“I get by with a little help from my friends.” – The Beatles
Year 1 kicked off their second Unit of Inquiry, “Who We Are,” celebrating familiar friendships and also making new ones along the way. A special day to recognize those who make our lives that much more special, FRIENDS.
What a better way to start Friendship Day than with a friendship jam? Students sang, held hands, and swayed to the happy, jazzy tune of Bruno Mar’s “Count on Me”. Next, they were off on a “Find Someone Who” scavenger hunt, seeking out friends who had the same favorite things as themselves. Amazing to see how many Year 1 students discovering others who also love the color red, or have pasta as their favorite food!
Students had their chance to shine and demonstrate true friendship qualities by participating in exciting team building activities which required much cooperation, communication. First: The Hula Hoop Challenge! Get the hula hoop from the first student in your line to the last. Easy enough? Oh wait, don’t forget to hold hands! DON’T LET GO…or it’s back to the beginning! Students cheered each other on as they wiggled and wormed their way through the hoop.
The next activity was, literally, TUBULAR! Students talked each other through passing a marble through cardboard tubes, carefully and skillfully placing one after the other. DON’T DROP THE MARBLE! Or…you guessed it…back to the beginning! The first team to get the marble to the end of the line AND in the bowl was the winner. Talk about intense concentration!
The friendship fun and festivities did not end there. The Parachute Pen in a Bottle proved challenging and fun, as the students’ had to communicate with their voices, hands, and bodies towards a common goal: lower the pen into the water bottle by together maneuvering the parachute…harder than it sounds! Group 2 discovered “slow and steady wins the race” as they successfully hit their target. Group 1 was not far behind, also utilizing teamwork to successfully reach their goal!
Last but not least, students demonstrated positive social skills and caring by creating a bookmark reflecting the likes and favorites of his/her partner. These will be laminated for students to use when they read, as well as a remembrance of this special day. New students to Global were recognized, as well as seeing existing students working together to complete this thoughtful activity.
YEAR 1 FRIENDSHIP DAY. A special day where existing friendships were enhanced, and new friendships were formed.
“Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.” – Clarence the Angel – (“It’s a Wonderful Life”)
Ibu Marla – Year 1 teacher
Building teams that can effectively collaborate takes time, effort, communication and self-awareness. Within the PYP, collaboration is an essential aspect of learning and teaching. It occurs on a daily basis both within and outside of the classroom; between students, students and teachers, teachers and parents, and students and parents. So how can we ensure these relationships are developed, maintained and even grown as the school year progresses?
At GJS this school year, we are making a conscious effort to support our teaching teams and assist them in developing effective collaboration capabilities. This began on our first professional development day. It was the first time our new teams came together, and for some, the first time they had met their new colleagues! Nevertheless, we dove straight in, starting with personal reflection and individual needs of each teacher in regard to their ability to effectively collaborate and contribute to the learning and teaching process. Yes, tough stuff for the first day back! However, it is vital to identify what we need as collaborators, to be self-aware and communicate this with our teams. By understanding each other’s needs, including preferred communication methods, information requirements and preferences for collaborative formats.
Over the past few weeks, teachers have begun to utilize the information they had identified and learned about each other and started to build their collaborative team/s. To develop collaborative relationships with other community members we have also conducted a new parents meeting, year level parent teacher meetings, and induction programmes for our students. This is in addition to the sharing of year level expectations, the development of essential agreements by students and teachers, and the establishment of this year’s student council. However, these cannot be ‘one off’ initiatives to simply establish collaborative expectations, this must be a commitment by all to continue to evolve, develop and extend our collaborative capabilities. As a result, ongoing education, workshops and practices will be facilitated at Global Jaya throughout the school year.
By working as collaborators in all areas of the community we can work together to ensure the progress and success of all.
