Sunday, May 11, 2014

PYP Part 1 - Animal Adaptations

This year, my school is in its exploratory year of the PYP.  I have had the privilege of attending trainings and professional development, but they only skimmed the surface.  It wasn't until my team and I created our first planner that I felt I had any bit of an understanding of the program. The month of April was then consumed by my our PYP unit.  (For those of you not familiar with IB, I highly recommend checking out this link.)
We decided to take a topic we were familiar with and tweak it.  My teammates and I went with nonfiction text elements through penguin research.  In the PYP world that resulted in How the World Works.

The best part about this unit is the interaction among my students.  I try very hard to get them to work together, but this way of teaching forces them to.

Even though our focus shifted to penguins, we began our unit with a look at habitats around the world and adaptations that animals need to live there.  You can see my students working together on a habitat galley walk.
We also spent some time watching snippets of the Kratt brothers.  PBS is amazing!  I learned so much from this show.
Of course, we also integrated our Art Friday's into the unit.

This project allowed me to use all of those off brand pencils that don't sharpen, but it also REALLY tested my students' spacial skills.  They had to show the desert and ocean habitats using dots.  It was tricky for many, but it pushed their art abilities which I LOVE!!
Be sure to tune in over the next few weeks for more on this PYP unit.

Do you teach at a PYP school?  I would love to hear about your experiences!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I'm at a PYP school too! We got approved last school year. I'm wanting to re-do my grade level planners though- I don't feel like they are really the way they should be yet. Are you a public school, too? How do you guys manage to blend the standards and the PYP ideals?

    The Meek Moose