Welcome to PYPteachingtools.com

New to IB PYP Unit of Inquiry? This is for you

 

If you're new to the IB PYP and about to step into the realms of the unit of inquiry, then this article is for you. In response to many questions, I've put this overview together for you as a guide to the whats, hows and whys. Get excited! Inquiry based learning is such a hands on, fun way to learn....for all involved! I have also created a guide for 10 Ways to Bring Inquiry Based Learning Into Your Classroom. If you'd like this free guide, simply add your e mail in the box below and I will send it to you. If you're looking for more in-depth guidance and training, you may be interested in my Getting Started with Student-Led Inquiry training kit or the complete online course, Essentials for Inquiry. So many options. This is a lengthy read, so grab a pen and notebook and get comfortable. Read on!

The Unit of Inquiry: Its form & function.

The unit of inquiry is the road we take for all of the teaching and learning that will take place over the course of 4-6 weeks. It is a...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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.

 

By...

Continue Reading

My Favourite Read Alouds for IB PYP Units

I’ve been reflecting lately on the books I’ve used as read alouds  throughout our various units of inquiry, that have both reinforced the inquiry as well as integrated many reading skills and strategies.  I’ve compiled a list that may help you also, when planning your units of inquiry and aligning them with the elements of the PYP as well as your reading standards. Over the years, I have taught mainly from 3rd grade ( Primary 3/4) up to 6th grade ( Primary 7) and so you’ll find these books to fit the upper elementary age range more.

There is another blog post relating specifically to books that I love when reinforcing the traits of the Learner Profile. You can link to that post here. But this list is more for read alouds that will tie to many of the essential elements of the PYP, as well as slot in nicely to particular Transdisciplinary Themes.

I have created this list for your convenience. You can click on the picture and the title of...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

Using Interactive Bulletin Boards in Your IB PYP Classroom

 

I am so excited about this new tool for IB PYP classrooms! The interactive bulletin board offers so much and can quite literally become the learning hub for many of the approaches to learning skills, the unit of inquiry or a specific curricular area, all centred around the Learner Profile. It promotes international mindedness, communication skills & accountable talk, builds the attitudes of independence, tolerance and  confidence, to name a few, and encourages student agency in our classroom. This tool does it all!

Form : What does it look like?

 

The Learner Profile, being the centre of the IB PYP, is also the central part of this interactive bulletin board display. The  posters  with the Learner Profile descriptors are actually pockets. They are cute and colourful, with the usual kid-friendly description of what it means to be a learner through each trait.

 

These pockets can be stapled or pinned to your board at a kid friendly...

Continue Reading

Making the IB PYP Central Idea Meaningful

Following on from my recent live webinar on Facebook, this week’s chat is looking at different approaches to the IB PYP Central Idea and how each method can benefit the learner in meaningful and effective ways within the inquiry process. I have added the video below.

When youre new or newish to the PYP, the jargon alone can be intimidating, nevermind what youre supposed to do with it all. When you are presented with a central idea that leaves you with the thoughts, ” Huh? What does that even mean?” , this is a huge clue that the central idea is, in my opinion, ugly! If you are struggling with it, how do you think the children will feel? Over the years I have found there to be 3 types of central ideas: the good, the bad and the ugly. Here is one UGLY example that stuck with me ( for obvious reasons). It was geared towards 7 & 8 year olds. I am not kidding!

The relationships within a community can determine the structure and engagements of its...

Continue Reading

2nd FREE Video-Inquiry Teacher Training! Developing Conceptual Thinkers

 

Welcome back! And if you’re just showing up….welcome! I have had an overwhelming response to video number 1! I’m beyond grateful for everyone who commented, sent me private messages and all in all, expressed thanks. I feel incredibly thankful to be a part of such a fabulously supportive, global community of teachers.

Video number 2 is here! Following on from training video number 1, where I introduce the idea of using concepts within teaching and learning, I’ll now go on to give you some practical ideas for developing conceptual thinkers.

These videos are a snapshot of my new online professional development course, Essentials for Inquiry: Getting Started with Inquiry-Based Teaching, which I shall be releasing SOON! I receive so very many questions from teachers all around the world and this course is designed to get you off to an effective start from planning, through the inquiry process, to assessment. It comes complete with lesson...

Continue Reading
Close

50% Complete

Be sure to subscribe to PYPteachingtools.com for practical strategies, hands on ideas and classroom ready tools for your inquiry-based classroom.