Sample Initial Reflection

This is my first year as EE Coordinator and I am absolutely loving it. I feel like I’ve really gotten to know the grade 11 students on a different level and I appreciate the open and honest conversations I’ve been having with them. The challenge for me has been in creating a process where the students don’t see the EE as something daunting but rather as something fascinating. From what I’ve been hearing, many of the students have chosen topics that they are passionate about and want to study at university. This is a great opportunity for them to hone their research skills and create a piece of academic writing they can be proud of. The most difficult part has been allocating the students. This was a time-consuming process, but one that I’ve learned from. I now know what I need to do next year in order to ensure that this part of the EE process is more efficient.

Word Count: 159 words

The EE in 2018 — What’s Your Jam?


My favourite is raspberry. What’s yours?

I attended a workshop last week about the benefits of blogging in education. You know me … I love to write and blog and link and record and reflect.

That’s my jam.

But what happens when your jam jar is empty? What if there’s no more jam??

One of the things I learned from the workshop is that the moment you begin to feel like you have nothing to say is the exact moment you should begin to write. The reason itself makes a lot of sense.

Blogging is the best way to work things out. Not everything we write down has to be perfect; it just has to be. Usually, the process of writing in a stream of consciousness helps to clarify and organise your thoughts. So this is what I’m doing now: writing down my thoughts about the EE for 2018 and organising everything as I go along. Here’s my list so far:

  1. Thank you to all of you for submitting your proposals on time. They are now in the hands of the heads of department and are currently being shared with teachers. Supervisor allocations will come out after Chinese New Year break.


2. In the meantime, I’d like you to add an EE category to your digital portfolios (or blogs, as I like to call them). Not sure how to do it? Check out Tricia’s instructional video below:


Over the course of the EE process, you’ll be writing three separate reflections and your blogs are a great place for you to keep track of your own thought process. Also, they will be so easy to share with your supervisor.

3. We hosted a Grade 11 Coffee Morning for your parents last Friday. If you’d like to have a look at what we discussed, you can click below:

What’s your jam for 2018? Leave me a comment below. Maybe we can have a jam-jam.

(That’s a homonym. Deal with it.)


World Studies Extended Essay


… and how can these be explored through a WSEE?

According to the IB, the World Studies Extended Essay (WSEE) “enables students to engage in an interdisciplinary examination of a topic of local and global significance. Students develop their understanding of their chosen topic by drawing on two Diploma Programme disciplines, one of which they must be studying already” (“Teacher Support Material”).

This is an exciting option for students to consider and one that should be encouraged as they begin the EE process. Essentially, the WSEE allows students to study and research two IB subject areas and connect them to an issue of contemporary global importance. The WSEE also allows students to focus on a local manifestation of a particular issue and should fit under one of the following themes:

  • Health and development
  • Culture, language, and identity
  • Environmental and/or economic sustainability
  • Science, technology, and society
  • Equality and inequality
  • Conflict, peace, and security

Paul LaRondie (PLR) hosted an assembly this morning based on the WSEE. During his presentation, he went into more detail regarding the WSEE and possible approaches students could take. If you were absent during his presentation, you can find his informational slide show below:

There is a hyperlink on the first slide of sample WSEE research questions (RQ’s) in case you’d like to see how past students have combined their passion for two different subject areas. If you are excited at the prospect of writing a WSEE and would like to meet to discuss it further, please leave a comment below, drop me a line via email, or come and see me in my classroom.


“What’s it about?” Sharing information about the WSEE with our Grade 11 students.

Works Cited

“Teacher Support Material.” |The International Baccalaureate|Le Baccalauréat International|El Bachillerato Internacional|(2), Accessed 6 Dec. 2017.

Passion Fuels Progress

Congratulations to those of you who attended the Academic Honesty / Research Skills session with Susan Grigsby (SGr) and Tricia Friedman (PFr) last week. I hope it has given you time to consider the various resources that are available to you both in and outside of school. As you begin thinking about the possibilities for your EE, please remember to refer to the Prezi below:

Screen Shot 2017-12-04 at 10.58.51 AM

You may also want to check out Tricia’s Google Slides where she guides you on how to “search like a boss”:

If you missed last Thursday’s session, you can watch the video recording below:

Remember, Day 2 of EE Carousels takes place this Thursday. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch so we can chat. Can’t wait to see what you’ve all come up with!

#buzzbuzz #WWBD

Information & Guide to the Extended Essay. Two Different Slide Shows. Two Different Purposes.

Last week, I sent the current Grade 11 students an email outlining upcoming events taking place surrounding the Extended Essay. Mainly, I wanted to share the EE Information & Guide slide doc with them in preparation for today’s assembly, which had a bit of flair to it.

Here is the slide doc I shared last week, chock-full of information regarding the EE:

… and here is the presentation I showed the students today (thanks Beyoncé!):

As you can see, the two slide shows are quite different.

The reason I did this is because the slide doc is not meant to be presented. It’s meant to be a portal for information that is easily accessible and read by its intended audience. Today’s presentation, however, needed a little more Sasha Fierce. It doesn’t need to be read so much as it needs to be SEEN!! How else do you hold the attention of nearly 300 Grade 11 students?

More information will be forthcoming as we get closer to launching the proposals. Do let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.


Sample Viva Voce – 4 Voices


Elvis Presley (I’ll bet his Viva Voce would be amazing!!)

For a supervisor, I believe the most satisfying part of the entire Extended Essay process is the Viva Voce.

(who else is singing “Viva Las Vegas” in their heads right now …?)

Anyway, I digress …

What I love about the Viva Voce is that it is a chance to really celebrate what our students have accomplished. For the majority of our students, the EE is a great way for them to showcase their passion for a subject area, their research and writing skills, as well as their critical thinking skills. In the Viva Voce, students can reflect on their EE journey and talk about the process in a thoughtful and compelling way. It’s always so nice to see students consider their past struggles and make the connection to how it’s brought them to their present state of being a more refined and enlightened young adult.

Am I being too idealistic? I don’t think so.

Have a listen to the following audio recordings of four different students. You’ll understand what I mean once you hear their voices.