Sunday, August 17, 2014

Creating IB learner profile attribute posters with older students with several years of experience in the program

Older elementary-aged students who have been in the Primary Years Program (PYP) for a number of years will be quite familiar with the IB Learner Profile and other essential elements of the program. They should be genuinely and independently using the vocabulary of the PYP in meaningful contexts.

However, students at this level still should be given the opportunity to further explore the meaning of these abstract terms as they create posters for their classroom.

One sixth grade teacher used a Visible Thinking Routine as he invited his students to think more deeply about the IB learner profile.

First, he printed off the descriptors for the 10 attributes of the profile, cut them up, and gave each student one attribute and accompanying descriptor. Students read through the descriptor several times.

Then, students used the Visible Thinking Routine Step Inside (from Making Thinking Visible by Ritchhart, Church, and Morrison) to take on the perspective of someone who exhibited that attribute, as a way to gain a deeper understanding of it. Students were already familiar with this routine, as they had used it at other points during the class (Want to know more about Step Inside? Check out this post.)

Students reflected on the following four questions through the lens of their particular learner profile attribute. They made their thinking visible in their inquiry notebooks.
  1. What can this person see, observe, or notice?
  2. What might the person know, understand, hold true, or believe?
  3. What might the person care deeply about?
  4. What might the person wonder about or question?
After, students were given a blank piece of white art paper and created the border of their poster with the perspectives they had just explored. Inside, the students decorated their posters with their first-grade reading buddies, making it a true collaborative project.

By creating the IB Learner Profile attribute posters in this way, the teacher guaranteed the students were developing an understanding of each attribute as they collaboratively worked.

Have you successfully made PYP posters with older elementary-aged children who have several years experience in the program in a different way than the teacher in this story? Please, share your idea with others by commenting on this post.

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