PE PYP Job Alike – Constructing a Learning Community and Enhancing Learning Through Collaboration

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The Physical Education programme at Arab International Academy is adding strength to the educational values of our institution by placing emphasis on learning through play and focusing on purposeful learning. Our physical education teachers are curriculum designers and we are employing the Teaching Games for Understanding pedagogical approach, which emphasizes play, where tactical and strategic problems are posed in a modified game environment, empowering students’ agency in making decisions.

With the purpose of promoting and establishing high-quality of learning and creating a culture of collaborative planning, the Primary PE Department at Arab International Academy organized a job-alike event focused on Invasion Games.

Physical education teachers from the main IB schools in Doha attended, participated and collaborated in a grade 5 practical session that involved students in inquiry, play, critical thinking and problem solving. Group interaction and communication skills were practiced in a meaningful way by students who inquired into the invasion games category by playing, comparing and contrasting 4 different games. The students’ PE session concluded with an exit permit in which they expressed the outcomes of their learning in a written form by using a ‘Traffic Light’ strategy.

In the second part of the event, teachers planned and reflected on a comprehensive range of assessments and opportunities for learners to take action upon their learning. Developing conceptual questions that spark students’ interest was another key element of the session that supports the Teaching Games for Understanding pedagogical model. We have analyzed the strengths of our programmes and brain-stormed different ways to extend our collaboration beyond this event.

The Physical Education department in the PYP at AIA continues to focus on the progression and development of knowledge, understanding and skills and how students will make meaning and apply them in a variety of environments. Physical education in our school is more than just student participation in sports and games. Our students develop a combination of transferable skills promoting physical, intellectual, emotional and social development and they are provided with learning opportunities to practice, create, apply and evaluate them.  

As teachers, we are revisiting this key information about their learning both, horizontally and vertically, progressively increasing its complexity. Creating connections between what students know and the new learning, moving from simple to complex representations are features of a spiral curriculum, which is one of our strengths at AIA.

We are looking forward to promote collaborative practices at all levels and to co-construct learning, therefore we invite you to strengthen our learning community so that all its members benefit individually and collectively and contribute to our global success. Join our future events and let’s celebrate together learning through collaboration.

Writing a conceptually transdisciplinary unit

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Great professional development opportunity with 4 Generations 4 Education.

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The Becoming Gift

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No man ever steps in the same river twice.’ (Heraclitus)

In the sixth century BC Heraclitus said that nothing in the world around us is constant except the change and becoming. Far away from trying to be philosophical I just had one of the greatest opportunity to experience both concepts today, with physical education teachers and a cohort of students. Taking in consideration that I am an international educator for the past thirteen years and that personally I don’t favor gifts, I have to be honest and say that this is one of the best gifts in life; one of those small ‘essences’ that motivates you, keeps you smiling and on your toes, when some others will need coffee or boosters to keep you going

During a job-alike session, I visited my former school, SEK Qatar, where we had to interact and collaborate with a group of international educators and two classes of grade 5 students. In its big majority the group was made of the same students that I taught when they were in KG2 and grade 1 levels at the same school. So, not only that I could see the physical transformation of these students for the past four years, but I have also experienced the questioning, understanding and hands on activities of their learning process. I smiled when recognizing them by their faces, gestures or even more interesting, by their walk, which in turn reminded me their names. How rewarding and how grateful one can be!

 

I have reflected and reached one conclusion that is connected with my previous posts: as educators we hold a great responsibility over what we instill in our students and how we empower them, always with a purpose in mind. Once they grasp meaning from the learning we plan for them, we are, then, artisans of memorable learning experiences that last for a life time. With a bit of luck, one day we could witness with our own eyes the outcomes of their becoming process. And what a day that would be!

Are these some of the ‘every morning thoughts’ that may keep us engaged and motivated as educators, on the long run? Have I stepped in the same river again?