PYP Music Patterns

This term, Grade 2 students have been exploring patterns in music through rhythmic, melodic as well as harmonic sequencing. Utilizing the digital platform of Chrome Music Lab: Song Maker, they have composed some uniquely sounding music which, in turn, displays as a production of colorful sequences. 

Sharing the Planet with Preschool 3

In Unit two we have been exploring Planet Earth and all the living and non-living things we share it with. For the provocation of the unit we got their minds thinking by observing the planet and analyzing and talking about all its unique characteristics and features. We talked about what colors we saw on the planet and what they meant, i.e. “Blue is water where fish live.” We later created our own planet earth in a non-messy painting sensory motor activity. 

Visual Art

The Pre 3 classes have been working on the Sharing the planet Unit of Inquiry. As part of their integrated art inquiry, the students have been exploring drawing from observation to recognize lines, curves, colors, and shapes of the nature forms. Direct observation lessons are vital for building hand-eye coordination skills and improve their artistic skills. Through learning observational drawing skills, students have been practicing to make compositional choices as well as accurately depict form of the plants and the flowers around the school. We have been also learning how to art critic our artworks. 

Observational drawing of plants and natural forms

Let’s Stay Healthy with Grade 1 Students

During our unit of inquiry Who we are, the students learned about ways to stay physically and emotionally healthy. We invited a guest speaker Dr. Manasik to join us online and share with the students the importance of staying healthy and living a balanced lifestyle.  

Students in class and at home listened to the doctor and engaged in appropriate discussions about their health. They also had some questions to ask the doctor. We had a great session that helped students reflect on their daily habits. After that, each student created their own healthy recipe to add to their menu that they will make and share with the rest of the class.  

Migration in Minecraft

In our Grade 5 Unit of Inquiry, ‘Where we are in place and time’, students continued to work together within their Minecraft world to tell a story of movement. 

Using the knowledge and research collected within our Unit of Inquiry, students took action developing detailed storylines that included push and pull factors related to movement of people and animals. Students collaborated with other groups and made connections through writing persuasive letters to different characters in our world. We learned that we are all connected, and that movement is important to how we thrive on this planet.  

Body Parts by Preschool 4

In preschool 4, we are learning about our bodies as part of our Who We Are unit of inquiry! The students learned to name and describe different parts of their bodies and their functions, “my knees bend so I can run fast”. Each student had their body traced and then they chose the color they would use to paint their traced bodies. After the painting process, the students individually looked at their craft and named their familiar body parts. The students and teachers then had the opportunity to name the body parts in their home languages. 

Let’s dive into the art world!

Student-led conferences (SLC) offer authentic opportunities for students to share their learning with their parents/caregivers. It encourages greater agency and helps students transition from the classroom to life experiences by practicing it with their parents.

During the SLC week, our students had an opportunity to reflect and share what they have learned throughout the year in visual arts class. They created artworks to share their experiences, thoughts, feelings, imaginations, and cultural arts with their parents. They were in control of what form of art and skills they would like to share which was highly motivational. They showed honesty and integrity related to their learning in the SLCs as they were required to take on a high level of responsibility to share their artworks with the SEK-Qatar community virtually.

We would like to say a huge thank you again to all students, parents, and guardians for their hard work and patience over this term and the academic year.

You will find unique artwork produced by inspiring young artist here.

Let’s dive into the art world! – Wakelet

PYP Visual Arts Project for Earth Day 2021

As part of the 51st Earth Day celebration, our PYP Visual Art teacher Ms. Ebru created an optional activity for Primary School learners. This activity had a focus on reusing materials, and looking for natural materials in the environment to create different pieces of art. Students submitted their work online, and spoke about why they felt creating artwork with an Earth Day focus was interesting for them.

Why we have provocations

Too often we give children answers to remember, rather than problems to solve. (Roger Lewin, 1974)

Why we have provocations.

