Who We Are

I can’t say enough how excited I am to be teaching at an IB school.  We are currently transitioning into the PYP program and I am so excited!  I can’t wait to learn more about inquiry and IB learning in primary, having gone through the diploma program myself.

In preparation for our inquiry units, I used someone else’s idea and created my own inquiry cycle board.  I love that it provides the students with a visual of their learning throughout the unit.


The first week I started off with a couple exercises to get my students thinking and preparing for inquiry units. I started small, being unsure of which direction to go and still leaving time to figure out where they were academically.  Now that we are almost finished with our first unit, I wanted to share our pyp journey on my blog along with my adventures, because it’s been so much fun!

Our first unit began with this question:

Who are you?

I mean. Come on IB. People go their whole lives trying to figure this out!  There were so many ways to look at this question, but, being an anthropologist and all, I definitely leaned toward a social science perspective.  Forget the human body, we have spent the last month looking at our community, culture, and heritage. Let me just say I have learned a lot about Chinese culture from these little people!

To start, we talked about our family for about a week and a half.  We discussed:

  • Who is in our family.
  • What our place is in the family.
  • Why family is important.


We also discussed our names and why they are important.  I will add a post on the cute craft we did with that later.

Because inquiry-based learning is transdisciplinary, I thought graphing would be a great way to present and interpret our data. Each day we discussed family, I had a question on our portable dry-erase board for them to answer.  The questions were:

  • Who do you live with?
  • How many siblings do you have?
  • Where do you fit in your family?
  • What do you like to do with your family?
  • What jobs do you do with your family?

Now, I love interactive learning. So I made magnetic name cards for each student (and teacher) so that we can place our vote on the bar graph ourselves.  The students loved watching to see how their friends would answer almost as much as answering themselves.  It’s the little things Y’all.  Of course graphing daily gave us a chance to really hit data collection and interpretation. We asked lots of questions like,  “How many more students…,” “How many in all…,” “Which category was the least…,” and so on.  We also took time to turn our bar graphs into tally charts and pictographs!  Data everywhere!

The name cards will be used all year for many different things!  The possibilities are endless.  We haven’t even used them with the pocket charts yet. Watch out world.

On Friday of the first week, I had each table think of their own graphing question that relates to family.  This was a little difficult for some.  Once they thought of their question I let them go to each table and survey their classmates.  Then they made a tally chart and pictograph of the data and presented it to the class.

During reflection, we discussed what was easy and hard about this process.  They had really great observations.  As usual, the major problem was missing votes.  One student said it was difficult to think of a question related to family because it was too specific.  Another student said it was difficult to narrow the choices down to three categories.  Everyone believed bar graphs are the easiest to make, and, dare I say, the most fun thanks to their practice with my magnetic name tags.

{Will insert picture of reflection once I find it.}

This was such a great start to our unit, but our next project was much more fun!

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