Tag Archives: IB Concepts

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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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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The IB – PYP: That’s where we’ll hang our hat! Part 1 – At the grass roots…

This is the year of the circle.

My father always said children need something to hang their hat on and something bigger than them.

So what does this mean in terms of learning? Schools are our young peoples’ community, something bigger than them and where they can hang their hat. Primary schools exist for young learners, but they are also children (so keep that thought). A school has a greater responsibility than just teaching the 3Rs. Schools are where our young people learn about relationships, community and develop a sense of self.

My school is an IB-PYP school. So why be an IB school? It’s a question I’ve thought about for some time and relates to what my father told me. Children need something greater than themselves and so does a school! Schools are an important part of their local community, but where does a school hang its hat and be part of something bigger than it?

Example 1. Developing a sense of community: The IB Learner Profile.

The IB has developed a framework known as the Learner Profile. The Learner Profile relates to all learners, teachers, administrators and wider community members. The IB Learner Profile recognizes the broad needs of young learners and young people across the world.

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Let’s take a look at the IB – PYP at the grass roots – my Australian Year 1-2 classroom…

Example 2. Developing a sense of community: Being part of something bigger.

My students understand that we are a team and being part of a team has associated responsibilities. Our team is part of the school community, local community, government education system and IB World Community. Young learners (6, 7 & 8 year olds) need to grow their understanding of responsibility by being part of a community and the classroom is where they start.

Two Simple Diagrams:

Two simple diagrams underpin my students’ learning about being part of a team and managing relationships.  I bring everything back to the IB Learner Profile and attitudes. The picture below is our Learner Profile circle and ‘working wall’.

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The learner Profile represents our classroom essential agreements. My students know that as learners we make mistakes and learn from them, however, they also understand that being a member of the team is about demonstrating the Learner Profile through our actions. The Learner Profile is part of our daily learning. It’s not just a pretty display, it is a living and growing record of our growth as learners and young people.

Diagram One: The Team Circle

Sometimes someone may not have exhibited the Learner Profile and as a consequence moves to the side of the team. The young learner then has to develop the trust of the team to move back. Being a member of the team is very important to these young learners and they are incredibly supportive of each other. It has become a very positive approach to classroom management. It would require another post to explain how students learning self management is powerful for their confidence and learning.

Diagram two: Friendships and relationships

This one was developed to show how ‘he said, she said’ works. Two friends have an argument and involve others and rarely, but sometimes parents get involved. However, by the time the two best friends have sorted their differences, the outside circles are still arguing! This is where we learn CHOICE and my students are now thinking about the choices they make. They will help sort out problems but rarely become part of the problem. They are incredibly mature and honest! Simple diagrams but visible…

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Cheers Nina

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IB-PYP Inquiry: Relationships with each other affect how we feel and behave. Visible Thinking – Using Thinking Tools and more…

I’ve been exploring making thinking visible in all curriculum areas. Thinking tools and questioning are being taught and added to a collection of tools the children can choose from to develop perspective, vocabulary and an understanding of their world.

One of the tools I’ve been exploring with my students is Point of View. This tool can be used for all curriculum areas, whether exploring a character from a book, developing a character for a narrative, or to solve and explore a general problem. When children put themselves in the position of others, their empathy and understanding of a problem, situation or character deepens. Our inquiry for the first 8 weeks of the year has been about relationships.

Central Idea: The relationships we have with each other affect how we feel and behave.

What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?

  • Self Awareness (LP Attributes, Attitudes, Skills, Mission Statement, Essential Agreement, School Pledge)
  • How we develop relationships (What is  relationship? What relationships do you have in your life? What makes it a relationship?
  • Roles and behaviours within relationships (Scenarios, Role playing, Photos of LP Attributes, Essential Agreement)
  • How relationships affect us (Good, Bod, Reflections task board/Think board- develop their own)

What teacher questions/provocations will drive these inquiries?

How do we develop and maintain healthy relationships?

What makes a supportive relationship?

What/why do actions help to build healthy relationships?

My students have been exploring the relationships they have in their world.

Example: Point of View: Friendship and why we need to have more than one best friend. My role is to record my student’s ideas and not mine, but I think they covered all bases! 🙂

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Brainstorm: A good friend…

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The Point of View has been a fantastic tool to help sort friendship and playground issues which is part of building healthy relationships. Young children can be egocentric and developing their understanding that there can be other views has led to a very inclusive group of young learners.

The children have also used Point of View to understand the behaviours of a book character and to develop their own characters and plots when writing.

Cheers Nina

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Our Inquiry: The choices people make affect their health and wellbeing.

Who We Are
Central Idea: The choices people make affect their health and wellbeing
Lines of Inquiry:
.What it means to have a balanced lifestyle [reflection and responsibility]
.Daily habits and routines (hygiene, sleep, play, eating, work/school, leisure)
.How the choices we make affect our health [causation]

This year has been busy, but I say this every year. Once again I have an exceptional group of young learners. They’re learning about mapping their own learning journey, the importance of being able to articulate what they have learnt and what they are learning now. Some are even able to talk about what they need to learn.

Young learners need to understand that learning is part of their health and well-being and is part of having a balanced lifestyle, good daily habits and being able to make good decisions. My hope is that very young learners understand that they have many choices to make each day and that choosing good choices is crucial to their well-being.

Young learners amaze me with their ability to take responsibility when encouraged. It actually empowers them! I’ve been in many classrooms where the teacher takes the responsibility for most things. Not in the JD classroom… as I believe choice is important and builds life skills and improves self-esteem. I’ve had children over the years ask me what color paper they should use or should their paper be ‘this way’ and my answer is always ‘you choose’.

Enabling learners to make choices is what this inquiry has been about. After unpacking and discussing the central idea in groups, as a class, individually and in pairs the children were asked to come up with three ‘best fit’ labels. Their labels & some ideas were:
Feelings Health-brave, ‘have a go’, independence, pride, joy, kind, encourage
Thinking Health-stay safe, care for others, have fun
Body Health-sometimes food, walk, exercise, sport, slip-slop-slap, wash & brush teeth
In the various groupings outlined students brainstormed key words and phrases to be pasted on our life size bodies. Our bodies will be added to throughout the year.

Hand over the responsibility and watch them grow!

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Cheers Nina

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Perspective… A great example!

58509_595299410482948_1723706010_nPerspective

The understanding that knowledge is not constructed only from the perspective of a particular discipline, individual or group.

Rationale:

This idea was selected because of the compelling need to develop in our students the disposition towards rejecting simplistic, biased interpretations, towards seeking and considering the points of view of others and towards developing defensible interpretations.

IB – Making the PYP Happen 2000

(Photo – The Freethinkers Club)

Cheers Nina

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Toy Story: Stage 2- Final Preparations for Toy Expo 2012

Today my students checked their Toy Design Briefs to make sure they had completed their color swatch, displayed their material samples and recorded their equipment and join materials. They continued to paint their toys and tomorrow they will add the final touches to their toy in preparation for the Toy Expo on Thursday. The whole school and our student’s families visit the expo. The students are asked questions about their toys by expo visitors as they proudly display their toy and talk about their design. A gold coin donation is requested with the Preps donating monies raised to a worthy children’s cause.

Cheers Nina

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