The unit of inquiry, “How the World Works” is an interesting unit for grade 5. The central idea of this unit is “All actions and interactions involve forces, which follow scientific and universal rules”. For this unit of inquiry, students created an action painting collage.
Students were introduced to the work of American painter Jackson Pollock. They watched a video of Jackson Pollock, who was a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement. Jackson Pollock was well known for his unique style of drip painting, also known as action painting. In creating artwork, Jackson Pollock combined it with performing arts.
The formative task for this unit of inquiry was adopting Jackson Pollock’s style with student’s initial name. Students had to cut the first letter of their name using 1/4 A4 paper as the template and attached it on their art book. Then, they splashed the cut-out of their first name with water colour. It was a great and enjoyable activity for the students as they removed the template out from the paper. This learning engagement took one week to finish.
We had our summative task, which took five weeks for the students to complete it.
Students worked with a partner to create three different action paintings with various media. The art media included crayon, string, marbles, straw and sponge. Students were allowed to combine different kinds of art media. This action painting was used for the paper collage.
The students were full of smiles and enthusiastic energy in doing this learning engagement. I gave them three pieces of Asturo paper for them to apply their action paintings. It was a fun activity and students enjoyed it.
Days 2 & 3
After finishing their action paintings, it was time for the students to decide which animal they would like to create. This was an individual art project. Students only did the action painting with their partner, but the rest of it was individual artwork. After they decided which animal they would like to create, they were given 1 medium-size paper and 1 small-size paper. From those pieces of paper, they had to create an eye and nose/ beak. In creating the eye and nose/ beak, they learnt about balance (symmetrical balance).
They also had to fold the paper into two and draw half of eye shape and nose/ beak shape. After that, they cut it. They traced those templates (eye and nose/ beak) on paper and painted the outer lines/curve of eyes.
While waiting for their painting to dry, students started to paint the outer line of nose/ beak with black and continued by applying white acrylic paint and mixing it up with black and white paint to create the effect of the nose and leave it until it is dry. Then, students needed to focus on the eyes. They coloured the eyes using crayon. They had to apply gradation.
After completing the eyes and nose/ beak, students cut all the action paintings for the collage. Students had to stick the paper neatly and properly.
This was the last activity for the action painting collage. Students cut out the eyes and nose/beak and created details for the final touch. They used black acrylic paint for the details.
The final result was fantastic. Even the students were surprised with their own masterpiece. In the process, students needed to listen and follow instructions step by step. The process of doing the action painting was long, but it was worth it.
Here are some of our students with their artwork.
By: Irma Dwi Savitri
Visual Art teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, Jakarta
Engagement activities are contributory factors to a successful learning atmosphere. If properly implemented in the classroom, they increase students’ attention, motivate them to practice higher-level critical thinking skills and promote meaningful learning experiences.
Engagement activities can be supported by creating a toolbox that contains different strategies that make the lessons more alive and productive. These strategies are not only commonly used in the classroom but they are also research-based and their findings are significantly noticeable in the learning process.
These research-based strategies include the following:
- The Magic Wand. This engagement strategy provides evidence that are sufficiently active among students. Their comments become more sophisticated over time as more connections to ideas are made (Engle & Constant, 2002).
Research and Teaching Hints
- Repetition of ideas is observed. Students are cued to point out similarities in responses using appropriate language expressions.
- Suggested prompts for the students: My idea is similar to/related to …My idea is build upon…
- The teacher extends one arm and slowly moves across the classroom.
- The teacher goes around the class allowing students to share ideas.
2. Think-Write –Pair Share. This strategy increases the quality of student responses and gives them time to reflect; information is stored in long-term memory (Mohs, 2009). This was developed by Lyman (1981) to encourage students’ classroom participation.
Research and Teaching Hints
- Writing down the student’s responses foster accountability.
- Appropriate language expressions are encouraged between partners.
- Suggested prompts for the students: My partner clarified that… mentioned that… We agreed on…
Think: Students are given quiet time to THINK about a response.
Write : Students WRITE the answer to the question independently.
Pair : Students are cued to PAIR with a seatmate and discuss their responses, noting similarities and differences.
Share: After reflecting with a partner, students are invited to SHARE with the class.
