Grade 1 - 2019-20
Childhood is a time of joy and wonder and natural curiosity. At the Booker School, these traits are honoured, protected and nurtured. Each child in the Grade 1 classroom is part of a caring, fair and compassionate community of learners. We believe that a love of learning is fostered when a child’s authentic interests, character and skills drive an engaging and challenging Programme of Inquiry.
Collaboration between students in the classroom -- as well as within the Booker School and the surrounding communities-- is viewed as highly valuable. Exploring nature, art, international mindedness and community service happen everyday. Collaboration and the sharing of diverse viewpoints is a means to differentiate instruction and explore and celebrate individual differences. Developing empathy and emotional intelligence throughout the Primary Years Programme allows for greater success in the extension of self awareness and their role within society.
Parents, children, and teachers are partners in learning who are committed to the values of The Booker School. The cultural and social contexts in which the students live and learn are honoured as diversity is celebrated. Inclusivity is essential in the development of open-minded and caring individuals. Every voice in the Grade 1 classroom is encouraged and valued with patience. Students are expected to be active learners and contributors within the class.
The goals of every IB student and teacher are to live the Learner Profile and to make the world a better place. Taking action is an important component of the PYP. We believe that education must include socially responsible attitudes and thoughtful and appropriate action. This cycle is initiated by the students and not by teachers or by parents. With positive action and inquiry as goals, learning becomes transdisciplinary, interactive, and engaging.
In the Grade 1 class, we approach student-led inquiry through a broad and flexible framework. We model the inquiry cycle through numerous strategies including, for example, visible thinking, concept wonder walls and “voice and choice.” To achieve the goal of making thinking visible, students and teachers use thinking routines that create coherence within the taught and assessed curriculum. Engagement looks and sounds like students explaining things to each other, offering creative ideas or brainstorming alternative interpretations.
The Grade 1 class is inspired by the IB philosophy where assessment is not a separate exercise isolated from the other elements of teaching and learning. Living the Learner Profile necessitates that students have opportunities to set, track, reflect on, and reassess goals. We recognize the importance of assessing the process of inquiry as well as the product(s) of inquiry.
By respecting the importance of process, children will develop a growth mindset. Mistakes are valued and seen as a path towards asking deep questions, reasoning and exploring connections. For example, math assessment in our Grade 1 class clearly illustrates the belief that there are many creative solutions or pathways through a growth-oriented question. The writing of Jo Boaler, Professor of Mathematics Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, greatly informs the direction of assessment in the Grade 2-4 class.
Children’s progress in understanding connections is frequently documented via digital portfolios, exhibitions, self-reflection and student-led conferences. This collection of documentation is shared with the student, caregivers and parents because they are partners who provide multiple perspectives on how the child best learns. Learning is connected to the lives of the students and extends their prior knowledge. This allows the summative assessment to be more student-driven.