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 (which is the 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.  

How the World Works – Provocations

This week Year 6 engaged in a number of different learning tasks designed to provoke thinking, wondering and curiosity. These learning experiences were instrumental in starting our new unit of inquiry under the transdisciplinary theme of How the world works.

Students applied and developed their self-management, thinking, social and communication skills as they divided allocated time to engage in two tasks in small groups across the Year 6 cohort. The tasks were structured around the related concepts for the unit: innovation, impact, technological advances. One task involved the use of a visual prompt in the form of a Venn Diagram. Students made observations, made connections, and created questions and wonderings about this visual. The other task involved students discussing and determining their position, from strongly agree to strongly disagree about a series of statements connected to the related concepts. These learning engagements promoted much meaningful discussion and questioning. This allowed teachers to identify prior knowledge including misconceptions. Such data will be used for the planning of new learning engagements.

On Thursday this week, Year 6 were given a task and set of written guidelines. The main task was to find the answer to a question connected to inventions without using any technology. They could use the whole campus and were very excited to be communicating with various staff members and students across the school. During the debriefing session, students identified challenges such as lack of resources, and use of time-management and communication skills. They identified many strong links with the Learner Profile and attitudes, including Independence, Commitment and Enthusiasm. They also noticed connections with the importance of the approaches to learning (skills). We will continue unpacking this key provocation next week.

Please chat with your child about the provocation learning engagements this week. You may wish to ask the following:

 – Which task prompted the most thinking for you?
 – How did you feel when you were given written instructions for the task on Thursday and why?
 – What did you enjoy the most about this week’s provocations and why?

Maths within the Unit of Inquiry

Data handling:

For the past couple of weeks, the Year 6 students have been learning about data handling and how to collect, organize, represent and interpret data (CORI). We initiated our investigation on data handling by looking at various graphs connected to migration though some of the key concepts.

We looked closely at the graphs’ form (what is it like?), function (how does it work?); causation (why is it the way it is?) and change (how is it changing?). We also tried to figure out what questions might have been asked in order to collect the data that the graph was representing. We used a Venn diagram to then compare and contrast two/three different types of graphs (pie, bar, line).

After our initial investigation we set off to create our own graphs. We collected data about refugee migrant populations and organized it into a table. We then tried to represent this data by sketching it in our math journals. While doing this some of us noticed that because the range of our data was so wide the intervals on our graphs would be really large and some of our data would become irrelevant. To tackle this problem, we revisited some of the examples that we had already looked at early in the unit.  Some of us were able to come up with some creative solutions to represent the discrepancy in data but we are all still working towards consolidating our understanding in relationship between intervals and how we choose to collect our data.

We are currently learning how to transfer that data to a spreadsheet and use Google sheets to generate a graph. Our first attempt at this was quite successful as we figured out how to use the program. Our next steps will be to get feedback so that we can revise and edit our first draft. Once our graphs are complete we will spend some time drawing conclusions and interpreting the information that we have represented.

 

Personal Inquiry – migration

For the past several weeks the year 6 students have been engaged in personal inquiries in connection to our Where We Are in Place and Time unit about migration. They have chosen category of migration to explore (early migration, modern migration, refugee migration) and have developed questions to help gain understanding of our lines of inquiry and related concepts.

Some of the guiding questions that students have been using to explore their migration category have been:

  • What is early/modern/refugee migration?
  • What are the reasons people migrate?
  • What are the impacts of migration on the individual, relationships and/or communities?
  • What challenges, risks and opportunities are connected to that category of migration?

While exploring the resources on our Where We Are in Place and Time padlet students have been independently using thinking routines to frame their thinking and help them dig deeper. These thinking routines include:

  •  See, Think, Wonder
  •  Think,Puzzle, Explore
  •  Connect, Extend, Challenge

After each research session students have  also reflected on what they achieved during that learning block and what ATLs (skills) they developed as a result.

We would like to encourage you to have a conversation with your child regarding the process they undertook when conducting a personal inquiries as they are a major learning engagement in preparation for our PYP Exhibition. Below are some questions to facilitate that discussion:

  • What did you find out regarding migration so far?
  • How are the related concepts of risk, challenge and opportunity connected to migration?
  • Can you show me how you use a thinking routine in class (see thinking routine names above)
  • What ATL do you think you developed the most during your personal inquiry? Why do you think that?

