Today I had a luxury all teachers should be able to have.
I work at International School Ho Chi Minh City. At the beginning of the year all teachers were given a "golden ticket." This afforded us one day of cover to use as we wish for PD purposes. Some people use them to visit other schools, some people use them to observe just down the hall, as we don't always get time to do this in our normal busy schedules.
I teach in Studio 4 (grade 4 age). My plan was to mainly spend time in our Early Explorers rooms as well as Studio 5 looking at spaces and structures.
After reviewing my pages of notes, these were my main takeaways from today. These are all based on our own particular structures that are set up already in our school situation.
Questions I have...
1. Instead of whole classrooms used as home bases, could we reframe our thinking to be one carpet/projector area as the home base? This would create "more room" in the studio for specialty areas such as a makerspace/building area, scientific tools/thinking area, a building area (large builds and small), etc. and possibly afford us the time and space to leave things out as provocations for inquiry more often?
2. Do we need a Town Hall that is a dedicated open space for meetings? Could we not find somewhere else to meet? Or meet in a classroom with the sliding walls open to extend the area, if needed?
3. Can we make one room a building/maker-space area? Can we paint a wall green for green screen movies?
4. Can we use TAs and EAL support for daily afternoon CAR time discussions about progress, assistance, and accomplishments? Can specialist teachers be used for these discussions, especially during the HWEO unit?
5. Can we create a common specialist timetable sign up that is consistent through studio 4 and studio 5? Wouldn't this be more efficient for the specialist teachers? And students, in the long run?
6. How can we create more space for provocations and inquiries?
7. What data can we collect from students about their learning? And then how can we involve students in the analysis of that data? Why are teachers only using that data?
8. How can our morning flexible time, 7:45-8:15 be more... more? Is banning iPads the right way? Some of them plan their day at that time.
9. Can we set up book clubs where students talk about more than one book at a time?
10. How can more "circle time" discussions happen, and what would make them the most purposeful for our learners?
Materials I want!
In addition to that, I saw a lot of furniture get added to my wish list!
- folding bookshelves
- coffee tables
- a shelf on its side for large storage
- lines for hanging things on
- large art display areas
Passionate Canadian PYP Teacher in Vietnam