“You’re my best friend, just like a family. We keep best moments in our mind. We remember every time with you”.
That’s a part of the song that one of Grade 5 students composed with her group in music class, as their interest for the mini exhibition project. This year, Grade 5 students chose to do a mini exhibition, as a form of Parent Presentation. They took the unit of art under the theme of How We Express Ourselves.
The central idea is “Creating and responding to art develops understanding of ourselves and the world around us”. This time, they made their lines of inquiry from their questions. Despite of challenging found in this stage, the fifth graders showed their enthusiasm by being more selective in forming the lines of the inquiry. Moreover, as they worked in pairs to do the project, the challenges seemed more interesting for them.
Other challenges were to find the information explaining their lines of inquiry, but they have tried to research using different media, such as books, the internet, as well as interviewing people at school and at home.The artwork that they explored were music, drawing, graffiti, mixed media, crafting, etc. Single Subject Teachers, such as art, music, IT, were involved to help students in guiding them during the process of collecting information and to consult on their project.
The fifth graders have learned lots of things during the process; how to learn with others, to share responsibilities, to create their own artwork, and to present the information in front of audiences. Their hard work was seen from the beginning of the project up to the D- day.
This event successfully held on Friday, 26th January. The students enthusiasticallypresented their creation such as performing their own song “Best Friends” and “The Special One”. Positive response and support from their parents and school community were seen during the exhibition. This activity will help them picturing what exhibition looks like next year.
The PYP enhancements are continuing to roll out these next few months, all of which have helped me stop and think about my students, my classroom, and my school. But one change in particular has had me reflect and question my role as a teacher; that change is the inclusion of the new PYP Learner model, and how our students will grow through their sense of agency.
In the new document “The Learner in the Enhanced PYP,” the IB defines agency as a power to take responsible action, through voice, choice, and ownership. But what is agency? Agency is not something we give students. And it’s not something we as teachers plan for third period on a Thursday, or the last week of a Unit of Inquiry. It’s an innate characteristic that students already have, and we as educators recognize, celebrate, and honor. Awakening agency is recognizing students as leaders in their own learning processes. According to the IB, “agency is present when students partner with teachers and members of the learning community to take charge of what, where, why, with whom and when they learn.”
Okay, but what does that actually look like? How do we as educators actually honor student agency? How can we change our practice to support students and empower their sense of individual voice, choice, and ownership? To start, I began taking a risk in my classroom, and handed over the reins to my students.
Our current Unit of Inquiry fits under the transdisciplinary theme of How the World Works, with the following central idea: life on Earth is dependent on Earth’s position in the solar system. After a trip to a local museum and a little bit of research, students showed interest in the Moon and space travel. Normally, at this point in planning an inquiry, I would use the key concepts, lines of inquiry, and student questions to plan learning engagements. But trying to honor their sense of agency, I did something a little different. I gave the concepts and lines of inquiry to the students, and let them plan our week.
I gave students teacher resource books, and showed them Teachers Pay Teachers. I showed them different tools we have at school. I even let them plan a shopping list (with the understanding that they stick to a strict budget). The only expectations were that they had to choose activities that answered their research questions and helped them deepen their understanding of form, connection, and function through the LOI Earth’s relative position in the solar system. And off they went.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Katie, are you insane?! These students are too young! How do you know they get the “right” knowledge, build the “right” skills, etc.? Well, these were the questions I was thinking about… But guess what? They took their time, and chose several activities that were better than my original thoughts. They critically compared different engagements, discussing which would help them better understand the CI. One student found a coloring activity, and said “this looks fun and cute, but I don’t think we will learn much from it.” And she chose something else. After they planned and led their chosen engagements, students reflected on their evidence of success. Here are some examples:
I know that this is only a step in honoring student agency, and no, not every activity went as well the ones listed above. And if I’m being honest, the health food advocate in me is still a little upset that I bought Oreos for my students! But instilling this sense of responsible action is worth a few bumps in the road. It’s worth the uneasy feeling that I’m completely letting go. It’s worth throwing my whole planning process up in the air, and trying something new – even if it completely fails. Why? Well, it’s not because the IB says we “have to” now. It’s because by co-constructing our investigations, we are naturally personalizing education, and cultivating independence, trust, and a love of learning.
So I encourage you all to take a deep breath and try. Give your students a chance to plan a week, a day, or even an afternoon. Give them the outcomes, and see what they come up with. And if it blows up in your face, try again. If education is about bettering our students, then they should have the right to be a part of the planning and decision-making. As PYP educator Taryn Bond states, “who better to know what learning is personally relevant than the students themselves?”
by Katie Stone
Grade 3 Teacher
Bandung Independent School
Sources: International Baccalaureate Organization, 2017. “The Learner in the Enhanced PYP.”
Reception students have been learning to examine the use of body language and facial expressions to express basic feelings. They also learned the Mandarin phrases for expressing basic feelings.
