Approaches to Learning – Communication Skills

Last week, while a very short one for students, saw Year 6 continue to inquire into presentation types. They followed a process that included consideration of the ‘WHY’ (Why are you doing this, why is it important to share this?), ‘HOW’ (how will you achieve the ‘why’? How will you apply your learning from inquiring into presentation types? How will you make it effective?), and ‘WHAT’ (What is the outcome? What will you present about? What is your presentation type?) of their presentation.

Learners also thought about how they would structure their presentations, what feelings/emotions they wanted to evoke from their audience, how they would use non-verbal communication, and how they would use voice and the environment to increase the effectiveness of their message. Students also used interesting techniques such as use of quotes, questions, personal stories and humor to hook their audience and maintain engagement.

This week, students will be sharing their presentations in small groups and will provide feedback to each other. Students will then have the opportunity to revise their presentations based on relevant feedback.

Year 6 will continue to build on their presentation skills and use them during the upcoming PYP Exhibition.


How We Express Ourselves: Inquiry into Presentation Types

The Year 6 students are currently inquiring into types of presentations in the lead up to the  submission of a recorded presentation on the theme ‘What I perceive to be beautiful and why’. There are a number of presentation options available to them. They may choose to create a podcast, a TED talk, be interviewed, write and present a speech or arrange an audio visual performance. It is somewhat challenging as the children are required to identify something that represents beauty for them and present it in a 3 minute time period. They are further required to record the presentation for the purpose of a peer review. There are numerous technical and creative challenges that they must overcome.

Students have been working in class groups to unpack the above-mentioned presentation types, using the Parts, Purposes, Complexities thinking routine. The use of this thinking routine has revealed many interesting aspects students need to consider when developing and delivering their own presentations.

Today we were lucky to have Ms. Nicole, our Secondary Principal, as an expert guest speaker on presentations and public speaking. Ms. Nicole explained 5 key tips for public speaking and students asked many interesting questions to clarify their understanding.

Please chat to your child about aspects of what makes an effective presentation, and which presentation type they are choosing to explore further.

How We Express Ourselves – Summative Assessment

This week all Year 6 students have been engaging in a process of planning and producing a piece of art that expresses their perception of beauty.

The children were given the opportunity to choose between visual and performance art themes. As part of a multi-stage process each student was obliged to reflect on the factors that influence personal reactions to artwork. They generated composition ideas, justified their choices, sought peer feedback and experimented with range of media with the end goal of producing a piece of visual/performance art. An expectation of the process is that Year 6 would choose and focus on specific selected elements of art or music.

We are very thankful for the support of the Year 11 Visual Arts class, as they have been a fantastic source of information with regard to the artistic process as well being able to advise Year 6 on technical issues. Please talk to your child about their artworks but, more importantly, about the process that they undertook to select themes, perfect techniques, justify choices, and connect back to the key and related concepts of the unit of inquiry.

How the World Works: Summative Assessment

Today the Year 6 students wrapped up their How the World Works summative assessment by presenting their summative assessment to several primary classes. The students explained how their innovative solution could help fix of minimize an issue connected to energy. In addition to this, the Year 6 students spent some time reflecting on and developing presentation criteria for the upcoming Exhibition next semester. It was great to see the enthusiasm and creative thinking displayed by students today.

How the world works

This week Year 6 commenced the summative assessment learning task for How the world works. This learning engagement, that will act as the final assessment for this unit will extend over next week. The assessment has been designed as a ‘mini-exhibition’ in order for our learners to experience elements of the upcoming PYP Exhibition (our final unit of inquiry). To this end, students are managing their time by developing their own daily schedule including associated goals for each session; use of a process journal in which they record all ideas, meetings minutes, understandings and reflections; and collaboration with various students and teachers. The main task involves the identification of a meaningful problem, issue or opportunity at LIS connected to energy. Students have been asked to then develop an innovative solution to address the chosen issue/problem that includes a relevant technology. Students are also required to investigate the causes and impacts of not only the initial problem/issue, but also the possible impact/s of their innovative solution. Our learners have demonstrated great enthusiasm and independence during this extended learning engagement so far.

Please chat to your child about their process and ideas in connection with this task.


Field trip to ITA S.A

Last week Year 6 participated in a field trip to ITA S.A. We were kindly shown around the facility by Mr. Rolf Mendelshon who answered a variety a wide range of questions that our learners had generated before the visit. Many of the questions related to our ‘How the World Works’ unit of inquiry with particular interest in connection with how ITA meets their energy needs.

We learned that most of ITA’s energy requirements are satisfied by the mains electricity from the grid and that much of this comes from renewable hydro-electric sources (Form). Year 6 questioned the need for generators and battery banks as secondary and tertiary energy sources (Causation). We also examined the role that solar energy plays to their energy needs (Technological Advances) and how it currently has a surprisingly limited scope in Angola (Impact). It was very interesting to analyse an organization from the perspective of its energy needs and allowed the children to consider energy usage in our school environment.

Many thanks to all at ITA and particularly Ana dos Santos for facilitating a very worthwhile learning engagement.