Today’s collaborative planning session with the Year 5 team is both challenging and invigorating. There are 7 of us in the room and one digital participant. The conversation is impassioned and (mostly) focused as we debate, disagree and eventually reach some common understandings.
It takes over an hour to ensure our conceptual understandings are sound and to consider the evidence that will demonstrate these understandings in our learners. This part is the crux.
It doesn’t bother us that most of the planner is still blank and we have barely thought about the learning engagements. We know (now) that if this part is established, we only need a few good provocations, then (almost) sit back and see how the learning unfolds.
Observing and listening to the learning, will determine what happens… that’s how inquiry works, so how can you plan it in advance?
The unit is about digital citizenship, which could easily fit into any of the PYP trans disciplinary themes and end up looking quite different. We want ours to be in ‘How We Express Ourselves’, because, as Silvia Tolisano says, ‘We are preparing students for a time when what they know is not as important as what they can do with what they know…’
It quickly becomes apparent that
- we can never rehash an old unit, because we are always learning.
- some of the understandings from last year are no longer relevant and we need to shift the focus from consumption to creation.
- having 1:1 iPads has changed the way students do things and teachers see things.
- our approaches to teaching literacy and literature require some radical new thinking, as might our definitions of both.
- we need to ensure our students are learning ‘now literacies‘, (Silvia Tolisano) so they can engage effectively in a world very different from when their parents and teachers went to school. (So why does so much of school still look the same?)
- there is endless potential for global collaboration to enhance authentic learning within this unit and the teachers are finally ready. (See my first ever blog post FIVE years ago! We have been chipping away, but there is so much more we can do…)
- the teachers will need to pursue their own inquiries if this unit of inquiry is to be a success… but then, that is what inquiry teachers do.
So how do I tag this post? Is it about planning? Digital citizenship? Inquiry? Concept driven learning?
Or is it about change?