Tag Archives: IB-Australia

Powerful video & text: How one action prevented a youth suicide – Why the IB- Learner Profile should be lived and breathed by students, teachers and the community!

A psychiatrist friend shared this video with a message on Facebook…

‘It is something everyone should read – especially school kids.’

I always watch or read anything Angela shares because I know her work. The video is confronting, but so is youth suicide.

The IB -PYP clearly mandates that the Learner Profile is embedded into the curriculum. It is unpacked from the very first day of school.

All schools have values they embrace but I wonder how well the values are embedded across the curriculum. It takes time to unpack the Learner Profile with students in a real and meaningful way. The Learner Profile has to be lived and ‘breathed’ by students. It’s not a wish list, its part of what embodies an IB teacher, student and IB school community.

An IB school also has to meet the standards of the IB to be endorsed as an IB school. There are many checks and balances!

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This is an example of how I unpacked the Learner Profile in my classroom over a year. When a student really understands and lives the Learner Profile, they understand the impact of their ‘footstep’.

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‘Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life.

Thank you for sharing this video and text Angela!

Cheers Nina

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Student Agency Part 3: The Teacher

Student/Learner Agency is essential if we are preparing our learners for their future. Student/Learner Agency starts from a child’s first year of school for the teacher. In previous posts I’ve talked about the student and the task and now I’ve added the teacher. All three components are crucial to Student/Learner Agency. Student-Teacher-Task

The Role of the Teacher

Plans collaboratively for student needs based on a sound knowledge of curriculum and students.

Refers to the 5 essential IB elements – Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action.

Provides tools and strategies for students to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning e.g. pre-Assessments, continuums, rubrics, exemplars, etc.

Supports students to use evidence when personalising and revising their learning goals.

Clarify students’ misconceptions, in order to refine individual learning goals.

Discusses connections between learning goals, learning activities and assessment requirements.

Help students make sense of connections within and between curriculum areas.

Supports students to identify ‘stretch’ goals and set goals to achieve them.

Plans collaboratively to meet student needs based on a sound knowledge of exemplary teaching practice.

Develops students’ metacognitive skills by modelling the language of thinking, and providing tools and strategies to assist them to be aware of, and monitor, their own learning.

Monitors students for cues and notices when students need assistance.

Makes students responsible for establishing deliberate practice routines.

Provides students with a choice of learning activities that apply discipline- specific knowledge and skills including literacy and numeracy skills.

Facilitates processes for students to select activities based on agreed learning goals.

Supports student to select learning engagements that support their areas of strength and areas for development.

Ensure dialogue is distributed, so that teacher and students both take an active role.

Raises students’ awareness of the characteristics of inquiry and the process of inquiry.

Involves students in adapting the learning space to support everyone’s learning.

Shares responsibility with students for reinforcing agreed learning expectations and refers to agreed routines and protocols throughout the lesson.

Paces the lesson, giving students enough time to intellectually engage with the concepts, reflect upon their learning and consolidate their understanding.

Demonstrates respect for all students’ ideas and ways of thinking.

Negotiates group arrangements with students, appropriate to particular learning goals.

Designs activities that incorporate cross-curricular applications and real world connections.

Present concepts of the discipline in multiple ways to all students and identify diverse perspectives when presenting content.

Supports students to hold each other to account for their contributions to the group’s outcomes.

Facilitate students’ self-assessment by giving them tools to assess, and reflect on, their own work.

When articulating assessment requirements, the teacher uses examples of student work to demonstrate the expected standards.

Organises opportunities for students to articulate what they have learnt and to say which learning strategies are most effective for them.

Explain the taxonomy used to structure the learning activity and to inform the assessment criteria, so that students understand the intellectual demands of the task.

Provides students with opportunity to reflect critically on the strategies they have used to complete the learning task.

Negotiate assessment strategies with students, ensuring these are aligned with learning goals.

Supports students to assess their own use of academic language and measure their own progress in this area.

Support students to critique one another’s ideas, in order to increase the intellectual rigour of the conversation.

Uses a variety of formative assessment activities to help students assess their own progress.

Provides opportunities for immediate feedback. Kunyung PS

Cheers Nina

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i=Change- The Business of Giving Back: RetailGlobal Conference 2016! Did you know in the retail world I am an INFLUENCER?

This week I attended the  RetailGlobal Australian conference, something very new for me. I found out that I’m part of a group called influencers. This means that I can influence others via my blog to support organisations and I do!

