IB Conference: Denver in September

Action is now Activity?

There are 7 Learning Outcomes, not 8?



What the heck is going on with the new CAS requirements for the class of 2017 and beyond?

I have no idea, but I’m gonna find out on September 25th at the IB Conference in Denver, Colorado.

Anyone else coming with me?

I have so much to learn! πŸ™‚


Reflective Evidence

Hello fellow CAS Coordinators! Do you or your students ever get confused about the difference between Reflection and Evidence as they pertain to CAS activities? I wish IB would eliminate one of these terms because they both mean the same thing. They are synonymous. Interchangeable.

To clarify things as much as possible for my students, I’ve started telling them they need to provide “Reflective Evidence” for each activity they do. This seems to sit well with their brains, as it does with mine.

If your students ever ask you the difference between Reflection and Evidence for their CAS activities, confidently tell them there is no difference. None. Zero.Β #reflectiveevidence

Have a great year errrrybody! πŸ™‚




College Application Season

Season’s Greetings everyone! Here in California the college application season (for the most part) just came to an end for seniors. Some seniors might still be applying to private colleges or taking one last SAT or ACT, but for most seniors the heavy lifting is over and now it’s all about the waiting.

So, to help your IB seniors pass the time until they receive their college decisions in March, encourage them to get involved with a significant CAS activity. An activity that is truly meaningful. An activity with impact!

The IBO wants seniors to be involved in CAS activities for at least 18 months, so this means seniors need to stay involved with their CAS until at least February 2015 (depending on what month your seniors started school their junior year).

So, encourage your seniors to use this time of the year (and even a couple weeks of no school for most) to finish out their CAS program strong with a CAS activity or two or three that is truly meaningful and has a lot of impact.

Have a great holiday season everyone! πŸ™‚

Student Evidence/Reflections

Hello out there CAS Coordinators:

Recently my seniors have started giving me lame, lazy evidence and reflections for their activities. So I sent them this reminder:

Hi Seniors, I just want to clarify that I can’t approve CAS activities until you provide evidence/reflections that are acceptable to IB. Take a look at the CAS Quick Start Guide which can be found under the Files menu at the top of your ManageBac account. Look especially at 2 sections: “Reflection” and “Recording & Reporting.” This will give you some guidelines as to what IB expects when you provide evidence/reflections.

A photo, video, or link to a website is fine, but rarely is this sufficient on it’s own to explain how you met the learning outcomes you stated or the 5 big things IB is looking for from your evidence:

  1. What happened
  2. Why it happened
  3. How it happened
  4. What its value was
  5. What you learned from it

If you post a pic or video you will most likely need to provide some written commentary as well.

Remember: your evidence/reflections need to show:

  • How you met the learning outcomes you stated you’d meet through the activity
  • The 5 big things IB is looking for

So that was my message. We shall see if it has any effect on the quality of their evidence/reflections, but I thought it was a good idea to clarify for them what their evidence/reflections is supposed to show me. By the way, the CAS Quick Start Guide can be found on the Documents page of CAS Corner.

Anyways, I hope this helps somebody out there. Have a great year πŸ™‚

CAS Activities Due

Hello fellow CAS Coordinators! This is just a reminder that your seniors’ CAS Activities must be submitted by June 1, 2014 (depending on your school’s location you may have a different due date).

But if you’re like me, by June 1st you have to login to IBISΒ (International Baccalaureate Information System) and state whether or not your students met their CAS requirements. If you don’t have your login info already you can get this from your IB Coordinator.

Reporting CAS in IBIS is quick and easy, it’s getting all your students to submit their CAS activities on time that’s the hard part AND then spending time reviewing/approving all the activities. Β This is why I set an internal deadline of May 10th for my students to submit all their CAS Activities. This gives me a little cushion to go through all their activities and contact them for clarification if need be.

If you use ManageBac like I do it makes things sooooooo much easier, but it doesn’t eliminate kids’ from procrastinating altogether. So don’t delay, get your students to submit their CAS activities SOON!