23 June 2010

The Ecosystem Movie

Please enjoy having another look at our unit of inquiry documentary.

Have a wonderful summer. See you back on Monday 16th August!

Life within an Ecosystem from ISOCS :: on Vimeo.

If you're interested in an update on the oil spill (shown at the end of the movie) visit this web site for a time lapse map of the spill, through 28 July.

16 June 2010

Impromptu Story Time and Ghana

Here's a lovely moment I captured in class today. S. picked up a really funny book we have in class called 'Diary of a Worm'. All the class gathered around and listened to her read. I just sat back and enjoyed seeing them laugh together!
Yesterday we tried something new! We skyped with the Lincoln Community School in Ghana. They shared some of the presentations they had made for their exhibition. An exhibition is a student led inquiry that each student completes in their final year at a PYP school. We found out about deforestation in Ghana, coral reefs and the impact of aviation.  By the power of technology we could speak directly to the students there and share their learning. 

Here's pictures of how it looked from Cham, and from Accra:

Earlier in the day we had looked at exhibits from Geneva's international school to help us understand what an exhibition is. They had used art to bring to people's attention orcas in captivity, pollution in Geneva, the plight of wolves in Switzerland and other issues. Both sessions had the impact of provoking us to discuss and consider issues, even when we were in a different part of the world to the presenting students. One of the outcomes of an exhibition is that it should cause some form of change or action. These students had carried their messages beyond their classroom. We were surprised how much was connected to our inquiries this year and how big an impact humans have on the planet. (We've also noted how the word impact keeps coming up!) Maybe some of our units will inspire our students to further explore issues that have moved them when the time comes to their exhibition.

09 June 2010

Describing the Forest

On Tuesday we went into the forest to inspire our descriptive writing. We first looked at a book called Descriptosaurus. This is an fantastic book which opens children's eyes to the wide and exciting vocabulary that is available for them to use. You just have to know where to find the right words. Armed with some great words, phrases and sentences we sat in the forest and described what we saw, heard and felt around us. There's nothing quite like first hand experience to encourage young writers. The resulting paragraphs, which we published today, are wonderful. Here's an example from the class:

In the forest the leaves rustle in the breeze, making me think of fluttering emerald ribbons. The sunlight filters through the gaps in the trees. It lights up the forest floor in patches of sunlight.

I hear the wind blowing through the trees, the birds singing, mosquitoes buzzing around and the rushing river. I see the grass and the the leaves of the trees moving gently.

01 June 2010

Final Learning Log Snapshots and Reflection

Here are T and C in action with their logs:

There has been an incredible growth in each student's learning log over the year. Students have learned the importance of designing a clear presentation format and being prepared to explain their log clearly to the class. Students have also had the opportunity to explore class linked tasks in a way that they choose rather than being teacher directed. The ways of presenting information has been innovative and full of variety.The students are always eager to share their logs because of pride and a genuine interest and connection to the subjects explored.

The PYP talks about developing a spirit of inquiry and curiosity and this has been a direct way to actually put those ideals into action. As the teacher I have been genuinely excited to view and listen to each log. I even ask students to hide them so I don't see them until it is their turn! I love the surprise. I can honestly say the logs have surpassed all my expectations........and that is a very special teaching moment!