Fun with Art

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Art is becoming an attractive activity for children. It is an engaging and fun activity that develops children’s creativity and imagination. Art makes children freely produce their creation using their own ways and styles. Through art, children are able to express their ideas and explore their talents and skills more not only in drawing but also in making arts and craft stuff.

Every week, our students eagerly await their art elective class. They can’t wait to know what lesson or what activity that they are going to learn. They keep on asking the activities that will be done in upcoming weeks. Every session gives a different experience of learning not only to our students but also to us as their teachers.

Introducing self

In the beginning of our art class, we introduced ourselves to each other as part of building relationships. In introducing ourselves to each other, we used the “throwing ball” activity. During this activity, a student who has the ball will introduce himself or herself. Students tell their friends about their name, hobbies, what they like most about learning art and their reasons for joining the class.


We have essential agreements in our art class. The students agreed to follow them every time we have our art lesson. We called these agreements, 3Bs. 3Bs means Be focused, Be independent and Be creative.

Staying focused is one of the most important skills that the students have to develop in our class. Students are encouraged not to get distracted easily while they are finishing their artwork. Being independent in working means that the students should be able to create their artwork by themselves. Their work result must be authentically made by their own hands and from their own ideas. Being creative is not only our agreement but also one of the goals that students should achieve. Through our art class, we are hoping that students will be able to produce original, unique, imaginative and innovative ideas.


Art lessons can be either fun or uninteresting. It all depends on how teachers create and deliver their lessons for the students. If we have engaging activities, our students will be more enthusiastic and motivated in expressing their creativity and producing best artwork

Basically, we can choose and make art activities based on students’ interests and age level. Some of the activities that we prepare for our students, aged 6 to 8, are paper folding and painting.


Materials can be taken from any resources, including recycled items. In our art class, we prefer to use recycled stuff such as old t-shirts, socks and CDs. Using recycled materials for our lesson will help the students learn how to appreciate more their belongings. This will let students to discover that art creation can be produced and reproduced from other materials, even from unused or old stuff.

Creating Art using recycled materials

Recycled materials are easy to get and students also don’t need to spend much money to buy them. They just utilize any items at home that they don’t use any more.

By using recycled materials as our art resources, we are hoping that our students will learn not to waste any items. Here are some activities that we did using recycled materials.

T-shirt painting

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Some of our unforgettable activities

Matthew’s Dream

Students watched a video about the story, “Matthew’s Dream” by Leo Lionni. After watching the story, they created abstract designs. This was a great start for our art elective class as our students were just beginning to learn new skills and friends.

Most of our students were able to complete this project easily since they only needed to compose an abstract object using simple shapes and lines based on their own imagination.

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There was no limitation on how many shapes or objects that they had to draw and color. In this activity, students only used colorful markers and pencils for sketching.


The most interesting one

Night Sky Crayon

“Night Sky” crayon activity was inspired by Carla Sonheim online art classes. In this activity, students learnt about mixing media. They liked it so much and found this activity interesting. The process of mixing different media such as crayon, salt and water color resulted in colorful artwork.


  • A4 drawing paper
  • Water colors (dark blue, red purple)
  • Crayons(yellow, red, pink, light green)
  • Sea salt
  • Black paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick

How to make it:

 1. Draw a sky on A4 paper with red, pink and yellow crayons. Draw also the ground with light green crayons to form the land and grass.


 2. Paint the sky with dark blue and red purple water color paint. You may mix and form different patterns of color from dark blue to light blue or the opposite.


3. Once you finished painting, put some sea salt on the surface of the painting.


4. Make and draw patterns of city view or any landscape view on black paper. Cut the patterns.

5. Stick the patterns of city view or any landscape view on the painting using glue.



 Students found this activity interesting and others considered it a little bit challenging. No matter what, the students were able to produce their own colorful paintings and express their creativity.

By: Meylia Rianawati & Sylvia Rakhmi Dwi Iswari

Grade 3 Co-Teachers



Celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day

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Celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day

August 17 is a special day for Indonesia. Every year, we celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day. The world’s most populous nation, Indonesia gained its independence from Dutch colonial rule on August 17, 1945.

