unit of inquiry
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
The Early Childhood Centre (ECC) of Sekolah Pilar Indonesia celebrated the learning journey under the transdisciplinary theme, Sharing the Planet. Kindergarten and Reception classes had different central ideas. In Kindergarten we had ‘Living things need the sea to survive’, while in Reception, ‘When interacting with natural habitats, humans make choices that have an impact on other living things’. We collaborated on these central ideas by considering the lines of inquiries through the form of a simple drama. The drama persuaded everyone to work hand in hand to take care of the sea and maintain the habitat. We also involved our mums in the performance. We were very confident and were risk-takers to share what we have learned. Everybody shared positive responses on our learning.
Furthermore, to deepen our understanding of sea animals and habitats, ECC students and teachers went on an excursion to Ancol Beach and Seaworld. During the tour we showed our curiosity by asking many questions to our tour guide. We also watched a short movie about the life cycle of sea turtles. From that movie we discovered how living things respond to changing environments. After that, we headed to Ancol Beach to clean up the beach. We collected the rubbish and put it in the trash bin.
Through these activities we learnt many things. We understand that the sea habitat is very important to sustain life on Earth. Every little thing that we do to the sea has an impact to our life and other living things.
Sekolah Pilar Indonesia
Enthusiastic and willing to try new things, that’s the spirit that appeared when 73 PYP 6 Sekolah Ciputra students and 9 teachers journeyed to the city of art and culture, Jogjakarta, 4-7 October 2016. This is part of the PYP 6 program within the unit Where We Are in Place And Time. The aim of the trip was for students to study the history, art and culture of along with ways to preserve Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage. . The city of Yogyakarta is an ideal choice because the people of Jogja carefully preserve their art and culture. Jogja also has a lot of interesting historical and archaeological sites that the students were able to explore. Jogjakarta is also a place where students can directly observe how culture unfolds in society, interact with cultural actors, and learn to appreciate the richness of their cultural heritage. The knowledge and experience that students gained during the study tour gave them important insights when they were challenged to analyze the significance of cultural heritage and how it connects to society in today’s life.
To learn about the elements of visual arts, the students visited the Kasongan village, known for its pottery and Batik Kelik for batik making. Students learnt to be creative in making and painting pottery. At Kraton Yogyakarta, Borobudur and Prambanan temples, students saw real examples of how culture is both preserved and experienced by today’s society. At Padepokan Seni Bagong Kusudiardja, gathering place for artists of Javanese culture, students were able to interact with artists and learn about creativity in dance and theatre directly from the experts is.
The most interesting experience was when the students visited the Tourism Village of Kebon Agung, just 1 hour from the city. In this village students interacted with people who still live traditionally in a rural setting. Students plowed a rice field and planted rice in a paddy. Moreover, students learnt various skills, such as Javanese gamelan, stringing coconut leaf, processing of rice, and making munchies ‘jemblem’.
The four-day study tour created a lasting impression on the students. In addition to gaining knowledge, they also learnt independence, self-management skills and appreciation for history. This was an important step for our students in learning to organize themselves and adapting to a different social life where the people still uphold cultural values. These life skills will be beneficial for them in the future.
PYP 6 Team Leader Sekolah Ciputra Surabaya
There are multiple ways you can integrate art into your unit of inquiry. You can incorporate it as an expression of human creativity and imagination, or as a form of communication. The latter is the method used in my school’s Program of Inquiry in our ‘How We Express Ourselves’ unit in Year 4.
After categorizing artworks into 1D, 2D, 3D, and 4D dimensional formats, the students saw that art is deeply woven into human life. They saw, for instance, 2D art as accompanying illustrations in every chapter in their school books and 3D creations in their own classroom – items that they usually sit and write on without giving much thought to them. Although that was already a fun eye-opening phase of their UOI, what followed was even more exciting. The students came to a realization that art is a form of communication that transcends cultural and language barriers. One excellent example is the art of illustration or pictures. Trying, with shaky results, to decipher written public signs in foreign languages, they immediately realized that the internationally used text-less picture signs in public places such as airports are a brilliant use of art that is also very effective to convey messages to people from different cultures who speak different languages. As my classroom is currently a home to children of five different nationalities, they discovered that art was also a way to help them understand each other better.
The next excitement was when the students found other purposes of art such as to preserve a civilization’s history, a cultural identity, a standard for beauty, and a medium for product marketing. It was a truly wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself.
At the end of the Unit of Inquiry, I found that integrated art is a superb tool to develop the students’ Communicator and Open-minded profiles. The possibilities for classroom activities where students have to strategize ways of communicating ideas, feelings, or even instructions are limitless and students always come out of every activity with more understanding, with the occasional admiration, of each other and of different cultures.
Meidiana, Year 4 teacher, Jakarta Multicultural School (firstname.lastname@example.org)
During this first UOI about “My Body”, the Kindergarten classes have been engaged in lots of activities. Once a week, we join the two classes together and have rotation-based activities to help deepen the children’s understanding about body parts and their functions. The children also explore through games, songs, body movements, hands-on materials, books, role play and other physical tasks.
In one activity, the children were asked to assemble cut outs of body parts and make them whole again. Then they were asked to explain what they had assembled.
We have been enjoying our learning so far and we look forward to more great times ahead.
Kindergarten Team GJS
PYP 2 students just finished learning about how processes work in creating products, under a unit of HOW WE ORGANIZE OURSELVES. Students had shown prior knowledge of some concepts, such as function, change. process and product. I sent the students a link of a movie that I made at the beginning of the unit. They have to discuss the movie with their parents at home. When they came back to school the next day, they came with some ideas to share, and were ready to classify some products that I brought from home. I usually call this teaching strategy a Flipped Classroom approach.
Students were learning by visiting a cow farm to feed the cows and goats, milk cows, and they went to hydroponic garden to see the examples of the cultivation process. They experienced processing the raw materials such as milk into pudding, or other materials such as paper into a story book or crafts that they made in the classroom.
In the 4th week, students started to learn how products are distributed. It still needed one more process to reach consumers. I asked them to have a short chat with their neighbour about any products that they have used. Then they explored some products made in other countries that my partner and I provided. The students came up with the ideas of brand, package, location and destination of the products, and also the ideas of export and import.
Students have had enough experience to start to interview their parents and did some research to find more products which were exported or imported. They watched movie to find out more information about it, too.
Showing a world google map is one of the strategies that provoked the students to think about how products are distributed around the world. They were challenged to imagine how long products to arrive in a destination by looking at the map. They also thought about the transportation needed to distribute large amounts of products. The students constructed their own conceptual understanding about distribution by finally making a flowchart of how they produced their own product at the end of the unit.
YULITA KURNIA-PYP 2 CLASS TEACHER AND TEAM LEADER