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:
How do we not kill students' motivation and enthusiasm?
When students returned from their summer holidays, they are usually excited to see their friends and meet teachers. They crave for social interaction and want to catch up with everyone. They want to get to know the teachers and their expectations. Students are so motivated, enthusiastic, and eager to set learning goals for self-improvement. Meanwhile, they are also anxious about the upcoming new school year and their friends.
Reflecting on our students' experiences, I have felt that we, teachers, usually kill students' motivation and enthusiasm right in the first week of the new school year. I observe that teachers give course outlines, assessment criteria and sometimes even homework in the first week of the school. For new students (coming from the PYP or other schools), I definitely think 'sink or swim' approach is sometimes unconsciously used. It is important for us to remember that students are social beings and they need time to build relationships and develop confidence before they can engage with any academic work.
On the other hand, teachers are also excited meeting their new students. However, they are often worried there is not enough time to plan their curriculum and assessment. If teachers are new to the school, they particularly feel overwhelmed with the new curriculum, new students, new country, new culture, and so on.
In order to create a win-win situation for both teachers and students, I am proposing to run a two-day MYP induction and orientation for the year of 2018-19 at my school. The purposes are for students and teachers to:
How will the program work?
Our school has developed three learning statements for our learning community:
In the two-day MYP induction and orientation program, we hope students will get to know their classmates in their grade and also peers across different grade levels. Many students will be anxious but also feel excited to meet their teachers. I have design "class carousel" and "physical activities" for teachers and students to get to know each other. ( I am thinking a tug-of-war between teachers and students could be fun.) "Ethical chocolate" is an activity to promote TOK thinking and encourage critical thinking skills.
I will update the details and resources later.
Note: Special thanks go to @alohalavina for the 'student panel discussion' activity and @sjtylr for the '30 circles challenge' activity.
(Updated June 6, 2018): Soon after I started planning, I realised that I was too ambitious to complete all the activities mentioned above. This induction and orientation is for all of our MYP students, and hence, the logistic issues are tricky. We identified mixed-grade activities and homeroom-based activities for different intentions. We hope the two-day induction and orientation can get our MYP students excited about the upcoming new school year, build relationships with their peers and teachers, and help them to explore further who they are as learners. Having said that, I do believe that orientation should be all year around. I am keeping the original plan as a menu and advisors can use these activities to build positive classroom learning communities.
Below is the modified two-day MYP Induction and Orientation Programme with details of the activities. If you are interested in obtain a copy of this slides, please leave a comment or email me via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Slides #12-15 are made by @sjtylr. Here is the link of the wonderful "Getting Going in MYP: Student Orientation" resource prepared by @sjtylr.
Transcend --> Transit --> Transfer --> Transform
My two children decided to keep fish at the beginning of this year. We drove around town and finally found a fish shop. They chose two tiny fish and one small fish tank. My 6 year-old and 9 year-old were so excited. They decorated the aquarium and got the water pump system going as soon as we got home. Before going to bed, we released the two fish from the plastic bag to their beautiful new home. My son woke up very early the next day and was eager to say hello to his new pet. He was devastated to discover that the two tiny fish jumped out of the tank and were found dead on the ground. We very quickly learned about the 'new tank syndrome', which is a term used to describe problems that occur due to the build-up of invisible, toxic compounds in a newly set-up aquarium. After watching some Youtube videos and researching information on the internet, we have acquired some more knowledge to maintain the hobby of fish keeping.
In the Twitter #MYPChat, we discussed different ways to provide smooth transitions between programmes. I quickly related my children's fish keeping experience to the programme transitions. Transitions as points of change can make students (or any of us as an adult!) feel excited and anxious simultaneously. It requires students to adapt to their new physical, social, emotion and human environment. It's more than just entering to a new programme, and moving between campus, buildings or classrooms. Lots of stress and pressure can not be overlooked. Just like setting up a new aquarium and avoiding new fish die of new tank syndrome, we need to understand the process and ensure the transition is smooth for students, the family and any adult involved.
How can we reduce students' anxiety and develop their confidence when they move from one programme to the other? As a school, we need to zoom out and involve all stakeholders to develop a holistic view of the ultimate purpose of schooling before we discuss specific action items for transitions. I reflected on the work that we are currently developing at KIS International School and made connections with the programme transitions.
As illustrated in the infographic below. IB mission, school mission and school's own definition of global citizenship underpin teaching and learning. In order to help the KIS community understand what KIS aims to achieve, we have developed three quality learning statements:
The three learning quality statements will be referenced and unpacked by all teachers in all three IB programmes at KIS in the next academic school year of 2018-19. I took one step further and identified aspects that we, as a school, can all work on to allow us to move from smooth transition to effective transformation. In this process, we should aim to help students build experiences, foster self awareness, enhance international mindedness, and last but not least to expand empathy potential. After clarifying the WHY, we can then decide what action to take in the following areas:
I believe developing a holistic view will help us provide smooth transitions for students, families and teachers. Understanding the process and the learning cycle, we can promote positive emotions which will contribute significantly to learning relationship building.
Instead of bombarding parents with overwhelming MYP expectations and requirements, we have decided to take a different approach. We begin our PYP to MYP orientation by asking the question, How can "we" help PYP students transition to the MYP? It is important to emphasize that a collaborative effort is required to support a smooth transition.
IB Educator, Learner, Workshop leader, Conference presenter, Educational graphic designer