It's the end of the school year, reports are written, units are finished and students are itching to go on summer vacation. This means I have been giving students a lot of choice, and doing one off lessons, including digital citizenship sessions, from Common Sense Media, and game making with Ready Maker. I've also had a few students test out typing.com. This site is free, and gives me lots of data on my students keyboarding skills. I can also set activities, (so can give them interesting articles to re-type, or the IB mission/Learner Profile). The students are really enjoying typing.com and a number of students are asking to do more of it! We plan to bring in some keyboarding activities in advisory next year, as some of grade 10s said they found typing a challenge in their e-assessments, (mostly not being able to type as fast as they think).
I usually start off my classes my having students look at a mystery object and guess what it is. Students are rewarded for coming up with interesting ideas, asking questions and explaining their reasoning. This is very popular and students look forward to this. I thought about spending a lesson doing this, at the end of the year, but I decided to change it up. Instead I will have students guess how common objects are made. After they guess each item, we will watch a short video from 'How It's Made'. I will have students work in small groups to come up with ideas, which we will share out to the class, before watching the videos.
I've included gummy bears, mascara, Lego bricks, safety goggles, shuttlecocks and paintballs. We will then look through the channel and pick out some extra videos to watch. Feel free to use the presentation or make your own copy (click 'File' then 'Make a Copy').
This did not take much time to make at all, is a very simple idea, but I believe it will have excellent results and most importantly, my students will have fun!
We had a five hour drive home from Paris today, so I bombarded my husband with podcasts for the whole journey. One I listened to for the first time comes from Stanford University, and is called Stanford Innovation Lab.
The episode we first listened to looked at a design challenge - getting people to think of innovative uses for our odd socks!
Some of the ideas that their listeners came up with included;
Some design challenges:
I'm not sure yet if I will use the challenges for one off lessons, quick brain breaks or starter activities - I will also get them to think of additional items, that we waste at school, which could be transformed.
My students are just finishing off their current units at the moment, so I probably won't get to use this for a couple of weeks, but wanted to share it anyway. Here is a link to the presentation and below I have embedded it for you to browse through. Feel free to use, and let me know what your students come up with!
I've been re-organising my classroom and laminating like crazy over the break. I decided to print out the thinking routines I use often, or want to use often. These are from different places including Visible Thinking, Artful Thinking, Pathways to Understanding: Developing Students’ Memory & Note Taking Skills, Agency by Design, Exploring Complexity and Global Thinking.
I just created a Google Slide Deck which has the routine name and instructions on one side, and the purpose on the other side. I printed these out on coloured paper, then folded them in half (name and instruction on front, purpose on back) and laminated them.
Feel free to use these too.
Remember there are more thinking routines out there - I just personally use/want to use these ones.
A while ago I posted a link in my blog to my ATL Toolkit. This is a big spreadsheet with with all the ATLs laid out with their different indicators. For each indicator I put different resources linked to this - for example, under 'Research - Information Literacy Skills "Create references and citations, use footnotes/endnotes and construct a bibliography according to recognized conventions"' I have the following links posted:
and here is a screenshot of part of the Social Skills page
I'm going to make it a personal learning goal to keep adding more resources to this, as I know I haven't added many for a while. Please send me links to any resources you think should be added to the ATL toolkit.
Last weekend I attended a "ATLs in the DP" training session, run by the wonderful Chiel Mooij. This was a super enjoyable session, which touched a lot on international mindedness and TOK. Although I am an MYP teacher, I found this super useful, especially with discussion about bringing more TOK into other classes.
One of the tools Chiel shared was the IB's "Approaches to teaching and learning in the Diploma Programme: Reflection tool". (available on MY IB, or here). I found this took super useful, for reflecting on my teaching practice in general, not just on particular units, and not just for DP.
I decided to take this document, and make it into a Google Form - I will make copies of the form and use them for different purposes. For example, I will make a copy to:
When reflecting on each skill/activity, it ranges from "In almost every lesson" to "Not in this unit/topic". However, it is important to understand that you are not aiming for "In almost every lesson" everytime - firstly it would be impossible to do each activity/skill in every class, and also some are needed more regularly than others. For example, "Thinking Skills -ask open questions?" you might aim to do this in every lesson, but "Self-Management Skills - discuss planning and approaches to revision?" might happen only once.
It's a super long form. I've made it so none of the questions are required (apart from the one asking if you want to move to ATLs/ATTs or Complete the Form). You can just look at one particular section, or can skip through what you think is not relevant.
It also might just be worth looking through the initial document or the survey, and picking out your strengths and weaknesses.
Here are some of the changes:
Feel free to fill in my copy of the form. This will just be used as a template, but I .am happy to see people filling it in. If you want a copy, please leave a comment with your GMAIL address.