Our student bloggers are invited to write in their own words and to hold nothing back –we promise we won’t edit them. Read Farah Walter’s blog on 10 tips for a good TOK presentation on our From Students to Students blog:
I held my very first TOK presentation in class today. To be honest, I was overwhelmed by the work, and ravaged my brain to find “philosophical” and TOK related arguments. Nevertheless, I was inspired to create 10 tips and tricks for a good TOK presentation in hopes that these will help all of you:
Choose a good Real Life Situation. Helpful are classroom discussions, debates, and ultimately encounters that you have experienced.
Create a reasonable knowledge question that is not too easy but not too hard. Remember your knowledge question should be extracted from your RLS and should aim to draw linkages.
Use TOK terminology throughout the entire presentation. Specifically, the ways of knowing, areas of knowledge and TOK concepts. These will make your presentation more TOK based and accordingly boost your grade.
DO NOT TALK ABOUT YOUR REAL LIFE EXAMPLE TOO MUCH. This is key! Your aim is not to analyse your real life situation as you would in an FOA, but to establish TOK links and to reflect on how this produces knowledge.
Include multiple perspectives. These can either be yours, those of an expert or based on gender, race, culture, or the upbringing of an individual. Make sure to evaluate why different people might have different perspectives.
Structure your presentation coherently and establish a “flow”. There is nothing worse than an unorganized PowerPoint and no transitions between points. Structure your presentation the same way as you would structure your arguments.
When evaluating the implications focus on the long and short term effect as well as the global impact.
Do not use too many RLSs. Of course every group will vary in how many RLSs are used, however using too many may cause you to lose track and therefore create weak arguments.
Do not read off of your flash cards! Apart from the fact that the presentation will be very boring and monotone, IB examiners might believe you do not know your material and therefore deduct points.
Do not stress. Probably the hardest tip to follow, however the best advice I can give you. This is because your stress is transferred to your peers, the teacher and the examiners. By the time you present you know what you are going to talk about and therefore have no need to worry!
Creativity Make a mural Learn to play the ukulele or any instrument Design a website for a group Photography portfolio Take a long-term art class Start a photo blog Participate in a school musical Join/create a chess club Write for a magazine or newspaper Join a dance class Paint pictures for elderly Join a yearbook class/club Join organize a culture club Make activity books for sick kids at your local hospital Program an app Write a continuous fan-fiction novel Organize a nature hike Make a mural out of an ugly wall Organize a community garden/help make one Join/make a debate team Sew stuffed animals for sick children at your local hospital Make jewelry for sick children at your local hospital Join/create a movie club Create seasonal decorations for your school Learn a new modern language Learn a classical language Learn sign language Tutor children Learn how to cook foreign, authentic foods and serve them to a local hospital or homeless shelter Learn how to code
Action Join a sports team Train for a marathon/half-marathon Train for a triathlon Learn how to play rugby Hike a mountain Organize a community walk Organize a 5k Join a yoga class Join a cycling class Learn how to box/kickbox Karate Judo Skateboarding/Snowboarding Skiing Weight training Join a gym Start a dog walking club Climb a mountain Learn how to surf Plan an overnight expedition Learn to scuba dive and get certification Learn how to mountain bike Learn how to skateboard
Service Tutor local elementary Teach people how to sing/dance Volunteer to play with orphans Teach people at an organization to utilize technology Organize a clean up for the environment Take CPR classes Help with a blood drive Help a school club set up a website Volunteer at a soup kitchen Volunteer at a local hospital Be a captain for a relay for life team Start a food collecting program for the needy Record books on tape for blind children Clothing drive Set up a school partnership where IB kids help out elementary schools Assist kids in Africa for the summer Volunteer to help at a school
In high school, I was so tired during my IBHL Language & Literature exam that I double-checked my work to find that I had written Satan instead of Salem twice in my essay about The Crucible. Double-check your work, kids.
catching up on hl chem with the help of my bullet journal and study playlist on spotify. i’m currently about 2 lessons behind but i know i can catch up! i would also greatly appreciate any recommendations for the playlist!
As the DP1′s are starting their extended essay I would like to say some things that I think will help you during the process.
1. Always keep deadlines
This is not for the teacher’s sake, but for your own. If you don’t keep deadlines or book meetings with your teachers, it’s so easy to think “I’ll do it later”. But the truth is, you need those meetings to make sure that you are on track with everything.
2. Start early
You are not supposed to write your extended essay in a month. Not the first month after choosing a topic and not the last month before the deadline. This is supposed to be a process spread out over several months, but make sure you have started and know what to do.
3. Write when you want to
If you choose a topic you really like (which you should) you will feel the urge to write on your extended essay. This is when you are supposed to write! Write when you feel motivated and inspired, and not when you feel forced to. By writing when you feel inspired and motivated you will keep the the process of writing the extended essay seem fun and positive.
