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This podcast is for any teacher who is seeking for ways to enrich the learning in their classroom without breaking the bank. We will explore the simple steps on how to turn the traditional learning experience into one founded on practices of the PYP in 10 to 20 minute episodes. The PYP is part of the International Baccalaureate program, which focuses on developing the whole child by allowing students to create their own meaning from learning. If you’re not a PYP teacher, don’t worry. We’ll b ...
 
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For this episode, I thought I would do a deeper dive into the IB documentation to get a better gauge of the ATL structure. To be honest, I’m still developing my understanding of these valuable tools. Prior to 2018, I was selecting one of the ATL categories (thinking, research, communication, social, and self-management) as the focus in the unit wit…
 
Welcome to our new series on the approaches to learning. My brain is a bit toasty after the transdisciplinary challenge, but don’t you feel pumped? I really enjoyed going through that experience, because it really helped me think differently about transdisciplinary learning. I hope it helped you too. Now, we are giving our brains a slight reprieve.…
 
In this final transdisciplinary challenge, we will focus on evaluating our practice even deeper. To prepare for that experience, we are going to explore simple steps to evaluate your daily practice. If you are not ready to complete an entire school or grade level evaluation, these may be easier steps you can take to reach your goal. For a written b…
 
Welcome to the fifth and final transdisciplinary challenge! Wahoo, you made it! Evaluating Transdisciplinarity Every process becomes better when we regularly evaluate its effectiveness and areas of growth. Through continual feedback, we are able to see clearly the path towards the next steps. This has always been the goal of assessment. Now, we wil…
 
Welcome to the fourth transdisciplinary challenge! Only one more to go! When we are trying to make transdisciplinary connections, we often leave out the specialist (Art, PE, etc.) and support (EAL, Special Needs) teachers from the process. Since transdisciplinary means across all disciplines, we should be incorporating everyone into the process, no…
 
Welcome to the fourth transdisciplinary challenge overview! We can’t chat about transdisciplinary learning without connecting to the specialist (PE, Art, ICT) and support (EAL, Special education, etc.) teachers. Transdisciplinary learning is all about learning across disciplines, so why are our specialist and support teachers often left out in the …
 
Welcome to the third transdisciplinary challenge! In this challenge, we are going to further examine how to make connections with our standards or guidelines by transforming them from subjects to categories. This is one of the biggest challenges so far, so be sure to join us! For a written blog post and other resources, visit: https://thinkchat2020…
 
Welcome to the third transdisciplinary challenge introduction. One of the greatest challenges as a PYP educator and coordinator has been making transdisciplinary connections using our standards. Whatever school situation, it has felt like a tug of war between the standards vs. the PYP. What many people don’t realize is that the standards drive the …
 
In this challenge, we are going to explore understanding and unpacking the transdisciplinary theme descriptors. It took me a long time to realize the importance of them, because my teams never talked about them. We didn’t make the themes a part of our unit planning, so they never got taught. About my 10th year in the PYP, I wondered what would happ…
 
Welcome to the second transdisciplinary challenge! In this challenge, we are going to examine the connection between the themes with your program of inquiry (POI). We will do this by analyzing how our content standards are connected with the concept families in the theme descriptors. This challenge will have a differentiated task based on where you…
 
Welcome to our new series on transdisciplinary learning! Now that we’ve had a chance to look back and apply our thinking, it’s time to challenge ourselves again. You heard me...we are returning to where we started and creating a five session challenge! These episodes will help us to sharpen our skill set and reflect on how we can improve our transd…
 
Welcome to the third and final episode of our application series. If you haven’t had a chance to apply your learning of the learner profile and international mindedness, I’d suggest you do so before moving forward. It’s a great chance for you to synthesize and apply your understanding of the big ideas to your school/ unit context. This is our ultim…
 
Welcome to our application series! What is the application series? It’s a time to reflect on all of the learning we have shared so far, reflect on our practice, and make concrete goals for the future. Application and reflection are at the heart of the PYP. They help us to see where we’ve come and where we need to still go on our journey. It’s impor…
 
