To let the child do as he likes when he has not yet developed any powers of control is to betray the idea of freedom. –Maria Montessori-
Appreciation, confidence, cooperation, empathy, enthusiasm, respect, and curiosity . . . What do these traits have in common? They are all attitudes that demonstrate “character strength,” which is a predictor of success in school—and in life. As early as can be, I believe as teachers we have to pay special attention to character development for it is the basis for personal growth.
Character is a collection of all our traits including all of our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. Our students’ character is build through their choice of action and this will then affect every aspect of their current and future life. Being their substitute parents at school, we contribute to their upbringing, and we play a vital role in helping our students to develop their full potential.
In our class, children practice skills that promote character development every single day. From the very beginning of the school year, we repeatedly explain our class rules in any given chances. These rules are the very basic rules to do our daily class activities. Among those are some important rules such as sharing, helping hands, asking for help and saying thank you, and keeping the communal hygiene. Here are two activities as an example of what we do in our class to promote the character development.
All children in my class know the help me mantra. We tell them every time they need our help or others’ help. They have to say the ‘Help me please’ mantra in order to get help, and closing it with the ‘thank you’ mantra after they get the help done. They also know that they have to say the ‘thank you’ mantra whenever they get things from others.
In our class, we prepared a bed and we use some carpets for communal use by the students. Therefore, they have to learn how to keep the communal hygiene. We kept on reminding them to take off their shoes when they go to the bed or the carpets. Few weeks later, they remind each other to take off their shoes.
Playing is an integral part of learning for this age group. Toys then become the media of teaching about sharing and taking turns. In our class, our students learn how to play together with the same toys. We also teach them how to make a queue. We make them understand that everybody will get the chance to play. Hence, they have to take turns.
I believe that character development is the foundation for lifelong learning. I found that my students enjoy the comfortable learning environment when their peers are also learning about respect, cooperation, and compassion. I also find it easier to teach when my students are exhibiting habits of patience, diligence, and self-control in the classroom. Nobody says it will be easy. These things took time! However, it will be worth every energy and good intention you’re putting in it. Our students are now happier, more caring, more forgiving, and more responsible as they are taught to think about the needs of others.
By: Ms. Melisa Setyawan
Homeroom Teacher Grade Nursery
GMIS – Bali
We all know that eating right can help us maintain a healthy body .Students created a “Healthy Eating Plate “which was well labeled and with a brief write up .The main message of the Healthy Eating Plate is to focus on how our food, drink, and activity choices affect our health. Healthy Eating Plate guidelines can lead to a lower risk of diseases. This was related to our unit Body system.
This gave the students an opportunity to develop their active learning process through inquiry and investigating skills as they asked descriptive questions to collect information connecting different food to different body system.
It promoted positive attitude toward learning how to keep our body systems healthy. They took responsibility for their own and family health and physical wellbeing.
While working on this students came up with debate on “Is healthy eating the same as going on a diet?” and many more how and why statements came up related to our body system and how different food effects different body system
My Healthy Plate serves as a motivational rather than prescriptive tool!
Ms. Reena Dhar
Homeroom Teacher Grade 3
GMIS – BALI
To fulfill the IB aim of developing internationally minded students and encouraging them to be more active, compassionate and lifelong learners, it is crucial to set placed and integrate the learner profiles attribute in their daily activities right from the beginning of the school year.
My second graders were learning about ‘Role Models’. As they gained the understanding on the definition of ‘Role Model’, most of them turned to their closest ties, mother or father as their role model. When they explored further to the inquiries, they came up with both the positive traits and negative traits of several public figures they had previously known. They drew up their own conclusion of which traits to be and which are not to be followed. To expand their experience on what other people thought, Grade 2 students had an interview with the fifth graders to find out who their role models are. Through their activity reflections, I could see that interaction with the older grades was very exciting!
As part of their formative assessment, I designed a writing assignment where they could put themselves into one of the most powerful position in the world, a President! They had to come up with ‘President’s working programs’ and had to explain which learner profiles they had to perform to make the program worked.
The snapshots below are some of their ideas. Very interesting indeed!
Ms. Yuliana Ratna Dilyanti
Homeroom Teacher Grade 2
GMIS – BALI
“Well begun is half-done”- Aristotle.
As the beginning of our first unit for the very first term, “Who We Are” it was time to know each other & also have an interesting prior knowledge to take the first step to drive into the IB inquiry path. Keeping in mind one of the lines of inquiry for the current unit, “Different types of multiple Intelligences”. I designed an activity through which we all should get acquainted with each other in the class as well as to understand how different we are from each other in the terms of multiple intelligences.
The students were given old magazines & newspapers from which they had to cut the nouns/adjectives which described them the best & then stick it on the outline of self portrait drawn by them(It also involved their drawing skills.)This was also a good way of integrating English & UOI under one theme.
Later they reflected on their work by discussing their pictures in the class. This helped them to comprehend that each one of us is smart in our own way & we all possess different intelligences. It was a very interesting activity as they all were completely engrossed & engaged in depicting their best.
Ms. Smita Benuskar
Homeroom Teacher Grade 5
GMIS – BALI
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