4. Leave it for a while
If you follow the above tips, you will have time to leave the extended essay for a couple of days (or maybe even weeks) just so you can later on go back and look at it again from a different perspective. This is crucial, so that you see what your strengths are but also your weaknesses.
Waking up early is a struggle for many students, me included. As someone who wakes up at 6am every school day I know this all too well. So I decided to create this post to give you some tips on how to make it a bit more manageable to wake up early.
It can be really difficult to force yourself out of bed but I think that there are more advantages than disadvantages to it in the end.
So here we go!
The night before
Start your night routine 1 hour before you want to close your eyes for the night. For me that time is 9pm since I want to go to bed at 10pm. So I try to stop studying around that time and start making my bag and such. That usually takes 30 min which means that I have 30 minutes for myself before bed.
Put out clothes for the next day. This is a classic but it works really well. Check the weather for the next day and choose appropriate clothes. This way you will save time in the morning and won’t have to stress about what to wear.
Make your bag. This is very effective and saves loads of time in the morning. Put all your school books in your bag for the next day and add any snacks or drinks that you’ll bring.
Put your alarm somewhere you can’t reach it. Put it away from your bed so that you have to get up to turn it off. This way you are less likely to get back to bed. Also it prevents you from using your phone into the endless hours of the night.
Put your alarm so that your have more time than you need in the morning. I personally don’t like being stressed in the morning so I’d rather put my alarm for a bit to early.
Have a glass of water by your bed. In case you get thirsty in the middle of the night.
You will have to go to bed on time. This is unavoidable if you want to feel alive the next day. I personally like to go to bed at 10pm. I’ve never been much of a night person. I would recommend getting at least 7 hours of sleep.
In the morning
Let all that light in. Don’t dwell in the darkness because you’ll just make it more difficult to get up.
Don’t snooze! I know that it is tempting but don’t do it! You’ll just go back to bed and be more tired and get up an hour later and then be late for class.
Splash your face with cold water. A kinder version of the cold shower. I personally don’t like to shower in the morning and this works just as well.
Get dressed ASAP. Then you feel more awake and you’re less likely to go back to bed.
Do something that you like. I like to watch a tv show episode in the morning because I really like my tv shows and it also gives me a reason to get up on time. If I don’t get up on time I won’t be able to watch my episode. But you could do anything that you enjoy like sudoku or drawing. It becomes a good start of the day.
Food! I am personally not a big fan of breakfast to early in the morning so I eat really slowly which is another reason for why I like to have a lot of time in the morning. Make something that you know you like, and if that an is avocado sandwich then great but simpler stuff like a cheese sandwich works just as well.
Decide on a time that you will leave the house. This will make it easier for you not to lounge around at home for too long.
Benefits of an early start
You have time to exercise in the morning! I know that this isn’t something that people like but it is a very good way of waking up. You don’t have to do a full out work out routine, it can just be a 20 min yoga session or a light jog.
You add like 3 hours to your day. This is what enjoy the most when it comes to waking up early. It really feels like your day becomes twice as long.
You can distribute your studying time. I personally like to study in the morning if my classes start after 9am. That way I don’t have to do all of my schoolwork in the afternoon.
You get some me time. Wether this will be in the afternoon or in the morning is up to you. But in the end you will have more time for yourself. You can also be completely by yourself in the mornings since you’ll be the only one awake. I quite like that.
You get to enjoy the sunrise!
This advise is based on what I like to do in the morning so everything might not work for everyone but I hope that you might find some of it useful. And be patient, because it will not be easy to wake up early on the first day. But if you do it for a while it will become easier :)
-like what i did -why it’s significant -why i liked it or what i could have improved -the impact it has on my life -for the future -why is it significant -will it affect any of my choices? -will i think about continuing this project -is it important in this community? nationally? internationally? -how did it affect people around me?
—LEARN FROM THIS, MOTHERFUCKERS.—
[2/9/14 4:37:16 PM] BM: part 1 how to stop procrastinating [2/9/14 4:37:39 PM] BM: part 2 how to copy this reflection template without making it look obviously plagerized [2/9/14 4:37:50 PM] BM: part 3 how to kiss your cas coordinator’s ass [2/9/14 4:38:07 PM] BM: part 4 how to write a fucking reflection [2/9/14 4:38:17 PM] BM: part 5 how the fuck does this have anything to do with my life [2/9/14 4:38:23 PM] BM: part 6 pretend to be interested
I imagine that the opportunity to choose between two routes in the 6th form (IB vs. A-Levels) is fairly unique to our school, but I’d like to take the time to talk about making decisions, sticking with those decisions and leaving no room to regret them - always essential when you begin the IB and realise that you suddenly have to make choices by and for yourself as never before; independent of adults, text books, copy and paste and ‘markedbyteachers.com’.
