This article is about my experience as a Year 2 teacher in Sekolah Cikal Cilandak. It is about the Unit of Inquiry : Conflict and How to solve the conflict. Pre-assessment has an important role in Unit of Inquiry because we can see students pre-knowledge about the discussing concept. Teacher provoked the student with conflict to by asking them to draw about their holiday, just with a pencil, eraser and piece of paper for each group that consisting of 4 students in five minutes. However, what happened was not really expected by teachers. It was because only one group of students had a conflict. They were asked for some more pencils and I heard one student said her friend borrowed her eraser. After that, in group discussion, we talked about what just happened, how they feel and who they thought would get turn and they made Y chart about this activity.
After Pre-Assessment, we move to Tuning-In Activity. This stage, we continued discuss about the conflict that is a quite abstract unit topic. It took a little times for them to understand about what conflict is. We did this activity as follow :
- We watched videos about conflict and how to solve it.
- After watching the video, teacher asked a question “What conflict happened among them?” and student said “ The two head monsters are talking all the time and the man can not understand”.
- Next, teacher asked “What is the solution?” and they answer “ Take turn”. It means that student were getting to know this unit.
- We also invited Cikal School Counselor as the guest speaker for this topic.
- For the opening activity, the student were provided with some newspaper and only two clear tapes. They were asked to make a tower in groups consisting of five students with only limited resources and giving only five minutes to finish the task. Suddenly one student shouted “hey, we need more tape” and guest speaker answer “that’s all you got”.
The result was no one success finishing the tower on time. And after that, student discussed what they feel and if they find a conflict. Their answer was ” Not successful, it’s so hard, we did it wrong”. The counselor explained about what conflict is, the type of conflict and how to solve. In Cikal, we solved the conflict with i-message. So they could express their feeling directly to the person that they had conflict with. Afterwards, student practiced in pairs and make I-message. They were given sample problems and discussed about how to make i-message. They were able to do it and they shared it among the groups. The post activity, students took picture together and appraised to the guest speaker.
For the reflection, student wrote down what information that they got from the guest speaker. In the post-it paper, they wrote “Give i-message” and some of them wrote “type of conflict”.
We also asked the student to make journal to any conflict every day, since this unit is integrated with Bahasa Indonesia, they wrote the journal in Bahasa Indonesia. At first, student got difficulties to write a journal, especially about conflict, but after teacher gave some examples, finally student can write their own conflict. They remember any conflict that happened in their home with mom or dad or even with brother and sisters. Teacher kept remaining the student that conflict could happen between themselves. For example “Today, I feel so sleepy and I don’t want to go to school”. The solution of this conflict can be “You can continue sleeping in the car and wake up if arrive at school”.
Those things make the student capable to find out about types of conflict that happened in public area. By being given home project, parents need to involve doing the task. For example, student went to a restaurant or mall and they observed the place and found any possible conflict and its solution that they can think. Surprisingly the student were able to find the conflict and they knew how to solve them. What they achieved makes me proud as a teacher.
To conclude the conflict and how they can show their responsibility in their community. Student will show their evidence by poster. First step before making the poster, they need to make a plan what the content is, how they design it and its message. Student is able to make their own design such us “ Stop Pushing” and “ Please Line Up “. After they finish making the Poster, the student will give campaign using the poster to lower level. Student was doing great and can express their opinion and being a risk taker as they able to talk in front of other student.
Maylani – Year 2 Teacher (Sekolah Cikal Cilandak)
PYP exhibition, as we know is the culmination learning process during the primary program before going to the next level, Middle Year Program. It is like a salad which contains mixed vegetables which represent the feeling during its process, such as excited, happy, tired, bored, satisfied, nervous, and relieved.
In this 2018, Sekolah Cikal Surabaya has the second Y5 PYP Exhibition with the current UOI “Sharing the Planet” with the central idea of “Children worldwide encounter a range of challenges, ranges, and opportunities”. From this central idea, students of Y5 are divided into five groups and each of them came up with five smaller topics which are juvenile delinquency, child marriage, learning disabilities, game addiction, and child trafficking. In order to help the groups, there two mentors for each group that will help them during the process.
It is long processes which last for around 8 weeks starting from January to March. All the processes are referred to the IB inquiry cycles, tuning in, finding out, sorting out, going further, making conclusion, and taking action. This long learning journey involves not only the students but also mentors, teachers, parents, and communities within and outside the schools. Students also apply their transdisciplinary skills.
