'The Exhibition' for PYP Grade 5 at our school is coming very quickly to 'Staging Days'. To be honest it is hard to see where the time has gone. W have 34 students doing 34 different inquiries, collaborating and connecting with many different people as well as with one another and with their mentors and the Grade 5 teaching team.
In a way I find it hard to believe we have 3 days . . . the students are impressing me more and more each day. They are working under the theme of "How We Organise Ourselves" and it is such and apt choice. @pypchef (my partner teacher) said at the beginning of this journey, the whole thing really connects so naturally to the fact that the inquiry comes out of 'how they organise themselves' and he is 100% correct.
Students have had the opportunity to connect with their passions and interests to explore the idea that
"Ideas reveal possibilities" and as a result our conversations with students, switch from the 'impact of heart surgery' to 'money in the 21st century' to 'the impact of Juche on the people of North Korea' to 'the meaning behind henna' in a split second.
It is manic at times, there is a buzz, it is a little crazy and high energy BUT when we take a minute to stand and watch our students are motivated, engaged and to be honest their passion inspires me.
I really want to support them the best way we can, and that has taken a team! A team of committed and amazing teachers who have listened, proof read, chatted, shared resources, been on field trips, help to translate, moved and sourced resources, called on friends and experts... who have been there day in and day out, who want the best for our students but have empowered our students to take the steps to fly on their own . . .
I have learnt so much and still have much to learn . . . I am grateful for those I work with and for those who have stepped in, stepped back and who know they have played a role in the PYPx17@VIS.
So come late on Friday afternoon, our students will pack up their loved studio spaces and they will prepare for staging. This means we are all set to clear the space again . . .
mmm... I have been in this empty space before . . was that really 31 school days ago? Time flies!
"If we don't empower S 2make choices &learn how 2 react 2 the consequences of -ive
decision making when will S learn-reflection is a gr8 tool"
That was a tweet I posted in connection to a chat forum about differentiated learning this morning and it has been playing on my mind.
As teachers we need to empower our students to make choices and decisions and to understand that their are positive and negative outcomes or consequences to the decisions we make. This is not new - this is not something we don't already know but is it something that challenges us, or should challenge our thinking.
What do we really do to give students autonomy?
Real decision making opportunities where the outcome will be positive or negative and they have to understand that their is a consequence to their choice?
Reflecting on the choices and decisions that they make as learners and how those choices had impacted the learning. Not just reflecting on understanding and knowledge. We use wonderful Visible Thinking Routines and other tools for reflection but most of the reflection we see is about the understanding or the knowledge gained.
Kath Murdoch talks about a strategy of 'Split Screen' - when this idea is taken into Reflection and we are asking students to think, perspective . . . purpose . . . mindset . . . growth.
We are well into the PYP Exhibition. It is a process that empowers students to take their learning to places that inspire them . . . it gives students the opportunity to be independent, to make decisions about so many things on so many levels, and even in just the last 4-5 weeks they have matured, they have realised that there are consequences to each decision, to every choice they make.
This a 'sparking' place to be!
When students understand that, when you are organised and independent, self-motivated and understand the process . . . you will most likely feel energised and tingle! when you are not organised, aware and fully engaged; for whatever reason; because you can't get the help you need or are not reacting to the decisions and choices you make then it is not a "tingle' but more like a 'choking' feeling.
As teachers we need to ensure that they are reflecting through the 'Split Screen' on both understanding and knowledge AS WELL AS, on the choices and decisions that they make as learners.
The responsibility is ours to make sure they have the support they need, the tools to support their progress and the opportunity to take risks.
Teaching in an IBPYP school; interests: student agency, technology integration, growth mindset & the continuous cycle of improvement that is the world of education, learning and being!