This year, our students were very excited in participating in the country’s Independence Day celebration. They asked what games they were going to play. Yes! Apart from flag raising, we usually commemorate our national day by playing traditional games such as tug of war, sack race, and cracker-eating contest.

The commemoration of Indonesia’s Independence Day at our school was very memorable this year as our students sang national songs and did a traditional costume parade showcasing the culture of various provinces such as Maluku, Papua, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

In celebrating Indonesia’s Independence Day, our students are reminded of the history of our country, including our national heroes who fought for freedom. Here are some pictures of Indonesia’s Independence Day celebration in our school.

Flag raising led by our school principal

Traditional costume parade by our students

Cracker-eating contest, one of the traditional games, played by our students

By: Nancy Benedicta, Grade 3 Team Teacher and Eka Fridayanti, Grade 3 Co-Teacher


Developing a Culture of Thinking at Binus Simprug

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At BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, we have set our goal to develop a culture of thinking. We decided to create a learning environment where thinking is valued, is visible and is actively promoted. At the beginning of this academic year, a workshop was conducted for the teachers to learn more about Visible Thinking Routines. Through this workshop, we shared the core thinking routines, different ways of using them and the benefits of making thinking visible in the classroom.

Visible Thinking Routines (VTRs) have been embedded into the planning of integrated units of inquiry within the Primary Years Programme as every teacher decided to use at least two routines per unit. A conscious effort is being made by us to demonstrate the use of routines in all areas of the curriculum.

We are delighted to share the use of thinking routines in early years and elementary as tools that lead to deeper understanding.

Early Years utilized the “I See” part of I See, I Think, I Wonder and Chalk Talk to tune into the unit of inquiry, Who we are. The students used the routines to explore the concepts of awareness of oneself, families and friendships.

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Grade 1 made use of the See, Think, Wonder thinking routine to begin to inquire into the unit on Where we are in place and time, which focuses on public areas.

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In Grade 2, Think-Puzzle-Explore was used to tune into the Who we are unit of inquiry on body systems.

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Grade 3 started their Sharing the Planet unit of inquiry with “I See, Think, and Wonder”. This unit is related to living things and adaptation.

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Grade 3 students also did Think-Puzzle Explore.

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In Grade 4, the class novel cover was shown to make predictions using the See, Think, Wonder routine.

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The KWL chart was replaced by Think, Puzzle, Explore to begin the inquiry. During the unit of inquiry, How we express ourselves, the thinking routines, “Connect, Extend, Challenge”; “Colour, Symbol, Image” and “I used to think and Now I know”, were used to enhance the students’ understanding about different genres of drama.

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Grade 5 also replaced KWL with Think, Puzzle, Explore. See, Think, Wonder was used as a springboard for their inquiry into different types of forces. The scientific nethod for experiments was done using the 3-2-1 routine.

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Our Bahasa Indonesia teachers used See, Think, Wonder and Chalk Talk to make their students’ thinking visible and more meaningful.

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Through the use of these simple visible thinking routines, we are trying to make our students more aware of their thinking and to think about their thinking.

By: Kavita Mehra, Grade 4 Class Teacher,

Jenina Refuerzo Enriquez, Grade 3 Class Teacher,

Priyanka Patni, Grade 3 Level Head,


Fun with Blow Painting

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Under the transdisciplinary theme, “How the world works”, our students explored the central idea, “All actions and interactions involve forces, which follow scientific and universal rules”.

In Visual Art, the students did blow painting with a straw and they enjoyed doing it.

Students love blow painting as it is not only fun to do. Students can make all sorts of artworks in various designs and color schemes. They can drop any color they like on paper and blow it. They can make a drop with a single color and blow it or do two drops with different colors.

Blow painting is a simple activity that students can do over and over again. It can be used for teaching students about the color wheel.

Students were very creative in doing this activity. They made different styles on how they dropped the colour on paper. Students used a paintbrush to drop the colours, including water colour. They created various images such as panda, tree, flowers and clouds.

A number of students did a single drop. Other students dropped two to three colours and then blew them. When the colours mixed together, they produced a new colour. During the activity, students came up with comments such as “How cool is that!” and Wow!”

