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
Our Amazing Start in Year 5
By Olga & Raihan / 5A
We all love the new school year! All the Year 5 students had fun in the first day of school, even the 2nd, 3rd and so on. We all love the new school year because we get to learn more about what we never learned about before. We also get to have new friends. Other than that, we also have new teachers that some of us never even knew. Year 5 is very different than year 4, so all of us had to change our behaviour to become better.
In the first week, we were introduced to the first unit under the theme ‘How We Express Ourselves’. We learned mostly about the understanding of our central idea. Our Central Idea is ‘Traditional Stories Teach Generations About Shared Values, Cultural Expectations and Beliefs’. In the process of understanding the Central Idea, first we wrote our ideas of what it means on a Post-It Note, after we wrote on the Post-it-Note and discussed its meaning, we drew those ideas on a small paper. Then, in a group, we shared our understanding, drew it on an A4 paper in a group, and after that, one person from each group helped to make an even bigger picture with the Central Idea on it.
After we made the poster we made a list of traditional stories from around the world. The next day each of us chose one traditional story and rewrote it in the language book. After we were sure we understood our story, we then retold our story in Bahasa Indonesia, and some of us even added movements to it. We also watched a video about traditional stories and then we studied elements about the story.
After we learned about the Central Idea, we learned about the Key Concepts. We first found out what Key Concept is connected to each Line of inquiry. Then each group got a concept, it’s either form, perspective and reflective. Then we shared ideas with our group about why those Key Concepts are connected to the Central Idea, then we wrote it down on A4 paper. When we finished doing that, we wrote our own questions. Then each group presents their opinions on the Key Concepts.
We mostly enjoyed all the activities and because of that we become curious and knowledgeable students.
All of that is what we did for the couple first days of school. And we all are very excited for the rest of year 5!
A Small Act Can Make A Big Impact
Action plays an important role as part of the 5 Essential Elements of the PYP learning process. As a result, Year 6 at Global Jaya School also incorporates action as an important part of its Exhibition. Here is the learning journey taken by the students that enables them to donate to certain charities. Students’ active participation can be clearly seen throughout the process.
- Our Invention & innovation unit, under the transdisciplinary theme “Where We are in Place and Time”, was the focus of our Exhibition. Students explored various means to create a solution to particular issues they identified that were occuring in people’s daily lives.
- The solution, which took the form of products and/or services, were presented in front of a panel to ensure the feasibility and appropriateness of the solution.
- During our entrepreneurship unit, under the transdiciplinary theme of How We Organize Ourselves, students’ products / services underwent a process where students made adjustments to their solution based on the feedback that they got from fellow students and members of the school community during a ‘Test The Plan’ activity. After that, the products were produced and then sold along with the services at our Entrepreneurship Fair.
- Based on discussion among students, it was agreed that the money collected from the Entrepreneurship Fair, (after deducting the total costs of production and marketing) would be donated to charities located around the neighborhood of the school.
- After the Entrepreneurship Fair, students decided which specific charity they would like to donate to. In their various classes, each exhibition group suggested a possible charity, which varied from Non-Government Organizations, orphanages, schools for the needy, etc. Then each class chose one charity that they wanted to bring to the meeting of the three classes. In the meeting, Year 6 students chose two places as the place they would like to donate the money to. They were Yayasan Sayap Ibu, located in Graha Raya Bintaro, and Griya Yatim Dhuafa, located in Bintaro sector IX.
- The money gathered from the Entrepreneurship Fair totaled an amazing Rp. 21.115.800
Students’ comments on the process:
- Rafa: I’m amazed at the benefits that we got from the process. Not only in terms of academics, but we also got the opportunity to actually help other people who really need help.
- Vely: I really wish that our donation eased some of their problems. I also wish to have the same chance again in the future.
- David: I’m glad that we got the chance to help people. This process really made me learn a lot.
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”
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Grade 4 Teacher
Scouts in the PYP
What really makes the difference when it comes to making a success in life? Character. And what is character? It is resilience, common sense, kindness and an independence of mind. It’s about inspiring others and believing in yourself. But this talk of character training is nothing new. It’s exactly what Robert Baden-Powell had in mind when he first dreamed up the notion of scouting. “It has more value,” he said, “than any other attribute in life.”
Here at Sekolah Cikal, we are proud to apply the scouting program or PRAMUKA for the school community. Started at Year 3, the Cubs or Siaga the early level in Scouting the members are 7 to 10 years old, It consists of: Siaga Mula, Siaga Bantu and Siaga Tata. As an IB School, both programs are blending effectively among students learning inside and outside the classroom.
SCOUTING AND PYP PROGRAMS
In Communication unit under How We Express Ourselves, it becomes more interesting when students learn kinds of verbal and nonverbal communications. Scouting introduces Semaphore a system of signaling using flags where a sets of alphabets constructed in form of flag formation. It can be used to signal between ships, plane and also across open land.
In Math area, Scouting supports students in learning directions through compass skills just in case they get lost in a forest they know how to find their way home. Another fun learning like in Measurement where students learn to read digital and analog clock. We set fun clock games where we asked students acted like an analog clock. With sets of instructions, they stretched their left hand as the short hand and the right hand as the long hand of a clock showing an instructed clock given (show me 07.00 am, 10.00 am etc).