In the tuning in stage, students activate their prior knowledge about what challenges that children all over the world have. Students created a mind map to list down the issues children have to deal with. In order to enlarge students’ knowledge on the issues, the teacher also showed a number of videos related to the topics discussed, such as street children in Jakarta, the different access of education between two Indonesian kids in Jakarta and Papua, child marriage and its dangers, child trafficking, children sexual abuse, child labor, UNICEF, bullying, and other issues. After watching the videos, students gave their opinion toward what happened in the video to the children. In order to deepen students’ knowledge on the issues, students observe some pictures and wrote their statement, opinion, feeling, and any ideas they have regarding to the pictures provided.
Figure 1 Students are doing tuning in on the issues of children’s rights and challenges
After the process of tuning in, students go to the next step which is finding out the information related to the topic chosen. Each group has concerned on one issue they want to study deeper, students with the facilitation of mentors started to find out and conduct a number of research to answer their inquiry. Doing the literature review through searching from the Internet, reading newspaper, book, and magazine. From this activity, students apply their research, ICT, and literacy skill. Students learn how to find the reliable information, avoid the hoax that is widely spreaded in the Internet, and develop their plagiarism awareness as they are required to paraphrase the information they got instead of copy-paste.
Figure 2 Mentoring process during PYP Exhibition preparation
Figure 3 Students are doing research and promoting ICT skill on the related topic
Not only doing the literature review from a number of sources, the process of finding out the information is also conducted through the field research in which students directly observe and see through doing a field trip, inviting guest speakers to be interviewed. This is expected that students promote their social skill as students have to meet and interact with new people outside their circle. Students have experienced a lot of activities outside and inside the classroom, go to UPTD Kampung Anak Negeri-a government office which concern on the protection of street children in Surabaya, go to UNICEF, PPA Polrestabes Surabaya, Lembaga Perlindungan Anak, and Sekolah Cita Hati Bunda (a special school for children with special needs) invite Save Street Children Surabaya as the social organization concerning on the street children in Surabaya and many other cities in Indonesia, invite the obsgyn to know the danger of child marriage from the medical point of view, invite the dyslexic expert from Dyslexia Parents support group. Some groups also distribute questionnaire enrich their data.
Figure 4 Students are doing field trip to collect the data
After having all the data, students do sorting out in order to sort which data can answer which lines of inquiry. The results of sorting out process are in the form of various products, pictorial graphs, poster, comic strips, animation, games, and many others. Students learn how to explore their creativity in creating a number of products to be displayed.
Figure 5 Students present their final product
In addition, this is continued by the going further process by doing research on the new inquiry that students have after having long processes of inquiry. In this process, students strengthen their finding in the previous research by doing more research on the related topics, such as distributing questionnaire, interview society, or find the relevant sources that support them find more info and answer their inquiry.
After that, students make conclusion as well as taking action. What students can do as their action. It is various based on students’ initiative, doing campaign via self-made animation, campaign through poster, sticker, bookmark, games, drama, hip-hop dance, and student-made song entitled Don’t be Scared You are Cared with the lyric as follow:
All children in the world
Have rights don’t be scared
As you have right to be cared
We all have hope show your smile to the world
We have the action so please listen
Children need protection
We have the action so please listen
Children need protection
So we will be shining bright
Rights for everyone
Education number one
Be nice and no lies
No more kids’ cries
Love and care so kids will rise
We have the action so please listen
Children need protection
We have the action so please listen
Children need protection
So we will be shining bright
Don’t be scared
Don’t be scared
Don’t be scared
You are cared
After the long processes, the PYP Exhibition presentation is held on 14-16 March 2018. Parents, teachers, students, and other IB schools are invited to come. In this moment, students show their understanding, communication, and social skills in presenting their learning journeys. I am really proud of them when they can confidently present to the adult and answer their questions very well in comprehensive ways. Being prouder is when the students of Y5 can present the materials to the younger kids, making some adjustment on the language usage, body language to take care of their younger friends.
In this process, I am as their teacher learn a lot from them. A lot of mentors also say that they need to learn more on the topic, they are like doing thesis again. Tired yes, but the satisfaction when we can be part their success is priceless.
Written by: Ika Fitriani – Y5 Homeroom Teacher – Sekolah Cikal Surabaya
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.”