In doing blow painting, students used the air pressure through their mouth to produce forces. They used high or low air pressure to create their masterpiece. They conducted experiments on high and low air pressure. They learned that the more they blew the straw, the easier they will feel tired.


By: Irma Dwi Savitri

Visual Art Teacher


Creating Hand Puppets

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For our grade 4 unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme, “How We Express Ourselves”, students created hand puppets. The central idea of the unit was “Plays can communicate feelings, ideas and information.”

This activity was aimed at developing the fine motor skills of the students and explore more about three-dimensional form. The students created their own character for their puppets.

Paper mache was the art technique that students used for the puppet head. Students utilized plastic bottles, which they cut into two. Then, students covered the plastic bottles with newspaper and kitchen tissue.

The most challenging part of the learning engagement was when students need to create the hair for the puppet. Students didn’t realize that what they did was related to the measurement math concept. Students had to measure the length of the puppet hair. Once they know the measurement for the hair, they need to roll the yarn of the size of their fist and count it 30 times per roll, which they had to make three rolls. They also had to decide, with or without bangs for the puppet. image2.jpeg

Most of the students enjoyed doing the measurement and they were very independent because it was like a role play for them. However, a number of them still needed teacher’s assistance. The other challenging part was when they had to cut the flannel fabric. The teacher had to demonstrate how to cut the flannel fabric. Students also had to attach the puppet head onto the body (flannel) and decorate the flannel.

Once they were done with their puppets, students showed their work to each other and played with their puppets together.

Students were proud of their own masterpieces and eager to bring them home.


By: Irma Dwi Savitri

Visual Art Teacher


Inculcating the IB Learner Profile and PYP Attitudes

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Nowadays, in a fast changing world, it is not easy to teach students how to be empathetic, how to be sympathetic, how to be kind, to be tolerant, to be optimistic, to be courageous, etc. TV shows, cartoons, computer games and Internet websites and the social media are strongly influencing students’ behavior. But we teachers, as thinkers and caring individuals, strive hard to find the best way how to inculcate moral values so our students make a difference in line with IB PYP goals to prepare students to become active, caring, lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them.

Today’s education should not be focusing only on increasing knowledge of students and developing their skills but to prepare them for a fulfilling life in the future. Life demands more than knowledge and skills.

So, what is our school doing to prepare the students to become active, caring and lifelong learners who demonstrate respect for themselves and others and have the capacity to participate in the world around them?

Aside from the transdisciplinary themes with central ideas and lines of inquiries that are wonderfully planned, the teachers also found out one of the best ways to inculcate moral values and that includes the IB learner profile and PYP attitudes through reading books. Books are the best tools to teach the students with moral values. There are scenarios that can help them realize that they need to put everything into perspective – others are not lucky enough – they have nothing to eat, live in a difficult and abusive life, no shelter to live in, no parents to guide them, no friends to play with, no toys to play, no cars to ride on, etc.

Four novels are specially chosen for grade 3 students to read. They are Charlotte’s Web, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Justin Case and Nancy Drew.


These novels are ingrained with fundamental values – for every child to discover and enjoy.

1These novels are carefully chosen to help launch meaningful discussions with the students. They work best as subtle discussion starters (rather than direct ‘lecturing’ on the learner profile and PYP attitudes) – to make the value system stick, students need to come up with the conclusion themselves. So, teachers make sure to follow–up a read aloud with some open–ended questions. They include books because they believe that reading books is the best way to encourage the students to make a difference, take action whether small or big, create a positive change in the world they live in, and also for academic success.

My students started reading Charlotte’s Web, and they were able to apply what they have learned in our first two units of inquiry, which focused on rights and responsibilities and animal adaptation – which each child who has a pet should be responsible to give love and care because animals have rights too. All my students said that they are against animal cruelty, that each animal has the right to live – I laughed at this. But others were asking- how about the animals that we eat? Is that also animal cruelty? Students had long discussions and arguments about this issue. They gave out their best reasons and persuaded others that it is animal cruelty or not.

