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The world of students is full of imagination. By having imagination, students can create anything that is related to their learning activities and daily life. Thus, imagination and creativity are closely related; and both can lead to an future innovation that might be useful for the life of human beings.
In the unit of Inquiry ‘ How We Express Ourselves’ with the central idea ‘Imagination Helps Us to Think, Create, and Express Ourselves Creatively, Year 1 students at Sekolah Cikal Surabaya have various engaging activities that boost their creativity by understanding the three lines of inquiry which are: (1) how imagination connected to the innovation, (2) how imagination used to widen our perspective, and (3) how we demonstrate our imagination through different forms. The key concepts of those three lines of inquiry are connection, function, and form. Students also integrated this unit of inquiry with Visual Art in which students learn about selecting tools, materials, and processes for specific purposes, using imagination and experiences to inform their art making, and also Science which focus on recycling some materials.
Through the central idea, students develop their skills and IB learner profile by bring up some attitudes which they learn enthusiastically to show their creativity and be good communicators that can be both good listeners and speakers. In the process of learning activities, students face many different point of views regarding of some topics discussed and they learn to respect each other, tell their opinions, and explain their product to others.
The inquiry process that happens in the classroom can be described as follows:
Students watch some videos of innovations as the introduction of innovative products such as smart shoes for blinds and innovative fire truck; they have discussion related to video they watched such as the reason people create those products and how they work.
Students have a provocation of an innovation on food packaging by observing the packaging and discussing their opinion about those products such as the reason people change the packaging time to time, the differences on each product, and the strength as well as the weakness of using the products. Students also have a guest speaker that is a radiologist who tells about the innovation in a health field that have changed over time especially the tools that are usually used by doctors. In this learning experience, students have an experience to learn with an obsgyn and observe how to use USG tool.
Having the fieldtrip to strengthen students’ inquiry was also conducted to give authentic learning experiences. Students go to ITS (Institut Teknologi Sepuluh November Surabaya) to find out the innovation on transportation that is electrical vehicles such as electrical motorcycle and bus. They also learn the purpose why people start to create alternative energy for transportation model.
Furthermore, students do a school walk to find out the trash in the school area and discuss what they can do to reduce the amount of the trash. Students take actions by collecting the trash they produce from their meal such as milk boxes, milk tin, and other unused materials from home. Then, students build their own ideas to make an innovative product to solve the problem they have in their daily activity by recycling unused materials they have collected.
The learning process of how students develop their innovative products are as follows:
Step 1: Students make a draft of their innovative product
Step 2: Students choose their own recycled materials to make their innovative product
Step 3: Students create the model of the product using the tools and materials they have chosen
Step 4: Students present their product to their friends by introducing the product name; mentioning the materials they use; explaining the purpose they create the product, how they create the product and how the product works.
Step 5: In the end, students do an assembly to show their products and understanding of how they use imagination to solve their daily problem by creating an innovative product to the school community.
Planning – Observing – Collecting Data – Recording Data – Interpreting Data – Presenting Research Findings
Student Voice – Tymmy 6A
Greetings, the transdisciplinary theme of this unit is Sharing the Planet and PYP 6 went to Mangrove Forest Wonorejo to observe the biodiversity and ecosystem of the Mangrove. We felt so lucky to have the opportunity to be in the open exploring the Mangrove. So now let me share our adventure with you.
Our journey started at 7am at school. Each group had to take at least 1 sample – it could have been a water sample, dirt sample, etc. When we first went in, we instantly observed many examples of biodiversity in the mangrove. There were crabs, trees, and even a crowd of mudskippers.
Then we took a boat to track 3, from there we sat in a gazebo asking our inquiry questions and the instructor shared his knowledge of all the products they can make from the mangrove fruits. We bought some products made by mangrove apples and they were very sweet due to the amount of sugar added. We even learnt how to plant a mangrove tree called Rezopora; the tree can grow 70m high and the roots can grow 200m underground.
We had lunch together, took pictures – it was fun to be in this outdoor environment with our classmates. Then it was time to plant some Rezopora trees. First we had to remove the poly bag surrounding the soil and roots. Next we placed it in the hole and finally tied the rope to the tree and ‘ajir’. Sekolah Ciputra planted more than 250 trees this year.
On track 2 there were hundreds of crabs and mudskippers that were up to 30 centimeters long. As we walked along the jogging track practicing our observation skills, we saw snakes, snails and birds and some of us were left behind (with a teacher) attempting to find incredible beautiful crabs but no luck.
