I've been chatting a lot with my colleague Julie Carl about conceptual understanding. Also been thinking a lot about the importance of transfer, after some points raised by the ever-thought provoking Adrian von Wrede-Jervis. Although the chart shared here has helped me, mainly because I can clearly see which subjects share key concepts, I know it is not the most visually appealing information - therefor, I made my partner make me a poster which shares this information in a better way!
I'll be working on some soon to help with transition between PYP and MYP, and also some to look at concepts shared between all the programmes.
Here is the link to the poster (two versions)
Next week is Mother Language Day!
We are actually celebrating two days early on the Wednesday, as this day we already have a disruptive time-table (we have a four period day, first two periods are Personal Project Presentations, and the fourth period is the exhibition - so Grade 6-10 will be off time-table a lot! Our third period 6-9 go to normal classes, but may be doing mother language activities). As this is our first year celebrating, I have put together a long buffet of activities/resources. A teacher can pick which activities they do. They can also choose to spend the whole 90 minute period doing these activities, or just five minutes at the start/end. I'm putting the ball in the teachers court. Also as we have had some disruption, due to the storms and our ACER testing moving dates, I know that people are tight on time!
Mother Language Day Activities.
My presentation is divided into two sections. One is about students mother tongues and the other section is about endangered languages! Here is the presentation. Feel free to make a copy and use in your schools.
A little bonus. I pulled the slides about language and literature and language acquisition from a post I did about "Bringing TOK into the MYP". This could also be useful for mother tongue day.
I know a lot of my colleagues around the world are currently displaced and many are in charge of distance teaching, because of the Coronavirus. I thought I'd put together some useful resources to help you.
the following is a quick video, where I cover 15 resources in 15 minutes! These are just a quick snapshot into what the resources do and how they can help. If you want to use one, but can't figure it out, let me know and I will send you a tutorial!
If you have any questions or suggested tools - comment below!
My Grade 6s create a game to benefit members of our community (two classes are working with Grade 5s on middle year transition, and one class are making games for Grade 8s about sleep, balance, mental health/depression and even homework). I've introduced students to HTML and CSS through different methods including some computer-less coding, Khan Academy, W3 Schools, a worksheet in their process journals and some QUIZIZZ and Kahoot quizzes! Now it is time to introduce them to Twine.
I've built the following presentation to help them to go through each step. It also has a video tutorial and also let's them play a game made by one of my Grade 6 students last year.:
Before they dive in to playing about with Twine, I am going to get them to do two things. Firstly, in groups, they will do a paper version of Twine! I'll use cut out screenshots to guide them. Once they've made their game, students will move from table to table, and will have a chance to 'play the game'.
Lastly, just to check for understanding, I will have them follow an IORAD tutorial. I only learnt about IORAD yesterday, when listening to Cult of Pedagogy. This tool basically allows you to record video tutorials, the exact same way you would record a screen recording. Then you are able to add in interactive features, where the student clicks/types a long! So cool!
Check out my Twine - IORAD tutorial here.
EDIT - ADDING IN SOME PHOTOS FROM THEIR PAPER GAME CREATIONS!
Every year I try to make the Personal Project experience easier for my students and my supervisors. This year one of the things I have worked on, is a new grading document.
To save my supervisors time, they just have to highlight in green the levels the student had met. Then I can take the comments directly from these boxes. If there are any particular issues, they can add this to a general comment box too.
Here's the document. To make your own copy, select 'File' then 'Make a Copy'.
Let me know if you use it/like it/have suggestions for improving it!
I've been doing a lot of work with our MYP teachers to make our AtLs more relevant, useful and to have an actual reflection of what goes on in the classroom. I inherited an AtL chart which had teachers/students covering 242 AtL skills in a year. There was also not a balance across subjects or skills. I am pretty sure that the previous document was not a reflection of what was actually happening in the classroom:
A small team of DP teachers last year decided on a handful AtLs for DP teachers to focus on, so I decided to carry this idea down to the MYP, with all subjects picking just ten AtLs to focus on. The AtLs would have to be linked to the objectives, and should be things they are naturally doing anyway.
We will also have AtL skills covered in advisory/homeroom (with a strong focus on self-management and social skills). AtLs can also come up naturally in a unit, or be needed for a particularly cohort, so they can also be added into our units too.
Ai. Explain and justify the need for a solution to a problem.
Practice Empathy. [Social skills]
We use empathy to understand client/target audience problems, and the exercises we do around this include the use of empathy maps and empathy interviews. Therefor, we are already explicitly teaching this skill and linking it to the objective. This means that design teachers can easily articulate how we do this, when and we can talk about the progression. We don't have to refer to our units or whip out the AtL chart, because this is our bread and butter - something we know and do often. Also by picking an AtL for an objective, it does not mean that you have to use that AtL every time you use the objective....just often!
Here are some other obvious examples:
A iii. use acquired knowledge to purposefully inform artistic decisions in the process of creating artwork.
AtL: Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products or processes [Thinking: Creative Thinking Skills]
Ci. use appropriate mathematical language (notation, symbols and terminology) in both oral and written explanations
AtL: Understand and use mathematical notation [Communication skills]
Individual and Societies Objective:
Ciii document sources of information using a recognized convention.
AtL: Create references and citations, use footnotes/endnotes and construct a bibliography according to recognized conventions [Research: Information Literacy Skills]
For Language Acquisition, they decided to pick out ten AtL skills based on the Phase 4 objectives. We also tried to keep the exact wording that the IB provided, by re-worded a science and an art skill.
Here are the AtLs all subjects picked. Click on the tabs at the bottom to see the different subject selections.
I also worked with my husband to make some nice posters for each subject. These posters are now printed A3 sized and are in every classroom that teaches a certain subject (which means some classrooms have three different posters in). I will hand out some for staff rooms too and have emailed the learning support team a booklet with them all in. Now we need to work on documenting what we are already doing.
Here are the posters:
Is anyone else doing anything similar in their schools?
How are you making sure teachers aren't just writing in AtL skills that they touch on, instead of ones they are actually teaching, and skills which are linked to the objectives? How are you making sure the AtL chart is an actual reflection of what is going on in the classroom, and not something that sits on a shelf/in a folder.
Share your tips in the comments!
Before my Grade 8 students continue with their own designs, I set my students a technical skills test using Adobe Illustrator. They had already completed a range of tutorials, (shown here).
In the lesson before their test, I was off at a conference, so gave them a practice exercise. In this they had a video tutorial, along with a list of stock footage to pick from.
Here is their pre-test practice lesson.
In this session, I purposefully selected silly images, as I thought this would give them a giggle while I was away.
At this point, I had already shown them the test document, talked them through it, including letting them know that it is 'open book' so they can look online for any technical support, and can also go back to their tutorials document and practice work. However, I did not show them the images they would manipulate during the test.
Here is some of their work from their practice session:
Here is some of the beautiful work they completed!
I've tried to put a technical skills test at the start of a few units, especially when they are learning something completely new. Feedback from the students is that they feel this makes them prepared and helps them focus on skill development. Does anyone else do a separate skills test with their students?