unit of inquiry
“Well begun is half-done”- Aristotle.
As the beginning of our first unit for the very first term, “Who We Are” it was time to know each other & also have an interesting prior knowledge to take the first step to drive into the IB inquiry path. Keeping in mind one of the lines of inquiry for the current unit, “Different types of multiple Intelligences”. I designed an activity through which we all should get acquainted with each other in the class as well as to understand how different we are from each other in the terms of multiple intelligences.
The students were given old magazines & newspapers from which they had to cut the nouns/adjectives which described them the best & then stick it on the outline of self portrait drawn by them(It also involved their drawing skills.)This was also a good way of integrating English & UOI under one theme.
Later they reflected on their work by discussing their pictures in the class. This helped them to comprehend that each one of us is smart in our own way & we all possess different intelligences. It was a very interesting activity as they all were completely engrossed & engaged in depicting their best.
Ms. Smita Benuskar
Homeroom Teacher Grade 5
GMIS – BALI
Grade 5 is in their second stage of the Inquiry Cycle, “Finding out”. They are learning various aspects of ancient civilizations. The central idea of the unit focuses on “Legacies of the past affect our modern civilizations and its people”, under the transdisciplinary theme “Where We Are in Place and Time”. Their enthusiasm and excitement was aptly reflected in the recent activity carried out in the class based on the ancient written languages and written modes of communication.
The activity focused specifically on broadly four major civilizations, namely Egyptian, Chinese, Roman and Indus Valley Civilization. Although each civilization had devised their unique mode of written communication, the alphabets and symbols were very different from one another.
The children were asked and encouraged to write their names in each of the four languages used hundreds of years ago. The hieroglyphs of the Egyptian civilization along with the unique Chinese alphabets stood out as their favorite. The innovative symbols of their languages kept the students constantly interested, in awe and spellbound.
They enjoyed writing their names and sharing it with their classmates. The pride in their efforts was evident in their wide smiles and their new found knowledge.
Ms. Parul Shekhawat
Homeroom Teacher Grade 5
GMIS – BALI
Primary three students of Sekolah Tunas Bangsa were learning a unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme of Sharing The Planet. The central idea is: Our planet has limited resources that are unevenly distributed. Water is one of the resources that the earth has. It is very important for the living organisms like humans, animals and plants. We can’t live without water. The amount of water in the earth remains the same because of the water cycle. Unfortunately, some areas on earth do not have enough water because it is unevenly distributed or because of human activities. This is the enduring understanding that the students need to learn in this unit of inquiry.
To get the prior knowledge of the students, they need to answer the teacher’s question: How does water get into the water tap? On a piece of paper, the students drew what they think they know about how water can get into the water tap. They came up with different ideas during class disussion. To find out how it really happens, the students and teachers agreed to have a field trip to the Water Supply Plant (PDAM) of Pontianak city. There, the students observed the process of water purification from the Kapuas river to become the clean water that is ready to be distributed to the citizens. They were very excited to find out the processes by observing the phases and by asking questions to the officers there. Once again, when they returned to school, they were asked to draw the process of water purification and distribution on a piece of paper. They also wrote a report based on their observation and presented it in front of the class.
Using ‘Before and After’ strategy, the teachers asked the students to write what they think they know and what they know now about how water can get into the water tap. The students now realize that water is really precious that they need to use it efficiently.
Writtten by: Ronald S. Tua (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sekolah Tunas Bangsa, Kubu Raya (Pontianak), West Kalimantan
At the beginning of new school year, PYP 2 are learning about healthy lifestyles under the Transdisciplinary Theme “Who We are”. They are exploring how the choices we make effect our health. We are focusing on the 3 main elements of health (Physical, mental and social). A part of our provocation activities were designed to allow the students to experience social health.
They started by getting to know their new friends and working collaboratively in a series of games. Students built a tower using straws and another with their shoes. This activity required time to share and accept ideas and requires cooperation and collaboration to deliver an effective design. The other game was a moving island. Students were grouped and needed to stay on a single piece of newspaper. They need to cooperate when moving the island (the newspaper) so that all people in the group could remain safe.
How the students work in team and what they were able to achieve together served as a good lead into the social health element. They could reflect on what it means to be part of a group and also where they fit in.
In the next part of their learning journey, they will build on these social health connections that have been made in the beginning of the school year.
Yulita – Year 2 Team Leader
Year 3 ’s UOI 1, “Who We Are”, celebrates learner diversity in the classroom through which each student understands, owns and values his or her capacity as a learner. Students demonstrated open-mindedness while engaging in various activities promoting their strengths, and learning styles.
Student Interview: Patrick 3C-
“Learning styles are the way you learn best, such as auditory, visual and tactile learners. I am mostly auditory, so that means I learn best by listening. Knowing my learning style helps me with understanding how conflict happens on the inside and how to resolve it. “
In the continued effort to describe one’s underlying beliefs about learning and intelligence, students were introduced to the practice of Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset. Using the Growth Mindset approach, students were learned a new term called GRIT.
