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December 2017



The learner trait we are focusing on for the month of December is risk taker.  Risk Takers approach uncertainty with forethought and determination, they work independently and cooperatively to explore new ideas and innovative strategies, and they are resourceful and resilient in the face of challenges and change. (


For many of us, risk taking is a difficult trait to develop.  On one hand, risk-taking enables children to develop independence; on the other hand, it tests our willingness to push our own limits and it challenges us to leave our comfort zone.  The trick is to find a balance, and that balance is individual to each one of us.  One thing to note, it that risk taking as a learner trait is not synonymous with danger.  Risk taking does not mean jumping off the top of the playground equipment or accepting unreasonable dares!  Positive risk taking includes trying new things, solving personal problems, and sharing opinions in a caring and thoughtful manner.  For some, risk taking might be talking to a person they don’t know, trying a new food, presenting in a school assembly, or trying a new sport.  


In the book Raising Children Who Soar (2009), Susan Davis and Nancy Eppler-Wolfe describe four universal attributes of good risk takers:

  • “A good risk-taker goes for it - after careful contemplation.” The risk is thoughtful and well-considered.
  • “A good risk-taker can tolerate disappointment and failure.” With risk comes the chance of not succeeding. Disappointment is essential in building the resiliency to face life’s challenges.
  • “A good risk-taker is tenacious.” Being able to work towards a far-off goal, without the guarantee of success, requires persistence and the formation of small steps to achieve in the meantime.
  • “A good risk-taker takes pleasure and pride in his/her achievements.” Every success on the road to a goal should be celebrated, not the end product. After all, it’s the journey that’s important.


Parents can support the development of their children as risk takers by pointing out example of positive risk taking and by encouraging their children to try new activities and experience things that take them out of their comfort level.  For ideas of books that you can read with your children to illustrate characters who take positive risks, check out the booklists on the school website under the IB tab.


Supporting Your Child’s Education


Inform Yourself

Please remember to visit the IB section of the school’s website.  There is information about various aspects of the Primary Years Programme, including descriptions of the five essential elements, a current programme of inquiry, booklists, and copies of the school’s language and assessment policies.


Reading Together

Families can help children become more familiar with the IB language by using it at home, and by sharing books in which the characters display one or more of the traits. A few suggested titles for inquirer are: Verdi (Janell Cannon), the Stella books (Marie-Louise Gay), The Librarian Who Measured the Earth (Kathryn Lasky), Why Explore? (Susan Lendroth), and The Three Questions (Jon J. Muth).  For an extensive list of books related to the Learner Profile, visit the IB section of our school website.  Take the booklist with you next time you visit the public library!


Unit Overviews

At the beginning of each unit of inquiry, you should receive a unit overview.  Please post this overview in a prominent place in your home and refer to it for the duration of the unit.  We hope you will record your child’s questions, connections, and action and return the overview to school at the end of the unit.  This will help you child’s teacher have a more complete picture of your child’s learning.


Book Donations

We are continuing to expand our small collection of multilingual books, and we gratefully welcome donations of new or gently used books in languages other than English.  This is an ongoing project.  We want our collection to represent the languages spoken by our school community.