When we first approach a new unit of inquiry, one thing that needs substantial planning is the provocation. The provocation is meant to ‘provoke’ or inspire inquiry, and create an experience that gets the students thinking and asking questions. It is a hook, that grabs hold of the student’s attention and helps them to think differently. Provocations are there to connect our 3D curriculum; knowledge, skills and concepts, and develop student questions about the new unit of inquiry. Teachers use the provocation as a way to assess prior knowledge, and give students a small ‘trailer’ of some of the learning to come. It is also a way to identify any misconceptions that will need to be addressed in later learning.

So what does a provocation look like?

As you can imagine, the provocation needs to be something new, and needs careful planning and consideration. Teachers ask themselves what experience the students could have that supports not only the new unit of inquiry, but is appropriate to the age of the students. To do this, during our collaborative planning sessions, the grade level teachers, along with the coordinator, ask themselves if the provocation is going to;

  • spark inquiry?
  • generate questions?
  • leave a lasting impression?
  • support the construction of new knowledge, skills and conceptual awareness?
  • be meaningful, interesting, exciting?

Below are some examples of provocations that students at SEK-Qatar have experiences during hybrid learning.

Preschool 5 – How the world works

Central Idea: Scientists study the properties of light to use in daily life

Our Pre5 students arrived to the classroom with the doors closed. I watched on as the students stood outside for a while, and then hesitantly knocked on the door, asking if the teacher was in there. Inside the classroom was completely black. The windows had been covered up with card, and there was no light coming in apart from the crack in the door. Once inside, students were given the opportunity to explore different sources of light that were around them; torches, light cubes, all had different brightness and some had different colours. The students were excitedly whispering to each other about what they could and couldn’t see, and were seeing if they could make our the details of the classroom. The students asked questions about where light comes from, how our eyes work in the dark, and why we need light to see and do things.

Grade 2 – How we organize ourselves

Central Idea: The organisation and operation of marketplaces is determined by the communities in which they are located

Our Grade 2 students had a different experience to the Pre5s. There provocation happened in the corridors, to enable more social distance and safety. One morning, the G2 students, while walking through the corridors on their way to class were met with stalls set up, tills ready, and stock on shelves. A mini market place. After some small instructions from the teachers, the students were able to take on the role of the vendors or the customers. (Usually, students would have more of a free reign over what choices they made, but with our current protocols we had to plan with safety in mind) Immediately there was a buzz. What am I selling? How much will this be? Do I need more of this? Can I sell this to you because I need more of this….. They had taken on their roles with vigor, and soon posters were made advertising what they were selling. While the stores were getting set up, these customers had made their own money, written shopping lists and thought about how much they wanted to spend. Then the customers were able to, with physical distance in mind, ‘visit’ these other stores to see what they needed. This role-play enabled students to think about the role of marketplaces in Qatar and in the local communities, think about what markets used to look like and inquire into markets of the future.

Grade 3 – How the world works

Humans manipulate materials to meet their needs

In G3, students were given a task, create the tallest tower using only the materials available to you. Students at school were supplied with 4 sets of materials that they could choose from. Students at home had been told which resources they needed to have available ready for the activity. This synchronous task happened at school and at home, and the competition was fierce. Student used their scientific thinking to predict which materials would be best for them to create the tallest tower, and during the activity you could hear them speak with their friends about making the right or wrong choice. Students used their prior knowledge of structures and materials to create their towers, and reflected on both the process, and the materials used, sparking questions about the use of appropriate materials for the task and how these materials can be manipulated.

Grade 4 – How the world works

Space exploration leads to new discoveries and understandings

For this provocation, since due to our current circumstances we could not visit a planetarium, the planetarium was brought to them. The grade level teachers transformed the auditorium into a planetarium using a variety of projectors and speakers to give the students an immersive experience. Students were shown videos of outer space, the solor system, and exposed to the gentle hum of space. The students were in awe as they were taken on a journey into outer space, and many made comparisons to the journey to mars that humans are currently planning.

Students are always excited when met with new leaning, and talk about these experiences for months after they have happened. When you receive the newsletter advertising you children’s new unit of inquiry, please make sure you ask them about their provocation, and what questions they had that they want to answer.