Finally it was time to head back home. It was hard to leave but at least we found out a lot of information and gained a better understanding of the Mangrove ecosystem and about biodiversity. From Sekolah Ciputra we hope for the best to help save the forest. Let your time with nature lead you to yourself – Shikoba. To conclude, this outing provided our students the opportunities to plan, observe, collect data, record, interpret data, present research findings and take action in an authentic and exciting way.
Our job as educators is to discover these authentic learning opportunities and make them happen.
In PYP 6, we have collectively found that all teachers bring a range of strengths to the table. We also found that all teachers have different ideas, strategies and expectations when it comes to classroom behavior management.
As a team, we decided to develop a shared understanding and strategy to improve the consistency across the grade.
When it came to managing behaviours in our classrooms, we found that simply discussing and correcting little disruptive behaviours was not effective and did not have the desired effect. The disruptive behaviours would stop for a few minutes and then were back again. Our next step was to introduce what some would call the ‘traffic light’ system, but we wanted to go a step further. We created a visual to celebrate the success of students who consistently followed and exceeded the classes’ Essential Agreements and also make it explicitly aware for the students with the disruptive behaviours that their actions were being noticed and did not align with the classes’ Essential Agreements.
How it works – Each day the students begin in the neutral position. As the day goes on, students are told to move their name up or down for certain behaviours that are either being celebrated or that do not align with the classes’ Essential Agreements.
As we had a school wide push to improve the IB language used in the classroom, we modified the system to include this language.
I am exceptionally principled
I am very cooperative
I am respectful
Neutral or balanced (starting position)
I need to reflect
I need to make a change
I need a new perspective
To conclude, this is what we do collectively in PYP 6. We have found that it makes students more accountable for their behaviour in class and it also motivates students to exceed the expectations to move up. We would love to know what you do …
What is Rocket Writing and how do we do it in the classroom?
Rocket writing is an effective strategy to help the students improving their writing skills. We do rocket writing in the classroom during bahasa and English literacy lessons. This writing activity is used to develop students’ writing skills in various ways. Students will write fast in their book based on a certain picture or a short case provided by teachers. Usually, this writing activity will be done only for 15 minutes. In bahasa Indonesia, we sometime give them a starter sentences which allow them to explore their opinion and imagination. Example:
What students say about rocket writing?
I think that rocket writing is very fun. I like rocket writing because I feel like I can use all of my creativity and express it through different types of writing, such as stories, reports and poem. Rocket Writing also gives me a chance to write freely and improve my style of writing and trying different things. After I have done rocket writing, I have begun to write more fluently and write things much more interesting. Because of rocket writing, I could make my writing much more fun and write more creatively.(Tasya 5A)
In Bahasa, I think I can improve my writing skill more because usually I don’t know what words that I should use. In English, I can use proper English and try to use new words. I can also use my imagination to make a story or a diary. (Victoria 5B)
I think rocket writing is fun and has helped me improve my imagination by making up stories about the picture. I can express my imagination through writing. Rocket writing helps me improve my writing skills, such as spelling, trying to use interesting words in my story, using paragraphs, etc. Rocket writing also improves my concentration because it helps me focus more on my work even though sometimes I feel bored doing rocket writing (because of my mood), but most of the time it’s fun.(Vicky 5C)
Wall of Fame is an action board which displays students’ achievements from week to week. It is a recognition of their ability to reach certain PYP attributes along the learning process. Through this board we can have conversations and discussions with students about their progress, and it gives them sense of owning their own learning. Every week they have a chance to reflect on their own learning as well as recognise their friends’ achievements. This board and this activity stimulates students to think critically about themselves, their learning and learning of their friends.
Why is it important?
1. It gives pride of self to the students when their names are on the board
2. It gives time to students to reflect on their friends’ opinion
3. It gives opportunity for the teachers to track their ATL achievements
4. It gives evidence to parents about their child’s achievements
5. It stimulates their thinking and reasoning skills when they have discussions
How do we come up with the decision for Wall of Fame?
Every Monday morning the classroom teachers and students discuss targeted profiles, attitudes and skills that we will work on that week. Then throughout the week students try to achieve these goals. By the end of the week we sit together for a discussion. Each student gets one card where he/she can write one friend that he/she thinks deserves to be on the Wall of Fame. After they write their friend’s name then we discuss as a class, whether these kids really deserve to have it or not based on the evidence. By having this routine every week students have become aware that they can make a difference to their own learning. It’s all up to them how they will demonstrate their ability in the learning process.
