Month: April 2017

FINITE RESOURCES AND HOW HUMANS ACT OVER THEM

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The 4th graders of Sekolah Pilar Indonesia have been exploring their first unit of inquiry under the theme, ‘Sharing the Planet’. The students have been examining the following central idea; the need for finite resources is a factor in relationships between humans and the natural environment, through the key concepts of perspective, causation, and responsibility. They have also worked hard to develop their learner profile attributes.

During their exploration on this unit, the teacher provided students with a variety of learning opportunities, including watching ‘Deep Water Horizon”, reading articles by using the jigsaw strategy, and inviting a parent, who is a geologist of a geothermal company, as a guest speaker. During the sharing session, the students showed their curiosity by formulating questions. Below are some of the questions the students came up with.

  • Are there any differences between planning mining sites on land and in the ocean?
  • Do power plants built near the mining site produce pollution for the surrounding environment?
  • Is geothermal energy dangerous for humans?

From these experiences students were able to describe the process of mining oil in the ocean and the impact of big explosions on a mining site when the proper procedures are implemented. They also were able to identify what tools were used to mine oil in the ocean from watching the movie. The jigsaw strategy was used in the finding out and sorting out phases to explore the second and third lines of inquiry. The teacher provided four different articles about conflicts that have arisen between humans and wildlife or nature over finite resources. The students were asked to read the articles and share the information in groups. After they discussed the article in their group, the students were re-grouped randomly. In their new group the students shared the information from the article they had read. Through this activity, the students were able to understand that conflicts will always arise between humans and other living things, in this case with the wildlife and nature, to fulfill human’s daily needs. As a result of this exploration students were also able to explain how wildlife obtain their needs from nature, for example nature provides animals with a home and place to find food. From the articles, the students learned how to preserve nature and endangered animals not only in Indonesia, but also in different parts of the world.

Desy Ermawati

desy.erma@pilar.sch.id

Grade 4 Teacher Sekolah Pilar Indonesia

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Grade 1 Exploring Forces through Games

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What is Play-based Pedagogy?

Play-based pedagogy describes an approach where the teacher recognizes that children learn through an active, hands-on, playful environment. In a play-based classroom, the teacher makes decisions about, and adjusts, the daily schedule, environment, materials, interactions and activities based upon the strengths, needs, interests, and input of the students to enhance learning opportunities. (Common Understandings – Play-based Pedagogy, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, page 35).

As active children, Grade 1 students enthusiastically explore the world around them through play-based learning. For the young students playing is an effective provocation, one which stimulates their thinking skills in connection to their unit of inquiry.

Under the theme ‘How the World Works’, Grade 1 students had the opportunity to play several games to engage their knowledge about the impact of forces on everyday life. We joined two classes to play frisbee, bowling, javelin, soccer and tug of war. During the games, the students observed important information. We found out that the games had different rules and procedures. We also observed how the objects that we used moved, and identified differences between the weight and size of the objects. Through the games we found out that the more power we use, the faster things move. We also practised our social skills and communication skills by showing our respect for each other.

After we played the games, we held a discussion and some of the students recognized the similarities between the games. The games required us to perform certain actions (throw, push and pull) to make the objects move from one place to another. To engage our knowledge, we read a variety of books, including ‘The Enormous Turnip’, ‘I Can’t Open It’ and ‘Motion’. We also had the opportunity to role play ‘The Enormous Turnip’ book in front of our friends. This story helped us to understand that we need forces to make things speed up or slow down.

One of our formative assessments required students to differentiate between pictures using a Venn Diagram. Students categorized which pictures showed pushing activities, pulling activities or both. After finishing, the students did a bus stop activity to observe other groups’ ideas. From the observation, students found out that other groups had different ideas so we held a discussion to enrich our understanding.

Here are some examples of the students’ comments.

Group A: “Bu, we observed that other groups put the fishing picture as an example of a pulling activity. We think it’s supposed to be a pushing and pulling activity because we have to cast the fishing line out first and after we get the fish, we have to pull it.”

Group B: “We put the fishing picture as an example of pulling activity because we saw the girl in the picture already got her fish, so she only needed to pull the fishing line in.”

When discussing the other pictures, the students sometimes had the same opinions and sometimes their opinions were different. We learnt that it is important to listen to others’ opinions, because every point of view has its own angle and every angle has merit.

We also conducted some experiments about how forces affect movement. Students explored the three stations provided, each representing different types of force. After doing the activities at the three stations, students explained their experiences in one particular station through drawing and writing.

