The PYP prepares 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. It focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both within and beyond the classroom.
With the support of the five essential elements: Knowledge, Concepts, Skills, Attitudes and Action here in GMIS we focus on student-directed learning. The children do not compete with others; instead they compete with themselves. During our Inquiries we gauge the potential of each child and gives individual tasks to enable every child to move towards achieving his/her potential. Thus in our classrooms we have differentiated learning.
We spend about five weeks on our units of inquiries, which breaks down to about a week and a half per line of inquiry. If students are really excited about one line of inquiry, we’ll spend two weeks on that one and less on the others. We believe in Student Voice and Choice and giving children time to produce something that demonstrates acquisition of knowledge and understanding.
We follow summative and formative assessment strategies. As a Unit of Inquiry (UOI) progresses we give students formative tasks to assess conceptual understanding, and before the UOI ends, we give our students summative tasks like pencil paper tests, quizzes, presentations, show & tell, classroom theatres, projects, experiments, etc. to assess their learning in the UOI. We also have self, peer and teacher assessments in the classroom, supporting holistic learning. This makes all teaching and learning stress-free and enjoyable, as every assessment task is an interesting yet challenging one. Taking action is a big part of PYP and a big part of exploring ways of showing tolerance to each other. Through small action everyone can make an impact. Our units highlight a broad conceptual understanding. Students follow their areas of interest / set goals, explore and become life-long learners. We also request the parents to encourage and motivate their children simultaneously at home. For example, we ask them to record the action taken by the child and submit to the teacher at the end of the unit of inquiry which encourages them to bring a change through small actions and become lifelong learners.
Ms. Pooja Yadav Homeroom Teacher Grade 4 GMIS-Bali
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important aims for me . I usually find the students shy to speak up in front of a gathering or group and I find games are simply a great way to foster learning by boosting students’ critical thinking skills. In our first unit Who We Are I make the students play board games. It gives them an opportunity to work through acting appropriately in various situations. Social skill activities need to be embedded into everything we do. Many students need help with social skills. Using appropriate social skills means doing the right thing and knowing what the right thing is to do, it’s responding appropriately and thinking about the feelings of others.
These role play cards focus on the character traits relating to our unit Role Models which helps them to choose and relate to their role models.
A fun way to help young people to develop deeper social understanding.
These fun role-play scenarios enable young people to practice and reinforce both verbal and non-verbal cues in simple scenarios
Ms. Reena Dhar, Homeroom Teacher Grade 2 GMIS-Bali
The 5th graders of GMIS Bali recently learnt about place value up to billions for whole numbers. “The Human Musical Place Value” was played. For this, one of the goals was to get the children to use and understand the different place value positions. The class was divided into groups of ten children each. Each member of the group was given a set of numbers from 0 – 9 on a play card. The play card had a string attached to it which made it easy for the children to wear the number play card around their neck.
Once the groups were in place, they were instructed to arrange themselves in a straight line according to the number name displayed over the projector. They had to start when the music started and stop once the music stopped. The duration of the music was 30 seconds.
This activity was enjoyed by the whole class of 18 students with enthusiasm. It was interesting to see how quickly they figured out the place value of each member wearing the number play card. There was an element of fun and joy, an eagerness to win and complete the arrangement before the music stopped. The group was rewarded by a round of applause if they had arranged themselves correctly.
By Ms. Parul Shekhawat Homeroom Teacher Grade 5
In a day’s work as a preschool teacher, I hear many sounds. Starting from the moment they enter the classroom, I hear their clambering footsteps and their high-pitched enthusiastic voices. Halfway into the day, I could discern the scratching of colored pencils against paper, the flapping pages of paperback books and the clicking sounds of legos being stacked in what might seem as a perpetuating symphony of creative energies. Then, the clock signals 12: 40 and the children leave for home, yet the room never stays quiet. Even in the midst of the busy morning commotion, there is one voice that strikes true in my ears, the classroom. Yes, the classroom does in fact speak and you need only to listen carefully.
While as teachers we are the primary source of knowledge and information for our
students, we are not their only mentors. The classroom can serve as their secondary teacher and can provide the children with an endless boundary of learning opportunities even more than we could offer in 5 lessons. IB PYP has emphasized the importance of learning centers in the classroom. However, what does it truly mean to have different learning areas in classroom? Isn’t there only one learning space? I came across this challenge in the beginning of the school year when setting up my new KG classroom. I remembered asking myself, “What could we possibly do in a 4 meter by 8 meter rectangular space?” I was inspired to transform my classroom.
In any preschool classroom setting, there is always bound to be a play area. This should not simply be a space filled with random knick-knacks and toys. This should be an area where children can openly express their imagination, engage in meaningful play collaborations with their peers and practice their critical thinking or problem-solving skills. Thus, we set on the idea of the home and construction learning center. As it is called, the children may feel right at home in the “home corner” where they may take part in enriching imaginative play (e.g. cooking, family role-playing, etc.). Simultaneously, they have the option to engage in solitary play in the construction area interacting with the blocks, legos, and puzzles.
Moreover because creativity is such a critical component of the PYP attitudes, I decided the children need a venue to display their creative perspectives of the world. Hence, we’ve created an art gallery in which they are free to explore and manipulate different materials and resources for their unique masterpieces. In these creative pursuits, it is not unlikely that the children also are exposed to an emergent literacy experience. Aside from the occasional messes, it is a win-win situation in both cases.
Of course, the classroom would not be complete without a mini-library. Designating a space where the children may participate in a quiet reading activity (whether independent or guided) offers a balanced classroom atmosphere. While a vibrant learning space is essential, a quieter area in the room helps promote balanced and healthy emotional regulation in children.
From this classroom set-up experience, I realized that renovation is never a simple and single event. It requires continuous revisions and modifications. However, once the classroom finally obtains its “’voice of learning,” learning will never be silent.
By Daisy Novianty Homeroom Teacher Grade KG GMIS-Bali