This episode, we are going to discuss the deeper connections we make when building relationships founded on international mindedness. When we think about building relationships that lead to international mindedness, we naturally connect to building school culture. They support each other in building lasting relationships of trust where understandin…
 
In this episode, we will explore the power of a school mission statement in creating culture and shaping the learning and teaching. We will examine the IB mission statement and craft or tweak our own using simple scaffolded steps. There will be an unorthodox example shared to help you think broader about your mission statement. For a written blog p…
 
Now that we’ve received some ways to incorporate international mindedness into our daily practice, how will we use them? Let’s go back to our agency continuum to gauge where we are in the process. As a reminder, the agency continuum has four phases: Teacher-driven: teacher is doing all the work and thinking Modeled: teacher provides all of the acti…
 
The second layer of the foundation in our PYP house is international mindedness. It helps to cement our school culture with building relationships with each other and others around the world. How do we do this in a practical way on a daily basis? I believe it is about how you lay out the physical space and intentionally planning international minde…
 
Building international mindedness in ourselves and in our learners takes time, because it is a process that can't be rushed. Through multiple years of exposure, students begin to better understand cultural differences, ways of doing things, and belief systems. They may not always agree with varying viewpoints, but they are able to demonstrate respe…
 
The number one mistake I made as a new coordinator was building the curriculum framework first. If you are a coordinator, please heed the call. Do not follow in my footsteps, because it cost me at least six months and polarized my staff. Here’s what I’d do instead. If I had to do it all over again, I would ignore the pressure from my school leaders…
 
There is no magical tool to stop undesired behavior, just love for your students. When you don’t like your students, they know. This episode, we will examine ways to guide behavior using the learner profile attributes. We will explore: How to build relationships with our students that are meaningful and real, so they will share more ownership of th…
 
Now that we’ve established the learner profile in our school community, we can take the next step of explicitly teaching it in our units of inquiry. Let’s take a look at how we can wrap the attributes around the content areas to make it more meaningful. Attributes in literacy Attributes in science and social studies Attributes in math For a written…
 
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family and friends. For many Canadians and Americans around the world, today is a special day we celebrate to honor our past and reflect on our many blessings. Canadians celebrate their holiday on the 2nd Monday in October and Americans on the last Thursday in November. I would be remiss on this particular Thanksg…
 
You’ve unpacked the learner profile attributes, now what? Do you just use them whenever time permits or can you plan with them in mind? In my personal observation over the past twelve years, I’ve noticed that most PYP teachers use them as behavior attributes. So our challenge is to look at the learner profile in a new light and try to consider them…
 
The learner profile attributes are one of the tools you can use to get students to make transdisciplinary connections with your content. In this episode, we will look at the ways to maximize the attributes in your daily practice. Unpack the attributes by connecting the attribute descriptor with the concepts in the transdisciplinary theme and conten…
 
The learner profile attributes are sometimes overlooked or misunderstood in our units of inquiry. Some people look at them as a list of character traits to be a better human. This is partially true, but they are more than that. They are thought processes that lead to deeper action. In this episode, we will examine the relationship between the learn…
 
The PYP curriculum framework can be compared to the structure of a house. There are many different layers that make it withstand the test of time. The layers: the foundation, floor, vertical beams and walls different levels/floors roof and attic Together, this house holds of up the PYP program together to create learning that is dynamic and real. F…
 
Some people can't imagine assessing agency and action, since they are driven by internal motivation. Yet, how can students move forward with to their next milestone without goals and success criteria? This episode, we will explore the agency and action success criterias that we can use to set learning goals. Then, we will apply them to a real learn…
 
Taking authentic action is difficult and requires a lot of of dialogue with our students. To help you with this process, this episode is scaling it back between the relationship of level 1 and 2 actions. We will explore how to broaden our actions based now our quesiton. When we ask students, "What action can we do?" This limits their thinking to do…
 
Here's my attempt to make action easier, which means its about (MEDIUM) on the easy to hard scale. I try to break it down, but I tend to get excited and my ideas run away with me. In this podcast, we are trying to put all three levels of action together, so they work seamlessly to build up the level of action rigor. We will use the Golden Circle as…
 
