“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”- Plato
The Central Idea is a channel through which students embark on an investigation to explore the world around them. It is the springboard which inspires self-directed inquiry throughout the unit. Through unpacking the Central Idea, teachers can offer a pathway for students to build upon independent thought and form the basis for autonomous action.
During Week 1 of the unit, ‘Where We are in Place and Time’, Year 3 teachers created an environment where students were actively involved in the moment by moment intellective breakdown of the Central Idea. Students interdependently demonstrated authentic connections between the Central Idea and the concepts exploration and discovery through the visible thinking process. Once their collaborative thinking engines were firing, it was easy for them to self-direct their personal inquiry and exploration.
by Ibu Anna Cottrell
Year 3 A students working on making relevant connections between the Central Idea, Key Concepts and Transdisciplinary Theme. Students later added guiding questions to kick start their personal inquiry in the unit.
“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.
Central Idea: Equal access to the earth’s finite resources provides challenges for the global community.
Key Concepts: function, connection, responsibility
Related Concepts: finite resources, distribution, access, equity, conflict resolution
Lines of Inquiry:
- Finite and infinite natural resources
- The distribution of natural resources
- Challenges to have equitable access to natural resources
As the tuning in activity, students were given some pictures of different objects, such as wood, sunlight, car, drawer, cotton, shirt, coal, burger, house, crown, windmill, refinery, grain, ocean, and the electricity tower. They worked in group to classify those objects into two classifications. Some groups came up with common and uncommon things, then some classified them as nature-made and man-made. This activity held to show their prior knowledge about natural resources. Therefore, they could identify things that are natural or come from nature and those that are produced by man.
After that, students showed their understanding about what natural resources are by using Frayer Model. Next, students worked in pairs to sort out objects; found out its raw material, analyzed the object, made criteria about finite and infinite, then finally defined finite and infinite. The objects are spoon, drink can, plastic, paper, cake, cloth, and glass. They did research to answer those questions.
We provided some articles to be read at home by the students, entitled “Everything Comes From The Earth” and “Natural Resouces”. They also needed to fill in the vocabulary list given. As the first line of inquiry assessment, students worked on a T-chart about finite and infinite natural resources. They needed to write the definitian as well as the examples.
For the second line of inquiry; the distribution of natural resources, we supported the materials with an e-book called “I Need to Know: An Introduction To The Oil Industry & OPEC”. We focused this inquiry on oil as the finite resources. Students learned what crude oil is, what petroleum is, how oil is formed, why oil is important, and how to find oil (upstream) as well as refine oil (downstream). Beside reading the e-book, students need to respond to the passage by filling in several visible thinking tools as follow:
They also learned about the distribution of natural resources in Indonesia. First, they are divided into 5 groups to find out about well-known places that produce natural resources in Indonesia, such as Sumatera, Jawa, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua. Then, they traced the island in A3 paper and did research about what kind of natural resources found in those five islands, specifically in what city or area it is.
We also invited experts who helped us to teach students deeper about oil, especially about the distribution process of oil or petroleum, starting from the exploration process up to delivery process to the gas stations. The experts are Bapak Mega Nainggolan from PT Energi Mega Persada Tbk. (“EMP”), an independent upstream oil and gas company headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia and Mr. Mike Irvine, one of our school parents who works for an oil company.
Students needed to organize the information they got from the experts by filling in the visible thinking tools provided by teachers.
We went for an excursion, too. It was actually the library lesson program. Ibu Any, our teacher librarian, has focused on water as the natural resources learned. She took students to water filtration office in Kemang Pratama, Bekasi. The purpose of this visit is for finding out about clean water processing in Kemang Pratama area.
For the last line inquiry of this unit; challenges to have equitable access to natural resources, we brainstormed what challenges can be found in oil distributing process. Students analyzed the process in distributing natural resource (oil) – big picture; used post it to share what might happen within the process; discussed the challenges in distributing the oil to citizens; suggested how to minimize the challenges. Its challenges according to the students are, for example, infrastructure, signal, weather, license, local experts, accident, explosion, and technology.
