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Bringing the IB PYP Learner Profile to Life

What kind of a learner are you? Consider the question. Are you more of the lion type of learner or perhaps you're more of the hamster? This is a simple activity that I use at the beginning of the school year, as we are getting to know, not only our class community but also ourselves. As I am building this community of  learners, I want them to have a greater understanding of who they are as learners and to recognise and appreciate our diversity.   And that, as we know, all stems from the IB Learner Profile. Let's begin with an inquiry into who we are as learners.

  With a simple question and fun images, the children are asked to relate themselves to the pictures. You can choose to use words or simply begin with only the images. This adds to the thinking. I have done it both ways, depending on the students abilities with language, the vocabulary of the PYP and their thinking skills etc. Ask them: Are you more of a lion when it comes to learning, or are you more...

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Strategies for Teaching English in IB PYP International Schools

As an international teacher, it is highly likely that you will be teaching English as a second or even third foreign language. In many international schools, we find ourselves with a beautiful broth of multiple languages and cultures within our classrooms. And, we deliver our inquiry-based framework to the children in English. For many others, we are teaching in a host country, to a class full of native speakers from our host country and, again, part of our repertoire is to teach those children to not only speak in English but also to learn in English.

Language therefore becomes more than simply a means of conversation. We are teaching a language, about language and through language and we do all of this with that authentic, inquiry-based approach that we truly believe in.  In this article, I will be sharing a recent video from a conversation I had live on Facebook with grade 4 teacher, Maria Vidal. ( @bilingualising on Instagram) [caption id="attachment_2738"...

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Developing the IB PYP Approaches to Learning Skills with Drama

Drama! It brings out the risk taker in many and inspires  Oscar-worthy acting in others. It really is one of my favourite activities in the classroom that incorporates so many skills, which is why I wanted to share some ideas with you regarding using drama with your class.  Perfect for any IB PYP theme, especially How We Express Ourselves, it can be incorporated into all subject areas quite seamlessly, not to mention a fabulous way to enhance an Exhibition presentation.

The IB PYP  Approaches to Learning Skills ( formerly known as the transdisciplinary skills) are grouped into five areas of skills that we use in our daily journey of learning – Thinking, Communication, Social, Self Management and Research.  You can link to a separate post that focuses on developing the children’s awareness  of these skills here.  I have found that when I throw some drama into the mix of my plans, things really start to spice up when it comes...

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FREE Video 3 Training for IB PYP Inquiry Teachers

Hello again! I am delighted to be sharing this inquiry teacher video training series for those of you new to inquiry-based teaching and/or the IB PYP.  If you missed video 1 and video 2 on concept-based learning, you can catch up right here by clicking the links. 

ANOTHER FREE WEBINAR COMING SOON!

With the ENORMOUS response I have had from this summer video series, I have decided to go one step further and will be hosting a FREE webinar about planning the inquiry!  And I know we are ALL over the world, so I have scheduled several times. Hopefully, you are able to make one of those webinars. I shall be sending out invitations to register in the next few days, so, keep an eye on your in box. If you would like to join in, and not yet subscribed to this blog, please drop your name and e mail in the box below.

Collaboration and Inquiry : Summer Training Video 3

The subject of this video in the series is something that is an integral practice to the...

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To TEFL or not to TEFL? A quick summary for the international teacher

As an international IB PYP teacher, I am often asked if I am TEFL certified and what benefits this certification may offer a qualified teacher.

The short answer is yes. I got my TEFL certificate three years into my career. I have since taken several courses that assist with teaching English as  foreign language. But before I go into the reasons why I chose to become TEFL certified,  let me give you a wee bit of background.

What is TEFL?

TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. It refers to a course that you can take, either online or in-person to learn how to teach English to non-English speaking students/children who speak English as their second or even third language.

Within 2 years of graduating from university in Scotland, I applied for my first position as an international teacher. I was winging my way to Abu Dhabi with only 2 years of teaching experience under my belt and a whole lot of excitement; new culture, sunshine,  international...

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