A day in the PYP classroom. A focus on ownership.

It is an exciting feeling stepping into an IB PYP school as I know that the day is going to be full of surprises and learning. As I punch in, I already have a few kids eagerly waiting to share what they saw on their way to school, how they spent their evening, something they are excited to experience in their classroom for the day etc. which I listen to as we walk down the corridors towards our classroom.

As my class spots me entering the PYP block they all run up to me with similar things to share and one of them will invariably say “Can we please let Ms. Abhi step into the classroom”. This is quite endearing for me to hear as it is what I used to tell for the first 2/3 weeks after the school began. After that, this dialogue of mine was quickly taken ownership of by students.

That brings me to one of the most important aspects of a PYP classroom which is ownership. With agency being the new buzzword since the release of the enhanced PYP ownership is a fundamental component of it.

(Source: Principles into practice – The learner – IBO )

Ownership is woven into every single aspect of the day in school starting from when they step in and decide to share their learning from the previous day to a teacher as she walks into school, to when they decide to follow an essential agreement such as letting the teacher enter they class before they rain down on her with things they want to talk about.

These examples above are informal ways in which ownership is encouraged in our PYP school. Apart from this, ownership encouraged in many other ways throughout the day within the classrooms.

Planning assemblies to promote ownership.

The day begins with the assembly which is often planned and designed by the students within a general structure laid out by the teachers who then take on the role of facilitators. The various grade levels took ownership of their assembly in different ways

Grade 5 – Scripted and acted out a mime on the learner profiles

Grade 4 – Planned for quizzes based on the news they shared

Grade 3 –  Shared information regarding the unit of inquiry and conducted quizzes, planned a surprise teacher’s day assembly

Grade 2 – Shared information regarding their unit of inquiry on body systems by doing a demonstration on how long the small intestine is using ribbons

Planning for such presentations helps them take ownership of their learning in class as they often have the question “How can I present what I learnt today in the assembly” in their mind.

Student presentations to promote ownership

“Children have to be educated, but they also have to be left to educate themselves” – Ernest Dimmet

Part 2 of the post to follow soon ……

Promoting ownership through the classroom practices

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