3After reading Charlotte’s Web, we watched the movie version. Students came up with the conclusion that the book was a story of friendship between Wilbur and Charlotte – that a true friend is going to risk his/her life for one’s own good. After watching the movie, students were asked who among their classmates was their best friend. They wrote a letter to their best friend and stated why their friendship is true and to be kept. After giving the letter to their best friend, students were asked to reply to each other’s letter. While giving the response letter, they sang a song about friendship.

You’re My Best friend
Many people say true friends are hard to find

But I know I’m not that kind

They come and go and sometimes leave us behind

Like a wind that passes by

(Cause)When you need a friend

That you can depend

You can count on me because you’re my best friend

When you’re feeling down and your heart is hurt

You can call on me and

I’ll be there for you friend
Good things may come and then bad things may go

Like a birth a long time ago

You’re like the ship that’s sailing across the sea

To the waves that’s so unkind
(Repeat Chorus)

(Repeat Chorus) Hold

(Repeat Chorus)


4The second novel that they read was ‘Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes.’ Before they started reading, we had some learning engagements. Students filled in a prediction chart, watched videos and looked at pictures about what happened during World War 2 and the aftermath of the explosion in Hiroshima. Then they answered the four question on a Y-Chart: what did you see, what did you hear, what did you feel and what do you worry about – to give them background of what really happened during the war. Most of the students wrote that they were really scared and sad at the same time. They wondered how the people back then survived the explosion and how they rebuilt their lives after the war. Most of them were also worried that another war may happen though other parts of the world are having conflicts.


The students filled in the Y – Chart after watching videos and looking at the pictures of the aftermath of World War 2.


Our Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes center

8Reading the novel, students were able to describe Sadako using the IB learner profile and PYP attitudes. Students pointed out that Sadako learned to stay positive and courageous despite having been inflicted with a debilitating disease. Students also learned that they have to be determined, never give up and always hope that everything will be alright in God’s will. They learned how to empathize with Sadako’s struggles.

The third novel that students read was Justin Case. They were very excited to start our activities and find out the things that happened to the main character because it is a story of a boy who worries a lot. The boy is a worrywart and most of the students were able to relate to him. The students were asked to describe Justin as well as the other characters in the story using the IB learner profile and PYP attitudes. Since Justin likes to describe his teacher and writes down his experiences in school, they were also asked to describe their teacher (others wrote poems about their teachers) and penned down their experience on their first day of school.


Students, together with their parents, are reading their first day of school experiences and their descriptions of their teachers just like what Justin usually does.

11The last but not least novel was Nancy Drew. Most of the students loved the novel because it is suspense-filled and is about solving dangerous mysteries. Students loved it because one should be a risk-taker and thinker to find clues and be knowledgeable to be able to solve the crime or mystery.
It is really essential to inculcate in the students the IB learner profile and PYP attitudes, and one way to do this is through reading. Through reading, students learn important life lessons. Having a respectable behavior is a must at a very young age. This can help the students make a difference, be open-minded and tolerant about differences in beliefs, cultures, traditions, etc. If students around the world are open–minded and tolerant, our world will be in safe hands and world peace will just be around the corner.

By: Freitz Gerald Talavera

Grade 3 Classroom Teacher


My first year as an IB educator: Filled with wonderful learning experiences

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Two months before the school year started, I was already apprehensive if I could survive – thinking whether I could do it with limited knowledge about the IB Primary Years Programme. I did a lot of readings but some were still vague to me. I had a flurry of questions in my mind. All those questions and apprehensions remained even until the opening of the school year. I felt like I was not ready in a battlefield though I was already assured by my PYP coordinator that I could do it without any difficulty, and she even said that they were looking forward to learn from me. Then I thought “What?” What does she mean about it? Should I be asking what I need to learn about the IB PYP?

The school year started and I was fortunate to have an efficient and effective team teacher, who has been in the school for thirteen years now. She helped me all throughout the school year. I remember I kept asking her every day if I was doing okay. And she would reply ‘yes’ you’re doing ‘ok.’ I did not really believe her because I was really unsure of what I was doing. I was using the strategies and techniques that I know but I was not sure if it they were aligned with the PYP.