Student interview: Aisha 3A-
“Grit means when someone doesn’t give up and they do what they love to do. Everyone needs a GRIT goal. It is a goal that takes a long time to accomplish. My GRIT goal is to do a perfect split two ways.”
Students will continue to create a tool box of strategies on how to resolve conflict through as their physical, emotional, and mental evolution broadens their sense of self.
Global Jaya School
There is no doubt that children are more engaged in technology these days than any other time in the past. Teaching and nurturing a digital native allows teachers, as digital immigrants, the opportunity to learn and adapt within an innovative digital world. Students agree that ICT tools are very beneficial in helping them complete school assignments. They believe that when ICT is integrated with teaching instructions in the classroom a more engaging and meaningful learning process will take place.
In Year 4, we are committed to embedding ICT into everyday classroom practices. Some examples of activities that have been conducted in class are:
- School Email
Starting from Year 3, Sekolah Cikal have provided students with a personal school email. The purpose of this email is to accommodate students needs in ICT, particularly when utilizing web applications for school purposes. In Year 4, students have to check their email regularly to keep their assignments and projects up to date.
- Google Classroom
The need for virtual classrooms in education has been raised in order to enlarge the scope of learning. The teaching and learning process can be broaden outside the classroom, this enables both students and teachers to interact and discuss specific subjects through Google Classroom. Since the beginning of Year 4, teachers have utilized this application as a way to send school assignments and projects.
- Google Docs & Google Slides
Year 4 utilize Google docs and Google slides as a part of our ICT commitment to paperless tasks. Google docs and Google slides allow students to collaborate on their ideas within one file. Each term, Year 4 publishes a collaborative E-Book, all students participate and share their ideas. This activity has empowered students to engage actively in their writing process.
- Google Sites
Students are encourage to share their academic performance in a portfolio as a part of taking ownership of their learning. Google Sites is a suitable platform for Year 4 students to showcase their learning evidence and share it with their friends and parents.
WHAT’S NEW THIS TERM
As members of a lifelong learning community, Year 4 teachers are determined to continuously enhance their skills and commitment to strengthen student’s ICT competencies. In the coming term we have made arrangements for the following ICT programs:
- Infographic application Canva
This web based app will assist Year 4 students in creating an infographic campaign about the use of media. Data collection for the infographic will be gathered using surveys as a part of our math data handling unit. Students will also need to apply principles and elements of art in their campaign.
Students are expected to create a video campaign using iMovie to encourage the audience to use media safely. The skills will be developed through classroom instruction and we will consistently utilize the media resources center to heighten students ICT knowledge.
One of the challenges that teachers often encounter is the amount of distraction that arises due to the use of a gadget. Teachers frequently ask students to complete their tasks within a specific time frame and limit their distraction by implying several strategies. Students can easily get carried away when they are in front of technological devices.
Here are a few ways to enhance students self regulated skills as well as prevent over attachment to gadgets at home:
- Parents and children can establish an essential agreement on how to use the technological devices or web based applications safely.
- Parents and children can create a schedule of appropriate time for using the device, and plan fun physical activities for children to engage in at other times.
- Parents can remind children about the importance of moderation. Be sure to offer praise when they demonstrate restraint in the use of technological devices and follow the agreement that has been set.
- Write down the objective for using a technological device and set a time limit. Ensure children adhere to the time constraint.
Grade 4 teacher
In our grade 1 “How we express ourselves” unit of inquiry, we explored the central idea, “Storytelling represents different cultures and sparks the imagination to improve one’s creativity”.
To provide an opportunity for our grade 1 students to express themselves, students came up with a performance of the famous story, “Peter Pan”. We, teachers, chose “Peter Pan” because we wanted the students to always remember not to grow up too quickly and always dare to dream.
Auditions were held and every one of them gave their best. Roles were picked and practices started immediately. The students had to practice every day. We knew they were tired but yet never once did they complain. The students took pride in their roles and worked hard to memorise their lines.
The shy children were able to develop their self-esteem and confidence. In all our practices, the children were encouraged to listen to their friends while they were performing and share their ideas and thoughts.
We also encouraged the children to act out a range of emotions and this enabled them to understand different feelings and show empathy to others.
During practices, the children had a chance to improvise and do pretend play. They also came up with solutions to some disagreements in roles and responded imaginatively. For the finale of the show, the children had to sing together and that required cooperation.
Doing this unit of inquiry gave us teachers also an opportunity to collaborate with other specialist teachers. We had our visual art colleague helping us with the props. Our music teacher taught the students various songs. Our grade 1 students also learnt different movements from their dance teacher.
Our students really gave out their best in performing the “Peter Pan” show. And guess what? All of the students performed professionally. As their teachers, we felt goose bumps while watching them performing.
By its very nature, drama has the ability to create strong friendships between children as they laugh, learn and grow together. We are proud of all our students as they gave their best in expressing themselves through their “Peter Pan” play. We hope that there will be more opportunities for them to express themselves.
Grade 1 students involved in the “Peter Pan”
Roch Hazel Olivia and Ferida Sari Hasaputri
Grade 1 Teachers
BINUS SCHOOL Simprug