From the PYP to the MYP
- curriculum approach;
- curriculum content;
- approaches to learning skills.
From the PYP to the MYP
To help our grade 5 parents understand how the PYP and MYP are connected, I have designed this infographic to explain the continuum of the two programmes. This is just a brief overview of how the two programmes are aligned with each other. Not all of our parents who speak fluent English. Taking this into consideration, I try to make the information easy and accessible to our parents. Four key aspects are identified:
Developing self-regulated learners through teacher research and innovation
KIS International School, together with the KIS community, developed a 5 year strategic plan which runs from 2015-2020. One of our goals is to further develop the programmes to support and meet the needs of all students in preparation for them to be proud of themselves and their place in the world. We have identified two objectives in reaching this goal:
These insights have lead me to reflect on our feedback process with our students as well as the reporting process.
With this mind, I invited a group of teachers to work with me and launch the formative feedback project in an effort to foster self-regulation. We worked with only grade 10 students and teachers in our first year (2017-2018), and the result of the student improvement was significant. The participating subject was English language and literature and students were measured against MYP Year 5 criteria for grade 9 and 10. Students were taught by the same teacher in grade 9 and grade 10. I compared their grade 9 and grade 10 English achievement levels, and the result in the second semester in 2018, after one year of piloting, showed great improvement. In the same year, I also followed the same process to provide students feedback for their personal project reports, our students' average grade of their personal project reports compared to the IBMYP worldwide average grade was remarkable.
The result gave us lots of confidence and we decided to invite more teachers in participating in this project in the academic year of 2018-19. We did not really know how it would actually work in our first year. We were lucky to have an excellent English language teacher, she worked effortlessly trying out different ways to provide feedback and making time to conference with students. After one year of piloting and observation, I came up with a model to support teachers in testing out the feedback practice and hope to conduct an action research to test the viability of our ideas. I am very grateful to work with a group of talent and passionate teachers who are risk takers and want to test a new feedback approach to make an impact on student learning.
The aim of this action research project is to investigate how implementing a systematized formative assessment and feedback process model can engage students proactively with feedback and simultaneously promote teacher agency. It is a communication framework that promotes teachers and students being intentional, fostering craftsmanship, and developing collaborative partnerships. Intentionality, craftsmanship, and collaboration are the cornerstones of development. It is a process that involves learners with inquiry, action, and reflection. The diagram is presented below to visually illustrate the feedback model proposed.
The Theoretical Framework of Interactive Feedback Model
Through this project, we hope to cultivate a coaching culture by providing actionable feedback through frequent formative assessment and to foster positive and collaborative interactions between students, colleagues, and parents. The Feed up, Feed back and Feed forward system developed by Professor Hattie will also be implemented to develop student assessment literacy and encourage them to reflect critically for personal development. Questions are designed to engage students in thinking critically about their learning, monitoring development, interacting with feedback, identifying strategies and actionable steps in order to reach their desired learning goals.
Interactive formative feedback process
In the interactive formative feedback model,
Where to next
The resources included are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. In short, you can copy, distribute and transmit the work, but you must attribute the work to KIS International School. The work is not for commercial purposes.
Rationales of Wonder Day Project
This upcoming Friday, March 15, there will be 11 teachers out for the IB MYP training. With these many teachers are out, it makes it very difficult to organize any sub. I always remind myself that any challenge is an opportunity. So here is an opportunity for students to explore an area of their interest and do some wondering. We call it KIS Wonder Day as this was inspired by Jonh Spencer's Wonder Day project.
In my current school, teachers have begun to explore ways to promote student agency, increase student choice and integrate student voice. We have also discussed different ways that teachers could (and can) develop the KIS Quality Learning Behaviors (QLB) of our students:
Our next step is to engage students in thinking about these quality learning behaviors. It will be very unnatural and contrived if we ask students to show us what they will do in responding to each of the quality learning behaviors mentioned above. Finally, we decided to involve students in conducting an inquiry project based on their personal interest. We intentionally do not want to call it a Passion Project. I think passion is a very heavy and strong word. The reality is that many students have not discovered their passion yet and they need more time to explore their interests before finding their passion. Therefore, we follow John Spencer's idea and call it Wonder Day.
Structure of the Wonder Day
Through the process of implementing Wonder Day, we also would like to remind teachers and students that inquiry can be fun and it should be based on research. Since we only have one day, we set up some guidelines to support this process. Students are reminded that:
This is the first time KIS launches Wonder Day project. To facilitate this process, I have put together a Wonder Day student workbook. Most of the information is built upon John Spencer's wonderful work. You can subscribe to his blog to receive Wonder Day and Wonder Week classroom resources. The purpose of this workbook is to guide students through the inquiry process: Wonder, Research, Create, Share and Consolidate.
We had received positive feedback from students and teachers about our first KIS wonder day. Students were excited they got to design their own learning and explored the topic that they were genuinely interested. Lots of topics were generated by our students. Students asked can we do this again? Of course!
Analogy prompt is a great strategy to help learners make sense of critical information and allow them to paint a picture of an important concept. I like to use analogy prompt in my teaching and teacher training workshops. Everyone comes with different experiences and cultural backgrounds. The use of analogy prompt makes discussion fun; allows learners to connect with their personal experiences in the process of making sense of a new idea or concept being introduced; helps them to visualise their thinking. It has been an effective meeting protocol for me when discussing important issues or ideas with teachers. I encourage my students to use analogy prompt to reflect on their learning process. Reflection doesn't have to be tedious. By making an analogy, it engages learners with deeper thinking. It is also a formative assessment strategy to monitor students' understanding of the concept that is being taught.
When using this strategy, it is beneficial to provide an example. Additionally, allocating time for individual thinking is also essential. It is always useful to provide learners with a sentence stem.
I worked with a group of student teachers from National Taiwan Normal University in October, 2018. I introduced the inquiry-based teaching and learning concept and students were engaged in conducting in an inquiry activity. We also explored different structures of inquiry and discussed the level of scaffolding required for each type of inquiry. At the end of the day, I invited them to consolidate their learning and reflection on inquiry-based teaching and learning by using analogy prompt strategy. These university students were so creative and I can't help to record their thinking in my blog. If you can know Chinese, they are really fun to read. These students had paint a clear picture of what they think inquiry-based teaching and learning is.
IB Educator, Learner, Workshop leader, Conference presenter, Educational graphic designer