On Friday, 16th March 2018, PYP 6 showcased their hard work through the much anticipated ‘PYP Exhibition Day.’ This year, the unit of study that was connected to the PYP Exhibition was “How We Organize Ourselves,” where students explored 8 different types of social and science related topics:
- Positive and negative effects of social media
- People’s actions influence global warming
- Conflicts occur because of differences, but can be resolved
- The importance of ensuring that humans all over the world have their human rights protected
- The many forms of pollution and the actions we can take to address the issue
- Economic imbalance causes many problems
- Technology has evolved and brings both good and bad
- Human actions have caused many species to become endangered.
The PYP Exhibition was an exciting day, as it was the culmination of the PYP 6 students’ learning journeys at Sekolah Ciputra. The students had worked hard for weeks in their interest groups, with the assistance of their mentors, parents, teachers, and communities around the school.
As teachers, our hope is that students continue to develop and share the knowledge, skills, and talents that were displayed during the PYP Exhibition, so that their understandings and awareness will be carried with them into their daily lives, where they will face the real social and environmental issues around them.
The ‘PYP Exhibition Day’ began with students’ lively performances in Ciputra Hall, involving spectacular collaborative efforts that fused performance skills in music, percussion, dance, and drama. We could clearly see connections from their artistic performances to the issues explored throughout the term. Art teachers, Ms Adri and Mr. Dendy, worked collaboratively with Miss Agustin and Mr. Yudi as the stage managers, guiding and encouraging students along the way. In the end, the student’s performed with confidence. The audience was full of smiles, ready with recording devices out, and happy to show their appreciation through their applause. In addition to the performances, there was the PYP Exhibition learning journey video, which documented the learning experiences that students had during the process, as well as parents’ and students’ testimonies which highlighted the transformation and growth they experienced and witnessed in their child.
After the opening ceremony in the Ciputra Hall, everyone walked back to the elementary building where students had the chance to exhibit what they had learned and discovered throughout their learning journey in front of parents, teachers, and guests. This year, we tried a new style of presentation, where students presented their learning journey in 3 different spaces based on the processes of learning. This gave opportunities for each student to present their learning journey according to their own way of communicating with the audience. The first space focused on student’s “Insights,” the next space was the “Information Hub,” and the final space, “Act and Engage,” was full of creative activities engaging with the topics in action. The guests, parents, and teachers were all impressed with the hard work that had been put into the final success of the PYP Exhibition. A lot of positive comments and feedback were provided by the guests and parents throughout the night. As the evening to remember came to a close, we celebrated together over refreshments, food, and treats provided by the school.
Thank you to PYP teachers, parents, students, and everyone else that was involved in the 2017-2018 PYP Exhibition. We hope we see you next year for a different theme, and a similar success.
PYP 6 teamleader
Being a Primary School teacher? It never crossed my mind. I was a homeroom teacher for third graders who are really energetic, talkative, and there were so many conflicts happened in my class. These kind of circumstances was less easy to deal with as a homeroom teacher. I realized some obstacles to conquer in order my class run smoothly. The first three months was the most challenging moment for me and I was so overwhelmed to adjust everything in primary level.
I decided to talk to my superintendent and she gave me a suggestion to apply mindfulness as a classroom management strategy. What is mindfulness? At first I thought that mindfulness is a meditation process and only adults who can enjoy and engage in the activity. Furthermore, I started to find out about what mindfulness is and how to implement it in the classroom. I am so lucky that I have a teammate, Ibu Kania, who already expertised about mindfulness concept. After having many discussions with her, reading books about mindfulness and also watching videos about how to implement it, I got an insight about it. Mindfulness is being aware of our mind and body and also what is happening right now in our surroundings. In mindfulness, we also acknowledge our emotions and feelings without judging whether is right or wrong. We are focusing our attention in the present only. Practicing mindfulness is really good for children because it develops their awareness and self-control.