- Talking Chips. This strategy uses any kind of game token, an eraser, slip of paper or any other small tangible item. This was introduced by Kagan (1988).
Research and Teaching Hints
- Encourages the “blurters” to hold their tongues and the “laggers” to think ahead (Canine & Kammeenui, 2006)
- Promotes equal participation among groups
- Best implemented when there are multiple answers to a question and all learners can cooperate
- Ambassadors. This strategy expects everyone in the group to answer the questions following the discussion. The structure of ambassadors come from ‘Number Heads Together” and is derived from the work of Kagan (1989).
Research and Teaching Hints
- Inquiry is natural and continuous and leads to thoughtful and reflective exploration and ideas (Costa & Kalick, 2000).
- Lower achievers gain confidence.
- Students are more willing to take risks and share ideas.
- Suggested prompts for the students: “We predicted a very different outcome; Our reaction was similar to…”
- Teacher asks a series of questions, one at a time.
- Students discuss possible answers to each questions with teammates for a specific amount of time depending on the complexity of a task.
- Students “put their heads together” in order to solve the problem and ensure that everyone in the group can answer the question.
- The teacher randomly calls students with the specific number to answer as Ambassador on behalf of their team.
- Students are encouraged to acknowledge similarities and differences between their team’s response and that of other teams.
5.Questioning the Author. This strategy encourages the students to interact with information and build meaning from the text by analyzing the author’s purpose in writing (Beck, McKeown, Hamilton & Kucan,1997)
- What is the author’s message?
- What does the message mean?
- How is the message connected to you as a reader?
- Does the connection make sense to you?
- Do you think the message is what the author tells us? Prove answer from the text.
- Teacher presents written content to the students.
- Teacher allows students to use the guideline to Question the Author.
In implementing these strategies, students will take an active part in their own learning and their ideas are valued.
Note: The contribution of Dr. Belinda Dunnick Karge is acknowledged.
By: Ms. Zaida Puyo
Grade 2 Level Head
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
One of the utmost rewards as an Early Years (EY) teacher is to see that all my plans come together. My EY1 students just finished their unit of inquiry summative assessment for term 2 on “How We Express Ourselves”. The central idea for this unit is “Through play, people learn, explore, and have fun”.
During the summative assessment, the students were asked to make their own dice and create their original ideas of playing with the dice. To my surprise, not only the students managed to perform the assessment successfully, but all of them came up with their own unique ideas. On top of that, they really enjoyed doing the tasks. The participation of the class was also enormous. Every child was actively involved in playing different games initiated by their peers.
Below are the steps that were essential to make this unit of inquiry assessment a “success” based on the 5 E’s Model of Learning:
- Engage. Introduce what a die is to the students so they know the name, characteristics, and the features of the object.
- Explore. Give various dice to the students and let the students play and manipulate them. Children are learning effectively by doing. Thus, it is important to allow them ample time to explore what the object is all about, ask questions, give comments, and play with it.
- Explain. Show the students different games that are using dice as object. Teacher can do different activities for this, such as:
- Do show and tell. Ask the students to bring their own games from home that are using dice and share them in front of the class.
- Use PowerPoint slides to show different games and various kind of dice and have a class discussion on them.
- Provide real dice and board games in the classroom, explain the use of those learning materials to the students, and give them chances to play with them.
- Teacher can paste letters, numbers, pictures, shapes, real objects on the dice surfaces and teach the students various concepts. Be creative and create your own dice games. Do lots of different games with the students. It will help them to get the idea on how to play with the dice.
- Ask the students to create their own dice. Students can paint the dice and choose what they want to paste on it, such as numbers, letters, shapes, dots, symbols, and pictures. The students can also cut, color, and decorate what they have chosen to paste on their dice. (I noticed that my students enjoyed having their personal die and played with them many times after they finished making it.)
5.Evaluate. After all the dice are ready, the teacher can start the assessment tasks.
For their summative assessment, each student came in front of the class, showed his/her own die, described the color and what’s on it, told his/her classmates how to play with it, led the game and played with the whole class. These are some pictures on how they did the games:
By: Ms. Geertruida Maya
Early Years 1 Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
“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