We have launched full force into week 1 of our PYP Exhibition! Students have published their e-Dictionaries (see: writing process of e-Dictionaries) to our school’s e-Library (Write Now 1000 Blog) and are using the defined terms as a resource for their tuning-in activities.
Inquire into Simple Machines
To foster an inclusive environment, the Grade 5 teaching team developed inquiry-based activities that addressed the concepts, new vocabulary and allowed a hands-on approach to building understanding of the simple machines. Such activities included exploring materials that are used to create various simple and complex machines and hunting for ‘real life’ examples of simple machines around the school. The majority of students were new to the terminology and basic vocabulary of simple machines, so these activities benefited more than just the EAL students.
During EAL pull-out time, students had a chance to read each other’s eDictionaries to build their vocabulary and understanding of the terminology. Various websites were also explored to support their learning (see my blog)
Which are you? Confident or Confused?
During my pull-out EAL class, students expressed their concerns about being an ‘Exhibition Student’ and ranked themselves along a continuum to illustrate their understanding and confidence. We then broke down the behaviours of both a ‘Confident & Knowledgeable Exhibition Student’ and an ‘Unsure & Confused Exhibition Student’. We then modeled both behaviours so they understood that they could exhibit and practice characteristics of confidence, even if deep down they felt unsure.
Seo Won and Bo Seok placing themselves on the continuum.
First Mentor Meeting ~ Jan 22
Since we have many new students this year we decided to familiarize students with all the G5 Exhibition Mentors (teachers) so they can build a successful working relationship. The homeroom teachers developed a set of topics for students to discuss at this first meeting. These included:
a. Introduce yourself
b. What are excited about?
c. What are you worried about?
d. What is the Transdisciplinary Theme?
e. What are the concepts?
f. What are the 6 simple machines?
Students prepared as a whole group using the NESW visual thinking tool, where they expressed what they “Need to Know” “Excited about” “Suggestions that help” and “Worried about”
Ms. Marion (Grade 5 Homeroom) leading the NESW activity with students
During EAL pull-out time, students rehearsed in groups of 3, role playing the Mentor and Mentee. We discussed the importance of exhibiting characteristics of a ‘confident’ Exhibition student (referring to our collaborative poster) and I reminded them that they were already more knowledgeable about simple machines, concepts and the Exhibition than their adult Mentor!
Click below to see sample from today’s class:
First meetings will happen during lunch so that it is a relaxed setting and students can get to know the adults informally. When students decide on their groups, they will begin to set their own agendas and take responsibility for what is discussed and expected at each meeting.
In preparation for the Finding Out phase, students are revisiting note-taking skills, finding key words and synthesizing information from a variety of sources. Graphic Organizers such as this one below have been useful for organizing thinking and learning:
“Rippled Thinking” ~ Visible Thinking Tool
Overall, students are excited about the start of this new unit and with the right scaffolding, all learners will be successful, independent and confident Exhibition Students.