The first strategy I used was using a bell in the classroom. The bell was for attention-getting, cueing transitions, and settling their minds, all while lessening the effort required from me. My students and I made an agreement that every time they heard the bell rang, they had to stop from what they were doing and listened to my instruction. At first attempt, it was really hard for them. Some of the students did not stop from their activity but after several weeks of practice, they got used to it. I also created an agreement with them about sitting on the mat. The agreement was having their personal space during the discussion on the mat. They did an reflection by saying that having their personal space was making them comfortable and helping them to be more focused while listening to the teacher’s explanation. Every time they forgot how to sit on the mat, I only said “Remember how you sit on the mat.” Then they got back in their position.
“Mindful Breathing” was an activity I usually did during morning circle before the class began or after they had break. Students focused on inhaling and exhaling. During this activity, I guided them by saying “Breathe in, breathe out. Notice your breath, is it warm? Is it cold? How do you feel? Is it making you feel relaxed?” This session was helping them to be more focused after being restless during snack time and they would be ready to learn in the classroom.
“Mindful Listening” is an activity for students focus on their heartbeat and any kinds of sound in their surrounding that they did not notice before. After this session, students noticed that they could hear the clock was ticking, AC noise, people talking outside the classroom. They also mentioned that by using our mindful ears, we could hear any sounds that we had not notice before and it helped us to be more focused.
“Sharing good thoughts” is an activity for students to sit in a circle and they have to write down positive things about their friend who sits in front of him/ her. The purpose of this activity is for reducing the conflict in the class. Using this kind of activity, children will see the good quality of their friends rather than the negative ones. On the other side, the children who get the positive feedback will have positive self-concept as well.
“Creating Gratitude Log” is an activity that asks students to create a book that consists of list about something they are grateful for in a day. Sometimes children experience bad events at school and they will focus on that for the rest of the day. They are allowed to share their gratitude log to the teachers or friends or they can keep it for themselves if they feel too personal.
By writing on the gratitude log, children are encouraged to less focus on the bad events because a lot of things that should be grateful. I always said to them that it is normal to feel sad or angry by acknowledging our feelings. It takes time to calm down by sending kind thoughts to the person we dislike e.g “May he/she be happy, may he/she be healthy, may his/her life is full of joy” We should do this to make us feel relieved and not to get carried away by our emotions.
Mindfulness helped me to keep my class running smoothly. There was a great improvement in their self-control because they became more aware to every action that has an impact to themselves and others. I always reminded them by saying “Think before you speak” when someone replied my questions with something unrelated. In addition, surprisingly, my students often asked me to do mindful breathing when they felt restless. Self-control is mandatory for one to succeed.
Mindfulness also helps me to improve my life quality. It can reduce stress, anxiety and also enhance my performance at work. I bring mindfulness into my everyday life. For example, at the end of term, there is a lot of work to do and it gives me stress and also escalates my anxiety. I got used to have these questions pop in my mind, “What should I do first? Meeting with parents? How about finishing students’ report? This is definitely unsafe for me because I did not concentrate while driving. Having mindfulness in driving, I could more aware of the circumstances, enjoy the moment and also reduce my anxiety. When I arrive at school, I am ready to finish my work. Finally, I also create a gratitude log to list down things that I should thank for every day thus I do not get easily carried away by my emotions.
“Mindfulness allows you to surf rather than drown” -Anonymous-
Rasmi Anindyojati (Anin) – Year 4 Teacher (Sekolah Cikal Cilandak)
I still remember when I walked into a school library for the first time. I was in second grade of my junior high school. The room was a dim light, dusty, and full of thick books. I really had no idea what kind of books that they had. So, I decided to take one book titled “AKU’, written by Sjuman Djaya, a story of Indonesian poet, Chairil Anwar. I read it for five minutes and I didn’t understand at all. Then, I asked the librarian where the comic books or fantasy books were. But she said there were no such thing as comic books, there were only students’ workbook or Indonesian literature. Since then, I never came to my school library anymore.
