This past week I participated in an in-school workshop called, Teaching and Learning. My school chose this workshop because we were told it is a good one to do after the Category 1 workshop, Making the PYP Happen. We invited an extremely knowledgeable workshop leader by then name of Sally Wen. The workshop was delivered bilingually, which was highly beneficial in our context.
Sally modelled for us what a PYP classroom looks like. She shared a number of strategies for delivering dynamic lessons. Here I would like to share some of them with you:
|Shapes for Grouping|
1. The constant themes of the workshop were ‘grouping and regrouping’ & ‘learners socially constructing meaning’. As each participant came in the door on the first day they were asked to take one of the 25 coloured shapes on the first table. We were asked to get in groups according to our colour. (This also served as a covert way to take attendance.)
2. A wonderwall was posted. This contained three columns: 'Know', 'Want to know' and 'I have learned'. Sally was able to see what we wanted to know after this activity and changed her plans accordingly. This was a good example of constructivism.
3. In order to bring the group back together we learned that holding up your hand was very effective. You then wait for everybody in the group to raise their hands. This reaches learners who are kinesthetic, audio and visual. You should not make eye contact when doing this.
4. We were asked to line up in different ways. An example of this was to line up silently according to your birth date. It is then easy to number off learners for the newt group activity. Other variations could be: height, years teaching or length of your hair.
5. We learned concentric circles. This is a good group activity that allows you to get a group to focus on four aspects. In out case the first circle was your name, then a learner profile attribute that best describes you, then what would make this workshop worthwhile and finally something about you that not many people know.
6. Another grouping strategy we learned was called, ‘Gourmet partners’. This is similar to clock partners but food is used instead of numbers. We would be asked to pair off with our ‘pizza partner’ for a pair activity. Sally always had us say thank you to our partners.
7. A differentiation strategy we learned was to change the colour and font or our slides. Key words are underlined. All of these strategies make it easier for non-mother tongue students to easily find the main message.
8. Sally also modelled questioning for us. This is a very important part of the PYP. Sally used an image of turtles in a fridge then asked us for our thoughts. She would skillfully ask questions to deepen and question our assumptions. Questions like: “Why do you think that?”, “Can you share what you are thinking right now?” and “Can you tell me some more?”. Paraphrase and then move on.
There were a number of other topics covered during this training but in this post I am just sharing some of the inquiry strategies. The complet list is aboveI learned a lot!