Learning to sit outside the Literacy Circle

It's been nearly two months since the learners in my class asked me to sit outside the literacy circle. Each week one of the children acts as the main facilitator for the group. The child drafts questions to discuss the novel Out of My Mind and makes a seating chart based on the data from the... Continue Reading →

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Video provocations – use small screens to develop conceptual thinking

Video is a powerful medium for provocation. Images, words, music can help us visualize powerful concepts and support storytelling that explores big ideas. Traditionally, teachers gather the children into one group and all watch the video together. Yet during this process how much precious learning time is wasted: Organising the children to sit down in... Continue Reading →

Does summative assessment drive Units of Inquiry?

During a planning meeting for every Unit of Inquiry,  there's a question that's always pops up "What are we going to do for the summative task?" The minute this question is asked, I often find my mind thinking more about what the kids are going to do to 'show what they know' then the how they are going... Continue Reading →

How could the PYP workshop be better?

One of the aspects that excited me about teaching in a Primary Years Programme school is an ongoing commitment to professional development of teachers. An integral part of PD for PYP teachers is attending a workshop. The workshop is held over several days there's a 'getting started' workshop as well as one of different aspects of the... Continue Reading →

Provocation – Setting the scene for Inquiry

Provocation is a powerful item in the inquiry learning tool box. It sparks confusion, a strong reaction and above all curiosity.  One of the strongest take aways from spending time at the International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) was how a strong provocation not only gets kids interested in the concepts but seeing themselves as practitioners in the academic discipline to... Continue Reading →

A common language of learning

One of the joys of being a PYP (Primary Years Programme) teacher is the raft of professional development opportunities available. #pypchat, workshops and informal gatherings help teachers to strengthen their practice and improve learning for the children in their class The curriculum lends itself to a variety of contexts and is taught the world over... Continue Reading →

Home work – learning logs follow up

As a follow up to the last post on home learning. This week I had some amazing responses from the children to the idea of fairness. This child has used a simple comparison between his perspective and his mother's perspective. I love how the child is learning from his mother and that the learning conversations are continuing... Continue Reading →

One word visual goals – a powerful form of thinking 8/365

I hate setting SMART targets. Both for myself and also with the students. I hate reducing the complexity of learning down to some meaningless sentence that I write down somewhere and then forget about. The kids goals often end up being more behaviour focused rather than learning focused. Moreover the process of writing often impedes... Continue Reading →

Weekly Reflection: A new school year

A new school year starts. If finishing a school year in June was weird, beginning one in August is even weirder. A new year brings with it new challenges and opportunities, some expected others not. There is no such thing as the perfect class, just a group of kids you hope leave wiser and happier after spending... Continue Reading →

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