Classroom is a place of millions imagination. It is also the real world for the students that represents the whole world. Thus, classroom should be contextual and close to our real life. It is aimed that what the students learn within the classroom is not something abstract that is beyond the students’ hands to reach.
In the unit of inquiry “How We Organize Ourselves” with the central idea “communities make efforts to create transportation systems that meet their needs”, Reception Senior class in Sekolah Cikal Surabaya has challenging and engaging various activities that lead the students’ understanding on three lines of inquiry, which are feature of transportation system, decisions involved in using transportation, and how system of transportation respond to changing needs. Regarding those lines of inquiry, the key concepts that underlie them are form, function, and change.
Through this central idea, students are expected to develop their transdisciplinary skills and IB learner profile, such as social and communication skills. Throughout the process of learning, students will develop their cooperation by working together and helping each other within the group members to finish the tasks. Students also learn to decide something in a group to finish the project chosen.
Collaboration within group to finish the project
In addition, students will also develop communication skill, covering non-verbal communication in which students will learn how to be a good presenter in front of the audience by speaking loudly, active in showing their project with clear gesture, and keeping the eye contact to the audience. Not only developing non-verbal communication, but also acting to be a good listener to their friends’ presentation and explanation in front of the class by being attentive, respecting others who have presentation, and asking a question in a good manner.
Developing communication skill through presentation
The teaching sequences are based on the inquiry cycle started from the tuning in, finding out, sorting out, going further, making conclusion. The brief description is as follows:
Students tell their holiday experiences in using transportation from the photos.
Students bring their transportation toys to school and explain in front of the class its features and their experience on that kind of transportation.
Students watch video about kinds and the means of transportation.
Students share their real life experiences of using a certain transportation and bring the toys to represent the transportation used
Students have fieldtrip to see the transportation system in Suramadu, Surabaya North Quay, and Tanjung Perak port.
Students identify the distance from one place to another by telling their experience when they go somewhere, using map, globe, google map.
Fieldtrip to experience a kind of water transportation
Students make diorama about transportation system that meet their needs.
Students choose their destination place.
Students decide the transportation they need.
Students do mapping for their destination route.
Students try to draw a map of the destination route
Students find the information about the place they want to go with teacher assistance.
Students make the vehicle, buildings, important places, etc from the unused material that they find.
Students work together in groups to make the diorama.
Students’ diorama about transportation system
From a number of learning experiences, students conclude that to choose particular transportation means is affected by a number of factors, such as distance, time effectiveness, cost, and availability.
Atik Dian Anggraeni – Ika Fitriani
Reception Senior Teacher – Sekolah Cikal Surabaya
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)
Our Unit of Inquiry 4, which is under the transdisciplinary theme “How We Organize Ourselves” talks about the kinds of jobs. Our central idea is about people needing specific qualities to participate in the world of work for the functioning of the society.
As a PYP educator, I wanted to prepare my students for careers they will love and thrive in. This study is a challenge, since my grade level partner and I wanted to have something different. Dressing up, show and tell, the use of related videos are the most common ways to explore this unit, but since we are handling Grade 3 students, we opted to let the kids experience the reality in the world of work by building a small community in our classroom like at Kidzania.
We started by letting the students apply for the job post we prepared for them. We also made the application form, which we have related with our Line of Inquiry 2 “Skills, knowledge and personal qualities people need to be successful in their work”.
Here are the job posts available for the first 3 days:
- Security Guard
It was fun and engaging since the kids really thought hard of which job they want and which is suitable for them. Each child has undergone an interview session with the teachers and was asked to explain as to why he or she chose the work.
Salaries were discussed as part of our Math Integration. We have included deductions and bonuses so the students will really work hard once they get the position.
Photo: GETTING THEIR FIRST SALARY ☺
PHOTO: How much did I earn today? Did I get bonus for today?
It is interesting to see that our students came up with a lot of inquiry questions that helped us drive our class inquiry. The questions asked include people’s salary like “Why some work are hard but people get lesser salary?” “Why some work require diploma and some do not?” “Why do we need to work?”
As we moved through the week, the list of work grew in number. Here are the additional jobs that we have explored and they made use of it as part of the role-play.
- Flight attendant
- Captain of the ship
- Ticket seller
- Disc Jockey
- Hotel receptionist
Reflection is also an integral part of our role-playing. I personally let the kids reflect about their experience in doing their work. This part also helped the kids understand the hardships that workers go through. It’s funny to hear some of their reflections. Here are some examples that I interpreted from the video reflection they made:
“I realised that it’s hard to be a stock clerk since you need to organize things repeatedly after the costumers bought goods from our store.”
“You need to be patient when you are a cashier since people queue and they buy a lot of things.”
“The work of a security guard is quite scary since he needs to defend the bank from bad people like the robbers.”
These reflections made us realise that work is a serious thing to do. During this activity, my students have shown great responsibility. In the end, everybody realised that jobs require innovation, creativity, and the ability to look at a task and not only see the outcome, but also imagine different ways to achieve them. Also, they realised that not all people are working for money. Some of the people work to become famous, some are for their spiritual beliefs, and some are for their family or for passion.
This activity also helped our kiddos when they finally visited Kidzania Singapore last February 1, 2018.
By Marilou De Leon
Grade 3 Homeroom Teacher
Sekolah Global Indo-Asia
In our current Unit of Inquiry, our classroom is exploring the transdisciplinary theme of How the World Works where we are focusing on the central idea of how Energy may be converted, transformed and used to support human progress.
When we dissected and discussed about the possibilities of the things that we will be exploring more throughout the Unit of Inquiry, we found out that we will explore things that are more related to Science and Math. Then, we met STEM.
