What comes after the provocation?
Connecting with experts!
In this case my Year 4s were connecting with, Grade 5s at the International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC).
This connection was such rich learning both for myself and the children in my class.
Genuine Role Models – How often in schools do we bring in adults long past the point of schooling? Kids just a few years older enable children to see themselves in them.
Practical advice – Adults inevitably make assumptions about children’s ability or lack there of and end up doing too much of the work for the children. Kids aren’t encumbered by that judgement.
Language – Explanations were simple. No need to ask the speaker to put things in ‘kid speak’ – the kids were the speakers!
Concepts, not content – The PYP is a concept-drive curriculum. This enables the children in Singapore to learn about the attitudes and ‘big ideas’ rather than getting stuck in ‘would this work here?’ details.
For me the Skype was a timely reminder to refocus the unit. It can be easy to get caught up in the details of a provocation and miss the wider picture.
The call provoked my thinking that we needed to refocus our thinking in this unit beyond doing what we already do but better and reframing the problem.
How might the children develop a unique product or service with significant value
added by their individual talents, skills or passions?
Meaningful connections – With so many classes and teachers online, a few purposeful interactions to support specific learning needs is more preferable to communicating about nothing in particular with random classes. My class is the process of starting a similar unit that the children at ISHCMC had been learning about all year.
Share practice – Sam Sherratt is a prolific sharer of the learning going on at ISHCMC. A quick scroll down Sam’s twitter feed and I had concrete examples to scaffold the children’s questions. Usually before speakers come in I end up with a lot of questions that can be easily googled or aren’t relevant to lines of inquiry. This morning every child in my class was able to ask an ‘ungoogleable’ and relevant question.
Follow up – As a follow up, the children and I will continue to reflect and document how our Skype call changed our thinking. What better way to show appreciation for the children who helped us than by showing how their words inspired others to take action?