 Due to my quest for knowledge, I continued reading, hoping to lessen my apprehension. Thankfully, I was already enlisted to attend the ‘Making the PYP Happen’ that made me understand the IB curriculum (thanks to our PYP coordinator, Ms. Richel and our MTPYPH workshop facilitator, Ms. Amanda McCloskey). I realized that there were strategies and techniques that I was already using but did not know that those were aligned with IB PYP – I did not stop there. I continued to learn more by reading articles about the IB PYP (I’m looking forward to my next workshop in September to be held at BINUS SCHOOL Simprug – (Stay hungry, stay foolish) and joined the PYP groups on Facebook to connect and learn from other PYP educators around the world to find out the techniques and strategies that they are currently using.

Based on the knowledge that I acquired, I decided to change my teaching style – I always put in my mind that I should let the students discover their lessons, and I should find out their prior knowledge. There might be things that they already know that I don’t need to discuss further and the students might ask questions that would lead to a wonderful and meaningful discussion instead.

Here are my reflections in each transdisciplinary theme:

‘Who we are’ with the central idea: Children worldwide deal with different rights and responsibilities and face a variety of challenges, risks and opportunities.

The unit of inquiry, “Who we are” started with the students creating their self-identity poster. The students have written information about themselves and got the chance to present in front of the class. This was followed by doing the Think, Pair and Share routine and discussion about needs and wants (Y-chart) and rights and responsibilities (T-chart).

When the central idea and lines of inquiry were introduced, it was easy for the students to tell their responsibilities, but most of them had a hard time understanding what is rights (it was new to them- they said that rights are like doing the right things). Due to their lack of experience and knowledge about rights and challenges, more examples were given through videos (showing children around the world have different rights and responsibilities), watching the movie titled ‘Annie,’ and explained further why do they have rights (Children have risks and challenges). Eventually, all of them were able to understand that every child has rights and responsibilities.

The students also aired out their sentiments on why some children are working at a very young age (child labour) and why some girls or women in some parts of the world are not treated unfairly (liability)- boys are considered precious (asset). They also learned about the different organizations and people who work to protect children’s rights.

As a summative task, they conducted an information campaign to grades 4 and 5 students. They informed them that children have rights that they should enjoy and responsibilities to be done. They did their campaign well and few were able to answer challenging questions impressively with supporting evidence and websites.

The students also learned about narrative writing. They were given picture prompts related to the unit to write fiction or non-fiction stories.

Math was a stand-alone subject in this unit of inquiry. The students learned about numbers: place value, value, comparing and ordering, even and odd and rounding off. They also learned to solve 1-2 step problems using models but more practice was required for the word problems.

‘Sharing the planet’ with the central idea: Over time, living things need to adapt in order to survive.

Sharing the Planet was a very interesting unit for the students. When the central idea and lines of inquiry were introduced, they were very enthusiastic and were able to know immediately (most of them had prior knowledge of endangered and extinct animals, animal cruelty, survival, life cycles, etc.) the topics that were about to be discussed.

For tuning in, students posted some of their questions, concerns and suggestions on the ‘compass points’, and they enjoyed the ‘Colour, Symbol, Image’ activity wherein they were given a chance to choose a word that was related to the central idea and lines of inquiry. Most of them chose the words ‘endangered’ and ‘survive’. Their explanations of their chosen colours and symbols were very impressive.

As we went on with the unit, students were fascinated on how animals and plants are being classified, and on how they use physical and behavioral adaptation in order to survive (they were able to know that spiders are not insects but arachnids because they have eight legs). We had countless of learning engagements, and students had unending sharing of ideas about fascinating and rare species of animals as well as the carnivorous plants (they included their amazing facts). They also shared ideas on how animals become endangered and gave out some suggestions on how to protect them from becoming extinct.

For formative and summative assessments, the students enjoyed making their flip chart calendar of the classification of animal kingdoms, creating slide presentations of their chosen animal kingdom and adaptation poster.

Students learned how to write a persuasive text. They found out that to persuade readers, they have to state their best reasons.