One session I attended was called The Business Of Giving Back presented by Jeremy Meltzer. Jeremy is the founder of the organisation called i=Change. When you buy online from a supporting brand the i=Change platform will appear on the brand’s site and you simply choose where to send the brand’s donation! The donation is $1 and 100% of funds raised go to development projects. Visit the site and have a look at the retailers who are supporting i=Change and buy from them.

As a teacher I’m always looking for balance. Yes, the conference was about online retail but the notion of giving back was something I heard often. Philanthropy and business seem to mix well and that’s powerful.

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Cheers Nina

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IB-MYP Make your bed! Older students can unpack this incredible speech! Linking to the IB Learner Profile & Attitudes…

This is an amazing speech and worth watching. I can think of many ways to incorporate this spoken text into a secondary school curriculum.

Cheers Nina

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Remembrance Day 2015: Weary Dunlop and the IB Learner Profile and attitudes.

Firstly, 2015 was a busy year so my posting was not as frequent as I would have liked. This didn’t stop me writing and recording my learning and my students’ learning. Many of my posts will be uploaded over the following weeks and cover a number of topics. My learners are 6,7 and 8 year’s old.

I’ve also taken a huge step and am no longer working in the Victorian state school system. Moving to inner Melbourne, Victoria in 2015 has meant the transit time to my previous school was unworkable long term. I will state that I was incredibly fortunate to work in an amazing school. However, I am equally excited to embrace new challenges in 2016, whatever they end up being!

Remembrance Day 2015 published on Australia Day 2016 to recognise a great Australian.

Each year our program includes the recognition of Remembrance Day. I start hunting for special picture story books appropriate to my students that will be used as launches for written responses. The books or poems chosen need to be displayed in the classroom for at least two weeks prior to being planned into the classroom program and read often. This enables young learners to develop a familiarity with the text, ask questions at home and collect further information if they choose.

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Providing an opportunity for young children to express themselves in many ways is crucial. My students were asked to create a portrait of Weary after listening to the text. We decided to limit the colors to show our feelings about this time of Weary’s life and use the illustrator’s front cover for inspiration.

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When reading their writing I was looking for links to the IB – Learner profile, attitudes and the traits of successful people. Although, I had not asked my students to make these links; I was hoping that they would. The Learner Profile and attitudes are naturally embedded into our daily discussions.

I’ve selected some random examples of my students work. Some learners have added their own elaborations to Weary’s experiences. You will notice that many of my students are using paragraphs without prompting. They also underline their spelling errors as they write and will make corrections after writing. My students know about paragraphs through an inquiry. They looked at paragraphs in books and developed their own criteria to assist them and others to use paragraphs. Some students are still experimenting with their use but are able to discuss where they could use them during a writing conference.

These young learners were also asked to think of a different heading for their response.

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Cheers Nina

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IB-PYP: Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. Benjamin Franklin – Inquiry is an approach to learning not a method.

Inquiry as a pedagogical approach is not a method of doing something. It is an approach to learning which is about posing questions. Inquiry starts with a question, wondering, problem or idea which engages learners into investigation, the creation of knowledge and testing of what they know.

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Recently, a group of young learners ( 7 & 8 year old students)  asked me if they could spend time on their personal inquiry. Naturally I was excited that this group were personally motivated and wanted time dedicated. I decided to watch their progress and photograph their work. I also made a conscious decision to sit back and evaluate their use, and my teaching of the school’s Inquiry Process.

This group of young learners surprised me by their understanding of the process. They set about planning, focussing and preparing their inquiry. They were developing a central idea and had created a list of wonderings.  They wrote what they called a big wonder (How do wars start?) and had a number of key questions, some which they said they will park in the Parking Lot. The Parking Lot is a place where questions and wonderings are placed that are not part of the focus but may be answered later or as part of their learning.

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They discussed their questions individually and chose the big questions they wanted to investigate. Then they talked about how they would find information (Finding Information). I was impressed by their confidence and ability to talk about each part of the process.

This is where the learning process results in true Learner Agency- student choice, student responsibility for learning and actions, a meaningful curriculum and learning initiated by learners.

Cheers Nina

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IB-PYP: Maps – Gathering prior knowledge: Show me the way to your home from school. What did I learn? I should have known more about this student!

We’re learning about maps so I asked my students to show their way home from school. They could choose how they would show their journey. One of my students started drawing…. What did I learn? I know that how we ask children to show what they know is incredibly important and when gathering prior knowledge we can’t assume what a child knows. One of my very quiet 7 year old students started drawing their map.

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Can I find the way to my student’s home? YES How did this student know what they know? Would I have discovered what I now know about this student and their thinking if I’d presented my initial question a different way? QUESTIONS!

Cheers Nina

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