Tag Archives: IB Learner Profile

5th Grade Immigration and Padlet

5th grade is starting to study immigration and I wanted to read some picture books that would give an overview or an overarching picture of the topic.  I started with Faith Ringgold’s We Came to America and afterwards we talked about some of the reasons people immigrate to the U.S.A.


Next-Hamid’s Story

The next time we met, I read Andy Glynne’s Hamid’s Story: A Real Life Story of His Journey from Eritrea.


I asked the students to reflect on what they would do if they had a child who had recently immigrated to the U.S. in their classroom; posting our IB Learner Profiles nearby to encourage them to use these as inspiration for their response.


I knew I saved this metal tripod thingies from the trash for a reason!


I used Padlet for the students to record their responses.  I like Padlet as it gives the students a variety of ways to record their ideas, through writing, making an audio recording or video taping themselves.  I was surprised that so few from each class chose to video!



Many of the students wrote very heartfelt reflections and this is a lesson I will definitely repeat and Padlet is going to be a the top of my list for recording student voice.



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Stuck-First Grade Thinkers

(I just realized I never posted this blog…it was from May 2018.  End of the school year, what can I say?)

At this time of year with erratic schedules, testing, etc. I don’t plan on doing things that involve a lot of preparation and planning.  I got this idea from a school librarian in Panama (and I don’t mean Panama City, Florida).   She did this activity with Kindergarten, but I needed something to do with first grade.

I read Oliver Jeffers’ book, Stuck  to the classes.  In this book Floyd has to figure out how to get his kite out of the tree.  I told the students they had to be thinkers (one of the IP-PYP Learner Profiles). I asked the students to come up with another solution to get the kite down; and they did!  The problem solvers came up drones, helicopters, rockets, airplanes, jets, trampolines, chainsaws, big butterflies and more!  They wrote out their idea and then illustrated it.  They thought the book was hilarious!



This student showed a lot of imagination—using a big butterfly!


Definitely a keeper!

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Third Grade-My Teacher Is a Monster

I really like Peter Brown’s book, My Teacher Is a Monster and one night in the early hours I woke up and was mulling over how could I come up with an activity that would go along with the book.  All of a sudden I thought “What is the opposite of a monster teacher?”  Answer: a perfect teacher!  I wanted to combine several concepts: the IB’s Approaches to Learning-Social Skills (formerly known as Transdisciplinary Skills), IB-PYP Profiles, writing practice and art work.

I read the book to the classes and it was very popular with the third grade students.  Some students noticed that the teacher gradually changed from a monster to a more human form.  This gave us the opportunity to make a connection with a IB concept-perspective.  They decided that she didn’t really physically change, but Robert’s view of her did change.

I told the students that they would work in groups to create a “perfect” teacher.

Graphic Organizer: Brainstorming Individually

I created a graphic organizer which combined the IB-PYP Profiles and Attitudes, adjectives, verbs and activities.  Each student received a copy of the graphic organizer and were instructed to brainstorm independently.  I also placed thesauri on the tables and reminded them that if they needed a more interesting word they could find a synonym in these books. This is as far as we got the first week.



Good review of thesaurus!

IB’s Approaches to Learning: Social Skills

I downloaded a PYP Transdisciplinary Skills Toolkit from Mary’s Store on Teachers Pay Teachers (free) as it had each group of skills contained on one page with student-friendly font and text.  I made copies of the Social Skills and laminated them.

The second week we started by reading the Social Skills of the IB’s Approaches to Learning.  I filled up my tables (which seat six) and each student had a copy of the Social Skills in front of them. They did a round robin reading of the skills and had an opportunity to discuss and ask questions.

I divided each class into small groups of three groups, adjusting for personality conflicts or behavior.  After reading the Social Skills I moved the students so they were seated with their group and they began comparing the attributes of a perfect teacher.  This gave them the opportunity to practice those Social Skills!