We believe that through play students are able to explore things more enthusiastically and also learn how to negotiate with one another and solve problems, be more of a risk-taker, and develop self-confidence.

Grade 1 Teachers

Sekolah Pilar Indonesia

Year 6 – Exhibition: An International Perspective

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As part of the Global Jaya School Year 6 PYP Exhibition, our students had the opportunity to connect with other schools around the world to discuss the progress, implementation and reflection of their experiences.

Over the course of the two-day event, students held video Skype calls with schools in New Zealand, Indonesia, Germany and Norway. They had the chance to share their thoughts about their exhibition experiences and ask questions of each other to gain a deeper mutual understanding of similarities and differences between how people from around the globe engage in the PYP exhibition.

Student Experience:

Renatta, Dhira and I Skyped with a school from New Zealand and we became their tour guides. We took them on a tour around the theater foyer to see all of our booths. We stopped at our booths and explained our issue, solution, and other things on our display. They asked us questions and we answered them. It was a really fun experience. I was very lucky to have the chance to be able to call schools from other countries.

Kiara

I was very lucky to be able to call schools from other countries/places. My favourite calls were with the New Zealand and Norway schools because they made us laugh. We were also able to give them a tour of the theatre foyer, and allow them to interview other students. They asked great questions, and made Kiara, Dhira and I laugh.

Renatta

It was like talking to us in the past when we Skyped with IB schools in Germany and Norway because they are just starting their exhibition process and we were just done. It was helpful for them to get tips and answers from us because we are finished with exhibition and we have experienced all the work.

Rafi

International Teacher Comments:

My students really enjoyed the presentation. Dhira was great! We are going to have our exhibition next month. I’m thinking we could probably have a Skype session during our exhibition, just like yours. Thank you again for the session.

Ibu Marina, Sekolah Global Indo-Asia, Indonesia

We will be having our exhibition towards the end of Nov. It would be amazing to see the performance as well. Due to talking with your class today, I already have students wanting to form groups and start their research. They were very motivated by what they saw.

Robert Bale, Ashburton Borough School, New Zealand

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Skyping with students to share their exhibition experience.

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Video conferencing with students in Germany.

Human Rights

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Learning from individuals working in institutions promoting human rights

As our grade 5 students prepare for their PYP Exhibition in April 2017, they have had a lot of interactions and discussions with first-hand sources for the different issues they are inquiring on. The grade 5 teachers worked hard to try to get individuals, who are experts in their fields, to share their knowledge and experience with our grade 5 students.

For this year’s PYP Exhibition, the students chose the transdisciplinary theme ‘How We Organize Ourselves’ with the central idea “Social equality can determine how people act and how institutions govern.” Instead of all the 30 human rights, we will focus on freedom from discrimination, slavery, torture and degrading treatment; right to free movement, protection in another country, and right to a nationality and freedom to change it; freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and freedom of opinion and information; right to peaceful assembly and association, right to participate in government and elections; and right to desirable work and join trade unions, right to rest and leisure, right to adequate living standards.

Right to desirable work and join trade unions, right to rest and leisure, right to adequate living standards

On February 20, we were very privileged to have Indonesia’s Minister of Industry, Bapak Airlangga Hartanto, as our guest speaker. He first explained his roles as a Minister of Industry to the students. He mentioned that he works closely with Indonesian President Jokowi and other ministers for the betterment of Indonesia. He showed a video on how a big factory in Indonesia operates. After that, he enumerated the rights of workers such as minimum wage, working hours and overtime pay, medical benefits, pension fund and participation in labour unions. The students asked a lot of questions which the Minister answered cheerfully. At the end of his talk, he encouraged the students to study and work hard so that they can also help their country in the future.

binus issue 7 1 Freedom from discrimination, slavery, torture and degrading treatment

On February 23, we had a Skype session with our guest speaker, Grace Villanueva, a lawyer from the Philippines. She had worked for 10 years in a non-governmental organization called Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center or LRC, whose focus is rights to natural resources of indigenous peoples and other upland poor rural communities.  Prior to joining LRC, she trained in a law firm after she took the bar exams.  Most recently, she was a consultant to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Philippines.  In her presentation to our grade 5 students, she explained who the indigenous people are and how institutions protect their rights to their lands and territories. She also shared with the students how lawyers like her educate the indigenous people about their right to be asked for their permission and their right to develop based on their own dreams. The students had a lot of questions after her presentation. One student even asked, “Why don’t the indigenous people just change their ways so they won’t be discriminated?” in which Atty. Grace replied, “There is a saying: “Why fix something if it is not broken? All they want is a happy, just, peaceful, beautiful world enjoyed by every child, woman, man, which they will pass on to their future children for them to also enjoy and take care of for future generations.”