What Wall of Fame Looks Like in PYP 5?
Students’ Comments about Wall of Fame:
With Wall of Fame I know the strengths that I am capable of. My friends also think that I have that ability. A long time ago I did not know that I can apply social skills but now I know. I also know that I can apply social skills because many friends voted for me and gave their reasons. My teachers also explained their reasons for voting which made me proud of myself. This Wall of Fame made me realise that every student can achieve more and do more action in their learning. (Raychiele 5C)
I think that Wall of Fame is really useful because it can help us improve our ability inside and outside the school. It can make us have a target to be better. Students who get Wall of Fame achievement are those who can show good profiles, attitudes and skills. Everyone can be there, you just need to be respectful, finish your task on time and do your best. If you have a target to achieve you can do your best and maybe you will be one of the students on Wall of Fame next time. (Kiera 5B)
The benefit of Wall of Fame according to my opinion is that it can help me become more confident when I am learning. Another benefits are making me like a role model in my class because of my achievements. Some of the criteria to be one of the students on Wall of Fame are being confident, thinker and open-minded. (Kenny 5A)
Wonderwall is a tool to facilitate students’ inquiry. It is a place/board where individual questions can be recorded, shared and answered. A wonderwall board is made at the beginning of the unit of inquiry and is kept until the end of the unit. It is placed at the outside of the PYP 5 classrooms where students and teachers from all classes can answer them.
How do we do it?
During Literacy, we have rolling activities every Friday. One of the activities is working on Wonderwall questions and research. Students make inquiry questions related to the unit and they can choose one question to be put on Wonderwall. Students also answer their friends’ questions. Beside giving opportunities for students to improve formulating questions skills, Wonderwall facilitates students to share their knowledge. It also shows a great collaboration between Literacy and UOI.
What are the benefits of having a wonderwall based on students’ opinion?
Joshiah 5A: I think wonder wall is good because it makes us think and research to find out the answers. Wonderwall is also good because it can help our inquiry and grow curiosity about a certain topic.
Jedidiah 5B: Wonderwall helps me to think deeply about other people’s questions. It really helps me to get new interests and helps me when I have a trouble with deep thinking questions.
Kenjiro 5C: The benefit of Wonderwall is that students can ask questions to other students from different classes in PYP 5 and other students can answer. We also can get different knowledge and perspectives from friends.
For our grade 1 unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme, “Sharing the Planet”, students created their own recycled paper. The central idea of the unit was “Humans can find ways to maintain the Earth’s resources and materials.”
Last March 4, the Bahasa Indonesia Department and Grade 1 teams invited The Indonesian Forum for Environment (Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia, WALHI ) to talk about recycling paper. This activity was aimed at explaining that new objects can be made up of many used materials. The Indonesian Forum for Environment also offers a range of materials that not only help schools become more effective in teaching students about recycling but also in becoming better recyclers, too.
As we know, trees in Indonesia are getting fewer because of various factors such as forest fires, illegal logging, and land conversion. Moreover, people tend to use paper as much as they want and then they throw them away. The throw-away society is a human society strongly influenced by consumerism and has become a habit.
The mounting waste problem in Indonesia is at a crisis level. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry states that Indonesia has reached 187.2 million tons of waste per year. The increasing number of population density decreases the amount of land to dump the trash. Currently, 7,000 tons of waste from Jakarta are dumped in Bantar Gebang, Bekasi every day. The absence of waste treatment facilities has resulted in trash piling up to a height of 25 meters. Therefore, this problem must be solved immediately.
Our school name “Bina Nusantara” means “building the archipelago”. For our “Sharing the Planet” unit, we wanted the Grade 1 students to be more caring to the environment. We wanted to teach the children to be aware of recycling and saving our environment instead of producing more household waste.
It is a simple step for schools to provide students with a hands-on experience of how to recycle, and one of the simplest programs that schools can implement is paper recycling.
Recycling program shows that when many people combine their seemingly small actions, big things are achieved. This helps to drive true behavioral change and hopefully, inspiring tomorrow’s great minds to develop new and better ways of eliminating waste.
Here’s what we have done in our unit of inquiry.
Pak Ponco, our guest speaker from The Indonesian Forum for Environment, explained why we need to recycle. Then, the students did the paper recycling activity in the outdoor playground.
