Reflecting on PYP Planners I have rarely found the process of reflecting at the end of a Unit of Inquiry via the PYP Planner (sections 6-9) an informative or productive process – as a teacher or as a coordinator. Don’t get me wrong, reflection is an important approach to teaching that all lead learners must use. Taking aside the often debatable, reflective questions asked in these sections of the planner, personally, there is something missing…something that makes the process inauthentic… Most of this reflective process is done solo by the teacher, collaboratively with teachers on the same unit or with a PYP coordinator. Although this should take place, there is one stakeholder, the most important in all schools, that does not get any input for these sections of the reflective process – the students!
Inquiry-based learning in the early years Rebecca Smith, an early years practitioner at ESF International Kindergarten – Hillside, Hong Kong This is an overview of what inspired an early years educator to accomplish a research project which explored how early years practitioners perceive inquiry-based learning when utilizing the PYP curriculum framework with very young learners in Hong Kong. I have worked in a few international schools that are implementing the IB’s Primary Years Programme curriculum framework in Hong Kong. My experiences include working in a co-teaching bilingual setting and an English medium environment.
Design Thinking... What is That? To promote its new Athleisure Makeup line, Tarte partnered with social media "fitfluencers" to push the concept that "sporty is the new sexy." The campaign, titled Hustle & Glow, includes a beautifully produced video in which a woman wakes up in her spacious Malibu mansion and heads to the bathroom for a full beauty routine in preparation to . . . go on a solo run. The video was met with wide appreciation from Tarte fans (and nearly 80,000 YouTube views), with many saying it inspired them to get out there and look good on the asphalt (or sand). As athleisure becomes more than just a fashion trend, it’s extended into new, unexpected categories. Cosmetics is one of them. It’s makeup that’s easy, comfy, and suited for an active individual.
How healthy is your team planning? Over the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time ‘at the planning table’ with teams in several schools. I always relish the opportunity to be part of a healthy collaborative planning session – I love the energy generated by ideas, the sense of possibility and the creative and social process that is authentic planning. I have also recently spent time in another institution – a hospital – caring for a family member. Today, as I listened to and watched the medical staff at work, I was reminded of the importance of stopping to closely examine ourselves professionally.
Visible Thinking VisibleThinking In Action Every committed educator wants better learning and more thoughtful students. Visible Thinking is a way of helping to achieve that without a separate ‘thinking skills' course or fixed lessons. What Ed Said There’s a buzz in the room as 11 year olds sit in groups around large sheets of butcher paper, talking animatedly. I like visiting this classroom, seeing how the two teachers collaborate and the children engage in their learning. Today they are brainstorming the ‘big ideas’ in ‘Sharing the Planet’, one of the trans disciplinary themes in the PYP curriculum framework. In the build-up to this, students have watched David Attenborough’s Wonderful World and made connections with the trans disciplinary theme – ‘Inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and other living things; communities and the relationship within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.’
35 Lessons that Explore the Beautiful Pairing of Math and Art Cross-curricular connections are a phenomenal way to help our students develop deeper knowledge. Real life isn’t compartmentalized into just math, just reading, just science, or just art. It’s an intricate collection and balance of all practices and knowledge. We can lead our students through processes that allow these connections to form naturally! One of the easiest cross-curricular pairings is art and math. Just look at these connections! Planning for inquiry… ‘Language is a vehicle for communication and self expression.‘ It’s a starting point for a central idea for a new inquiry unit in How We Express Ourselves and no-one in the room is excited. The draft central idea seems like a statement of the obvious and teachers are concerned that it might not have the potential to invite student inquiry. We can see opportunities for the development of skills and outcomes in our English scope and sequence, exposure to Aboriginal culture, obvious links with second language learning and wonderful ways to incorporate the arts.
STEM vs. STEAM: Why The "A" Makes a Difference Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects are the focal point of popular integrated learning systems. However, voices are calling out for the “A” in “arts” to turn STEM into STEAM. What does the debate involve, and what do educators and students think about it? Image via Flickr by Jeff Pioquinto, SJ The National Math + Science Initiative points out some numbers that highlight STEM’s essential role in the United States’ education system. Their data shows that: A (massive) collaborative curriculum review… How (and why?!) would we involve over a hundred teachers in a curriculum review? What could we hope to achieve? Wouldn’t it be easier to have a small focus group reviewing our PYP program of inquiry? How could we make this IB requirement into a meaningful learning exercise? How would we make it a valuable experience for all staff?
Planning in response to learning… I borrowed a bit from a post I wrote last week at Inquire Within, but this one’s different… It’s a joy to visit the kindergarten room, where the 4 year olds have been inquiring into the needs of all kinds of living things. Debbie talks me excitedly through the purposeful displays in the room and I’m amazed by the depth of the children’s wonderings from their nature walk. ‘Why do seagulls need beaks?’ ‘Why can birds walk on power lines?’