After they shared their ideas about challenges in oil distribution process, we connected the lesson to IB Learner Profile focus for this unit, which are Principled and Caring. By looking at the numbers of post it stuck on the poster, students were aware that there are so many challenges in oil distribution process, so they thought of how they can apply our learner profile to minimize the challenges. Some said that as a principled person, we need to use petroleum or water wisely since they are finite resources. Moreover, we need to follow the rules or procedure when we are in the gas station to show that we are caring.
As the Summative Assessment or final project, students needed to show their understanding about natural resources’ distribution process, challenges of the distribution process, and suggestions to minimize the challenges by creating a PPT to explain them all. First, they needed to choose one finite resource, thought of its usage for life, its distribution process, challenges of the process, and suggestions to minimize the challenges then present them in a PPT. Most students chose oil to be presented since we learned more about oil than other resources. Some explained about gold, coal, and water.
For English lesson, our beloved English teacher, Mr.Swart, taught the students how to create an advertisement. As the tuning in activity, he asked them to create an advertisement about a floating hotel by using their own words or ideas. As the final assessment and connecting to our unit of inquiry, he asked students to do research about Indonesian Natural Resources and create an advertisement to promote Indonesian Natural Resources.
Author: Audrey Liana Tamba
(Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher, Sekolah Victory Plus)
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
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.
“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.
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
by Ibu Mita
Year 1 is learning about animals under the transdisciplinary theme, Sharing The Planet. We invited International Animal Rescue (IAR) on Friday, January 12th 2018 as a guest speaker. IAR is an institution engaged in animal welfare, protection and conservation through rescue, rehabilitation, release and monitoring. IAR focuses on rescuing primates from captivity, such as orangutans, monkeys and slow loris.
Our students acquired new knowledge about the needs of certain animals and learnt how our (human) actions can have a positive or negative effect on those animals. The Year 1 students demonstrated their inquiring nature by asking lots of questions related to the topic.
Given the difficulties (political, corporate and logistical ) that we face as a company sponsored school based on a mountain top in Papua, we at Yayasan Pendidikan Jayawijaya Tembagapura often find ourselves feeling isolated from the greater IB community. Movement off the mountain is difficult at the best of times and when it comes to trying to get a group of students to be able to visit another school or exhibition, it is neigh impossible. Luckily, here in Tembagapura we have two IBO schools, our own YPJ TPRA and the Mount Zaagham School (MZS), which provides opportunity for collaboration. While the make-up of our two schools is very different with MZS providing education for the children of the expat workers at Grasberg Mine and PT Freeport and YPJ being the school for national and Papuan students; we do share a compound, community and the PYP. With these direct connections, the existence of interschool collaboration is a natural occurrence.
Because of the aforementioned isolation, interschool collaborative learning has significant meaning for bridging the social and educational gaps between our schools and providing much needed collaborative opportunities for our teachers and students. The understanding that our two schools are able to achieve more working together than is possible working in isolation and that the combined effort and resources of our two schools will produce better outcomes than relying each as a single school have led to some very successful collaborations between us.
A great example of this collaborative practice is the recent Kartini Day celebration in which our two schools worked together to create a program in which students grades in one through nine from both schools came together in a celebration of the ideals and values that Raden Adjeng Kartini stood for. One of our teachers Aron Vaughn worked closely with the Art and Bahasa Indonesian teachers from MZS to create collaborative activities such as mural painting, plays and dances that brought our two schools together for a wonderful celebration of the theme of Equality: All Life is Valuable. To all accounts, it was a great success with students and teachers from both schools learning and celebrating together.
Having the opportunity to collaborate with another IB school has afforded other benefits to our teachers and students such as:
-A greater ability of students to view situations from others’ perspectives.
-Creating an environment of active, involved, exploratory learning.
-Encouraging diversity understanding.
-Establishing an atmosphere of cooperation.
-Students develop responsibility for each other.
-The development of tolerance.
-The development of the ability to adopt perspectives and the understanding different from their own points of view.
Taking the opportunity to bring diverse students, teachers and schools together and providing opportunities to construct understanding through a collaborative atmosphere is at the heart of the PYP and one that we look forward to continuing in the coming years.