Tag Archives: International Baccalaureate

Successful people have certain behaviours: The IB Learner profile and its conection to the traits of a successful people. Year 1 and 2 students explore and respond!

Recently I was introduced to the traits of successful people compared to the traits of unsuccessful people. Having reviewed the traits myself, I decided to introduce this document to my students. My students are in Year 1 and 2 in Australia and very capable of looking at and discussing this document. My school is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school. The IB introduces students to the Learner Profile so my students already have an understanding of what being a successful learner and person encompasses. We are now unpacking the successful traits and connecting them to the IB Learner Profile and attitudes.

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Link: http://www.workingmomsonly.com/2011/07/25/eliminate-the-jealousy-factor-and-success-will-follow/

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My students discussed the traits and were given one trait to respond to and make connections to their life.

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This is what I call thinker’s writing. The learners aren’t using a set genre and have to structure their own response. Many made connections to their own life. These are examples of first drafts written independently by my students.

Cheers Nina

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Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses Written by Rowena Wiseman, illustrated by Narelda Joy

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Rowena Wiseman has a student in my class. How lucky am I? Rowena is a published writer and is a shared organizer  of our Writer in Residence program, even though this maybe new news for her. I have many ideas for our program this year and one is to really target our aspiring writers in years 5 and 6. Rowena is excited to share that her first Aunty Arty story is finally out in the world.

Jet Black Publishing is a new children’s ebook publisher based in Melbourne. Their mission is to publish inspirational and creative stories for children and young adults and they are donating 20% of the sales to children’s literacy charities, such as the Australian Children’s Literacy & Numeracy Foundation.

Who is Jet Black Publishing?

Jet Black Publishing is developing a range of teacher resources to support the series e.g. write a book review, text structure and Narrative writing plan, colouring sheets and printable classroom posters featuring an inspirational quotes from famous artists.

If you would like to know more, there is a 10-minute YouTube video where Rowena and illustrator Narelda Joy talk about how they created Aunty Arty. Discover where ideas for a book come from and how an illustrator creates rough drawings and turns them into finished artwork by clicking this link.  https://www.youtube.com/user/AuntyArty

MP News Jan 2015 (1) This is an article from the Mornington Peninsula News about Rowena.

Book information: Aunty Arty and the Disquieting Muses written by Rowena Wiseman and illustrated by Narelda Joy $11 Available exclusively as an ebook

Cheers Nina

 

 

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The Studio Teacher Fellowship Program – WNY Education Associates: What have I been learning?

In 2014, I was given the opportunity to complete a Fellowship project under the guidance of Angela Stockman. I’m currently writing a paper summarizing what I’ve learnt. Initially my project started with a simple question:

What are the key ‘bump up’ indicators which should be on a student continuum?

Sounds simple! Well, that’s an understatement… I decided to start by looking at the continuums we have in place at my school, which are based on Fountas and Pinnell. How could I make these usable for my young writers? Then I started asking my young writers…

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Photo: This student was in their second year of schooling in Australia (Year 1). The student is in control of all aspects of their writing from the beginning. I presented the topic for this piece of writing but that’s it. I’m teaching this student again this year and many others, and I’m wondering what their writing will be like at the end of this year.

My project changed many times after exploring current research, speaking to other educators and most importantly my students. How could I nail down a topic or could I?  The very action of looking at my student’s writing and speaking to individual students about what helps them to be the best learners and writers has guided my project. My paper will finish with a list of recommendations largely created by six, seven and eight year old students and I’ll share those here.

Cheers Nina

 

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IB-PYP: How the World Works – 6,7&8 year olds in an Australian Primary School

Our Inquiry into…

How the World Works

Central Idea: All living things go through a process of change.
Concepts: cycles, transformations, offspring
Communication Skills: speaking, reading, presenting
Self- Management Skills: organisation, safety
Thinking Skills: acquisition of knowledge, comprehension
Social Skills: co-operation
Attitudes: curiosity, enthusiasm
Learner Profile Attributes: knowledgeable, inquirers

As part of our inquiry into living things and change we visited the Melbourne Zoo for our provocation. The children looked at various animals, their external features and offspring. The conversations centred on unpacking the central idea and their writing displayed the connections they are making to the central idea and themselves.

The children were very curious about the external features of various animals. They selected a photo of an animal they had observed at the zoo and drew it, carefully making their picture as authentic as they could. Added to this was a writing activity where they wrote dot points about their animal using vocabulary they had learnt.

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Just beautiful!

Cheers Nina

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Our Claim: Inquiry is constructivist! Our Staff Meeting tonight…

Today the Inquiry Professional Learning Team (which I am a member of) led the first of three staff meetings on inquiry.
Our Goals:

To develop a common understanding of what Inquiry looks like at our school using an inquiry approach.
To provoke thinking that may influence practice.

