Busy, busy, busy… There is a short post about our second week of the Exhibition journey.
As kids are excited, motivated and full of questions, they have been really keeping me on my toes and I am exhausted by the end of the day. Although, I am really tired, I enjoy working on this unit and day after day I got more convinced that we should be working like this all year long, not only for the Exhibition.
So here comes our weekly journal:
Finalising the Lines of inquiry.
Each group needed to think through the main concepts and inquiries they were going to work on to finish with their own lines of inquiry. They were checking if the lines of inquiry are corresponding their interests, also if they were connected with the central idea and the chosen key concepts.
After that as students couldn’t stop wondering, they were offered some time to create more inquiry related questions and sort them under different key concepts. Although not all these questions are strictly related to the three lines of inquiry, I believe questions shouldn’t be stopped there. As the information they look for to answer these questions are all going to support their inquiry and most probably it will help to see a bigger picture which they could use to take action later.
We have got quite a big range of interesting topics, beginning with the importance of using renewable energy (how humans use their understanding of scientific principles) to deforestation, ocean crisis (interaction between natural world and human societies) and even dangers of social media (as impact of technological advances on society) came into sight. So unless you’re there, probably you couldn’t even imagine how many lines of inquiry come to sight these days.
First meeting with mentors
Talking about how to work together and how to share the work load.
This year a lot of things changed whether we like it or not, whether we agree with it or not. So the best thing is to learn how to live with it. I believe in children’s choice. Which means the majority of time I let them choose, learn and correct their mistakes or live with their choices.
As the Exhibition is supposed to be about students’ choice, last year they had the chance and responsibility of finding their mentors, asking members of the IB community who could help them during their inquiry journey.
This year we have a different system. Teachers who were interested in helping kids with the Exhibition process, signed up to be mentors. A week later they were given the groups they mentor. Neither teachers nor the groups could choose… As I am not entitled to comment on this, I better leave it. But if you have an opinion on this issue that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Agree or disagree, it would be interesting to read and learn from it.
Anyway, today groups were meeting their assigned mentors and started to work with them. Mentors got familiar with their groups, their Central idea, chosen inquiry and thoughts. They started helping with the process.
They gave some suggestions to students how to begin their researches and helped them where to find valuable information, they could use in the work. A lot of websites, videos, book titles, magazines and newspapers were saved to favourites or recorded on paper.
Most mentors arranged their timetables to meet their groups on Wednesdays to talk about work students have done and do some planning for the following week. At this point everything looks well organised.
Creating key concept related questions
Today students continued creating and recording questions then they sorted them with the corresponding key concepts whichever support the unique inquiry of each group.
As we talked about the key concepts and concept questions previously, students already put their curiosity into questions now they sorted them out under different key concepts.
Although not all of them is connected to the lines of inquiry, finding the answers to them will still support the inquiry. We shouldn’t ever stop kids asking questions. It is fundamental to let them explore and open their minds as much as possible.
Whenever students finished and agreed on the questions, as a group, they checked if they are all relevant and worth to investigate on, the real exploration and research started.
Groups eagerly dived into their research, recording answers and looking for solution to solve problems.
Library session with librarian.
Before we went too far with collecting information, it was our scheduled time to have an assembly in the library.
Our librarian was talking about academic honesty, showing great examples of what is allowed or not allowed to use in their presentations and work. The importance of citing correctly, consequences of using somebody else’s thoughts or work and not giving the credit.
Although, we work on this topic regularly, it was still an eye-opener for the kids hearing about it from somebody else not only me.
He made students realise some important things about “stealing” other people’s work and how much it is on stake if they do so.
As it was part of the topic, back in the classroom, I also talked about photos, they usually download straight from the Internet without realising those are too somebody else’s property. I showed them websites where they can use photos from, free of charge in case they need to have some in their presentations.
So we can start next week collecting learning evidence, exploring and recording information correctly from different resources.