The Power of Library
“We are in a library. The best weapon in the world”. – Doctor Who.
In 21st era, library is not only a place for reading books but also has become the necessities in our life. It is essential in a process of giving someone access to knowledge. Thus, a library will remain for a quite long time. Along with the progress of digital technology, library will also adapt and develop into a futuristic edge of digital information where people can also do research for every single thing in the world. As one of the most powerful place, library becomes one of the core at school. At Sekolah Cikal, library not only provides resources to support teaching and learning, but also turns to be a space where students engage with information and develop the confidence to locate, evaluate, and do research about anything they love. Sekolah Cikal also dedicated its library to give opportunity to all teachers to conduct lessons with all advantages of the latest technology. Yes. Library has the potential to be hubs of learning for the entire community.
The Essential of Librarian
Being a librarian was actually my dream, I always imagine myself surrounded by books, read it every time I want to, buying books and put it on the shelves . But that dream disappeared by the time I met a-not-so-friendly librarian at my school. Then I asked myself: “Is librarian always THAT boring and ignorant?”. Luckily, I had an opportunity to be a part of Sekolah Cikal, which has a very homey library! After one year I spent my life as a Teacher Assistant at Sekolah Cikal, I finally had a chance to be a Librarian, even I did not graduate from librarian major. And I took that as my turning point. At Sekolah Cikal Library, I see that librarian is essential for the school. Librarian also becomes one of the biggest supporter for students’ learning process.
Like I ever imagined, I do not only general works of librarian, like shelving, inputting books data to the system, purchasing books for students and teachers but also learn how to distinguish book based on students’ reading level, do storytelling for students, make engaging activity about the book or library skills. In this millennial era which has sophisticated devices everywhere, books become least favourite thing. each students’ reading desire. Making library alive and fun!
For me, those are so challenging and exciting at the same time. Student librarian is one of library programs for students whom practice to be a librarian and they are super excited about that. They come to the library at lunch or snack time then help to shelf or do book circulation for anyone who wants to borrow or return books.
Teachers always provoke the students to read one book per day. Each student has a Webbook to note any books that have been read. Library also provides students with variety of books from the classic to the newest. So, library will become their source to relax their mind with any kind of books.
The image of an old librarian woman who wore thick glasses had suddenly disappeared from my mind. I really believe, every librarian out there should be the literacy warrior in this millennial era.
Annisa Novia Pertiwi – Librarian (Sekolah Cikal Cilandak)
To understand and to be understood.
Two keys behind of a successful social relationship, at least in my experience. Two things that I have been trying to imply for a year and still counting. Not only between colleagues but also in teacher-student relationship.
Every human being deserves similar education and experiences in life, to have freedom to learn, live life to the fullest and make the best out of it. And in Sekolah Cikal, students with special education (SEN) are not exception. There is a tendency of generalizing things that makes us often forget about individual differences, such as each person’s strength and capabilities. We all were born with different cases and each of us is special.
Throughout my one-year journey as a special education teacher (SET) in Sekolah Cikal, I realized that I have two essential responsibilities: first is to understand student fully—from emotional, learning attitude, motivation, how they socialize, organization skill, to his interest—and second is to create an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each of SEN with the purpose to enhance their skills based on their ability and needs. Questions arose such as “How could we do that?” “Is not it too much to ask?” Here, the SETs are formed into a division called Student Support Center (SSC) where each teacher is responsible for up to 4 students regarding their path or support needs. To help us working on the program, we have pull out session that can be held individually and classically, again, based on student’s needs.
Well, giving meaningful learning for daily life and helping them to develop optimally are two of some objectives I propose as SET. One of the indicators is to make sure that student knows the purpose of every activity they do and how it practically benefits them in daily life. Therefore, I have been trying to establish learning concept that student is not merely listen to teacher’s explanation, see a board full of words, and do paper-and-pencil worksheets. So, how do I imply it so far? My two magic weapons that really useful to manage such responsibilities are observation and interaction.
