Identity, creativity, commitment, oh my!
Studio 4 are currently working on their How We Express Ourselves (HWEO) unit, combined with our year long Who We Are (WWA) unit.
Due to holidays, camp, and a number of other things, this unit is lasting from January until March. I cannot wait that long to write a blog post about this process so along the way I will be writing about each phase of what we do. It was a bit of a complicated process to plan out, but even from the beginning it felt right!
Week 1 - Tuning In - Identity Workshops
We felt that the students needed a bit of an understanding of their identity before starting (their why?) to get creative with it. We did this by first looking at the HWEO descriptor from the PYP.
"An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs, and values' the ways in which we reflect on, extend, and enjoy our creativity' our appreciation of the aesthetic."
As you can see, it also links well with WWA, which happens to be our year long unit.
We took that descriptor and created 6 workshops to help students tune in to the pieces of their own identities. Here is a gallery of work that came from each of those workshops (Ideas, Feelings, Nature, Culture, Beliefs, and Values).
Each morning, students signed up for a new workshop they had not attended yet. By the end of 6 days they had worked through each of the pieces in their HWEO journal with a variety of different students in each of their workshops.
Week 2/3 - Finding Out and Sorting out - Creativity Workshops
January 17 - 24th
As I write this we are only 2 days into this phase.
I. AM. LOVING. IT!!!!
And so are the students. It feels so incredibly RIGHT. Our timetable for this week is nothing short of amazing. I am truly jealous of the education these students are being exposed to.
I'll admit it. I was weary when I looked at my list of students. We all know the ones who are not well known for listening particularly well or possibly taking instructions well either.
However, the "why" of all of this shone through and proved my weariness completely wrong. The beauty of this method is that these students wanted to be there. They had ownership over that decision. They were excited. They wanted to learn. They listened to my every word, even when I had to cut them off because movie making is an incredibly long process. They reflected with purpose and attention about how they could use movie making to show their identity later in the unit when they have more time.
Not only were they feeling good about their choices, but so was I. I was teaching something I was passionate about, that I have loved doing since middle school. They loved hearing that I won awards in high school at student film festivals. They soaked in my tips and experience. I showed them how to improve their shots and after repositioning one videographer to capture something from a better angle, he even exclaimed, "wow, you really ARE an expert at this!" It was so much fun to get out of the studio and spend time with students, exposing them to one of my passions and seeing their interests flicker and spark.
I cannot speak for the other Studio 4 Teachers, but this is what has been my experience so far. Here is a gallery of other photos and work students have accomplished so far in these amazing Creativity Workshops.
Week 4/5/6/7 - Going Further - Commitment Groups
January 28 - March 8
Students committed to one area for at least a week.
The plan was to have the following groups as a week long choice to commit to. However, we noticed that some areas have more interest than others. We listened to student voice and choice during this time, meaning some of these groups were combined.
I am leading the Digital Creation 1 group, and have the following slides for students to help scaffold their purpose/why, to do lists, planning/scheduling, reflections, progress, and final pivot/persevere. There are two weeks in their calendar, but we may not be meeting every day due to Tet and camp preparations. However, students still might work on these projects throughout the day, so I kept the days in for them.
Come back to see how this goes!
Week 8 - Making Conclusions - Preparation for Mini-X
Beginning March 11th, students will be deciding how they can best show their identity. We will have a semi-collapsed timetable with art and music teachers available to us more often, without their S4/S5 timetabled lessons. We are looking forward to see how this will work, possibly as a trial for future units!
Week 9 - Taking Action - Mini-X
Our Mini X will be Tuesday, March 19, 2019. Come back to see how it went!
Former PYP Coordinator and Head of Computing Curriculum, Apple Teacher, Google Educator L2, Microsoft Innovative Educator, Book Creator and Seesaw Ambassador. Passionate Canadian PYP Teacher in Vietnam