What is the IB MYP Personal Project? Part of the MYP's focus is to make learning relevant to students' lives by contextualizing it so they can see the connection between what they learn in the classroom and their local, national, and global communities. To this end, students participate in projects where they can explore a topic or cause that they are passionate about and use their content knowledge learned in school, as well as the skills they develop, to understand this connection.
Through the projects, students apply the design cycle to learn how to manage a project independently and monitor their growth, as well as creatively solve challenging obstacles. They specifically focus on applying the Approaches to Learning skills they have learned in their classes in a new and unfamiliar context. These include:
The Personal Project takes place in Year 5 of the MYP Programme (Grade 10). Students receive support and guidance during office hours from their advisor, but they are expected to be working on their project outside of school as well. Over the course of this time they work on creating a goal, researching their process, creating a product or outcome, and reflecting on their process. In the end they write a report which encapsulates all these parts; this report is then graded by staff and moderated by IBO. In February, students show their work to the larger community at the Personal Project exhibition.
How are all students included in the Personal Project? All students at Hugh Boyd Secondary, as students in the Middle Years Programme, participate in a final project of their MYP experience called the Personal Project. This project enables students to explore a topic of interest and take part in authentic learning, using the skills and knowledge they have acquired in sixth through tenth grade. Our goal is that all students will engage in this meaningful process. As such, our focus is more on the process and reflection, rather than the MYP mark they earn at the duration of the project.
In an effort to support all students in completing the Personal Project, a number of resources have already been designed to help all learners, including, but not limited to:
Outline of dates and materials needed for each deadline
Personal Project Sessions to help students determine their goal and begin initial research
Graphic organizers and timelines to help students organize their ideas and materials
Personal Project Guidebook and Website for students
Samples of student work and reports
Templates for writing/organizing final reports
For students that have the following accommodations noted in their Individualized Learning Plans (hereafter referred to as an IEP), specific supports and accommodations will be made:
Graphic organizers - Students will receive graphic organizers for each part of the project and composing their reports.
Project report options - Students may elect to present their report in a written report, video report, or oral report. Requirements for each type will be shared with students.
Verbal and/or physical help - Students who need a scribe or any physical assistance will be provided such assistance in completing the components of the project. The details of this assistance will be determined in conjunction with their caseload manager.
How can I support my child during the Personal Project? #1 Visit the Boyd Personal Project Website regularly There is a wealth of information on this website to help you understand the process of the project and how it connects to all the concepts, skills, and attitudes that students have developed over the course of the years they have been in the Middle Years Programme. On this website you can find a timeline, projects handbook, projects workbook, rubrics, and student samples, giving you access to all the information and resources students have at their fingertips.
#2 Be aware of the timeline and important dates Having your child share the calendar and timeline with you will enable you to see when each step of the project is scheduled. These dates are guidelines to help students manage their time. The schedule anticipates students doing on average 20-45 min of work per week, helping students manage their time so they can balance it with their other activities.
#3 Focus on the learning and outcomes The goal of the Personal Project is learning to be an independent thinker and apply the skills and concepts students have learned to a real-world issue or situation that interests them. One of the things students get nervous about is if their final product is perfect. Remind them that the Personal Project is more about the process and what students learn than the final perfect result. If their product does not turn out 100% perfect, but they have learned a great deal through reflecting on the process, they have been extremely successful.
#4 Be a mentor Be a mentor. If you have expertise in a particular area or know someone who does, consider acting as a mentor to students, or asking someone else to. Part of students’ project is to work on their collaboration and communication skills, and working with mentors helps students develop these skills in an authentic way. If you have a particular hobby, career experience, or skills that you would be willing to share with students (whether your own or others), contact the Personal Project coordinator, Ms. Balaciano (firstname.lastname@example.org) to partner you with a student who could use your help.