Essential agreement…

In a PYP school, every working group (teachers or students) starts off by creating an ‘essential agreement’.  In the classroom, this means that, rather than teachers imposing rules, everyone works collaboratively to establish an agreement of how the class will function.

Today Jocelyn and I developed our class essential agreement.  We started by asking the children to consider carefully and then write down what helps them learn and what hinders their learning. The next step was to share with a partner and find the things they had in common. Later we brought back a  list of all the things they had written and, in groups, the students highlighted those they saw as most important for a class essential agreement which will maximise learning for everyone.  This will be collated, brought back one more time to make sure everyone agrees and then we’ll have our class essential agreement!

The wordle shows the key words from the students’ original list of what helps them to learn.  We believe it’s important to have an essential agreement that’s based on creating an environment conducive to learning, rather than rules and regulations.

PYP Key Concept: Function. Series of posts through the lens of  key concepts of PYP. Posts relating to other concepts so far: Form, Change, Connection, Perspective, Responsibility.

30 thoughts on “Essential agreement…

  1. Using a Wordle for students to record their discussions about what helps them learn is an excellent way of making their thinking visible. It’s great that all students were able to give input and the size of the words is showing how important each of these is to the class as a whole.


  2. Looking at the wordle I noticed that the children saw themselves as a community of learners where sharing learning and asking questions are important aspects for their learning. I couldn’t help but smile when I thought about how far we’ve come as a school, in terms of our “teaching” and the children’s learning.:)


  3. I used the same two questions with last year’s class. Looking at our learning environment through these 2 questions led to greater and more authentic insight into how we learn and personal connections were made for the students and myself. There was also a greater sense of ownership of learning in our environment and a genuine desire for cooperation followed.

    Am planning to do this exercise with my class in circle time this week. Maybe i will be adventurous and learn how to display their responses using Wordle 🙂


  4. Hi,

    I would love to use this as an example to illustrate what an essential agreement is. With your permission I would like to include the blog entry and the wordle in an MYP conference workbook. I will link your blog and give you full credit.

    would that be cool?



  5. AT the beginning of the year we are required to do a “Social Contract” with our students and keep it posted. It can take up a lot of space because we record everything on chart paper. I love the idea of using Wordle to consolidate all of the ideas!


  6. I am also thinking of new ways to create a social contract between staff and students to encourage a positive learning environment; the Wordle’s a great idea> Thank you!


  7. Does anyone have some suggestions / ideas for developing an IB staff essential agreement? We haven’t done one before as are a candidate IB school. Interested in some ideas / samples if anyone is able to share.
    Thanks. it would be really appreciated.


  8. Pingback: PYP | Pearltrees

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