Last Friday we celebrated Loy Krathong at Magic Years. We had a packed house: thanks to all the friends and family members who came out to help and enjoy the celebrations.
Communication is happening constantly both inside and outside our classroom. This communication may be verbal, non-verbal, in the child’s native tongue, or in a second language, but no matter which method of communication is used, our students are always able to find ways to get their points across. As a classroom team, we have been working to model different ways of communication for our Little People as we move through our daily routines.
As we move into our fifth week of school, we are delving into our first Unit of Inquiry on Communication.
|Central Idea:||Communication provides opportunities for us to interact with people.|
|Transdisciplinary Theme:||How we express ourselves|
As we progress through this Unit of Inquiry, we will inquire into ways we can express our needs, how to communicate positively with peers, and our responses to situations.
|Learner Profiles:||Communicators, Open-minded, Risk-takers|
|Attitudes:||Cooperation, Confidence, Independence|
|Key Concepts:||Connection, Reflection|
|Arts Focus:||Communication, Self-expression, Responding and Creating (Dance, music, drama, visual arts)|
As we work through this Cycle of Inquiry, we will be learning how to choose effective and appropriate forms of communication and how our communication impacts our interactions with others. Check back to the blog for updates on our progress!
During tonight’s Back to School Night activities, we introduced you to some of the important documents which form the basis of the MYIS curriculum and our upcoming academic year. Please use the links below to view these useful documents in their entirety.
The MYIS Assessment Policy: The Assessment Policy describes the philosophies and practices that inform how MYIS students are assessed throughout their time here.
The MYIS Language Policy: The Language Policy explains MYIS’ beliefs and policies regarding Mother Tongue languages, the language of instruction, support for Thai language learning and English language learners.
The MYIS Separation Policy: This document outlines the stages each child and their caretaker pass through to ensure that each child is ready to attend school on their own and be successful.
The MYIS Skills Continuum: The Skills Continuum outlines what each of the Transdisciplinary Skills looks like at each grade level. It is divided into 5 skill sets: Thinking Skills, Social Skills, Research Skills, Communication Skills and Self-Management Skills.
The Joy & Confidence Class Community Overview: This handbook has general information about the IB Primary Years Program and specific information about the standards we will be assessing in the Knowledge Areas (Math, Language Arts, Personal Social and Physical Education, Art, Science and Social Studies). This includes what students will be learning in both the homeroom and their specials classes.
If you have any questions or comments about these documents, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com
As we approach the end of our year it has been wonderful to witness not only what the children of J&C are learning but the shift in how that learning is taking place. It is the how that helps us as teachers provide a bridge to the thinking skills that are needed for each of the little learners in our class.
Our current unit of inquiry and dramatic centers have supported growth in developing those areas where children are able to use their thinking skills. The routines of how we ask questions, wondering out loud, planning and reflecting have become an integral part of our class room culture, allowing each little person to see and feel how we uncover information and group knowledge.
This is evident at our hospital center where through group play and sharing the space children have collectively created their vision of what happens in a hospital.
Each individual has taken their part in a dialogue of what is acceptable in their role play hospital as well as being exposed to the idea that others have different perspectives. Defending those thoughts and actions is also part of play and life, as is the wonder of learning from friends.
The shift in how to use our ‘Thinking hats’ has also extended to children becoming interested in new ways of discovering more information, via library, the internet and discussion. We feel sure that with ‘thinking’ practice this will continue as foundation for their higher level thinking now and in the future.
If you are interested and would like more information on what thinking into action looks like in the very young please click on the link below.
Some parents ask, “How do you teachers see and know where learning happens?” and our answer is, “Children learn through play, and learning happens in the moment and during reflection”. The way we teachers organize ourselves, and are able to report on these important revelations these little people are making is through mapping out educational plans, and using PYP standards.
To start our amazing Earth Week off, teachers of J&C brought in recycled goods and read a book, “Not a Stick”. Using this book, we explored how many objects can be used to represent something else. The students had a great time taking plastic cups and wearing them as glasses, or scraps of fabric to wear as mustaches or wigs.
Following this fun first impression on recycling, J&Cs little ones came in on Tuesday with lots of recycled materials to sort, and some brought in plants to put in soil for woodworking.
As planned, on Wednesday, we constructed recycled decorative hangers. By cutting up the recycled materials we collected, and puncturing holes, the class threaded string making decorative pieces, which also supports developmental areas such as fine motor skills and thinking skills.
To put an end to a great week, the Earth Week focused assembly and exhibition really rounded out the experience for the class. Some favourite exhibits were the recycled paper craft table, the worm exhibit, and the watering jug area where kids had fun with water.
These are life-long memories that will effect the way they see our planet, and how they can make a difference. A very popular song we’ve been singing with J&C is “We’ve Got the Whole World in Our Hands”. Please find the download below, and have fun singing at home with your child.
It’s not all Supermarkets and bikes.
Over the past two weeks we have seen wonderful growth, risk taking and joy in how the J&C community share and work together. With the introduction of our super market the group found an area that they whole heartedly took ownership of. They fully demonstrated the broad range of knowledge between them. Through watching each other play and role play each child benefits by experiencing and sharing in the others perspectives and skills and develops a curiosity within the play…. Whats my role here?, Why is my friend doing that?, Can I join in?, How do I join in?
Our final unit of inquiry focuses on communication skills. The supermarket center supports children in making sense of daily shopping trips, how we have productive conversations, money exchanging and exploring what it feels like to be responsible. Their observations are incredibly well informed. Some children used pretend money, some swiped a card and made a ‘beep’ sound. They even put into action how to queue!….there were even some healthy choices of which food to buy.
Outside in the playground, another inquiring group has been figuring out how they can build a train using bikes. This collaborative work was their own invention and really highlights the power and learning that can happen through play.
As we hit the hottest time of the year here in Thailand, the J&C team thought it would be great to introduce a water play area during playground time and see what would happen.
We brought in a few tubs, some recycled plastic bottles, and allowed the children to use the water taps freely.
At first, the J&C class were the only ones filling bottles to fill the tubs, but then some of the older students from P&U joined in. They worked as a unit to fill the tubs and splashed water on themselves along the way. It was fascinating how these two classes were able to use their words and work in cohesion while playing together. There has been so much growth and maturity during this year.
Many of the students involved had something to say about this activity, please listen to this recording to see what they thought:
Ultimately, most of the children ended up taking a soak in the tubs, pouring water over themselves, or just experimenting with the overflow of water nearby.
By the time we had lunch, rather than the children feeling hot and lethargic, they were energized and ready to eat a large meal.
Keeping water conservation in mind, we are going to adapt this activity and introduce sprinklers. We will also start putting up signs to remind children to use their water conservatively, and never to run a tap into the sink. As Songkran approaches we hope our students will have a better understanding of water play and water conservation.
How does your family “beat the heat” on weekends? We would love to hear from you.