Social Skills

From Mary’s Store on Teachers Pay Teachers

Creating “My Perfect Teacher” Begins

In week three the students finally got to what they called “fun.”  I gave each group a length (about 36″) of white butcher paper and a container of crayons. I drew a head, two hands and two feet on each sheet to give them a starting point for their drawing.  They were reminded of the Social Skills that were reviewed the week before to encourage a positive group experience.  I told them that all of the words on their graphic organizer had to appear on their creation.

Several students said after this session that it was so “fun.”  Judging by the conversation and energy in the room, it was a positive beginning.


Week Four: Completion!

I gave the students about 20-25 more minutes on their fourth visit to complete their drawings.  They were having such a good time and for the most part working well in groups.  IMG_4437v2IMG_4451v2jpgIMG_4452v2IMG_4434



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5th Grade Exhibition: IB Learner Profile

We had one session brainstorming global issues and one about responses to problems (action), so we thought it was time to remind students of how they were to approach the PYP Exhibition by looking at the IB Learner Profiles (and Attitudes).  Students see these words posted in every classroom (and the library), but how often do they really think about what they mean?


We had the students start by sitting at tables with two sheets from the handbook, Making the PYP Happen, which lists the IB Learner Profiles and Attitudes.  With brief oral (and written) instructions they began to walk around the room.  We did add one additional directive: add your initials to your comment (that way we could check in with the student for clarification, encouragement, etc.).

I posted the profiles and attitudes on large sheets of paper around the library.  Each student had chosen a marker before hand and they were free to wander around to decide where they would make their comments.IMG_4204IMG_4205IMG_7218

All in all I think it was a good opportunity for these 5th grade students to take the opportunity to think about the profiles and attitudes and what they look like in a given situation and apply this knowledge to the exhibition process.

I will think about how to use this activity with other grade levels through out the next year as I believe it is a useful exercise to have the students reflect on the profiles periodically and methodically.

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We Get Into Dot Day!

This is our second year celebrating Dot Day and the students really enjoy it.  I read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds to every class in the school, starting last week. After each reading we discuss what the book was about, sometimes we emphasize the International Baccalaureate Learner Profiles and Attitudes that we see in the story.  Sometimes we just talk about how the story makes us feel.  With kindergarten and first grade we might make predictions about what we think will happen next (after the book has ended, “What do you think the little boy will do?”).

Opportunities for Creativity

After each class reads the book in the library, they are given the chance to be creative in some project that involves dots.  Some of the activities I just thought up, some were listed in the The Educator’s Handbook for International Dot Day (by Peter H. Reynolds and FableVision Learning), or others I found on Pinterest.

Here’s a grade by grade breakdown:


Kindergarten students were given a white dot (circle about 4″ in diameter, cut out using our Accucut die cut).  Crayons spread on the table and they could color their dot however they wanted.  I then glued them all onto a large sheet of orange butcher paper.  They are quite impressive when grouped together.  I think it’s also the bright orange background that really brings the dots to life.


First Grade

First grade students read the book then we talked about words they would use to describe the book.  I asked them to choose one word, write it on the colored circle (also 4″ die cut), decorate around it with markers, and then of course, “sign it.” They really like using the markers!


I glued these dots to green butcher paper, one sheet for each class.

Second Grade

I asked the second grades to make a mark (large crayon dot) on an index card.  I took up the colored crayons and then gave each student a black crayon or colored pencil to use to make their dot into something.  Using black helps keep the focus on the original dot.


Third Grade

Third grade students were given a large dot (the largest circle I could trace on 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper).  I folded one in half and then half again.  I asked them how they would describe the parts of the circle now and since they have studied fractions already, they said fourths.  They folded their dots and marked off the fold lines with a crayon.  They then decorated it any way they wanted.  Some did symmetrical designs while others drew different things in each section.  This took their whole library time.  I cut the circles apart later, paper clipping all 4 sections together.   At our second library visit, they choose which 1/4 of their art they wanted to keep and I collected the rest.  I mixed them all up and randomly handed each student 3 sections, ensuring they didn’t get any of their own.  They then figured out how they wanted to put them back together and glued them on construction paper.img_9552img_9648img_9659

