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Inquiry and Integration in the PYP Specialists Classroom

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The information included is an adapted presentation of an in-house professional development workshop I held for a group of single-subject teachers (i.e. specialists). The presentation touches on ways specialists can integrate more authentically into primary subjects when units don't match up. While the presentation was designed for single-subject teachers in the Primary Years Program of IB, anyone who is interested in finding out more about integration and possible inquiry opportunities would benefit.

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Inquiry and Integration in the PYP Specialists Classroom

  1. 1. Are you a teacher in the PYP? Then this is just for you! 1
  2. 2. Inquiry  &  Integra.on     in  the  Ac.ve  Classroom     Dylan  McShain   @DylanMcShain  
  3. 3. What is integration? Combining disciplines or bringing multiple areas together (Beane 1991). Despite the various uses across subjects, the term integrative implies the blurring of boundaries between subjects, with the intent of learners increasing knowledge by incorporating the study of multiple disciplines to solve a common problem or project. Given this, an integrative approach to curriculum rather than separate subject isolation makes sense for students (Brazee and Capelluti 1995).1
  4. 4. First step Can you fully integrate? In other words, can you use the grade team’s unit of inquiry and planner as your own? 4
  5. 5. First step Can you fully integrate? In other words, can you use the grade team’s unit of inquiry and planner as your own? No? 5
  6. 6. First step Can you fully integrate? In other words, can you use the grade team’s unit of inquiry and planner as your own? No? Look elsewhere to integrate! 6
  7. 7. Integration Aide Quick Helper Use this at the beginning and end of your unit of inquiry. It’ll point out strengths and weaknesses!
  8. 8. Integration Aide Another possible tool to drive reflection… if you like numbers.
  9. 9. Inquiry or Inquiry-Based Learning Posing questions, problems, or scenarios - rather than simply presenting established facts or portraying a smooth path to knowledge. The process is often assisted by a facilitator. Inquirers will identify and research issues and questions to develop their knowledge or solutions. Inquiry-based learning includes problem-based learning, and is generally used in small investigations and projects, as well as research.
  10. 10. From the Start! Our units are not just an exploration by students... we’re part of the journey too. *Integration begins in the planning phase, so should inquiry.
  11. 11. Ripping It Apart Central Idea Examples: A powerful piece of art engages the audience and invites a response. (age 8-9) 1.  Is this central idea true? And appropriate? 2.  What’s the main concepts? 3.  How do those concepts relate to your subject? 4.  Make your Central Idea. 5.  Is yours true? And appropriate? Quick Exercise: Answer the following questions about this central idea. Then apply it to one of your own units.
  12. 12. Having trouble integrating with a central idea? Try integrating with the Key Concepts 12
  13. 13. Key Concept Integration Student: “I was running much faster than Abdul.” Form Most comments can be somehow related and brought back to the KEY CONCEPTS P.E. Teacher’s Reply: “What is the difference between a body that runs fast and body that might run slower? What are the legs/ muscles shaped like?”
  14. 14. Quick Exercise Come up with something that a student might say in one of your daily classes. Then try and relate it back to one of the Key Concepts… 14
  15. 15. Now let’s see it fully in action! 15
  16. 16. Activity & Reflection 4th Grade Team Central Idea: Making Balanced Choices Enables Us to Have a Healthy Lifestyle We took this…
  17. 17. Activity & Reflection 4th Grade Team’s Central Idea: Making Balanced Choices Enables Us to Have a Healthy Lifestyle PE Unit Target: Choices Influence Improvement (Team Building Unit) then adapted it to our own “sub”central idea…
  18. 18. Activity & Reflection 4th Grade Team’s Central Idea: Making Balanced Choices Enables Us to Have a Healthy Lifestyle PE Unit Target: Choices Influence Improvement (Team Building Unit) Activity: Trust Falls (Positive & Negative Choices) reinforced the learning through activities about choices…
  19. 19. Activity & Reflection 4th Grade Team’s Central Idea: Making Balanced Choices Enables Us to Have a Healthy Lifestyle PE Unit Target: Choices Influence Improvement (Team Building Unit) Activity: Trust Falls (Positive & Negative Choices) Reflection Questions: What choices were made today? What was the impact of some of those choices? What helped improvement? What hindered improvement? and reflected through the whole process.
  20. 20. In the end… We want our students to make profound connections to our subjects and the world beyond. Authentic integration across all areas is a very integral piece of that process. 20
  21. 21. Questions? Please contact me on twitter @DylanMcShain Thank You And Good Luck!

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