Another school year is about to end. As an IB teacher, it is a necessary to look back on the school year that was and reflect on the best, as well as the most challenging practices that you and your kids went through. It may not always seem like it, yet I believe that the most challenging tasks make the most effective learning experiences. I am honoured to have been given this privilege of sharing a glimpse of one of my most rewarding and productive performance tasks in Year 5 this year.
Unit 5 embraces the transdisciplinary theme, “Sharing the planet,” with the central idea: People can establish practices in order to sustain and maintain the Earth’s resources and with the following lines of inquiry: (a) the limited nature of the Earth’s resources, (b) personal choices that can help to sustain the environment, (c) reusing and recycling different materials, and (d) reducing waste. Planning and preparations are the most taxing part of teaching in an IB school. PYP planning and preparation have this trick of making you begin thinking of an end in your mind. Yes, from the scope and sequence, I had to plan for a summative assessment involving knowledge, skills and attitudes that I would like my students to learn and achieve, which should also be anchored to the writing genre of that unit. And since it is not only for my personal stand- alone planning, it has demanded a collaborative effort among the other teachers in the team. As a result, ICT, Maths and UoI have been been supporting our English performance task assessment.
Persuasive writing is not very popular among students. For one, they are required to present them orally, after writing it. Having these particular students 2 years in a row gave me the opportunity to get to know them well and see what more they can do to let them push themselves beyond their limits. I know it will be a big challenge, but it is going to be worth it.
I still remember the day when I first broke the news to them that they are going to engage themselves in a MUNA simulation as their Unit 5’s performance task. Blank faces. Clueless stares. Unending reactions of ha? I can still vividly remember the expressions from the faces of every student in my class that day. The reaction didn’t change even after I explained what it was about. Reactions only changed days after we started planning and preparing for it.
MUNA simulation is a simulation of the United Nations Assembly in solving various world problems. Since the unit is about sustaining an maintaining Earth’s resources, I assigned everyone in a group and every group to a country. Their task was to research for at least 3 of their country’s natural resources problems. From those 3, they had to come up with just 1. And from that, as a group, they had to think about possible and effective solutions to solve it. And then, they will have to present this in a simulation of a United Nations Forum, following the rules and procedures of the United Nations assembly in solving world issues. In addition to that, during the simulation, they had to convince the delegates from other countries to support their resolutions. So, they had to answer the questions that would be thrown to them, and be able to defend their position when being questioned. From that day on, a shift in the way they dealt with the task had changed. And the rest was history.
On the day of the MUNA simulation, everyone looked so professional. They got the feeling of being a real UN delegate. They were wearing formal attire, and holding folders of everything that they had researched and discussed about during the process. The rules and procedures were followed religiously. Everyone got the chance to deliver a speech. Every group got the chance to shine, by being prepared with their questions and their answers for other countries’ clarification and motions. Everything was mostly based on researched facts and collaborative decision. The exchange of thoughts and ideas was spontaneous and professionally handled by every delegate.
This activity only proves that you can not underestimate children. You may think that they are still very young to deal with global issues. But if you equip them with meaningful knowledge and the right skills, and prepared them accordingly, they can do wonders. And oh, yes, there were some glitches along the way. There were groups who would blame each other and think that they wouldn’t be able to make it, collaboration concerns, personal differences issues. But we should remember that everything about it, including the glitches and crashes, were parts of the learning experience. And yes, most of the time, they are the most valuable ones.
Here are some examples of the students reflection:
As the day of a teacher ends, sometimes we ask ourselves if we have done enough or if we have done a lot. Questions occur while traveling home or even when taking a shower. And still at the end of the day, the only thing we can do is to wait for tomorrow and make things better. Here are random questions and activities that we can do or ask ourselves at the end of the day to aid us in planning for a better tomorrow.
Write down something everybody learned.
Write down something nobody learned.
Write down something different each child learned.
Name the child who already knew everything you taught.
Name the child who learned nothing.
Did you do anything other than group instruction?
Did you challenge pupils’ intellects?
Did anyone work on an independent learning problem?
Did you reject any child?
How many children failed to learn the lesson for the day?
Did anyone work on the board? Did you?
Did students do anything other than listen to you, write, read, and answer your question?
Did any child help another?
How often did you reinforce the children’s correct response?
Did you repeat every answer? For what?
How often did each child get a chance to talk, ask and answer?
Did any child ask a question?
Did the class laugh? Did you at someone, something with someone?
