four objectives: investigating, planning, taking action, and reflecting.  Reports really just tell the story of a student’s path through the project.  While there is an expectation that research is cited primarily in the Investigating section, the report is very personal and reflective and not as heavy for most students as a purely academic report.

How long should the report be?

Students can choose one of these report formats & length requirements, or a combination of more than one with reduced lengths for each part:

• Written/Typed: 1,500-3,500 words (roughly 6 double-spaced pages)

• Electronic (website, blog, slideshow): 1,500-3,500 words

• Oral (podcast, radio broadcast, audio recording): 13-15 minutes

• Visual (film, movie): 13-15 minutes