The Tubman IB Communicator

Highlights from our Tubman IB PYP and MYP Classrooms

Quarter 3 Newsletter: March 2023

Tubman Mission and Vision

Our promise is to provide a nurturing and rigorous learning environment. We will instill within our students a love of learning by identifying their positive distinctions through academics, the arts, and athletics. We empower students to be responsible, contributing members of an international community through service and action.

As a result, Tubman students will be life-long learners who are persistent problem solvers,  inquisitive about the world, and have a strong sense of self driven by ongoing reflection. Tubman students will be caring and principled, and possess a foundation of knowledge that equips them to build a more peaceful world.

Kindergarten: An inquiry into How the World Works

Our Kindergarten students recently concluded their unit of inquiry, How the World Works, which was an investigation of how the properties of materials impact their movement. Students began the unit by inquiring into different materials, their properties, and what they are used for, and where to find them in the world. Students went on a scavenger hunt around the school looking for materials that can be pushed and pulled, as well as materials of different properties such as wood, metal, glass, and fabric. They investigated machines and how they help people do work. They observed machines to identify "work words" such as push, pull, lift, dig, mix, etc. They continued their investigation into the ways different objects move and how their properties (size, weight, material) might impact the way they move. To finish the unit, students used all the information they learned to create ramps in which they rolled a marble down and raced each other. The unit was hands-on, exciting, and provided students with an opportunity to explore their world!

Tubman Bulldog Buddies

On Friday, March 2nd, Bulldog Buddies came together for Read Across Tubman Day. Students listened to stories together, played games outside, and older buddies read aloud to younger buddies. We have two more Bulldog Buddy events planned for the school year and look forward to celebrating these friendships in May!

Why Student-Led Conferences and reflections?

As an IB World School, Tubman students become accustomed to making their thinking visible by sharing what they have learned with their peers, teachers, and family members in a variety of ways. An important part of the learning process involves student reflection, which provides both the teacher and student an opportunity to stop and share what’s working and what’s not, and helps to inform next steps in the learning process. Morning and closing circles, google forms, reflection sheets, Seesaw videos and audio recordings, and exit slips are just a few ways teachers provide space in the day for student reflections and feedback to occur. Teachers will often use the information gleaned from these reflections to make adjustments to their units and instruction. Through these ongoing opportunities, we are hopeful to develop within students the ability to reflect on their learning and to set goals for themselves as life-long learners. Student Led Conferences are also an opportunity for students to take ownership of their learning by talking about their goals, strengths, and "grows" or opportunities for growth. We continue to encourage our families, caregivers, and students to participate in Student Led Conferences as an authentic way of highlight the learning process. Third Quarter conferences on Wednesday, March 29 will be Student Led. We look forward to hearing more from our students on their learning!

If you are interested in reading more about Student Led Conferences, additional resources for families are linked below!

Having Students Lead Parent Conferences

Let Students Lead the Parent Teacher Conference

Second: An Inquiry into How We Organize Ourselves

Students in 2nd Grade investigated how human made systems depend on one another for economic development. Their unit included exploring how communities provide goods and services to their residents, as well as how people make decisions based on their wants and needs. Students created business plans for a unique good or service they could provide to others and created advertisements featured below. Their next IB unit will provide for students to explore their identities and how the arts can serve as a vehicle for expressing who we are.

Third: An Inquiry into Sharing the Planet

If KIDS can make an IMPACT, so can YOU!

Students in 3rd grade recently inquired into the rights and responsibilities humans have to share finite resources in their Sharing the Planet unit of inquiry. Throughout their investigation, students examined the relationships between plants and other living things, the role of plant diversity, as we as the conditions living things need to survive. Students ultimately were driven to look more closely at bodies of water that support life on the planet, as well as our dependence on lake Michigan for fresh water. They created a mural that highlighted their learning, as we as their plea to the community to help keep our environment clean and healthy. If kids can make an impact, so can you! 

MYP Year 2 & 3 Science Fair Highlights

MYP students in Year 2 (7th) and Year 3 (8th) engaged in a series of investigations to learn about the steps of the Scientific Method. As part of their MYP Science Unit, the statement of inquiry they explored was: Scientists use methods to gather evidence about the relationship between interacting variables. Students collaborated with peers to develop their scientific investigation, then conducted their experiments at home. Their display boards were highlighted at our Middle School Science Fair in February. Thank you to all the families and caregivers that attended the Science Fair. We're so proud of our students!

Tubman Student of the Month


At Tubman, we use Student of the Month as a springboard to discuss the IB Learner Profile Attributes and to help students identify, as well as reflect upon what it means to be a learner in an IB World School. Through books, activities, games, and discussions, student begin to internalize the 10 attributes of the IB Learner: Thinker, Risk-Taker, Inquirer, Caring, Communicator, Knowledgeable, Principled, Reflective, Open-Minded, and Balanced. One student from each classroom is selected by their classmates every month based on the IB Learner Profile Attribute. Below are the students recognized for the second part of the school year.















Lillie Anna






















































Sam O.









5th Grade PYP Exhibition

Our 5th grade students began learning about the Primary Years Programme (PYP) Exhibition in March and will continue this student-led work through the end of the year. The PYP Exhibition marks the end of students’ time in the PYP and provides students with the tools, resources, and time to design their own unit of inquiry based on their passions and interests. To date, students have examined personal, local, and global issues in the world, learned about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and made connections to other students in the world who have been change-makers. We are thrilled to see students’ excitement as they hone in on their exhibition topics and continue their research in the 4th quarter. A final PYP Exhibition showcase will occur in June for our school community. Stay tuned!

MYP Year 3: 8th Grade Community Projects

MYP Community projects are well underway in 8th Grade! The MYP Community Project is a major milestone for students in year 3 of the MYP program at Tubman Elementary School. As part of being an authorized IB MYP school, all 8th grade students are required to complete a community project. The community project focuses on community and service, and gives students an opportunity to develop awareness of needs in various communities and address those needs through service learning. As a consolidation of learning, the community project engages students in a sustained, in-depth inquiry leading to action in the local or global community. The community project is completed by an individual student or by a group, and students choose their project topic in consultation with an advisor who has the responsibility for supervising the development of the project according to MYP Assessment Criteria of the International Baccalaureate Organization.  We are excited to watch our 8th Grade students take their passions and interests, as well as the issues they care about, and turn them into service learning opportunities! Thank you to our Tubman community for supporting our students in their work!

This year, our students projects are focused on a variety of local and global issues, including:

  • Bullying
  • Pollution
  • Women's Reproductive Health
  • Access to Sports/Recess Equipment
  • Refugees
  • Food Deserts and Urban Community Farming
  • Gun Violence
  • Sickle Cell Disease
  • Homelessness
  • Global Warming
  • Animal Abuse
  • Recycling
  • Access to Sports
  • Animal Wellness
  • Mental Health

Want to learn more about the IB?

Helpful Links

Tubman School Website:


Tubman PYP Homepage


Tubman MYP Homepage

Questions about the IB Primary Years or Middle Years Programme at Tubman?

Contact Mrs. Pirillis, PYP Coordinator, at 

or Ms. Vincent, MYP Coordinator, at

Harriet Tubman Elementary School

2851 N. Seminary Ave.

Chicago, IL 60657

Phone: (773) 534-5725

Fax: (773) 534-5784

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