classroom

Fun with Lights

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Light, for most children, this word means sun and lamp. In my Kindergarten 2 class, children have also presented the same meaning about light, which is under the transdisciplinary theme ‘How the World Works’. In the beginning, when we set the classroom as dark as possible, students entered the room scared but excited. Then, we asked them to put on their shoes and tidy up the toys, etc. As a result, they found it difficult to execute those jobs because they could not see. After a while, we turned on the lights and started the discussion about the situation that they have just experienced.

The discussion has shown their prior knowledge that lights come from sun and lamps. Next, we explored the sources of light and they realized that it is not only the sun and lamps that could give lights. We also extended the discussion about natural and man-made sources of lights. Finally, students came up with their own words that from man-made sources of lights, we could turn on and turn off the light.

We also integrated this understanding with Math, under the Measurement strand, where students have measured the size of their own shadow. In pairs, they worked together for this task. After a few hours, students did their shadow size measurement again to compare their findings. They used the term shorter and longer to explain the results. The students also created their abstract shadow drawings using plants and leaves, as part of their Art learning experiences.

The children had fun in this Unit of Inquiry. They even read the book “The Black Rabbit,” which is a story about shadows. The students made the cover for this story. They applied their artistic sense and skills in making the cover using playdough, coloured paints and other materials that come from their ideas such as straws, colourful rice, stones, etc.  In the end, students have learnt the use of lights that aside from seeing, it can also be for entertaining – like for shadow puppet and light dancing.

 

By Dian Anggraini

K2 Homeroom Teacher

Sekolah Global Indo-Asia

dian.anggraini@sgiaedu.org

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Mandarin Integration

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Reception

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

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

IB Learner Profile in Literature

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Since the beginning of the school year, year 4 (4A & 4B) has been attempting to find a new way to truly learn all the IB Learner Profile. I wanted the learner profile attributes not to be just words, but to be connected to real thoughts and emotions.  To achieve this goal I chose a book that embodied all these ideas, Wonder by R.J Palacio. I had the opportunity to read this book to a previous class and was blown away by the quality of its storytelling. What makes this book so genuinely remarkable is it’s ability to create empathy for what all the characters are experiencing throughout the story. The main character Auggie Pullman already or grew to be a perfect example of all ten learner profile attributes in action. The book also gave us the chance to know why secondary characters acted the way they did.  All the characters were fully actualized with their strengths and weaknesses. They made good choices and bad, but in the end, they were able to reflect on why they sometimes showed cruelty rather than kindness.

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“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

As the year progressed, we were excited to learn that the movie version of Wonder was coming to Indonesia soon. With the kind support of Year 4’s parents, we all went to see the movie together. It was magical seeing the characters we loved to come to life on the big screen. In the end, most Year 4’s thought the book was better, but still truly enjoy the movie adaptation.

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We are presently reading the book sequel Auggie & Me. Again we are getting an opportunity to experience Auggie Pullman through the eyes of other, Julian, Christopher and finally Charlotte.  We will continue to read this book through the rest of the school year. Ideally, students will continue to enjoy and learn the valuable lessons that these extraordinary books teach us. The IB Learner Profile have a good friend in Auggie Pullman

by Pak Robert

 

 

First Day of School

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The first day of school is absolutely one of the most important days of the year. It’s the day the teachers set the tone for their classroom for the entire year. What teachers do on the first day of school will determine their success or failure for the rest of the school year. They will either win or lose their class on the first day of school.

Our first day at school activities in Sekolah Victory Plus was amazing. It was marked by a lot of excitement from parents, teachers and students. Most kids looked happy and really waited the moment to come back to school after their long vacation.Some felt nervous or a little scared because of all the new things: new teachers, new friends, and maybe even a new school. Luckily, these “new” worries only stick around for a little while.

Here are several things we did on our first day of a school:

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Set and created the display of our class agreement

By: Irma Mustafa

Homeroom Teacher

Sekolah Victory Plus

Bekasi, Indonesia

The Essential of Essential Agreement

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Starting the school year has always been exciting not only for students but also for teachers. We, as a teacher would never know the children we are going to deal with for the whole year through. Thus, setting up an essential agreement at the beginning of the academic year is essential as we want to establish a good and conducive class.

Rules or agreement?