STEM is an approach of learning focusing more on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Both Science and Mathematics are a part of the PYP curriculum framework, and these subjects are going to be our subject focus for this Unit. Technology and Engineering can be seen as the applications of knowledge that we are going to do throughout this Unit.
In the classroom, we started off by exploring about the different forms of energy sources. We had discussions about the different energy sources, the advantages and disadvantages of each energy source. This is where we apply the knowledge and understanding of Science.
As we explored more about each energy source, we observed about the process of energy distribution process from the power plant. During this stage, we discussed and brainstormed about how each power plant can have different shapes and how the shapes are related to the energy source. We agreed that a reliable power plant should have a strong construction, in order to distribute the energy from the power plant.
We challenged ourselves to create a strong construction building, which can hold a thick book in our classroom, using Popsicle sticks and tapes. This is where we apply the understanding of Mathematics related to 2D and 3D shapes, as well as the knowledge application of Engineering.
Upon understanding the process of the energy distribution, the transformation and creating model from 2D to 3D shapes, and building strong construction, we are ready to create our own city and think of the possible power plant to put in our own city.
We have used the application of Tinkercad to create a 3D model of our city along with the energy power plant. This is the time where we apply our knowledge and skills of Technology.
During the process of exploring and understanding this Unit, we have found out that in using STEM integration into our Unit of Inquiry, we have experienced more learning and application of more skills in the learning engagements. We have not only used our research skills, but we also used communication and social skill in working together – as a team in creating a sustainable city with a sustainable energy source.
Marina Tri Hastuti
Grade 5 Homeroom teacher
Sekolah Global Indo-Asia
The transdisciplinary theme, ‘Sharing the Planet’, and the central idea, ‘Plants are a life sustaining resource for us’, made up a five-week unit in Term 2 for Year 1. It is an inquiry into
- Taking responsibility to care for plants as they grow
- Changes that occur through plant growth
- Purposes and uses of the parts of a plant
How did we do our inquiry?
See, think, wonder was used as an entry point for exploration and discussion in this topic. The children walked in the school’s gardens and considered such questions as: What are the parts of plants we can use? Their carefully considered observations were recorded to allow them to investigate further.
In sorting out their observations, the students took responsibility to care for the plants. Together they shared their knowledge and asked: How can we care for plants as they grow? We worked to expand the students’ vocabulary for plants and create a word bank. Using non-fiction texts, we explored how pictures and words work together to give us information.
What was very effective?
The rich classroom environment was a wonderful catalyst for student questions and discussions. Through visuals around the room, students had a clearer picture of plant parts. This made the children very excited about planting and growing the plants.
Field trips are rich in educational possibilities as students learn from actual hands-on experiences. The grade 1 students visited Godong Ijo. Godong Ijo is “one of the largest Nursery in Indonesia who successfully developed various types of ornamental plants.” (www.godongijo.com) Here, our students had the opportunity to plant in pots and test out their green thumbs.
Enhancing creative and critical thinking skills were practiced through reflection and giving tips on how to care for plants.
Giving students the opportunity to explore and engage themselves into their learning gives them a more enriching experience and appreciation for what they are learning. Our grade 1 students are now better equipped to care for plants and the environment.
By Divya Pokardas
Grade 1 Homeroom Teacher
Mentari Intercultural School Jakarta
I think the biggest struggle of teaching Math in the PYP curriculum is veering away from the traditional classroom set up of being teacher-centered and worksheet-heavy. In our 6 years as a PYP school, innovating and adapting to a more student-centered practice has been a struggle but quite a challenge.
For the theme on HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES, although the unit on fractions does not directly connect with the central idea “Self-expressions celebrate individuality and bridge human differences”, we focused on the conceptual idea “Fractions may be expressed in different ways to show equivalence.”
The unit opened with the word FRACTION written on the board. The students created a mind map by writing words or ideas that they know about fractions. Remember! No looking at your notes. After all ideas have been exhausted, the students will take 2-3 ideas from the mind map and write a meaningful sentence about fractions. They may write as much as three sentences using an assortment of ideas.
In groups, they share their sentences and pick two that they will present as a group. Naturally, tweaking and combining sentences is allowed. On strips of paper, they will write down their sentences and post them on the board. During a gallery walk, students may write down questions, corrections and additional information based on each sentence.
I use this exercise as a way of assessing prior knowledge as well as a spring board to teaching fractions.
Since some concepts are already clear with the students, only a brief review is necessary.
Simplifying fractions, getting a higher term, changing improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa, changing dissimilar fractions to similar fractions are all chunked under the concept of renaming fractions. Through a gradual unfolding of the different ways of renaming fractions, students develop an understanding that fractions may be written differently but they still represent the same thing. Going further, this understanding of equivalence has helped students work better with the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
5th grade teacher and PYP Coordinator
Mentari Intercultural School Jakarta
In this unit about digital media, PYP 3 students went to the Graha Pena building for an outing. We visited JTV (a local TV channel), the DBL offices (a basketball enterprise for young people), and Gen FM (a popular radio station).
The purpose of the outing was to give students an opportunity to observe and experience how digital media features in our daily lives. Students had plenty of time to ask questions about features, such as editing software at JTV, and the process of broadcasting information via a radio service. Our students learned about the genres of songs played on the radio, as well as the ratio of male to female radio listeners. Seeing special microphones and a sound mixer, with the DJ adjusting the sound, was a great experience. An unexpected moment occurred when a guest speaker explained that there was a live programme in-progress, and our students sang along to a familiar song as they were in the studio.
The DBL offices were a source of particular joy. We all tried out a slide that is used by the workers to provoke creativity. Our speakers also explained how information used to be presented in the past, contrasting this with current media practices.
This was an enjoyable and rewarding day for all involved. We hope our learners are now able to share their experiences with others.
PYP 3 Teachers
Sekolah Ciputra Surabaya