IB PYP Essential Elements
To achieve a balance in learning, the PYP emphasizes the five parts of the curriculum which are called the Essential Elements of the curriculum.
These five elements are CONCEPTS, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ATTITUDES and ACTION.
CONCEPTS: TEACHING AND LEARNING IS CONCEPT DRIVEN
At Jesse Boyd Elementary, teaching and learning is concept driven. Eight Key Concepts define types of questions that can be used to thoroughly explore any topic or inquiry. Students and teachers use concepts to create questions, expand understanding and comprehension, and to delve deeper into the curriculum. Imagine a subject or area that you might like to learn more about. Concepts create building blocks for learning. Why a Concepts-Based Curriculum? “The traditional design of a curriculum did not come into question when business operated with an industrial model that called for factory workers who could follow orders, carry on repetitive tasks with little thought, and work in relative isolation. But business has changed drastically, and education is adapting to meet the need for workers who can identify and solve complex problems, think independently as well as in team situations, and exhibit the characteristics of leaders no matter what their job in an organization.” - Lynn Erickson, 2002
Curriculum at Jesse Boyd Elementary School is organized K-5 into Six Transdisciplinary Themes. These themes are designed to guide students and teachers to focus on the “big ideas” important to learning about ourselves and the world. They are both simple and very complex. Each theme is taught at each grade level with appropriate emphasis for the age and stage of the student. Students spiral through the themes during their studies at Chase building an ever-growing understanding, deeper connections and comprehension, and a strong knowledge base.
Each of the Six themes involve about six weeks of guided inquiry each year. Themes are intended to be “Transdisciplinary”, which simply means that each theme includes areas of study and curriculum from all the various subject matter. Teaching and learning become more relevant, real, and authentic when students meld mathematics, science, literacy, social studies, and other content areas into an inquiry.
SKILLS: WHAT DO WE WANT THE STUDENTS TO BE ABLE TO DO?
Best practice in education has always included a strong skill component. The construction of meaning and, therefore, understanding is complemented by the students’ acquiring and applying a range of skills. At Jesse Boyd Elementary School, our curriculum includes Trans-disciplinary Skills incorporated within the units of inquiry. Together with South Carolina State and National Standards, Trans-disciplinary Skills provide the foundation of skill development to enable our students to succeed.
The Transdisciplinary Skills include: *Social Skills: Accepting Responsibility Respecting Others Cooperating Resolving Conflict Group Decision Making Adopting a Variety of Roles *Communication Skills Listening Speaking Reading Writing Non-Verbal Communication *Thinking Skills Acquisition of Knowledge Comprehension Application Analysis Synthesis Evaluation Dialectical thought Metacognition *Research Skills Forming Questions Observing Planning Collecting Data Recording Data Organizing Data Interpreting Data Presenting Research *Self Management Skills Gross Motor Skills Fine Motor Skills Spatial Awareness Organization Time Management Safety Healthy Lifestyle Codes of Behavior Informed Choices
While we want to develop the Learner Profile, Concepts, and a vast array of Knowledge and Skills, these alone do not constitute an internationally-minded student within the IB-PYP. The IB-PYP Attitudes are a vital focus in the development of positive attitudes towards people, the environment, and learning.
ATTITUDES: WHAT DO WE WANT STUDENTS TO FEEL, VALUE AND DEMONSTRATE?While recognizing the importance of knowledge, concepts and skills, these alone do not make an internationally minded person. It is vital that there is also focus on the development of personal attitudes towards people, towards the environment and towards learning, attitudes that contribute to the well-being of the individual and of the group. * Appreciation I notice the beauty of people and the world.
I notice the beauty of people and the world.
I stick to the job.
I believe in myself.
I work with others.
I use my imagination.
I wonder about the world.
I understand how other people feel.
I enjoy learning and life!
I can work and think on my own.
I tell the truth.
I treat others the way i want to be treated.
I know there are many different kinds of people.
ACTION: HOW DO WE WANT THE STUDENTS TO ACT?
We encourage a positive attitude to learning by challenging students to solve problems, show creativity and resourcefulness and participate actively in their communities. Students at Jesse Boyd are challenged to choose his or her actions based on learning and interests that arise during inquiries. The Action Cycle is a working model to guide learning experiences, research, inquiry and social interactions. This never ending cycle includes reflection, choice and action.