Developing Thinking Skills with the IB PYP

Hello again fellow inquiry teachers! This article is going to be expanding on my previous post where I was sharing my favourite books for developing thinkers and inquirers.


                             Looking for ideas for books? Read the article here.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’m going to be breaking down the IB Approaches to Learning Thinking Skills and sharing strategies for bringing a greater awareness and understanding of the sub-skills to the children.  If you are a subscriber to my blog, you already know that I send you free samples of my new resources and examples of tools I’ve used.  Look out for those in your inbox over the next few weeks. If you’d like to become a subscriber and receive those FREE PYP teaching tools, be sure to add your name and sign up below.


In the beginning….

At the beginning of every school year, I always begin with an emphasis on building a community of learners within a culture of inquiry. And so, first things first, I begin at the beginning.

My anchor chart that has been developed over the course of our POI.
  1. Learner Profile
  2. Thinking Skills
  3. Conceptual understanding

Those three points involve bringing an awareness to the children of what it means to be a thinker and an inquirer. Their knowledge and understanding of their own unique Learner Profile starts from week one of our school year and here is where I introduce those Approaches to Learning Skills, specifically the thinking skills. Even more specifically, the sub-skills within the IB’s description of thinking skills.

  • Metacognition
  • Questioning

                                             Classroom posters and activities for each sub-skill can be found in my store.

  • Analysing
  • Evaluating
  • Synthesising
  • Dialectical thinking

Those are some pretty high brow words for primary years kiddos! And so we MUST break it down, skill by skill; introducing, practicing and reinforcing those thinking skills throughout our transdisciplinary inquiries.

Activities for each sub-skill, suitable for grades 3-6, can be found in my store.

I have been sharing my suggestions and strategies LIVE on social media and I’m including this first video for you too. It’s about 30 minutes long. So, grab yourself a drink, get comfortable and enjoy. In this video, I am sharing:

  • Metacognitive awareness
  • Visualization strategies
  • Schema and how it helps to build metacognition.
                                   Click the image to view the video.

Next week, I’ll be sharing how I develop questioning skills to create more independent inquirers. Be sure to subscribe below so that you don’t miss out on those FREE resources coming. 


P.S. You can follow along LIVE on Facebook @PYP Teaching Tools or Instagram @pypteaching. Come on over and say hi. I’d love to meet you!


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