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Integrating Math into an IB PYP Unit of Inquiry

  Keeping it real with inquiry based math.

I’m often asked how I integrate maths into our IB PYP units of inquiry. I won’t deny that depending on the unit, it can sometimes be easier said than done. However, I’ve found over the years, that it’s best to keep it relaxed and, if necessary, simply focus on concepts in maths rather than content.  Often, especially within the public IB schools in the USA, we are expected to meet certain maths standards by a certain time. This often results in a clash of math units and units of inquiry and a creative juggle ensues. But hey, who doesn’t love a challenge?  The rest of the IB world?  You’ve got it luckier, I assure you! Anyway, a great resource for math in the beginning of the year is https://www.youcubed.org/. It encourages a maths mindset and is centred around collaborative thinking. It does require signing up for a free account but, once you’re in, you can view...

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IB PYP Approaches to Learning Skills

It Takes Skills! 

The word is well and truly out. The newest hub bub in the IB world is the Approaches to Learning Skills. Formerly known by the International Baccalaureate Organisation as the Transdisciplinary Skills, these are, simply put, a set of skills that we use when we are involved in learning. They come grouped into five sets: Thinking, Social, Self Management, Research and Communication. They naturally have growth mindset occurring within them, since they cover many different behaviours, self control as well as thinking and communication strategies.

 

As part of your IB PYP  classroom, it is usual to see the skills listed somewhere within the room, as posters ( more posters can be found in my store here and also here) and as part of our daily learning objectives. We often refer to those throughout our week and I also like to list them on my daily Learning Objectives boards, tied in with the subject and goals for that day.

 

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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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Engaging Learners with Authentic Inquiry

Engagement. You know the scene; the entire class is actively involved in their learning. There’s a quiet buzz going on all around. Children are chatting to each other, conversations are focused discussing ideas, plans, strategies. There is movement around the room, with tools and equipment being independently gathered, heads are together, collaboration is seen all around. You know that you’ve nailed it when the busyness of learning is their business!

But…..and there’s definitely a but, how do we keep this going across the curriculum? Is it too idealistic? Time consuming? Can we cover all standards this way? Can we really trust the kids to run with this? How do we, as the teacher, fit it in?

This post isn’t about what engagement looks like in your classroom but rather  about how to initiate and maintain the engagement within authentic inquiry focused learning. Engagement is so much more than just keeping the children busy with...

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Teaching Time with An Inquiry Approach

If I’m to be honest, teaching elapsed time is not my favourite thing to do. It’s pretty close to pulling my own teeth, but of course, ultimately, far more rewarding. 🙂  With interactive timelines things get far more interesting.

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With 3rd grade, it is such a tricky concept to grasp, particularly with hours and minutes. And then when you throw in years and A.D and B.C ( now also known as Before the Common Era /B.C.E and the Common Era/ C.E) , we can really end up quite tied in knots. But once they’ve got it, by golly, the wee angels are soaring! And their teacher is on cloud nine with them!

The review, by the time we get to 4th and 5th grades, isn’t quite as painful, thank goodness, and fine tuning those time lines and introducing more complex variations can even become a fun experience for all involved with great digital variations that the kids love exploring. I’ll get to more of those in a bit.

There are numerous ways to teach elapsed...

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The Inquiry Jar – Developing Inquiry Skills in the IB PYP

Hello dear teachers! I’m excited to share this idea with you. It is really easy to implement and can be done with ANY age level. I call it the INQUIRY JAR. (I know, really imaginative, right?) Let’s get straight to it!

Developing inquiry skills with a simple but effective tool.

A few posts ago, I wrote about developing inquirers and the three stages that are CRUCIAL to this development; structured inquiry leading to guided inquiry before you finally have independent inquirers.  ( You can link to that article here if you like.) Well, this activity with the Inquiry Jar, is a great way to encourage the inquiry process and model what it looks like and sounds like as well as moving on to teaching higher level thinking skills through questioning and thought analysis. You can find this plus 9 more ideas for bringing inquiry into your classroom in my free guide. It also comes with another great, FREE activity.

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