We hear a about project based learning, inquiry based learning, etc… What does that mean? What does it look like when schools shift away from “drill and kill” learning towards big ideas, questions, and “no right answer” kind of learning?

Our Claim: Inquiry is constructivist

Staff viewed the first 4 minutes of Piaget speaking about the constructivist theory.

The feedback from staff has been very positive and considering we’ve had a school Walkathon and whole school transition session today this is fantastic!

If you were asked the following question: What is Inquiry Learning? What would be your answer?

Cheers Nina

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Not a Box by Antoinette Portis: IB-PYP Inquiry – How we express ourselves!

Central Idea
Imagination is a powerful tool for extending our ability to think, create and express ourselves.
Concepts: perspective, reflective
Related Concepts: creativity, interpretation, imagination
Communication Skills: reading, writing, viewing, speaking, listening, presenting ideas
Self-management: Adopting a variety of roles, cooperation, group decision making, accept responsibility
Learner Profile: reflection, risk taker

Not a Box

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‘A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows. Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real–when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.’

PROVOCATION
Purpose: To highlight that people view things differently and use their imagination in many ways
Book: Not a Box
In small groups children turn a box into something of their choice.
Reflection: Children share their designs with the class.
Question: Why do you think everyone’s is different?

My students enjoyed this simple story and were able to talk about how they imagined what their box would look like. They were totally engaged in creating their ‘not a box’. All groups presented their creations to the class. Young children need time to explore, collaborate and create.  Reflection: Plan opportunities for my young students to create and make.

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Cheers Nina

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Perspective… A great example!

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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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How do I keep my brick wall strong?

The first term of 2013 finished last week coinciding with Easter and it’s time to reflect on my year so far. This year I’m teaching a junior grade made up of grades 1 and 2. After a number of years teaching a Prep grade, following on with a junior grade was a logical move for me as an educator. Having said this, I’ve been around long enough to have taught all levels of primary education a number of times.

Time changes best practice and I’m working with a colleague where I’m definitely the learner. The teaching of maths is my personal focus this year. Last week, I was able to be a part of one of my colleague’s math sessions, and as I love being in the ‘learner’s seat’, it was enlightening. I have so many questions!

Each year I find something to inspire my personal professional development. It doesn’t always mean attending out-sourced costly professional development. I have the mentor in my own work place!

Personalising Learning: My favourite words – I need help or I don’t understand….

Setting the scene: I want my students to understand that being a learner is about taking risks… Recently, we discussed brick walls.

Learning Walls and Personal Walls

Analogy: Our learning is just like a brick wall. What happens if some of the bricks are missing or not placed properly? What makes a wall strong?

They knew instantly! The beauty of this analogy is the children know you can take out wobbly bricks, position the brick again and make a strong wall. You just have to know which bricks are wobbly. That’s why pre-assessing knowledge and sharing results with children is important. They also explored their personal school/ learning wall and how to keep this wall strong. It was a great topic for the children to write about. How can I keep my brick wall strong?

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Cheers Nina

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Self Portraits created by 6, 7 & a few 8 year old children in Australia

Our Visual Arts program is valued by our community. The array of creative experiences our students receive is wonderful. It’s fairly obvious when looking at my blog that I believe providing many opportunities for children to create is essential in a balanced teaching program.

I really enjoy seeing what my students are doing in Visual Arts and this week I decided to share their creations with my readers.

Self Portraits

Step 1: Children are photographed.

Step 2: Children put a tracing sheet on their photo and trace their features using a black pen.

Step 3: Children put a sheet over their traced portrait and use artist charcoal to trace their portrait. Smudging techniques are used to create shadows and highlight facial features.

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These are very young artists!

Cheers Nina

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Our first inquiry for 2013- Relationships (Years 1&2 in Victoria, Australia)

Central idea

People’s relationships with each other can have an impact on wellbeing.

Key concepts

causation, responsibility

Related concepts

Conflict, cooperation, balance, friendship

Lines of inquiry

How we develop relationships

How relationships affect us

Roles and behaviours within relationships

Teacher questions

How do we develop and maintain healthy relationships?

What makes a supportive relationship?

What actions help to build healthy relationships?

What a wonderful inquiry to start our year. Our inquiry lends itself perfectly to learning about being a member of a team. The children have inquired into the different types of relationships and how ttheir relationships and personal well-being are related.

They have explored relationships through literature and have acted, drawn, painted, talked and written about conflict resolution, problems, their responsibility in a relationship, friendship and much more. We have slowly developed our essential agreements for what we want our classroom to ‘look like, feel like and sound like’.

The children have identified people in their life they can share their problems with and are developing into a supportive team.

Examples of learning experiences… Unpacking the Central Idea

 

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Cheers Nina

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