Teachers in some school are now starting to move away from using the word “rules” to using the word “agreements”. What are actually the differences between rules and agreement in classroom? Rules are imposed.  They’re set for the purpose of compliance.  Any violations of rules should be punished to maintain the power of the rule.  Rules are “above people.”  The locus of control is external, teaching us that we don’t have the power – so we’re pushed toward obedience rather than internal motivation.

Agreements are negotiated.  They’re set for the purpose of collaboration.  Any violations should be discussed to learn.  Agreements are “between people.”  The locus of control is internal, teaching us that we have the power – so we’re pushed toward intrinsic motivation.

However, although some teachers are no longer use the term “rules” in their classroom, some others are still using it because they might think what their classroom would be like without any rules. They don’t want to have a chaotic class so that they prefer using the “rules” instead of “agreement”

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As for me, since i am teaching in an IB school, i prefer starting my class by creating an “essential agreement” to make sure that my class will function well and in a conducive way. Rather than teachers imposing their rules on children, everyone in the group works together to establish an agreement of how the class will function. Here are some tips of creating an essential agreement in class.

  1. Last year, i tried this with my students. First, i will let them watch some video about what a good classroom and a “not-good” one. After that, we brainstorm together. We ask them which classroom they would prefer studying in and ask the reason why.
  2. After brainstorming, we ask the students again what make a good classroom. Students will come up with various answers.  We can also ask  students to come up with things that might disrupt the class, anything that will make the class stray from its goals. For example, if students want to improve their listening comprehension or learn to think in English, it will be highly disruptive to hear students speaking their native language. Little ones might say that they don’t want any shouting, yelling, or hitting in class. Some students may say that they shouldn’t interrupt someone when he or she’s speaking.
  3. How to avoid disruptive behaviour. After getting some ideas about what disruptive behaviours are. We can brainstorm with the students about how to avoid the disruptive behaviours to make the class run smoothly. They might be quick to say that no shouting, yelling, or hitting is allowed in class. And to avoid interruptions and make sure everyone has a chance to speak, your students will suggest that they have to raise their hands. Try to phrase each of the rules in an affirmative way, for example, in a way that tells them what they should do and not what they shouldn’t do. Having your walls filled with “No shouting”, “No eating in class”, in other words, no, no, no everywhere does not contribute to creating a very positive learning environment either.
  4. Now you have to put it all in writing, after all, verbal contracts won’t hold water in a classroom. They can make a poster illustrating the essential agreement, and then put it up some place where it’s clearly visible. You can also give students some post it and have them write about what they just said about how to avoid disruptive behaviours to maintain a good and conducive classroom. Ask them to paste/stick into the place provided and together read all the agreement.
  5. So, to sum up, make sure each and every student is clear and agreed on the agreement. They should also understand that the agreements are subjected to any changes should there be any cases which require any changing or improvement of the agreement.

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Wildiyani
Grade 4 Teacher
Sekolah Cikal

 

The Importance of a Positive Teacher-Student Relationship

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If there is one thing I learnt from being a teacher for so many years, it is the importance of a positive teacher-student relationship. The teacher-student relationship is one of the most powerful elements within the learning environment. Students learn best when they enjoy learning with their teacher, the classroom atmosphere or the ambience the teacher creates.

When teachers form positive bonds with students, classrooms become supportive spaces in which students can engage in academically and socially productive ways. Students who have a positive rapport with their teachers use them as a secure base from which they can explore the classroom and school setting both academically and socially.

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Each student has a different learning ability and as a teacher, we need to recognize that. I have always treated my students as my friends. I like to get to know them better. Firstly, it means getting to know the students’ learning styles and where they are in terms of their knowledge, abilities, and potential. More importantly, it also means getting to know their interests, personality, and background. For the teacher, this body of knowledge opens up the possibilities for growth and learning opportunities.

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Teachers will see wonders once the students are willing to come out of their shells. It means they trust us as their teachers. We have gained their trust and confidence. Hence, students will no longer see us as only their teachers but also their friends. To me, this is what a positive teacher-student relationship means. I have seen so much improvement in my students once they no longer see me only as their teacher. Yes, they still have to respect me because I am, after all, their teacher, but they also trust me because I am their friend.

By: Devi Godri

English as a Foreign Language Teacher

BINUS SCHOOL Simprug, Jakarta

dgodri@binus.edu

The Classroom Speaks For Itself

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gmis-1In 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 gmis-1b
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