            In retrospect, I should have given more time for students to learn further about habitat exchange. I should have provided more examples and explained to the students that even if the animal is placed in a harsh environment or climate, it would find ways to adapt in order to survive -it would develop physical or behavioral adaptation.

‘How we organize ourselves’ with the central idea: Marketplaces rely on the production and distribution of goods and services.

Before the unit started, I was a bit apprehensive if the students could understand the technical words, but through constant unlocking and giving examples by showing videos and slide presentations, eventually, they were able to get a clearer picture on what were they learning about. The practical and hands-on activities helped the students understand the central idea and lines of inquiry.

Their field trips to Bank Indonesia Museum and Ranch Market had given the students’ knowledge about the history of money, the features of a currency, the different sections in the marketplaces and value of saving money. They also learnt that they have to exert effort to earn money. They tried their best to give their service to make money for their capital.

Their field trip to the Ranch Market had taught them that the goods and services at a modern market are arranged accordingly from fruits and vegetables sections. They also learnt to calculate the total amount of their chosen items so their money is enough. And they didn’t need to be asked to put them back. They learnt to make a shopping list, so they could plan and check what they needed or what they didn’t have before heading to the market.

The mini-bazaar had given them the experience to sell, how to persuade the customers and how to calculate their profit, to give change, how to put up a stall and create an advertisement poster.

Students learnt about the features of recount writing as well as the use of connectives, past tense verbs, powerful adjectives and verbs and adverbs.

‘How we express ourselves’ with the central idea: A variety of signs and symbols facilitates communication.

This unit “How we express ourselves” made the students realized that there are different ways to convey information. They learned that uttering words is not the only way to communicate. They can use facial expressions, body language, hand gestures, signs, symbols, colours, etc. in order to be understood.

The students also learned that those who are visually impaired, hearing impaired and have speech defects have specialized systems of communications in order to communicate with others. They are the ASL (American Sign Language) and the Braille method – wherein they were able to write their names in Braille method and apply their knowledge of ASL to the students of Sekolah Santi Rama, a deaf and mute school, who visited the school (although there are words that are quite different from the Indonesian Sign Language, the teachers from Sekolah Santi Rama were very quick to teach the students the difference).

The students also found out the difference between signs and symbols as well as their importance. They started to notice the signs along the streets and main roads on their way to school and going somewhere else. And after learning signs, symbols and giving directions, students created their own treasure map complete with map key, compass rose and coordinates.

Students were able to learn different types of poems and compiled them to create a poetry booklet. Several students had difficulty writing a limerick poem because the last syllable for the first, second and fifth lines must rhyme and it should be funny.

For the summative task, the students were given three choices: role play, pantomime and play script writing. Most of them chose role-play, only one group for pantomime and two groups for play script writing. They enjoyed their performances on stage.

This unit was supposed to be finished in six weeks, but because of the International Schools Assessment practice, the unit was extended for another week, as the contact time was lessened. Hopefully next school year this unit will be finished in six weeks because this will be our first unit. We also want to lessen the coverage, so the students can master all the skills.

‘How the world works’ with the central idea: Matter exists in three common states and lead to various changes.

Before the unit on ‘How the world works’ was introduced, three groups of items were placed in full view of the students (the inquisitive ones started checking and touching every item prior to introduction of the unit, central idea and lines of inquiry). With their partner, students were asked to observe the three groups of items and do the ‘Think, Pair and Share’ activity. When few students had given their prior knowledge about solid, liquid and gas, the unit was introduced. They did the Think, Puzzle and Explore routine and posted their ideas and questions on the board.

Upon reading the central idea and lines of inquiry, the students were eager about the experiments that they were going to conduct. You could see in the students’ faces the excitement.

For the field trip, they went to Coca Cola Amatil, but they did not show the actual process (showing chemical and physical changes). They should have shown videos on how the water turns to colored water.

For formative assessment, they created an ‘All about Matter’ poster or booklet wherein the students wrote down what they have learned so far about matter and conducted simple experiments.

As a summative task, the students conducted experiments showing chemical and physical changes. They also wrote procedural texts for both of the experiments and ‘All about matter’ poster.

