The Daily News

As update to a previous post, our MYP 1 Humanities unit on Current Events is in full swing.  Screen Shot 2014-05-17 at 17.28.19I’ve been totally amazed by the energy and investment in learning from my students.  Collaborating with my former and future colleague @LanaMLautamus from Bangkok, my unit has unfolded with a daily sharing of news.

Every day of class, my students come ready to share a news story they’ve read.  Four students are chosen at random and they step up to the news desk and report.   I’ve been amazed at the depth of their reporting.  To date, they’ve tackled #bringbackourgirls, the continued conflict in the Ukraine, racism in the US, Shariah laws in Sudan, the Indian elections, and media bias in South Africa.  I ask them to summarize the main idea of the story and the main people/groups/countries involved.   Continue reading

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Assessing Professional Development

Professional-developmentLike all in life, not all professional development opportunities are created equal, and with a limited budget, it makes sense to make wise choices – for yourself and your school.   To help us on our way, Edutopia has shared an interesting checklist, based on work published in the Journal of Research on Technology in Education.  The challenge here is build and trust a network strong and broad enough to support development of the data needed to make informed decisions about where we give our time.

Keeping up with the Neighbors

In a professional development (PD) workshop earlier in the year, several of my fellow teachers and I were given a set of random statements and asked to interpret them and develop a unit around them.   Anything.  Open the box and jump around.   What came out the other end turned out to be so potentially cool that I’ve decided it will be my next unit of the year – tentatively called, ‘Keeping up with the Neighbors’ – a look at current events through the lens of global interactions, power and causality.  Inquiry questions need work, but I like where this is going.   The poster below reflects the six statements from our PD exercise – all related to interactions and the implications surrounding ones action:  the Suarez canal, US support to India for the UN SC, Snowden asylum, missile testing in Iran, lifting sanctions in Myanmar, and the kidnapping of truck drivers in Lebanon.  As always, suggestions and comments are most welcome!   This is a classic example of building the plane as we fly.   Updates to follow on what I expect to be an interesting trip for all!

Unit Poster

Poster for Keeping up with the Neighbors Unit, MYP1 Humanities

.b

ImageThis past term I launched into .b with my students.    Spread out across half of the school year and interspersed between council sessions and homeroom ‘business’, .b has given us a chance to dig deeper into our daily practice.  Expanding on what we do and why.   The aim here is strengthening our students ability to cope with MYP and life beyond.   According to the Mindfulness in Schools site, ‘.[dot-be], is the name for the range of courses created by the Mindfulness in Schools Project, a non-profit organisation whose aim is to encourage, support and research the teaching of secular mindfulness in schools.’

My hope is the hook – with students connecting to practice in their passions – sport, music, and coping with the dramas in life.

MYP1 Humanities in Action!

 

MYP1 Students in action

MYP1 Students in action

MYP1 Humanities in Action!

 When the students saw the extent of the problem, there was no other option – they needed to take action.

What began as a simple Humanities unit on Earth Systems evolved into an island-wide action project.  MYP1 students (grade 6), age 11-13, took it upon themselves to design, plan and execute two very different, but no less engaging, action projects. With inspiration from our community and like-minded students around the world, the classes divided themselves into two groups and dug in to learn as much as they could on their chosen topics, with focus on the biosphere – all living things – and on coastal conservation – oceans and beaches here in Phuket.