The Tubman IB Communicator

Highlights from our Tubman IB PYP and MYP Classrooms

Quarter 1 Newsletter: Fall 2023

Tubman Mission Statement

Our promise is to provide a nurturing, challenging, and authentic 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.

First Grade: Who We Are

IB PYP students in 1st grade spent the past several weeks exploring the concept of community and how communities support one another. Starting with the classroom learning community and extending outwards, students looked at who works in their community, what roles and responsibilities community members have, as well as their impact. First grade students visited the local fire station during Fire Safety Week to hear from fire fighters about their role in the community and how they keep everyone safe. After their visit and a walk through the neighborhood, students collaborated on a mural highlighting all the sights and sounds of our Lakeview community.

Tubman Bulldog Buddies Events

International Day of Peace

September 2023

Tubman students celebrated the International Day of Peace on Thursday, September 21, 2023. The International Day of Peace (Peace Day) is observed around the world each year on September 21st. Established in 1981 by an unanimous United Nations resolution of 36/37, the General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” More information can be found here. Bulldog Buddies came together to create a ‘Peace begins with me’ visual representing the ways in which we can foster peace within ourselves and our world. 

Unity Day

October 2023

On Wednesday, October 18, 2023, our Bulldog Buddies celebrated Unity Day. Unity Day was started by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center in October 2011. It is the lead campaign of National Bullying Prevention Month. Unity Day is the signature event of National Bullying Prevention Month, also celebrated in October. Multiple anti-bullying campaigns — of which Unity Day is one of them, are organized during this period. The key message of this month, and this day, is to unite for kindness, courage, and inclusion, to prevent students from being bullied. Bulldog Buddies wrote messages of unity and linked their messages on a chain, now displayed on the first floor.

Second Grade: Culture Share

Students in Second Grade recently concluded their PYP inquiry into Who We Are, focused on culture and the connections between people around the world. Students explored the concept of culture, drafted interview questions to ask their families, then created songs, posters, and other presentations to share out what they learned about themselves during a Culture Share. Students learned a great deal about themselves, as well as their classmates throughout the unit. Here are some highlights from their Culture Share!

IB Policy Spotlight: Assessment Policy

What is the IB policy on assessment? How are students assessed in an IB world school? How are students given feedback on their learning? Our Tubman IB Assessment Policy provides information to families, students, and staff on how we approach the assessment process, including testing, report cards, and the feedback process for students. Our assessment policy helps families navigate the types of assessments their children will participate in and understand the philosophy behind why we include students in the process. You can view the policy here.

Fourth Grade: An Inquiry into

Human Challenges & Obstacles

During their Who We Are unit, students in Fourth Grade inquired into how who they are is influenced by the world around them. Their research and classroom discussions focused on human challenges (personal, physical, social, emotional, and beyond) that all people face. They were able to delve into issues like racism, poverty, climate change, migration, as well as immigration. Learning experiences included a virtual exchange with a teacher and student who are refugees living in the Middle East, as well as a visit to the DuSable Black History Museum where students were guided through exhibits highlighting the lived experiences of African American individuals in our local and global community. As a part of their summative, students wrote goals for themselves based on a human challenge they face, which will be used to support students as they progress through the school year.

5th Grade visits The Plant

Recently, students in 5th grade visited The Plant as part of their Who We Are unit of inquiry. Students explored the central idea: Humans innovate in the face of obstacles and deepened their understanding of what it means to be human. As part of their unit, students delved into environmental issues and access to resources, changes in human consumption, and technological advancements over time. Their visit to The Plant included an opportunity to learn about food production, reducing waste, and how climate change impacts human consumption. Thank you to The Plant for hosting our Tubman students! You can learn more about The Plant here.

MYP Science

Students in MYP Science have been exploring kinetic and potential energy, most recently designing and building energy models that can be used by rescue workers to harness the energy from their body's movement. These models can convert potential energy to be stored in batteries that can later be used to power their rescue equipment. Lastly, students created brochures about their inventions and described how they worked. All student models and brochures are displayed outside of Room 305.

School Counselor Corner


October was Bullying Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the harmful effects of bullying and promoting unity within our school community. Ms. Beeker presented engaging and informative lessons on inclusivity for students from Pre-K to 2nd grade and on bullying awareness for students from 3rd to 8th grade. We believe that by educating our students, we can empower them to stand up against bullying and become compassionate allies for one another.


We encourage you, as parents, to have open and ongoing conversations with your child about bullying, inclusivity, and kindness. Reinforcing these values at home will complement the lessons taught at school and further promote a positive environment for everyone. We also understand the importance of addressing bullying and fostering a sense of unity among our students. Together, we can make a significant impact and create a culture of kindness and inclusivity within our school. Thank you for your continued support and partnership in creating a safe and inclusive learning environment.


Read Alouds:

The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld

A Big Guy Took My Ball by Mo Williams

One by Kathryn Otoshi

High School GO CPS Important Dates:

November 9th, 2023- GO CPS High School Application Period Closes

December 1st, 2023- GO CPS High School Application Re-rank Period Closes

High School GO CPS Resources:

Options for High School 2024-2025 Application Cycle Presentation

Any questions regarding the GO CPS High School application process please contact Ms. Beeker via email.

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 first two months of the school year.

August/September Caring





















































MYP Year 3: Folded Map Project

Our Year 3 (8th Grade) students recently wrapped up their Folded Map Projects, which involved students locating two points on a map within the City of Chicago. These "twin neighborhoods" share the same address, but are located on opposite sides of the city. Students explored the resources in each community, the availability of homes, and the disparities between income, education, and access in each neighborhood. If you're interested in learning more about this project, click here.

The Role of AI in Academic Integrity at Tubman

In order to help revise the Tubman Academic Integrity Policy, MYP Year 3 students participated in a “Silent Conversation” with Mrs. McNally. Students looked at different sample policies from a university about the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in classes. Students then worked in small groups and silently wrote what they liked/didn’t like about the policies, in addition to giving input about other’s comments on the chart paper. At the end, the class had a whole group discussion on things they thought would be helpful to incorporate into our Academic Integrity Policy about the use of AI. MYP Year 1 and Year 2 students will also have an opportunity to provide feedback through a similar process led by Mrs. McNally soon.

MYP Houses Learning Celebration

On Friday, October 20th, MYP held its first House Learning Celebration! It was a wonderful way to wrap up all the learning and engagement that took place in MYP last quarter. Some MYP students talked about learning that took place in particular classes. Students in all houses were recognized for their efforts, as well as individual students who were recognized for two different awards. The first award was given to students displaying grit, which was defined as being persistent, motivated, determined, and hard-working. The Grit awards were given to Zoe G.(Year 1), Remy L.(Year 2), and Alaysia J. (Year 3). The other award was given to students who displayed exemplary learner profile attributes throughout the quarter. This award was given to Marcus A. (Inquirer House), Alexa M. (Thinker House), Delia D. (Communicator House), and Rocco M.(Risk-Taker House). The House that earned the most points, Risk-Takers, went to Jonquil Park as an incentive. We are proud of all our MYP students!

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 [email protected] 

or Mrs. McNally, MYP Coordinator, at [email protected].

Harriet Tubman Elementary School

2851 N. Seminary Ave.

Chicago, IL 60657

Phone: (773) 534-5725

Fax: (773) 534-5784

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