Window Into the Classroom: Community Projects

There are many different group projects going on at MIS in the 4/5 Multiage. This week we will give you a summary of 4 projects:

Our 5th graders are working in small, collaborative groups on the PYP Exhibition. This week we will give you a summary of the 4 projects.


Grupo 1: Isaiah, Land, Mia, Damia

+ Entomophagy

Grupo 1 has interests in habitat restoration, reducing our carbon footprint in the food industry, and looking towards more sustainable protein sources through cricket farms! This group was inspired to do a project on entomophagy by a group of UM students who came and shared the idea with the classroom.  The group hopes to create healthier communities by using less water in food production. One challenge the group faces with this project is helping people get past the ‘yuck’ factor when trying bugs as food.

Grupo 2: Rowan, Ezekiel, Astra

+ Organic Fertilizer

Grupo 2 has a project to study the difference between organic vs. inorganic fertilizer. One experiment the team will conduct is growing pea seeds in the different fertilizers to measure the difference in both size and growth rate. The group wants to help people understand the ease and benefits of composting as a natural and low-cost fertilizer.

Grupo 3: Intza, Jackson, Sadie

+ Zero Waste

This group has begun a project to research and work on zero-waste research. Grupo 3 wants to reduce plastic use and communicate what this means to our community more effectively. They are focused, in particular, on the idea of “upcycling” and reusing materials to make new products.

Grupo 4: Colin, Michael, Camilla, Isaac

+ Climate Change

Grupo 4 has a large task of trying to focus a project on the impact of fossil fuels specifically in food systems. They are looking at the impacts of plastic food packaging and also the use of fossil fuels in food production – for example, meat production vs. vegetable production. They want to provide information for consumers of food products to reduce their use of fossil fuels.

Teacher Feature: José Díaz

What are some of the topics this year for Exhibition?

This year, our students are going to work with some ideas related to the Transdisciplinary Theme, Sharing the Planet, specifically into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things. They have great projects like the study of using different plants and animals to help the restoration of the natural habitat, and how education can help people understand how to waste less every day to help the community goal of Zero Waste.

What is Exhibition and why do we do it?

Exhibition is an activity that demonstrates how our students exhibit all the attributes of the learner profile and use the aspects of the PYP that they have been developing throughout their engagement in the primary grades.   They also take action as a result of their learning. It also a great celebration for our school because it’s the transition of learners from primary grade to middle school.

What is your favorite unit of inquiry to teach?

I really like all the units of inquiry because they have global significance in our students learning. They are planning to offer the opportunity to explore a different perspective of the human experience. I think that my favorite are those that are related to culture, beliefs, and values. For example, the unit related to heroes, building community and rights and responsibilities.

You taught in  Venezuela, how is MIS different in teaching style?  

I have been teaching for 15 years in Venezuela and the way that I used to teach is more traditional that MIS’s way. Even when I had to follow some strict programs and activities, I tried to change them in some way to teach all the subjects and created my own Spanish program and developed a website to connect with my students and with the program. I like the way that I teach at MIS because I can be more creative and have the independence to develop activities.  The most important thing is that my students can be inquirers and participate in their own learning.

What are you looking forward to doing this summer? 

I am going to Atlanta to visit my best friend Antonietta who is a parent of a former student in Venezuela.  She’s like family to me and it will be nice to make the connection because I don’t have any close family living in the United States. I might even go to Disney World.