The Scouting programs also encourage students to meet the purpose of PYP Transdisciplinary Skills where some of the dimensions of its aligned as well (Thinking skills: comprehension to grasp meaning from material learned; communicating and interpreting learning. Social skills: Accepting responsibility, Respecting others, Cooperating, Group decision-making. Communication skills : Listening to directions; listening to others; listening to information).
Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia or Indonesian Scout movement is a name of non-formal education organization that performs scouting education in Indonesia.
Its founded in 1961 by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, and in 2011 Gerakan Pramuka Indonesia became the world’s largest scout association in the world with 17 million members.
Pramuka is derived from the word “Praja Muda Karana” which means young soul that loves to work. As well as family education that is wrapped as an interesting, fun, healthy, arranged, focused, and practical activities that may be done in nature as an outdoor activity.
Every activity is performed according to the Scouting Basic Principal (Prinsip Dasar Kepramukaan) and Scouting Method (Metode Kepramukaan). The final goal of these activities is the building of character, morals, helping boys and girls become happy, healthy and useful global citizens. It also helps children embrace adventure and succeed in life and furthermore fosters personality development of the students and helps them to aware their sense of social responsibility. To become disciplined, courageous and noble character of young people in Indonesia. We also must know that scouting in Indonesia was built as an education system that was adjusted with the interests and development of society and the nation of Indonesia.
ACTIVE GLOBAL CITIZENS
As practical education, Scouting at our school also empower students as active global citizens. As they said the Scout promises every Wednesday practice and If they really want to keep their promise of ‘helping others’, they have to help themselves first be a role model for their community that cultivates their practical wisdom and character and then continually puts these to good use. A fantastic example of vibrant and exciting Scouting events at our school was when the Cubs shared the sandwiches that they made during the Scouting session to all of school community who help them every day at school and at home. SALAM PRAMUKA!
Grade 3 Teacher
Sekolah Cikal Cilandak
As part of the Global Jaya School Year 6 PYP Exhibition, our students had the opportunity to connect with other schools around the world to discuss the progress, implementation and reflection of their experiences.
Over the course of the two-day event, students held video Skype calls with schools in New Zealand, Indonesia, Germany and Norway. They had the chance to share their thoughts about their exhibition experiences and ask questions of each other to gain a deeper mutual understanding of similarities and differences between how people from around the globe engage in the PYP exhibition.
Renatta, Dhira and I Skyped with a school from New Zealand and we became their tour guides. We took them on a tour around the theater foyer to see all of our booths. We stopped at our booths and explained our issue, solution, and other things on our display. They asked us questions and we answered them. It was a really fun experience. I was very lucky to have the chance to be able to call schools from other countries.
I was very lucky to be able to call schools from other countries/places. My favourite calls were with the New Zealand and Norway schools because they made us laugh. We were also able to give them a tour of the theatre foyer, and allow them to interview other students. They asked great questions, and made Kiara, Dhira and I laugh.
It was like talking to us in the past when we Skyped with IB schools in Germany and Norway because they are just starting their exhibition process and we were just done. It was helpful for them to get tips and answers from us because we are finished with exhibition and we have experienced all the work.
International Teacher Comments:
My students really enjoyed the presentation. Dhira was great! We are going to have our exhibition next month. I’m thinking we could probably have a Skype session during our exhibition, just like yours. Thank you again for the session.
Ibu Marina, Sekolah Global Indo-Asia, Indonesia
We will be having our exhibition towards the end of Nov. It would be amazing to see the performance as well. Due to talking with your class today, I already have students wanting to form groups and start their research. They were very motivated by what they saw.
Robert Bale, Ashburton Borough School, New Zealand
Skyping with students to share their exhibition experience.
Video conferencing with students in Germany.
Nowadays, our kids are exposed to facilities like having cars to bring them to and from school, nannies, gadgets etc. It is normal that parents want to give their kids the best in everything. However, sometimes or often they don’t realise the way parents give or provide all the best things to their children can bring about a negative effect later on. Children become more dependent than ever on all these items. Somehow, they do not even need to ask… Voila! Everything is ready in front of them.
I realise that my students have become more and more dependent. One time, without any words, one of my students gave me her lunch box. At first, I automatically opened it and gave the opened snack box back to her. Then I regretted it. How come I gave in to such an inappropriate request? From that experience, I started to introduce to them 3 magic words: “please”, “sorry” and “thank you”. Using those three magic words made them more “human.” Their empathy and appreciative feelings have grown and their behaviour became more polite. Eventually, those magic words become a habit for them.
In my school now, teachers always bring a small broom and a dust pan during snack time. Since I teach kindergarten students, those two things are very useful during that time. We have a janitor who is always available to clean students’ rubbish. Instead of asking the janitor to clean the students’ mess, we teach them how to do it themselves.
Perfection does not come immediately, of course, but we can see the effort of the students and how they feel about themselves. They try hard to use the broom and the dust pan, which is also a good practice for their fine motor skill. Students also feel proud of themselves after they are done cleaning their own mess. The most important thing is that by doing that, students appreciate others’ feelings and job. They will try first to clean their own area before they ask help from the janitor by using those three magic words. However, they have become more careful in eating, so they will try their best not to spill anything on the table or floor.
One day, I look forward to seeing the kids develop their independence and willingness to help others in school, not only to those who are in need, but also to the strangers they see along the streets, neighbourhood and around the community. Little practices can make a difference in building big goals for children’s learning which start from the little things that young children can manage to do by themselves.
By Dian Anggraini (firstname.lastname@example.org), K2 Homeroom Teacher,
Sekolah Global Indo-Asia (Batam)