CAS can seem very overwhelming at first but in the end 150 hours over 2 years is very manageable if you spread it out. So here are some tips on what you can do to get CAS out of the way as fast as possible.
Fist thing is to get the hours out of the way. This way you won’t have to stress about getting it all done before the deadline. You will have to continue with CAS even when your hours are fulfilled but you won’t have to stress about getting everything done.
Do stuff during the summer! It could be anything really. Like waking dogs, swimming, jogging or renovating furniture. If you get one or two activities done during the summer you won’t have as much to do during IB12.
Try and do two or three activities per term. This way you will be done with CAS by the end of the first term in IB12 (since you need 6 actives total). And if you do two activities during summer you will have the first term of IB12 free too.
Join a school charity trip if your school has one. My school had a charity trip to Thailand during the summer between IB11 and IB12 for 3 weeks. The people that went got all of their 150 hours done during those weeks. They still had to do more CAS activities but they were done with their hours.
Do an activity during a couple of days. I was part of a Christmas Wrapping that my school organises every year and the money goes to a homeless shelter for kids in Senegal. I got 35 of my Service hours done in 4 days. *boom*.
See it as an opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to try. If you’ve wanter to learn how to embroider try it! Whatever you want to do give it a try. That’s what CAS is all about.
Ask you’re CAS coordinator if they can be your supervisor. This way you can do an activity by yourself and send in pictures of your progress as evidence. You can teach yourself something new on your own terms.
If you’re running, use an app. Runkeeper is an approved CAS advisor which is amazing. So take a screenshot after your run (the part with all your stats on it) and have it as part of your journal as evidence.
Write your evidence journals after every time you do the activity. If you don’t do this you are very likely to forget what you did. It will become a lot to write in the end as well. If nothing else write them at the end of the week for the activities that you did during the week.
Get your CAS project out of the way. The faster the better. And it doesn’t have to be anything big. Hanna and I are running this blog as our CAS project and then we don’t really have a set schedule for when we write stuff.
Join school clubs (or create one). Another good way of getting your CAS hours. I joined my schools MUN club and I was part of it for a term. Some guys in my class created a table top game club. You can get quite some hours from doing it once a week.
Some stuff you could do for CAS
Live streaming a computer game and the money goes to charity.
Learn an instrument
Start a band
Volunteer at an animal shelter
Start a Studyblr
Clean local beaches
Try some Yoga
Help younger kids with their homework.
Play an instrument on the street and give the collected money to charity.
Christmas wrapping at a local mall.
I hope that some of these tips were helpful! CAS can actually be really fun and a way for you to get to know yourself better. It is also a great way to get some impressive stuff on your uni application. So make the most of it! :)
knowledge from CAS experiences (could, but doesn’t necessarily, give a good
example for your essay)
and true questions (titles)
different perspectives in your essays (for example use parents, family, do
research etc.) Religion, gender, age etc.
and newspapers could be used to give different views
claims should be connected or supported by examples, and all examples should be
effective and varied
spend too many words explaining the example. Use 1-3 sentences to describe the
knowledge issues to areas of knowledge and ways of knowing
away from your essay to get a perspective on yourself
title should be exactly as given (no number needed)
title is the heading
is needed as well
personal example that other people will not be able to use
word count does not include: title, bibliography, pictures, maps, charts,
diagrams, tables, illustrations, references
word count in the end of the essay
not hand in a first draft with more than 1600 words
Structure of the essay:
Paragraph 1: 150-200
Paragraph 2 and 3: 400
Paragraph 4 and 5: 400
Paragraph 6 and 7: 400
Paragraph 8-9: 150-200
up knowledge question. Don’t state directly “my knowledge question is” or “KW =”.
State it indirectly.
your thesis (basically short answer to the knowledge question) i.e. your main
what you will bring up in the essay (to make it easier for readers to
understand what you will talk about). Use one sentence do describe this. Basically
bring up your main claims of each paragraph/perspective/view
the introduction interesting, something that makes them want to continue reading
with a claim, which is connected to your knowledge question
and elaborate, clarify your claim
an example to support your claim. Bring up persona examples that could
perfectly support your claim. No fake examples.
up a counter claim to the claim in the second paragraph.
and elaborate, clarify your counter claim
an example to support your counterclaim
this counter claim to your knowledge question. Sum up the insights quickly.
Make sure your examples are open for people to understand. Don’t
use complicated math, because the examiner might not understand it.
to knowledge question
Paragraph 6 and 7 could look the same as 4 and 5.
Make it easy for the examiner to follow your ideas and
understand what you are talking about.
and significance. Why is this important? So what?
in perspectives. Explain a perspective that someone else would have. Only do
this if you didn’t bring up perspectives in the pervious paragraphs.
back the previous perspectives and discuss
up your arguments and conclude. State the thesis again, in short.