binus issue 7 2Right to peaceful assembly and association, right to participate in government and elections

On February 28, three staff from Indonesia’s Komisi Pemilihan Umum (KPU), Ibu Lidya, Ibu Ina and Ibu Rika, went to our school and talked about the citizens’ right to choose their leader. They explained to the students the process of voting as well as the requirements for an individual to exercise his or her right to vote. Once again, our students took this opportunity to ask many questions like “Why can’t children vote?”, “How does your institution ensure a fair election?”, “What preparations do you do before an election?”, etc.

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Guests from KPU explaining the citizens’ right to vote

Right to free movement, protection in another country, and right to a nationality and freedom to change it

On February 3, one of our Humanities teachers from the Middle Years Programme, Michael Athens, shared his knowledge and experience with our students. He explained to them who refugees are, why they leave their country and what their rights are. He shared his own experience about interacting with them when he worked in one of the local libraries in Minneapolis many years ago. He gave facts and figures about crimes committed which did not include any refugees’ involvement at all. The session touched the hearts of the students and made them more compassionate to people who are in need. It also made them appreciate the things that they have which they normally take for granted.

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Our MYP Humanities teacher, Michael Athens, explaining the rights of refugees to our students

On March 6, we were fortunate to have been given the chance to meet refugees from Pakistan and Sri Lanka by members of a Catholic organization in Bogor called Jesuit Refugees Service (JRS). Their mission is to accompany, serve and advocate on behalf of refugees. Their main areas of work are in the field of education, emergency assistance, healthcare, livelihood activities and social services. The first activity we had was to socialize with them in our school’s playground. Most of our girls had a chat with two teenage girls from Pakistan while the boys played. We went up to our assembly area after that and all our guests introduced themselves by saying their names and which country they come from. Our students invited them in their classrooms and they shared what they usually do in the class. One girl from Pakistan said that she loves art so our students gave her a lot of art materials to draw and paint. A boy from Pakistan said he likes playing soccer so our students played soccer with him. Our students were very sensitive and did not ask about their life as a refugee. Even for a day, our grade 5 students surely brought joy to these people.

With all these interactions and discussions, our young students were able to understand not only how they should be treated but how they should treat others as well. They realize that there are actually many individuals, institutions and organizations that protect the rights of human beings. Our guest speakers created a safe place for our students to explore, discuss, challenge and form their own opinions and values. The knowledge and respect of rights that our students have gained from all these past sessions (and more to come) have empowered them to tackle discrimination or inequality and improve their relationships with the society.

 By: Corita T. Silapan

Grade 5 Class Teacher and Level Head

BINUS SCHOOL Simprug

ctorregoza@binus.edu

Save Our Ocean, We Only Have One…

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The Early Childhood Centre (ECC) of Sekolah Pilar Indonesia celebrated the learning journey under the transdisciplinary theme, Sharing the Planet. Kindergarten and Reception classes had different central ideas. In Kindergarten we had ‘Living things need the sea to survive’, while in Reception, ‘When interacting with natural habitats, humans make choices that have an impact on other living things’. We collaborated on these central ideas by considering the lines of inquiries through the form of a simple drama. The drama persuaded everyone to work hand in hand to take care of the sea and maintain the habitat. We also involved our mums in the performance. We were very confident and were risk-takers to share what we have learned. Everybody shared positive responses on our learning.

Furthermore, to deepen our understanding of sea animals and habitats, ECC students and teachers went on an excursion to Ancol Beach and Seaworld. During the tour we showed our curiosity by asking many questions to our tour guide. We also watched a short movie about the life cycle of sea turtles. From that movie we discovered how living things respond to changing environments. After that, we headed to Ancol Beach to clean up the beach. We collected the rubbish and put it in the trash bin.

Through these activities we learnt many things. We understand that the sea habitat is very important to sustain life on Earth. Every little thing that we do to the sea has an impact to our life and other living things.

ECC Teachers

Sekolah Pilar Indonesia

Math Misconception

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School to School is an annual event hosted by Sekolah Ciputra and dedicated to educators who are willing to learn and share their professional learning with colleagues across East Java. This year, it was held on February 25th. Ms. Hestya and I took led a workshop about math misconceptions in the primary years. This area intrigues me, as I believe all Math concepts can be investigated and explained in a simple way and we don’t need to say  “this is the procedure, formula, or theory that you need to remember” to our students, which is the way I was taught. If our students understand how math works, rather than memorize formulas, they will love it.

