Two Week Outline:
Trouble Shooting Finding Out Quiz
This activity was planned as a way to launch into the finding out process. With the Exhibition being such a technology heavy project, we wanted to make sure that students were not only building upon their research skills, but also some of their management skills. The activity was designed to be interactive, rather than directive.
We are very fortunate to have a great group of parents working with us this year, and having them come in to help out during exhibition is incredibly helpful for both the students and the teachers. It's so wonderful for them to be a part of the process, and for them to truly understand the inquiry cycle. We had such a great turnout this year and I cannot wait for them to come back in in a few weeks!
We tried something new last year with mentors, and it didn't quite work out so well, so this year, we went back to the old way, which meant 'grouping' students and assigning them to a mentor who they would meet with once a week. We had so many teachers volunteer this year to help out that we were really able to accomplish putting kids into logical and purposeful groupings, which is really hard to do when you have each kid working most independently during the exhibition. Some of our mentors are working with groups of 3 or 4 kids (deforestation, pollution, endangered animals etc...), while others only have 1 or 2 students, with perhaps much more unique and issues (artificial intelligence, urban beautification, bee extinction etc...).
Next week is going to be really exciting. We are going to be launching into the next phases of the inquiry cycle-- sorting out and going further. We have students going on field trips, doing interviews, and we hope to start working on literacy, math and design elements! It's going to be busy!
This Weeks Outline:
Monday- Welcome to your learning room
On Monday, we scrambled the kids up into their new working rooms. The overall themes of this year's working rooms are: Technology, Environment, Health & Wellbeing, and Human & Animals Rights. Our vision is that within each working room, kids will be able to collaborate and work alongside other students with similar issues. Although they may not be exactly the same, there is a likelihood that a student investigating water pollution and oil spills, or literacy in China and Child Welfare in China.
After some team building activities we dove into creating some working room essential agreements, and then moved on to sharing some prior knowledge about our topics. We did by having students fill out concentric circles. For the last circle, students moved around the room and made connections to one another's issues.
Tuesday - Friday - Key Concept Questions & Lines of Inquiry
In the past, we have had a bit (lot) of difficulty when it comes to having student generate questions to guide their inquiries, sot his year we tried something new. The initial task for for students to generate as many questions as possible. We then worked as a class to critique each other's questions. We moved around the room 'musical chair' style and wrote one of 3 things about each others questions. We could give a checkmark if it was a great questions, a question mark if we didn't understand the question, or we could simply make little changes to the question to make them more grammatically correct. Once we finished this process, all students participated in a question think tank. In small groups, each student took turns sharing a bit about their issue. The other students in the group then had a chance to also ask questions and students could add these to their questions banks. By the end of this process, students were excited by what they had on their pages and many of them commented on the benefit of collaborative process.
Our next task was to organize our questions by key concept. This was surprisingly easy for many students compared to years before. As a school, we are definitely starting to see the payoff of having students be a part of the PYP program for the past several years.
Making Lines of Inquiry - Thursday & Friday
When it came to making Lines of Inquiry, students had the opportunity to review the lines of inquiry from earlier in the year. This helped them to recognize a) what a LOI is, and b) how to formulate their own LOIs. For this process, we had most students write down their biggest, guiding questions on little tiny pieces of paper. They then sorted them into like/similar groups. Once these groups were in front of them, it was easier to recognize what their LOIs could potentially be. Now that most of our students have their lines of inquiry made, they will be ready to launch into some research and finding out next week!
A few other things we accomplished this week:
Design and innovation provides solutions for personal, local and global issues
Issues & Innovations
An outline of our first week:
Highlights of the week:
As a grade 5 team, we were organized! Although this is our fifth time around the block, we are once again trying out new themes and basically starting from scratch. This year it it has felt great though. Our experiences from the past are finally starting to pay off and we planned the absolute best launch week. By the time we got to Friday, kids were excited and buzzing to let us know their final Exhibition issues.
I think there is only one thing I would change about the week. I do feel like I/we did a lot of talking. Between going over expectations during role of the students, and having students listen to the CISB community about taking action, I felt like our students did a lot of sitting and listening. In the end, I do think it was valuable and they generally enjoyed and absorbed, but I'm sure a few of our language learners felt overwhelmed. Sitting and listening will be worth it when our process starts and everyone has a clear understanding of what is going on.
Role of the Student:
This is how role of the student went down
The action workshop was meant to inspire. Every year we find that taking action is the hardest part of the inquiry cycle for the kids to complete. Ideas generally bounce between putting posters up around the school and trying to raise money for some issue or cause. The idea was to show kids that action can be taken in many many different ways. We invited a few guests for the CISB community to come in and share examples of actions they have taken in their own lives. We hoped for the students to recognize that action is usually attached to genuine care and interest for an issue, and that there is no one right way to do it.
We especially wanted to highlight the fact that there are 6 types of action: doing, being, saying, having, feeling and thinking.
On day 2 of the action workshop, we watched a video about a young boy named Boyan Slat who took action on the issue of ocean pollution. We took notes on all of the different ways that he was able to take action. We continued on with brainstorming ideas for other types of action that could be taken for a variety of issues.
Choosing an Issue
The final step of the week for students was to choose an issue that they wanted to investigate further for the Exhibition. About 6 weeks before the Exhibition process started we began by asking students to think about the passions, interest and issues they were interested in. Teachers presented one new idea and each week, a passion or interest to them, and students had to choose 1 as well. By the end of the 6 weeks, students all throughout the grade had a handful of passions and issues they were willing to investigate more. We did mini lessons on turning passions into issues, and in the end, most kids were able to identify something they wanted to pursue further.
The entire grade 5 team is excited to get started next week with some Tuning in and Finding out!