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.  

Collaborative planning meeting

As part of our belief in the importance of promoting student voice and ownership over their learning, we – the Year 6 teachers – invited representatives from each Year 6 section to participate in a collaborative meeting regarding our current unit of inquiry: How the World Works. Representatives interviewed their peers in respective classes and collected ideas and suggestions about the types of learning engagements they would like to be involved in to develop their understanding of the central idea. Some of their suggestions included guest speakers, fishbowl debates, and new opportunities for personal inquiries. We will be using these suggestions to guide and build learning tasks over the course of this unit. As the year progresses, we will continue to look for opportunities to encourage student independence and ownership.

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?