During one of the learning engagements, students were asked to observe various pictures of facial expressions and hand signals. Each student then chose 5 and matched them with the appropriate Mandarin phrase to describe the feelings being expressed. Students demonstrated that they are thinkers and communicators during this activity.
Year 1 students have been exploring how and why pinyin is formed a certain way. They learned Mandarin terms for various animals and discovered how to write it properly in pinyin.
For the summative assessment, each student chose 2 of their favorite animals and wrote the Mandarin terms in pinyin. Students had a lot of fun finger-painting the terms. Students showed independence and creativity during this activity.
by Ibu Bonita
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
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
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
STUCO stands for Students’ Council in Sekolah Ciputra. This is a group of students who’s willing to organize children’s action within the school. Their motto is “from students, by students and for students.” In this organisation, students learn how to organise school events by collecting students’ ideas, planning and facilitating the events, and dedicating the events to all students in the school. There are some teacher advisers who guide them in organising these events. By being the STUCO officers, students are learning and applying their leadership skills in organization, communication and teamwork to make the events successful.
As a student organisation, STUCO has an official structure. There’s a President who leads along with a Vice President. accompanied by more than 20 students as STUCO members or officers. They are a group of PYP 4, 5 and 6 students who organize activities and initiatives for their fellow students. Student Council is run by students for students to students. It is also responsible for providing a variety of services to students. Students can get involved in its management through committees, councils and general meetings, or become one of its elected officers.
The Vision of STUCO
Student Council has an open-door admission policy and is committed to the cultural growth of each student regardless of race, color, gender, disability, religion, national origin and age. It strives to promote development and learning through a wide variety of educational programs.
The Mission of STUCO
To provide students an opportunity to promote positive school initiatives in order to strengthen their leadership skills by initiating, promoting and supporting school events.
The Purposes of STUCO
- Develop within individuals a sense of responsibility in order to model appropriate behaviors reflecting the PYP profile and attitudes.
- Represent students’ feelings, opinions and interests
- Give students a share in decision making
- Help develop potential leaders by giving them leadership opportunities
- Encourage students to promote and develop school activities
“LEARNING IS MORE WHEN ONE DOES MORE, SEIZES THE DAY AND MAKES A DIFFERENCE”
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way (John C. Maxwell). Do our students understand the definition of Leadership? For them, it’s hard to define what is the meaning of leadership. When we come to it, maybe leadership is part of everyone. It can be our brother or sister, our friend, our parents, or even our teacher. And yes, even a student can be a leader! They will never know they are capable of leading until someone puts them in a leadership position, teaches them how to get things done, and brings a team along with them.
These are some reasons why leadership is important for our students:
- Focus. Our students have lots of chances to do many things in their lives. They may do homeworks spend time with friends, have hobbies, or just hang around. Leadership skills will allow them to focus on what’s important. By joining STUCO they will manage their time as there will be lots of things to be done. They will know what needs to happen to make everything done.
- Courage/Risk taking. As a student the scariest thing is starting something new. Leadership skills will give students a dose of courage. They have to make decisions as they were elected as the ones who have to decide. In STUCO students will teach each other how to make decisions through team exercises. Be courageous. Start a movement.
- Planning. Joining STUCO means students are prepared for planning and facilitating events throughout the entire academic year. They will learn how to plan the program, delegate tasks, and bring everyone together for a successful event.
- Action. Taking action is the mark of a leader. Students who know what they are looking for, know what needs to be done and simply get on with doing it are the real leaders. They will inspire other students to find out their potential and it’s the way students help each other.
- Teamwork. As an organisation, STUCO has the answer on how to teach students how to work as a team. They will try to figure out a problem. Good teamwork comes from having amazing leadership skills, especially when it comes from students.
To make sure that the school accommodates this important learning experience, to prepare the future leaders among our students we have established the STUCO Elections Commission to prepare for the elections. This forum comprises class representatives who organize the process. STUCO Elections ran smoothly this year. The process started in August 7th 2017. They’ve worked cooperatively and enthusiastically to select, to organize the election and to present the elected President and Vice President to the school community. There were five pairs of candidates who ran for President and Vice President this school year. After the first round of interviews, three pairs of candidates went to the final round. They are:
- Azzizul Hakim & Shun Sato
- Venezia Ferrari Hartono & Regina Felicia Hadiputri
- Angelo Humphrey Lienardi & Aditya Raju Rajan
On August 23rd 2017, after the second round of interviews, a few days of campaigning and a final vote, STUCO Commissioners proudly announced that Azzizul Hakim & Shun Sato are the elected STUCO President and Vice President this academic year. Congratulations Azzizul and Shun Sato ! We’re looking forward to the leadership’s action you will bring to enrich our learning environment this school year.
By Carolina Seran, Mas Roro Anggraeni, Budi Wantoro, Catherina Laura