The teachers prepared the used paper and shredded it. Shredding is done to break down the paper materials into small bits. After the material is finely shredded to bits, it is mixed with water to break down the paper fiber materials. This turns the paper materials into a slurry substance, a process termed as pulping. During the process of pulping, a large amount of water is added to the waste paper to produce pulp.
Students were ready to create their own recycled paper.
Dipping the frames in the tub
Getting the pulp
Once the mold was flat on the board (pulp facing down), the students got a sponge and pressed it down on the net to suck up as much water as they can from the pulp.
This year, for the first time at Sekolah Ciputra, the PYP B students and teachers planned and implemented ‘An Exhibition of Play-Based Learning.’ The PYP B students are in their last year of early years education (5-6 years of age) before moving on to Elementary School next year. We felt there was an opportunity, at this momentous time in the students early education, to celebrate their learning and showcase it to both the school, and parent community.
As this was a brand new undertaking, everything had to be planned from the bottom up, and we had to be prepared to make mistakes and learn together as we went. When we first opened the doors to all four classrooms in the PYP B pod and students had freedom to roam and collaborate across classes, there was a fantastic energy to the play, and sometimes a little mayhem as well! However, it took only a few sessions before we could begin to see some patterns in children’s behaviours, and the interests starting to develop and grow. With the assistance of playgroup teachers acting as mentors, copious notes, photos, and videos, were collected and collated, and slowly groups began to form.
The interests were many and varied, and included such things as designing and building of robots, making a castle, making a cityscape with a functioning transportation system, to a variety of art groups with interests ranging from drawing, sketching and experimenting with colour mixing. There was a solar system, a collection of various modes of transport, and many of the students designed original games and puzzles for others to play. All of these interests were supported by the teaching staff, permitting maximum student agency through a process of in-depth small group inquiries.
By the time of the Exhibition itself, which came to stand for our student led conferences this year, there was a lot of good, healthy, nervous energy, and our shared spaces and classrooms had been transformed into one, large, and highly entertaining playground. On the Monday, our students entertained younger students at their various play spaces, sharing their thoughts and ideas, and permitting them to explore the spaces. Then on the Tuesday students entertained their parents, also sharing their thoughts and ideas, and the parent community also had the opportunity to not only spend some time with their child, but also to tour the playground and see the work of all the other student groups.
On the whole, the team feel very positive about the outcome of this Exhibition. We think it went a long way to making visible to parents the strength of play for learning, and inquiry as a teaching and learning process. We think it was a very good process for a student led conference. It was a lot of work and we will be reflecting on things we could do better, and things we might change. But, also, we think we have set a precedent for many more exhibitions in the years to come.
The teaching team pore over documentation early in the process. Student interests meant thinking through opportunities and possibilities for inquiry, and the practicalities of grouping students.
With support and guidance from playgroup teachers as mentors, collaborative efforts began to take shape. Robots went from ideas, drawings and plans, to real constructions.
What if we could make a game big enough to walk on?
And then we teach our Mum’s and Dad’s how to play!
Approaches to learning (ATL) are grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to a student’s education. Five categories of interrelated skills aim to support students of all ages to become self-regulated learners who know how to ask good questions, set effective goals and pursue their aspirations with the determination to achieve them. These skills also help to support students’ sense of agency, encouraging them to see their learning as an active and dynamic process (IBO 2017).
It is particularly important for PYP teachers to interpret these skills in ways that are appropriate for early and primary years learners. Therefore, to foster and support the development of these skills, we had provided opportunities embedded in authentic learning experiences during our current unit, Sharing The Planet. Here are some fun activities that we have done so far in order to teach ATL explicitly.
• Mystery bag – Students have to figure out the object inside the bag only by touching it. They have to give a brief explanation about the objects they are touching.
• Nature Walk – Students exploring their senses by observing school environments. Skills taught – Understand that information can be received through all the senses – Use observation to identify simple patterns, make predictions and discuss ideas
• What Animal am I? – Student comes forward and wears a headband with an animal picture on it. He/she has to guess the animal only by posing questions to the teacher/students
• Show and Tell – Students share their experiences and the other students get the opportunities to ask questions.
Skills taught – Ask questions to seek clarification and information.
• Observational drawing – Students observe the school pets and record their observation through drawing. Then they have to sort them based on their habitats.
• Drawing pictures from their observation
• Categorize / sort pictures according to specified criteria
Julia Ika, Ayu, Sisca, Swastika, Kenang, Rebekka, Elsi, Ivan