In math, the students learned about measurement – what to use to measure things (tools) and the conversion of basic units.

Students learned about the procedural text, the features and the different types (recipe, making a craft, creating a game and conducting an experiment. They also learned about the different parts of a book. As an application of what they have learned, they combined all their writings and created a procedural text booklet.


‘Where we are in place and time’ with the central idea: Human needs lead to discoveries and new understandings.

 The unit, ‘Where we are in place and time’, started with a ‘gallery walk’. Students observed the two groups of pictures, and then they did the ‘See, Think and Wonder routine to list down their observations. Once they were done with the activity, the unit was introduced (central idea, lines inquiries, concepts, profiles and attitudes. Students did the ‘Think, Puzzle and Explore thinking routine, wherein they wrote down their predictions, prior knowledge, questions and ideas on how to explore the topics that they were about to learn.

While discussing the central idea, the students found out that human needs (students listed down their wants and needs in a T – chart) was the main reason why people decided to invent something.

To fully equip with knowledge about inventors and inventions, the students watched movies and videos of famous inventors and their inventions. They were able to learn their famous statements and most of them like the statements by Thomas Alva Edison and Steve Jobs: “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration’ and “Stay hungry, stay foolish.”

The students also watched videos of latest inventions as well as the inventions created by some talented kids. After watching the videos, they were asked to answer the question: What would you like to invent in the future?

As a formative task, the students created a timeline of their chosen invention. They presented it in the class using a slide presentation.

As a summative task, the students had an “Inventors’ Meet” where they dressed up like their chosen inventor and explained how they succeeded in creating their inventions.

The students learned about an information report and its features. They wrote an information report of their chosen invention and a biography of their chosen inventor. In preparation for their summative task, the students changed the biography of their chosen inventor to autobiography. This was used as their script for the “Inventors’ Meet”.

As a teacher, this unit of inquiry was my favorite because the students got the chance to dress up like their chosen inventor. And they were able to learn about their struggles, failures, hard work and on how they succeeded in creating their inventions.

Based on my understanding about the IB PYP, every child should be given a chance to share his/her ideas in various ways. It could be through Think, Pair and Share routine, clock partners, etc. Teachers should guide their students to visualize their thinking using the thinking routines.

What I like about the IB PYP is that the teachers hold weekly level and planner meetings to share ideas and plan learning engagements. Teachers also gauge student’s understanding through formative and summative assessments.

For the new PYP teachers like me, here are the things that I researched that we need to bear in mind:

  • Teaching an IB program is a rewarding experience for every teacher. Teachers play a fundamental role in developing open-minded and knowledgeable adults for the future.
  • We should not be disheartened if things do not go smoothly immediately. Adapting to the PYP practices can require a huge amount of work and commitment.
  • IB workshops specifically ‘Making the PYP Happen’ are wonderful gifts from the universe. These workshops are the best opportunity for you to step back, reflect and plan for new things to be bravely tried in the classroom.
  • The IB demands as much from its teachers as it does from students.
  • Your first year will be filled with questions and as many steps back as there are steps forward.
  • As a PYP teacher, you are never alone. Talking to others can help you through any moments of self-doubt.
  • The PYP coordinators and level heads always give advice and that is to share ideas with both other teachers and students – the better the communication within the teaching team, the more scope for ideas there is. You need to be always keen to pick your colleagues’ brains. 
  • The PYP expects students to take action, which includes inquiring deeper into concepts explored in class. As PYP educators, we need to do the same in order to learn and grow.
  • Little flickering fairy lights moments. Bit by bit, things will begin to make sense.

The whole school year was truly a wonderful learning experience for me. I am grateful to my school principal, Mr. Peter; PYP coordinator, Ms. Richel; level head, Ms. Priyanka; my team teacher, Ms. Martha and colleagues in grade 3: Ms. Colleen, Ms. Kavita, Ms. Frida, Ms. Mey and Ms. Sylvia, who taught me a lot of things. I can’t wait for the next school year to learn more and be a better PYP educator.

By: Freitz Gerald Talavera

       Grade 3 Classroom Teacher

       BINUS SCHOOL Simprug