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M-DCPS Curriculum Bulletin
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Information about IB Assessment
We use the formal Middle Years Programme levels to report assessment for Grades 6-8 students. This means on the progress report, your child will receive a level from 0 to 8 in each subject area. Additionally, an assessment of the Approaches to Learning skills (Expert, Practitioner, Learner, Novice) will also be assigned. There will not be a letter grade or percentage.
Our focus on Approaches to Learning (ATL) is designed to support students in developing the foundational skills they need to be successful both in the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme and beyond. These are the skills that we will be working to develop across all subject areas. There is no expectation that all ATL would be assessed in any given term.
The Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills are as follows:
- Critical-thinking skills: Analysing and evaluating issues and ideas
- Creative-thinking skills: Generating novel ideas and considering new perspectives
- Transfer skills: Using skills and knowledge in multiple contexts
- Exchanging thoughts, messages and information effectively through Interaction
- Reading, writing and using language to gather and communicate information
- Collaboration; Working effectively with others
- Organization skills: Managing time and tasks effectively
- Affective skills: Managing state of mind including mindfulness, perseverance, emotional management, self-motivation, and resilience
- Reflection skills: (Re)considering the process of learning; choosing and using ATL skills
- Information literacy skills: Finding, interpreting, judging and creating information
- Media literacy skills: Interacting with media to use and create ideas and information
Source: MYP: From principles into practice, International Baccalaureate Organization
Expert (E): The student shows others how to use these skills and self-assess his/her usage
Practitioner (P): The student often demonstrates these skills effectively without being asked
Learner (L): The student uses these skills if they are demonstrated or specifically asked
Novice (N): The student rarely uses these skills
In terms of the curricular content, each course contains four major criteria that teachers will assess throughout the school year (see below). The marking guidelines (known as rubrics) are posted within every course outline that can be found on our website under Teachers > MYP Subject Guides. While all four criteria will be assessed throughout the school year, teachers will likely only focus on one or two criteria per term.
By June, each student will receive a level from 0 to 8 on each of the four criteria for a maximum score of 32. This score out of 32 will be converted into a final level from 0 to 7 and will be reported in the end of year progress report.
Please note that assessment results are not meant to be read as a “mark out of.” For example: a “3” ≠ 3/8 (38%); the “3” will be in reference to the descriptor of the student’s progress.
In aligning with our International Baccalaureate philosophy, we are exhibiting best practices in assessment. This criterion-‐referenced assessment allows for us to provide clear and meaningful feedback for you and your child.
Overall Level of Achievement indicators
(Level descriptors for final level of achievement calculated at the end of the course. Please note these indicators are general indicators for all MYP subjects. For specific course rubrics see course outlines linked above.)
Level 1: Produces work of very limited quality. Conveys many significant misunderstandings or lacks understanding of most concepts and contexts. Very rarely demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Very inflexible, rarely using knowledge or skills.
Level 2: Produces work of limited quality. Expresses misunderstandings or significant gaps in understanding for many concepts and contexts. Infrequently demonstrates critical or creative thinking. Generally inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, infrequently applying knowledge and skills.
Level 3: Produces work of an acceptable quality. Communicates basic understanding of many concepts and contexts, with occasionally significant misunderstandings or gaps. Begins to demonstrate some basic critical and creative thinking. Is often inflexible in the use of knowledge and skills, requiring support even in familiar classroom situations.
Level 4: Produces good-quality work. Communicates basic understanding of most concepts and contexts with few misunderstandings and minor gaps. Often demonstrates basic critical and creative thinking. Uses knowledge and skills with some flexibility in familiar classroom situations, but requires support in unfamiliar situations.
Level 5: Produces generally high-quality work. Communicates secure understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, sometimes with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar classroom and real-world situations and, with support, some unfamiliar real-world situations.
Level 6: Produces high-quality, occasionally innovative work. Communicates extensive understanding of concepts and contexts. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking, frequently with sophistication. Uses knowledge and skills in familiar and unfamiliar classroom and real-world situations, often with independence.
Level 7: Produces high-quality, frequently innovative work. Communicates comprehensive, nuanced understanding of concepts and contexts. Consistently demonstrates sophisticated critical and creative thinking. Frequently transfers knowledge and skills with independence and expertise in a variety of complex classroom and real-world situations.
Please feel free to contact individual teachers for a breakdown of student achievement per criteria.