Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Going Further with Inquiry

Defining Inquiry
Found this very succinct and easy to read article on the different types of inquiry engagements we can offer our students depending on the lesson and their needs. Very interested in your comments!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Session 12: Summative Assessment

Going further...
Since coming back from the Workshop there are many ideas and thoughts spinning through my head. The essential and fundamental questions/wonderings about learning styles and their connection to the different pedagogical approaches to inquiry (structured, guided, open), EAL and learning support integration (what is effective?), as well as what we mean by language, mathematics and specialist integration within the units of inquiry vs stand alone. All questions academic staff in PYP schools ask of themselves and indeed, must ask when educating the whole child in the 21st Century.
We asked you to consider the one most important thing you have learned in the workshop and the answers we got were far beyond what we had hoped. Most of you will go back to your school with confidence and a sense of affirmation because you have been able to make connections to prior experiences and knowledge. You have been able to make sense of some of the confusions about the PYP in your mind. Your understanding grew and you experienced "light bulb" moments, which rekindled the passions you all have for education. I am delighted that you will take that passion back with you and use it to be the best that you can be.
Those of you that left with more questions and tensions than you had at the beginning are evidence of the impact personal inquiry can have on us all as we embark on a journey leading to a greater depth of understanding. If we go back to the quote from Will Durant: "Inquiry is fatal to certainty", you have proved this to be true! If we as workshop leaders can provoke thinking, leading to uncertainty and "tension" as Kathy Short calls it, then we have achieved our highest goal. Questioning and reflecting on our own practices are vital elements when aiming for excellence.
Maggie said that we have over the course of the workshop created a learning community - this is true. As this blog represents us as a learning community, I will be using this blog to further our collaborative undersanding of those fundamental questions I mentioned in the beginning. I look forward to your comments as I post my thoughts and useful links to websites or articles.
I will conclude with this quote:
"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing." Einstein


Reflection and action are essential elements of the learning process

Session 11: Analysing a unit of inquiry

The programme of inquiry and the subject scope and sequences are components of the curriculum, which when used together define a coherent curriculum

During this session you will be looking at the planner you have brought and analysing it with a rubric.

Session 10: Collaborative Planning

Responsibility for learning is shared within a learning community through collaborative and reflective planning

Learning and working in the collaborative age

Grade 1 - How We Organise Ourselves - the written curriculum
Grade 1 - How We Organise Ourselves - the taught curriculum
Grade 1 - How We Organise Ourselves - the assessed curriculum

Grade 2 - How the World Works - the written curriculum
Grade 2 - How the World Works - the taught curriculum
Grade 2 - How the World Works - the assessed curriculum

Kindergarten - How We Express Ourselves - the written curriculum
Kindergarten - How We Express Ourselves - the taught curriculum

Session 9: Assessment

Assessment is integral to planning, teaching and learning and needs to be varied and purposeful

Circle of Viewpoints Thinking Routine
This is a thinking routine for exploring different perspectives. Each person in the group has a different perspective, for example student, teacher, parent, head of school, next teacher, prospective parent.
For more about Visible Thinking routines click here.

Understanding by Design - Jay McTighe
Understanding by Design Guide - Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

Brainstorming on the differences between formative and summative assessment

Strategies and Tools
  • Checklists
  • Selected responses
  • Mindmaps
  • Questions and discussions
  • Open-ended tasks
  • On a blank page, write or draw any understanding you have about ....
  • Observation, anecdotal notes
  • Brainstorming, alone and together
  • Letter writing to teacher
  • Exemplars - samples of students' work
  • I see, I think, I wonder
  • Reflection journals
  • KWL Chart - what do I know, what do I want to know, how will I learn
Formative Assessment
  • Reflection journals
  • Video, record, scribe, photos, booklets, mindmaps, writing/drawing
  • Discussions
  • Continuums - stages of learning, progression
  • Letter writing to teacher
  • Rubrics for the unit - create with pupils (self/peer/teacher assessment)
  • Get children to create checklists/success criteria for task before, and they assess each other.
  • Self assessment
  • Observations
  • Checklists
  • Quizzes
  • Anecdotal records
  • Drawings
  • Two stars and a wish - self and peer (and teacher) assessment
  • KWL
  • Traffic lights in jotters/ on pieces of work
  • Design and construction
  • WALK (learning intention)/WILF (success criteria)
  • Continuums
  • Child-led feedback
  • Venn Diagrams
Summative Assessment
  • Reflection journals
  • Creating mindmaps of what they have learned
  • Video - creating film
  • Recording
  • Scribing
  • Photos
  • Observations
  • Writing
  • Drawings
  • Role play
  • Checklists
  • Posters
  • Performance
  • Rubrics
  • Presentations
  • Anecdotal notes
  • Quizzes
  • Visuals
  • Individual peer and teacher assessment
  • Selected responses
  • Exemplars and portfolios
  • Open-ended tasks
  • KWL chart
  • Graphs

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Session 8: Inquiry

An inquiry process allows students to revisit and revise prior knowledge in the light of new experiences in order to extend their learning

What is the connection between questions and inquiry?
The PYP recognises many different forms of inquiry based on children's genuine curiosity and on their needing and wanting to know about the world.  It is most successful when the questions are honest and have real significance in moving them to new levels of knowledge and understanding.  The most penetrating questions, ones most likely to move the child's understanding further, arise from existing knowledge.  (From A Basis for Practice)

During this session we will be defining what inquiry is.  We will look at different models of inquiry, go through some different inquiry cycles and observe two lessons.  This will be followed by a pair-share session where you will draw up different inquiry actions that you can do in your classes to promote inquiry.

Think, Puzzle, Explore
This Visible Thinking routine helps you to connect to prior knowledge, stimulates curiosity and lays the groundwork for independent inquiry.

Use this Visible Thinking Routine as you read the article Motivating Through Good Questioning Techniques and Response Behavior.

You can find out more about Harvard Project Zero Visible Thinking Routines here.

Session 7: Concepts

The PYP curriculum is concept-driven and transdisciplinary

Graphic by H. Lynn Erickson

Transdisciplinary skills are those things that students need to be able to do to succeed in a changing, challenging world.

In grade levels we brainstormed how research skills (one of the trans-disciplinary skills) might be seen in learners of that age group.  We looked at formulating questions, recording data and presenting research findings.  Then we created a joint continuum and posted it on the wall.