We started the activity by giving a pretest to the workshop participants to identify misconceptions they had. It was surprising to me that no one answered all the questions correctly. Then we followed up with an activity designed to accommodate the needs of the participants and to refine their misconceptions. We discussed and investigated the following topics:

(1) What is a concept, a conception and a misconception?

(2) What forms of misconceptions occur in primary school?

(3) How do teachers respond to student misconceptions?

(4) What techniques are there to eliminate misconceptions?

To refine the participants’ understanding of Math concepts we did a gallery walk. One important thing that we shared is how Math pre-conceptions leads to further misconception. One example is:

  • Students get confused with the alligator/Pacman analogy. Is the bigger value eating the smaller one? Is it the value already eaten or about to be eaten? Do I add what it has eaten?

3

  • In helping students make sense of subtraction they are told to always take the smaller number away from the larger number.

4 – 8 = ?

4

From this workshop, I have learned that effective teachers understand that mistakes and confusion provide powerful learning opportunities.  I believe the quote below reminds us that misconceptions hinders inquiry.

“The worst thing about mnemonics is not that they almost always fall apart, they don’t encourage understanding, and never justify anything; it’s that they kill curiosity and creativity – two important character traits that too many math teachers out there disregard.” -Andy Martinson

Rini

PYP 6 Teacher and Year Level Coordinator

rini@sekolahciputra.sch.id

Expressing Ourselves Through Sign Language

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In our transdisciplinary theme, “How We Express Ourselves” with the central idea “A variety of signs and symbols facilitates communication,” the grade 3 students learned that communication takes place in many shapes and forms.  

Sign language was one of the specialized communication systems that the grade 3 students learned. The students were able to know that sign language is being used by deaf and mute people, and it helps them as well as their teachers to communicate effectively and efficiently. They also learned that sign language is a natural and beautiful language that can be shared in ways that foster understanding and respect, acts as a bridge between two people who speak different languages, and gives them a sense of empowerment because they are being able to communicate which then leads them to being happier. The most important thing that the students realized was learning sign language gives them a chance to empathize and show appreciation to others, particularly the deaf and mute people.

On February 13, 2017, excited voices echoed through the 5th floor foyer.  They were the voices of the students from Sekolah Santi Rama, a school in South Jakarta for the deaf and mute. The students smiled from ear to ear and couldn’t contain their excitement when they entered the grade 3 foyer. Upon entering one of the grade 3 classrooms, most of them said “Wow!” and they were pointing at the computers. Their eyes were wide open, wandering around the classroom.  

While doing the socialization, BINUS SCHOOL Simprug students found out that some of their visitors have cochlear implants and hearing aids while others can hardly hear at all. They also learned how their teachers manage to accommodate all of their students by alternating between the use of sign language and oral speech when giving instructions.

After the socialization, an activity on teaching sign language followed wherein the BINUS SCHOOL Simprug students learned some words in sign language to the delight of the children from Sekolah Santi Rama. Then, they were divided into groups: two Santi Rama students and three BINUS SCHOOL Simprug students per group. The students introduced themselves to each other. They pointed out where they live and their birthdays. The students also shared their hobbies using sign language. Afterwards, the children from Sekolah Santi Rama performed the song, “Twinkle-Twinkle Little Star” in sign language along with body language and gestures. The students from Sekolah Santi Rama also did a Balinese dance. They danced gracefully as if they were able to hear clearly the rhythm of the music. They also performed a skit about bullying.  The students from Sekolah Santi Rami put up amazing performances!

At the end of the visit, students had lunch provided by the grade 3 parents. They were also given gifts consisting of school bags and stationeries. The children accepted the gifts graciously and said they wanted to visit the school again.

When they left, our grade 3 students shared some of the challenges they experienced. “When they shared jokes and laughed, we were not able to understand them,” said Ryan Khullar, one of our grade 3 students. “When they asked us using sign language, we could not understand because their hands move too fast. We were not able to reply back. They might think that we were being rude,” shared Merry, another grade 3 student. “Today’s visit really touched my heart. We are thankful because we can hear,” grade 3 student Caroline Lee remarked.

This interactive visit was an eye opener for our students, who realized that they have the same interests as people with disabilities.  The visit also boosted the self-esteem of the children from Sekolah Santi Rama.

By Martha Carolina

Grade 3 Team Teacher

BINUS SCHOOL Simprug

mcarolina@binus.edu