Were you angry? Why?
Was any child angry? Why?
How many students did you praise? For what?
Did you teach reading (not just hear the students read)?
Did you teach new words before or after reading?
Did you read to the class? Why?
How do you feel about the day’s work?
These questions are just tips for us, teachers, to face a better tomorrow with our students in our class.
As teachers, we need to pay attention to children’s emotional and social well-being as well as their academic progress. We need to create an environment in which learning can become a joyful experience for our students as well as other members of the school community.
By: Jose Noel Guasch Veloso
Grade 1 Class Teacher
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug
Central Idea: Learning about ourselves helps us understand and connect to ourselves and to others in the world.
“Intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.”
What constitutes culture? Why do we need to know about various cultures?
Our young students of Grade 1 delved into their inquiry with enthusiasm and began with an exploration of their own cultures. During this journey they learnt about the elements of world cultures such as language, gestures used in greetings, symbols, dance, art, music, festivals, traditional dresses, religion and other aspects of culture. This led to comparisons between cultures. They identified some similarities in cultures and made connections such as cultural values that are passed from one generation to another through folk and traditional tales. They learnt how cultures differ and developed respect and appreciation for other cultures. With great pride they wore their traditional clothes for an International Food Party and shared their traditional food and drinks with each other. During the unit they came to know that cultures change and that many of the clothes we wear today and the foods we enjoy eating have been derived from other cultures.
Their field trip to Pinisi Science and Edutainment Park to savour the culture of the host country, Indonesia, was an enriching experience for them. They tried their hand at making traditional batik designs, playing the anklung and gamelan, and learning Indonesian dance and songs. It was a thrilling feeling for the first graders to ride their own mini becak, a traditional form of transport in Indonesia. The rich tapestry of Indonesian culture was surely woven in their minds as they viewed a live reenactment of a Sumatran tale, Malin Kundang.
The unit was wrapped up with a presentation by the students on an aspect of culture they found interesting and wanted to share with their peers. They presented this in myriad of ways and displayed impressive creativity. The presentation strategies included singing a traditional song, demonstrating a musical instrument, explaining a traditional recipe, performing a folk dance and displaying many other interesting elements of culture to a rapt audience.
In an increasingly intolerant world, exploring other perspectives and connecting with each other’s cultures leads to greater intercultural understanding and provides us with the tools to solve problems and promote world peace. It is something worth striving for as it builds strong community relationships between people from diverse backgrounds and enriches the lives of all the members of a community. By developing critical thinking skills, we become open-minded and come a step closer to being internationally-minded, caring, global citizens.
“If man is to survive, he will have learned to take delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life’s exciting variety, not something to fear.”
― Gene Roddenberry
Contributed by Ms Nivedita
Grade 1 Homeroom Teacher
Culture is something that can be learned and shared
What would you do if children have passion for something, but they need someone to do it with? Their passion should be identified and support for further developed in such directions. Starts with simple things such as reciting the bible verses together, reading silently together to mention but a few. Joint effort is necessary in facing challenging questions, disagreement or agreement on certain issues. Not all learners are lovers of books, but they show passion to know, and that is enough, as they run through those pages trying to find something interesting we see that to them, searching for facts and interesting events is more important and fun as it is reading word per word, which is an interest for others. It is getting interesting to see that as teachers sitting with them, doing what they are doing, they even do it better and enjoy it more.
If adults become a part of children’s passion and say “ we can do it” or’ let’s do it together” children tend to develop more interest in whatever activity or feel able to face whatever challenge because they know, they are not alone in such situations. Every child has potential to achieve and succeed, when parents and teachers realize the value of doing things together step by step hand in hand with the children that is a stepping stone to encouraging, nurturing and challenging them to achievement of full potential.
Doing things together it is not as easy as we talk. Not all students are socialites, some would love space most times, but just letting them know you are available incase they need a hand, is a source of further inspiration. Big effort is needed for join effort. There is need to know the child, in context of which is the best way to stand with them. Students in the sixth grade need a lot of attention, not only are they experiencing physical changes but have targets such as the national final examination and preparation for high school. Consistency, discipline, and patience are important, they need help more than ever before. The best help is to join them in all their effort as individuals. We have to remember that we are the “model” of everything for every child. We recommend the joint effort approach as applied in our class and seemingly beneficial. *(Bridget / Wulan P6 – BPK Penabur Banda)