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:

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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.


EE Day – A Day of Celebration


Last week, our Grade 12 students proudly submitted the final draft of their Extended Essays. For most students, this was followed by a tremendous sigh of relief. Indeed, it is quite an accomplishment for our seniors, and one that should be celebrated, which is why we host an EE Day every year.

This year’s EE Day took place on 30 October 2017. All seniors were encouraged to “dress” as their EE (to the best of their abilities, of course). As always, our students did not disappoint. Check out some of the amazing costume ideas below. Can you guess what these students wrote their EE’s about?

Please join me in congratulating our Grade 12’s on a job well done. The path to completing the Extended Essay hasn’t always been easy, but these seniors have worked their way through, knowing that success was in sight.

At this time, I’d also like to thank the parents who have supported our seniors throughout this process. They have provided many things for our seniors, including comfort, love, and sometimes, a shoulder to cry on. They also took the time to bake and cook so that our students would have something delicious to eat on EE Day. Their continued support is much appreciated.

Finally, I’d like to thank all the teacher supervisors for their patience, wisdom, and time (oh yes, the time!) The work you do with our students does not go unnoticed, and for that we are all thankful.

Please check out the slide show of EE Day below.

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Photos courtesy of Su Allen, Anna Parr, Niki Dinsdale, and yours truly.

Interview with Sean Lacey, Head of EAL

In the interview transcript below, Sean helps us understand the expectations for students considering an English B Extended Essay. Questions from me are in blue, while Sean’s answers are in red.

Who can write an English B Extended Essay?

Any student enrolled in English B can write an English B Extended Essay.

As Head of EAL, what would you like to see in a student’s Extended Essay?

I’d like to see an examination of language more so than literature. This comes along once every few years, and it’s the area where I can give the most constructive feedback and advice.

What would be some good resources for students to consider?

That really depends on the topic. Of course, their EE booklet is an important resource, but that is the same for everyone. For Group 2, there is no one superior resource. One student might write on poetry, while another writes on semantics / pragmatics. Resources will really depend on the topic.

In your experience, what are some common struggles students have had in the past?

For English B, the biggest issue is language. Quite often, the students have the task of producing a piece of academic writing that may be beyond their linguistic capability. As the EE begins in Grade 11, they may not have acquired a level of academic English that allows them to write clearly without a lot of struggle.

What advice would you provide for students who are just beginning their English B Extended Essay?

One of the things I often tell students is to have the end in mind when they begin. Many times, students do not do any background research before developing their topic, so they expect that they will eventually find the resources that will answer all facets of their research question; they often end up disappointed and panicked. They should have an idea of the body of research available to them before they submit their proposal, and certainly before they begin the writing process.

I’d like to thank Sean Lacey for providing his time and expertise with regards to the English B Extended Essay. If you have any specific questions, please direct them to his UWCSEA email (SeL).