Observation is an essential moment when I try to get to know my student deeper as a way to understand their characteristics. It is better to do it in natural setting by involving interaction—which also become a teacher-student bonding time moment. To give sense that my presence is to support, not to give label or differentiate them with the other students. This approach involves teacher’s role as a friend. I usually begin interacting by asking their hobbies or interest. For instance, I know that X really loves futsal that is similar experience with mine which I thought it was the start-up approaching. The purpose itself is to make student feels comfortable and to grow trust. Through observation and interaction, I can get information related to their needs that will be created into an IEP to develop and enhance student’s performance.
During each process, there are challenges you must meet. At first, X was really ignorant, lack of motivation to do literally everything—writing, reading, do worksheets, even participating in class’ discussion—you name it. To communicate with him was quite challenging because he did not take things seriously. According to my observation and various evidences, I made a program to raise his awareness that every activity had a purpose. We also live with a purpose, and to achieve it we need plans as well as effort along the process. I admit, this thing was pretty challenging, moreover because of his indifferent attitude, came to pull-out session with no enthusiasm and considered to be a late comer. Of course, some trial-and-error process needed until I got the idea to integrate his interests with learning objectives in his IEP. The result of my observation also showed that X really loved and active in sports, such as soccer and basketball. That was the moment which I involved his favorite players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James into learning, which is by discussing more about their biographies and relating them with their academic and success journeys. To do it, I prepared myself to dig more information about them thru videos, fun facts finding and turn it into a fun fact booklet.
Given such activity for the first time, X showed a different response. He paid full attention to the video and actively telling me about things he knew about the player so the session went more interactive which is never happened before. He could even answer and retell the journey of the player’s before and after success. After using similar strategies with different player for 2-3 times, X showed more positive, interactive, and cooperative attitude in pull-out session. He also came to the session on time without asking him first in the morning. Until finally, he was able to conclude independently from all four figures discussed, that each of them practiced so hard to become a most valuable player (MVP). Not only that, they also achieved it by not forgetting about their responsibility at school, academically. X also stated a reflection towards himself, “It is like me. I play and join basketball club, but not forget studying at school.” Wow! I was beyond surprised and delighted at the time. Wait! I am not closed to done. The peak was when we were in the middle of counting blessings activity—it is the time when student cultivate three things they were grateful for the day or what went well—he stated that he was happy at school, felt grateful that he could learn a lot of things from teachers and able to play with his friends. Besides, a sense of achievement was also increasing his confidence as the reason of peer-assessment and constructive feedback we had in classical session.
From that moment, X seemed to be more enthusiastic to go to school and more involved in class activity. He started to ask questions and give answers in discussion. A sense of competitiveness was also shown by making some efforts to finish whatever tasks I gave him. He had been able to do reflection of things he still needed to improve and finish task in more serious ways. Thankfully, the impact is still can be felt up until now, even better. X often asked for challenges, gained self-confidence, is able to lead a group, and be more organized towards his responsibilities at school.
A key take-away regarding my experience with X is that I learned the importance of understanding students and how to build a good relationship with them. When I understand them, I feel like the feeling is mutual. This was interpreted from X that seemed to know that every activity had a purpose to enhance his performance and for his good. Also, teacher-student relationship does not have to be too formal, even the opposite, I place myself as their friend where they can talk and share information freely, not only academic-related but literally everything—like lifestyle, hobbies, especially his interest—and of course, I must show genuine excitement and warm response in return. Putting myself in student’s shoes is a way to comprehend the student by asking questions like “What do I want my teacher to be?” “What makes me comfortable learning in school?” “What do I want to learn?” “How is this benefits for me?”
So, now it is back at you. What do you expect from teacher?
August 15th 2018
Made Cynthia Agrita Putri Rizwari (Cynthia) – Special Education Teacher/SSC Team Year 4
Sekolah Cikal Cilandak