Exhibition reflection, summary of our inquiry journey
After the lot of work and effort finally we are here at the end of the road. We have done it, beautifully. All success. Now it is time to reflect. The Exhibition reflection is as important part of the journey as any other parts.
As we have started everything with a blank page, let’s start our journey’s reflection with a blank page too… See that happened on the way.
Having finished our exhibition journey I’m feeling a bit controversial.
One hand I’m so happy that it was a great success and after the big effort we all put in it, some struggles here and there, everything turned out the best way it could be imagined. I would say perfect if I believed such thing.
On the other hand I feel a bit of an emptiness. Have you ever had the feeling after you crossed the finish line, the feeling of now what? I need new challenges to complete, new obstacles to jump over. I know they come, they constantly come because if they don’t, I’ll go and look for them. But right now everything is still and quiet, waiting for the echo and to the reflection to be written about the day on the Exhibition and also the process how we have all arrived here.
Let’s see the day of the Exhibition first. A lot of people came to see us, listened to the kids and I don’t exaggerate it but people were really, really impressed with all the thing they heard and saw.
It’s quite interesting to realise how easy is to steal your social media password if you’re not careful enough and to find out about it from an 11 years old could be pretty amazing.
Having to know about the ocean crisis is one thing but getting solutions and ideas from kids as sort of their future depends on it, makes the whole thing more meaningful for all.
Looking at some cool new inventions (fidget spinner used as mobile phone recharger) and consider renewable energy as our future asset.
Obviously the Exhibition is not only about the final product and presentation but more likely about the journey. Where these kids come from, how much they have learnt what is the main take-away for them and what ways they can take action to make the world a better place to live in.
So let’s start our reflection from the beginning.
The pillars of our exhibition were students’ ownership of their learning (choice and reflection), the inquiry journey (find reliable information that support our inquiry) and the taking action part (to be a meaningful deed).
We started preparing for the exhibition as soon as we came back from our summer holidays in September.
I played some collaborative games with them as a start to make them realise the importance of helping each other and working together for a common goal to achieve. Such as our Marshmallow Challenge
Then we, 6th grade kids and teachers, got together to watch some videos about previous exhibitions. Some were about the students point of view, in some others different members of the learning community were talking and explaining about the process and the final day of the exhibition.
After watching the videos and introducing the main elements of the exhibition, students had their very first reflection on it.
We continued with a talking about the IB Learner Profile and the PYP Attitudes so students could decide upon which ones to improve weekly. Well, basically each student chose individually and set their goals to complete at the beginning of each week and reflected on the process at the end of the week.
After some thinking routines about the theme students created their groups who they chose to work with during their exhibition journey. Then groups decided on their own Central Ideas and Lines of Inquiry.
After each group created their Lines of Inquiry the research was almost on. But before kids started their inquiry we had a session about academic honesty and how to cite different resources. Students used experts interviews, inviting some experts to school, preparing specific interview questions. They were investigating and finding information on different websites and books from the library. They were watching the news to find out the latest trends about their topic. Some groups arranged visits to experts such as Greenpeace, Forest engineers, the Zoo or other professional place where they could see how experts work and what they were doing. Students were conducting surveys in and out of school as well.
After careful investigation it was time to reflect on the gained information. Groups started to organise and digest whatever they had in hand. So they analysed and synthetised their findings to reach conclusion. Some of them started a blog and posted their ideas on it, others created flyers with the information or graphs to see the summary of their surveys. Most of the groups decided to do presentation to inform other year groups about their work. They used various ways to present their work. Some used Prezi, others recorded videos, used stop motion or green screen, created posters or models to make their work more visual.
Then we arrived to the last phase.
What to do with all this information in our hands? Take action! As knowledge without taking action is like planting seeds and not watering them. As all year 6 students got together one more time to share ideas in what ways we could take action.
We have all decided that taking action could be through saying, doing, change of viewing, change of thinking, being, feeling, presenting.
Then each group decided on and created an action plan on their own. They planned what to do, how to do it and counted on what resources they are going to need to accomplish their goals.
Some of them decided to make younger students aware of the dangers and harm social media could cause if we don’t use it responsibly, others were collecting plastic to recycle and creating leaflets with some advice how to help saving the planet. Groups came up with various action ideas to have a better future.
Along the journey most of the students thinking changed and I saw constant improvement in their attitude and skills as well. We lived some unforgetable moments together and became more responsible by the end.