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Taking the #PYP Forward

September 10, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

A colleague suggested I read the book “Taking the PYP Forward: the future of the IB Primary Years Programme”, which is edited by Simon Davidson and Steven Carber.  This book was a plethora of information with each chapter written by a new expert on best practices in education. I am loving learning more about the PYP at my school as the new IB Coordinator and look forward to continue to grow in my knowledge.

Inquiry as a Stance on Curriculum by Kathy Short:

  • “We have always known that how we teach influences students as much or more than what we teach.”
  • Different types of curriculum: textbook, activity and inquiry
  • “Reaching out occurs because learners experience a sense of being off balance or in tension, the driving force that compels learners to move forward (Dewey, 1938).”
  • “Freire argues that person who poses the problem is the one who remains in control  of learning.” Students must be in control and pose the problem.
  • Inquiry takes place in participation, not in individual minds. Don’t just make the students listen.
  • Reflecting Questions: Why are we interested in this issue? What are our related questions? What do we really want to know? What will we do to investigate our question? What is our plan fro Investigation? What materials and resources do we need to gather to implement our plan?
  • Summative assessment does not have to be a major project that address the lines of inquiry, it could be a reflective engagement that does not require large amounts of time.
  • The Action piece of any unit could be “So What?”
  • Indigenous educators focus on becoming good humans, while western educators focus on becoming good citizens. Inquiry transforms it into both.

Communities of inquiry by Simon Davidson:

  • In PYP students should be “asking deep questions and exchanging knowledge with peers, mastering “inquiry skills” and subject concepts.”
  • “Social aspects of the inquiry classroom are organised around the pursuit of understanding.”
  • A essential pice is reflection, “where they regularly talk through their learning together or write about it in a reflection journal.”
  • Some PYP schools use  a IRF form, “when the teacher has an initiation, the students give a response, and there is feedback.”
  • Probing questions: “Why do you say that?” or “How do you know?”
  • Reflection can be micro-level concerning reformulating remarks, elaborating and correcting errors or macro-level concerning review and adjusting the direction of the inquiry.

What should students learn? by Steven Carber:

  • Wiggins and McTighe articiulated that “understanding in terms of six facets: explanation; interpretation; application; perspective; empathy; and self knowledge.”
  • When looking at Unit of Inquiries, teachers should ask “Does this resonated deeply with all human beings on the planet?”

21st Century Assessment by Ken O’Connor, Rosemary Evans, Sarah Craig:

  • “Assessment strategies are defined as observations, performance assessments, process-focused assessments, selected responses and open-ended tasks and tools such as rubrics, exemplars, checklists, anecdotal records and continuums.”
  • Students “need opportunities to practise these [new knowledge] without consequences in terms of their grades.”
  • “The primary objective of assessment in a PYP classroom is to provide feedback on the learning process.”
  • the main objective of assessments is to improve student learning.
  • Remember KWL – what they know, what they want to learn, and what they learned.
  • Some rules: Mistakes are essential, time to try ideas, descriptive and evaluative feedback, success has many different looks.
  • Ask questions: Have you considered…?
  • Concept learning includes terminology, examples and non-examples, illustrate a point, concise explanations, few errors, relevant connections.
  • GRASPS – goal, role, audience, situation, standards.
  • How will we know what we have learned?  Continuous reflection.

UbD and PYP: Jay mcTighe, Marcella Emerger & Steven Carber:

  • evidence is when students can apply the knowledge and skills within authentic contexts.
  • Our goal as teachers it to touch  the hearts as well as minds.
  • Steps: clarify desired results, determine acceptable evidence, and developing a learning plan.
  • “Now that we know this, what will we do?”
  • WHERETO: (W)hat prior knowledge and understanding (or misconceptions) do students have about the content? (H)ow will students know the goals and expected performances of the unit? (H)ook and (H)old interests. (E)How will we help students develop the targeted understands and (e)quip for their transfer performances? (R) How will we help students (r)ethink or (r)evise their understandings? (E) How will students self-(e)valuate and reflect on their learning? (T)How will the learning be (t)ailored for diverse students in the classroom? (O) How will the learning be best (o)rganized and sequenced?
  • http://www.ubdexchange.org or the OCC