Approaches to Learning (ATL)

As part of the Primary Years Programme, learners use and develop ‘Approaches to Learning’ (ATL) or skills to support their learning.

“In order to conduct purposeful inquiry and in order to be well prepared for lifelong learning, students need to master a whole range of skills beyond those normally referred to as basic. These include skills, relevant to all the subject areas and also transcending them, needed to support fully the complexities of the lives of the students.”   – Making the PYP Happen, page 21.

This week we unpacked the ATL by engaging in a sorting learning engagement. Students carefully read and categorized sets of skills, and justified their response. We identified strategies in order to categorize the skills and had thoughtful collaborative discussions as part of the process. We noted that many of the skills are connected, for example, aspects of communication skills are also part of developing positive social skills.

“Within their learning throughout the programme, students acquire and apply a set of transdisciplinary skills: social skills, communication skills, thinking skills, research skills and self-management skills. These skills are valuable, not only in the units but also for any teaching and learning that goes on within the classroom, and in life outside the school”.    –   Making the PYP Happen, page 21.  


Students will be developing a goal based on self-management skills or social skills in the week following the October break.

Please chat with your child about which skills they feel they are successfully applying and those they find challenging and want to focus on further. 

Year 6 Camp

Last week our Year 6 students and team embarked on the Y6 camp. Students arrived at school on Thursday morning with a lot of enthusiasm and many, with very full bags! The focus of our camp was on the attitudes of independence, cooperation and enthusiasm, as well as building community through teamwork and collaboration.

Many teachers from different sections of the school led a range of activities that promoted the importance and benefits of working in a team. Activities included:

  • Development of Camp Essential Agreements
  • Tent set-up and dismantle
  • Cooperative games with Mr. Andy
  • Mindfulness activities with Ms. Michelle and Ms. Nicola
  • Team games with Ms. Nicky
  • Art activities with Ms. Hannah
  • Predator and Prey with Mr. Chiltern
  • Morning Yoga with Ms. Molly
  • Capture the Flag with Mr. Ali and Mr. Paul
  • Singing with Ms. Betsy
  • Pool team games with the PE Aquatics Department

Students also had sessions of unstructured time where they chose to engage in activities including reading, chatting, playing tag, playing frisbee, and participating in running races.  

Overall, the camp was a great success! We hope you enjoy the following photos of camp:

Peace Day

On September 22nd LIS celebrated Peace Day. Our Year 6 students participated in a range of activities which included interactive theater, assemblies, spoken word expressions of peace, a peace parade and talking to UN Angola representative Mr. Paolo.

One thing that particularly stuck with the Year 6 students was the conversation with Mr Paulo and the idea that all people should have the right to have a life with dignity. Students were able to make clear connections between what Mr. Paolo shared and their current unit of inquiry (Sharing the Planet). Throughout the conversation they made clear connections to key and related concepts and asked genuine and generative questions.

Upon reflection students understood that broad and open-ended questions (generative) and questions that are important and significant to them (genuine) lead to better inquiries. This is something that we will continue to practice in our “Where We Are In Place and Time” unit as students embark on their own personal inquiries about migration.

Language – Writing within the Unit of Inquiry

During our Sharing the Planet unit, Year 6 students have -and will continue to be- focused on reflective writing and personal narratives. We have spent a significant amount of time identifying what makes a good reflection and have identified some key aspects of good reflective writing that will be used throughout out this year.

Key aspects of reflective writing identified by Year 6 students include:

–  Deep thinking
–  Using Metacognition
–  Identifying strengths/weaknesses
–  Explaining and justifying with examples
–  Setting goals for yourself
–  Asking questions of yourself

In addition to spending time writing reflections we have also begun to explore personal narratives as a genre. We have been using Ralph Fletcher’s personal narrative as mentor texts to inquiry into the characteristics of a personal narrative. In addition to reading these texts “as a writer”, we have also spent some time reading these wonderful pieces “as a reader” and using our metacognitive strategies to think more deeply and make meaning of the text. We have also been thinking carefully about how both reflective thinking and writing, plus personal narratives are connected to our Unit of Inquiry.