Tag Archives: relationships

The art of play and the importance of play!

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Peter Brugel painted the above picture in 1560.

The painting provides a window into amusements and recreations in the past in its detailed depiction of some 200 children engaged in nearly 80 different games and play activities. Many (although not all) of the outdoor activities included in this visual compendium of 16th-century children’s play will be recognizably familiar.

Source: “Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s “Children’s Games” [Painting],” in Children and Youth in History, Item #332, http://chnm.gmu.edu/cyh/items/show/332 (accessed May 25, 2018). Annotated by Miriam Forman-Brunell

This painting is amazing and would be interesting to use as a provocation task for a related inquiry. 

Cheers Nina

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IB-PYP Attitudes & Workplace Attitudes: How do you ‘grow’ attitudes?

workplace-bullying-1057606I’m a member of a number of teacher forums and have been surprised by the increasing number of teachers looking to leave our profession. Some of these teachers are still in their first years of teaching and some are very experienced. What I found confronting was… that it is not always the classroom, students, work load or parents creating issues, it is the behaviour of other teacher colleagues and the employment process!

Some comments I’ve received have come from teachers who have been through a competitive employment process within their school. Most have been retained by their respective schools, however, the process has left them feeling over whelmed, isolated and criticised.

Can you build a team environment and promote collaboration when the system of employment is ultimately competitive?

Please email me your thoughts. I receive more emails than comments on my blog and I’m hoping this will bring about future discussion.

How would you change the current system of school employment and is it even possible?

I  recently received a detailed comment from a teacher feeling bullied and isolated. How can this happen in an organisation and world which openly states bullying is not OK? Programs are in place to teach children that we do not tolerate these behaviours and there are consequences. What if the behaviour is coming from a colleague…

All schools have beliefs/attitudes promoted within their community. When walking into a school or classroom these attitudes are clearly displayed for all to see and are crucial to the ethos of the school.

mile shoeThe IB -PYP has attitudes which are essential to the programme. They are: appreciation, commitment, confidence, cooperation, creativity, curiosity, empathy, enthusiasm, independence, integrity, respect and tolerance.

These attitudes are taught, valued and embedded within the school curriculum and should be the ‘heart’ of the school. So how do educators ‘grow’ these attitudes in their students and within their community? How can schools insure and assess that these attitudes are embedded, valued and exhibited in the everyday actions of all community members.

How do educators ‘grow’ these attitudes within themselves?

Lots of wonderings here…but I think as learners teaching learners, we should all reflect on our interactions with others and hope that we have been the best we can be.

Maybe, before we think and say something, we should put on someone elses shoes on and go for a walk. Just saying…

Cheers Nina

 

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Working with Mark to Be A Better Writer – Year 12 Essay Writing

Working with Mark is an absolute pleasure.  Mark is doing Year 12 Philosophy within his Year 11 program. He’s a very able student who has struggled to get his thoughts on paper. Last year he made great progress with his writing using Steve Peha’s Be A Better Writer.

One of Mark’s big issues is ORGANISATION! Today we got organised. Mark printed off a calendar and we put it up on the wall and started recording important dates e.g. tests, due dates and  Common Assessment Tasks. When asking Mark when something is due, a couple of weeks is probably not the best answer. The beauty of this wall is he can’t miss it. My advice is place it near the kitchen or better still, the fridge!

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Mark needs a visual timetable/calendar clearly displaying key dates and we’re using different coloured highlighters for each subject. We use these in primary classrooms but they just look different. Next week we’ll put all assessments on the calendar for this term and then it will his responsibility to keep it up to date.

Today we revisited the structure of a philosophy essay and looked at a possible essay topic around what he has been learning. We pulled a topic apart and placed each part of the topic on sticky notes using the prescribed structure.

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Possible essay based on classroom learning:

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be-a-better-writer-2Teaching genre is crucial for all ages. Structure helps the writer keep on track. We also revised Steve’s chapter on better sentences or what we have covered so far and listed three key points to keep in mind while writing.

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Mark’s task was to independently write an introduction paragraph on the topic Mark chose. Next week we will build on this. Mark will be working on his handwriting with me but I can see enormous growth in his writing. He wrote quickly because we are looking at timing in preparation for exams. Structure has given Mark the confidence to start immediately. We will also be looking at a narrative letter response for Year 11 English.

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This is a snippet but I’m very pleased with this.

Cheers Nina

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Communication & Leadership-Revisited

LeadershipRecently I’ve noticed that one of my posts is receiving many views. The post is about communication and leadership which I wrote after attending the Leadership for Community Engagement program. One of the program leaders was Dr Elizabeth Mellor and I wrote a summary of her ideas in a previous post which I have reposted below.

You, as a leader, will be different to a manager, you will be finding solutions, you will use your courage and confidence to influence others, you will speak a common language and find that common language so you can move forward. You will empower others and be an enabler so you can shift barriers. You will encourage others to ‘think big’ and work towards delivering transformational change. You will coach others on how to measure change, be respectful and a listener so you understand and collaborate.

You will not shy from anything and you will get in and learn. You will empower others to solve problems because you can’t fix it all. You will take risks and from taking risks you will gain experience to put into other aspects of your role. You will give others a voice and act on what they want and work side by side with them to achieve your common goals. You will be capable of ‘unlearning’ and not be judgmental. You will build a ‘treasury’ of good practice to help you evaluate actions and capture what has been learnt so you can measure the impact of changes and improvements.

And finally, you will deliver to every child and family. Your flexibility will be key to you being a leader, as without flexibility you will impede innovation. You, as a leader, must leave the profession in a better state and by building the capacity of others you should do yourself out of a job!

Cheers Nina

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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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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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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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