Action has gone through a major upcycle since the days of saving the whales and owning a piece of the rainforest. Now, it requires us to take a part of the process and put it in our hearts. A reminder, that the highest level of action includes: Participation Advocacy Social Justice Social Entreprenuership Lifestyle Choices We will examine how these…
 
The road between agency and action requires collaboration between the teacher, student, and school community. The student takes the wheel of navigating the learning, while the teacher guides from the side. The school community cheers from the sidelines to lend support and remove possible obstacles. Action has gone through its own journey in the PYP…
 
Now that we've explored agency in-depth, it can be difficult to know where to start. This episode, we will look at five simple steps on how to begin building agentic thinking. We will discuss the importance of structure, relationships, collaboration, resources, and environment. As you try to begin implementing agency into your daily practice, take …
 
In this episode, we will explore how to bring the three parts of agency (voice, choice, and ownership) together to create a deeper research project. We will go step-by-step in how to allow for voice in choosing a topic, enabling a choice when selecting a UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) as a lens, and supporting ownership of the process and p…
 
In this episode, we will break down the complexity of taking ownership in our minds and our hearts. We will unpack the various stages on the Ownership Continuum, which support student engagement and buy-in to the learning process. You will walk away with five possible strategies on how to make ownership apart of your virtual, hybrid, physically dis…
 
In this episode, we will examine the dynamic relationship between VOICE and CHOICE in student learning and how it creates independent thinkers. Additionally, we will explore the stages of the Choice Continuum and how to make choice practical in any classroom. For a written blog post and other resources, visit: https://thinkchat2020.weebly.com/…
 
Voice is the the means in which students express their ideas, passions, and wonderings. In this episode, we will explore the different ways that students engage with learning, the power of student voice, and making goals using a voice continuum. For a written blog post and other resources, visit: https://thinkchat2020.weebly.com/…
 
Agency and Action are so intertwined that it's difficult to determine where one begins and ends. This podcast will examine this unique relationship and look at the three elements of agency. We will self-assess the level of agency in our classrooms and discover easy ways to make it applicable with our students. For a written blog post and other reso…
 
In this episode, we will discuss multiple considerations when implementing inquiry-based learning in your classroom. We have created Inquiry Snack videos to support your understanding of the Inquiry Thinking Strategies shared in Confession #2. We know that teacher right now is hard, but let's be better each day by implementing inquiry. For a writte…
 
As we are looking to assess student understanding, are we considering the entire journey and not just content objectives? Things to consider when looking back: Do students understand the WHY of the unit and how is this demonstrated? Did they engage in a variety of inquiry thinking? Have we addressed the questions in our A-Z planner? Do students kno…
 
As we gain more understanding of the inquiry and how to ask quesitons, we can then examine the various stages of inquiry. These are important for self-reflection and making goals for the school year. The stages include: Teacher-driven inquiry Modeled inquiry Shared inquiry Student-driven inquiry We will explore the structure and benefit of each sta…
 
The types of questions we ask will determine how deep the thinking goes in your classroom. Oftentimes, teachers as low-level comprehension questions to assess student understanding of a text. This is not enough if we want students to pose and answer questions critically. Weiderhold (1991) Question Matrix poses different question stems that yield di…
 
Now that we have engaged with inquiry thinking through engaging, challenging, relevant, and signficant, it helps us to think about planning on a deeper level. We will create our unit plan thinking through these questions: How will students create goals based on success criteria? How is the classroom arranged to invite inquiry? Who is making these d…
 
In our last episode, we spoke about how to find our focus as teachers, especially when we encounter uncertain times. One of the things that centers me is the Golden CIrcle by Simon Sinek. As we look towards making our WHY happen in our teaching, what are some practical things we can implement now to see a difference? One of the best tools I created…
 
Welcome to our first confession of a PYP teacher. in this podcast, we will explore the power of the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek. Here is the link to his Ted Talk https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en The Golden Circle helped me to redefine my purpose as an educator with three simple questions: WHY - wha…
 
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