Thursday, 23 February 2017

Sharing the Planet: It's Not Always About Winning

Sharing the Planet: Plague Inc

After having just spent the last two hours 'playing games' with grade six, I feel the need to write a blog post and explain my actions :)

The current unit, Sharing the Planet, in this case, should be called, 'Spreading the Planet with Disease!'

Let me dissect this for you readers:
Box 1 of the PYP Planner
With the above explanation in mind, how do I justify 'playing games' for two hours?  It is no secret that if we give a student an iPad with little or no guidance, they will just ' play around.' They might learn something from it, but do they really know what they have learned and how to record, articulate to others, and share in their ePortfolio?

It is fascinating to watch students frantically press the iPad screen in the hope that something will happen and with the expectation they can win! It is even more rewarding when I interact with students, observe, listen and facilitate with their inquiry.

The objective of the simulation app, Plague Inc., might be to spread the disease and avoid a cure being found before it has taken over. However, the REAL learning intention in our classroom is to spread the disease and prevent a cure being found with a critical mind, by developing a strategy, applying previous knowledge, collaborating and learning from others.

Now, let us discuss the "frantic" approach in which grade six tackled this app, and bear in mind that they were asked to record their observations and findings using the below matrix.  Students were expected to document the changes/actions that help spread the disease and record the changes/actions that hinder the disease to spread and examples from the real world.
Question: How many students were actually recording during this "frantic" period?  You guessed it: very little! Remember, they were playing!  
At this point, the students noticeably started to slow down.  The noise levels dropped.  Students became engaged and serious about the task in hand.  It was not about winning that comes with gaming, it became about using prior knowledge to further the spread of their disease, about collaborating with their peers to hear and see what they are doing well and how they might replicate this in their simulation.
A particular standout moment for me was from Isabella, when she perceptively informed those around her that if they were starting in a cold country, then would need to make sure that the cold wouldn't hinder the spread of the disease.

Where would start the spread of a deadly disease and Why?

Students watch their screens, react to the news and come up with strategies to further spread the disease.

Related Blog Posts: Not all screentime is screen time

As always, we would love to hear your comments. Feel free to share and follow us on Twitter!

Mr Towse

Thursday, 16 February 2017

| ICT | Exhibition 2017 |

Thank you to parents, guardians and of course students who came out for #SeisenExhibtion17 Launch Night! 

How Will You Use ICT Today?

Students will use ICT throughout their Exhibition.  It will take on many forms and will visible via our Exhibition Site, Grade Six Blog and students will evidence their inquiry on their ePortfolio.

Below is the presentation that was shared. If you have any further queries about the PYP Exhibition at Seisen International School, please do not hesitate to contact our PYP Coordinator or Grade Six Homeroom Staff.

Stop! Motion! How We Express Ourselves

During this year's grade two How We Express Ourselves unit students learned through inquiry (and Stop Motion Studio) that stories can engage their audience, communicate meaning, and express values. In addition to enjoying stories created by others, students also learned how to express one's self in creative ways by using their imagination.

In collaboration with our art teacher, Ms Diane, students learned how to share stories by making stop motion videos. The girls have been retelling traditional folktales and illustrating the stories by drawing pictures during art class.

Introducing iPads, we were able to take pictures of their modelled clay and turn their artwork into stop motion animations with the app, Stop Motion Studio. Students learned new skills and deepened their knowledge from grade one. Learning to make incremental changes between frames so in the final product the illusion of movement is created.

Besides the technical know-how, this art form gives learners an opportunity to develop PYP Attitudes - with learning a new set of skills comes the need to preserve!  When we consider it take Nick Park creator of Wallace and Gromit claymation movies take over a year to bring his creations to the cinema.
Do any other of the Attitudes spring to mind?