English as a SEcond Language by Brian Dare:

  • ESL needs to be addressed in each and every classroom, the responsibility of all teachers.
  • “If ESL students feel happy safe and welcomed in your classroom, you have laid a vital foundation for successful learning.”
  • IRF: Initiation, Response, Feedback

ICT in the PYP by Greg Curtis & Jason Cone:

  • ICT is a catalyst
  • Provide easy access to primary sources to drive exploration and creative thinking.
  • “The guided inquiry will lead to student learning and spiraling understanding.”
  • Daniel Pink “How do we help students turn inquiry and experience into powerful narratives…?”
  • NETS teacher and admin standards can guide you.
  • “We’re progressing yet again – to a society of creators and empathizers, of pattern recognizers and meaning makers.”

Actions speak louder than words by Simon Davidson:

  • “Most important part of the PYP action is through daily classroom practices.” Big actions are large scale projects but everyday actions can provide deeply embedded pattern of thought and action.
  • Choose, Act, Reflect
  • Two Possible choices are often overlooked: NO ACTION, as a positive choice, not a default. And The Action of learning more.
  • “if we develop their charcter dispositions and ability to carry through on their choices, they can have a significant impact on the world later.”

Neuroeducation by Jeb Schneck

  • “Combines brain-based education, cognitive neurosciences, and cognitive psychology.”
  • Brains must make sense of patterns “What are we looking for?” or “Why do we want to do that?”
  • Students become overloaded in 15-20 minutes “Ideally, students would be up and moving to a different location, engaging in a different sort of mentally-challenging task, so overloaded neural networks are give a chance to recover.”
  • Worst direct: “Stop moving, be quiet and pay attention!” They need stimulation
  • Salience is the level of personal or emotional significance. “If students can relate the task to their own life experience, … they care about the outcome.”
  • Use it or lost it.  “Synaptic pruning eliminates connections that are infrequently used while stronger connections are kept and strengthened.”
  • Types  of memory: sensory and  working and long term
  • Chunking information to keep the mind/brain systems on task – every 15-20 minutes conduct a short, rapid review.
  • “They can not work on their task and listen to instructions equally well.”
  • “Long-term Memory is called upon to help process and interpret the latest information”
  • “A very robust memory can result when students repeatedly explain and simultaneously model what they are doing, creating multiple neural networks of different memory types.”

The pre-primary schools of Reggio Emilia by Pam Oken-Wright:

  • “Every child is considered competent, resourceful, full of potential, in search of relationship with others and ideas, and an active agent in his or her own learning from birth.”
  • “Children will gravitate toward that which challenges them and is worth knowing.”
  • Students “can make their most profound ideas visible through drawing, painting, sculpting, constructing, moving, making music and other graphic and temporal media.”
  • “learning is not directed by either children or teachers. Rather, children and teachers work together, constructing the experience of studying a topic as they go along, creating together the path the investigation will take.”
  • “Children learn better with the perspectives of others than when alone.”
  • “If a teachers intervenes with respect for the child’s vision and with the intention of helping him accomplish what he is trying to do or take his idea a step further, the child’s vision remains intact and he is inclined to continue toward his goal.”
  • “A teacher’s goal is to help children maintain their enthusiasm and engagemtn in an investigation as long as they can.”

Third Culture Kids and the Pyp by Steven Carber

  • 3rd Culture kids never feel at home anywhere, but they are more self-confidence, and have flexible thinking, develop sophisticated observation skills, respect diversity. Negative things are depression, homesickness, fear and communication challenges.
  • Help students with transition, establish a culture rich environment.

What will characterize internaiontal education in public schools? by Steven Carber

  • Our learner profile describes the type of student we want to promote.
  • We don’t want the five F’s of food, festival, fashion, famous people and folklore.
  • Things to do more than one language, introduce international/intercultural aspects, diversity within the staff, foreign students to join school, travel abroad, speakers and performers from abroad, global collaboration, comunity service abroad, library sources

Quality not bureaucracy by Simon Davidson:

  • improvement should be a constant process
  • Assessment is not to measure performance, but to increase quality
  • Fear may produce short-term activity, but in the long-term it demotivates.
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