Fourth Grade

I have made a commitment to teach more digital storytelling skills to all of our students this year.  Fourth grade students have already made a Chatterpix and I was ready to start PowerPoint.  Only about one third of the students have made a PowerPoint previously, so for most it is a new skill and for the others a skill not highly developed.  After reading the book, I asked them to reflect on the story and to keep in mind the IB Learner Profile and Attitude.  I used our projector and large screen to demonstrate creating a PowerPoint.  We are a 1:1 school, so each student has a tablet (of course I had to make sure that they had it downloaded onto their tablet).  The first library visit I demonstrated creating new slides, choosing the design, typing in information, and inserting a picture.  Next time we’ll work on transitions.

We had previously covered the concept of plagiarism and we said for this project we wouldn’t have to cite our sources as everything we would write would be our own ideas or opinions.  I had  laminated copies of the IB PYP Learner Profiles and Attitudes spread out on the tables, so they could draw inspiration from those in their writing.

If their tablet wasn’t working, they looked on and worked with a neighbor. I was impressed with how much collaboration and encouragement I saw happening (in light of the theme of the book!).


Fifth Grade

After reading the book I had the fifth grade students use chalk to create sidewalk art inspired by dots. Sign it, too!  It’s interesting to see with this group (and to some extent all grades) that some students when confronted with no structure (just do something with a dot, or start with a circle and see where it takes you) say “I don’t know what to draw.”  Yes, that is the point of all of the activities; be free, be a risk-taker, think outside the box, express yourself, you can do it!img_9565img_9566img_9569

Discovery Education’s International Dot Day dLivestream from Iowa

Second grade students participated in Discovery Education’s International Dot Day Livestream today at 1:00.  The students were excited and looking forward to hearing Peter Reynolds read his book.  We would have enjoyed it more if Mr. Reynold’s microphone had worked when he was reading the book.  Apparently no one noticed it until after he finished the book, then he shared the microphone with the host.  The students enjoyed listing to Mr. Reynolds and they got excited when he announced he had a new book coming out today, Water Princess.  I told them I would order it for the library.

They were interested in the process and wondered if we could ask questions, was it really happening live, could they see us, etc.  I told them we would Skype with another school so that there was more interaction. We took a selfie with our new library selfie stick before the livestream began and that might have been one of the highlights!


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Flipgrid, 2nd Grade & Native Americans

Each year our 2nd grade students study Native Americans, as laid out in the Georgia Performance Standards SS2H2 The student will describe the Georgia Creek and Cherokee cultures of the past in terms of tools, clothing, homes, ways of making a living, and accomplishments.   Being an IB-PYP school we expand the concept to include native peoples from other parts of the world.

Each year I read Jan Andrews’ book, The Very Last First Time which describes an Innuit girl, Eva’s first time to walk alone on the sea bed, under the ice, to collect mussels.  We also watch a video clip from the BBC showing Innuit adults collecting mussels. It’s pretty cool. Check it out:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlOt9368Q7LfZsQ0XPXWMoo-Tvbm7LPM0

IB-PYP Learner Profile & Flipgrid

This year I decided that I would have the students pick out an IB-PYP Learner Profile or Attitude to describe Eva and her actions in the book. We have the Profiles and Attitudes posted on the library walls, so the students could walk over and refresh their memories (and for the new students the opportunity to see all the profiles and attitudes).

I gave each student an index card and they wrote their sentence, citing evidence from the book.  “Eva was a risk-taker because she…”  Our students need so much practice writing, so I like to give them every opportunity to write.


If they put in a serious effort to compose a sentence, they then had the chance to record their response using Flipgrid. Students so enjoy hearing and seeing themselves.  A lot of smiles and giggles!


Check out their response https://flipgrid.com/74c2b605




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Researching Snowflakes, Paper Flakes & Blogging

It doesn’t snow very often here in south Georgia, but I thought we could still enjoy learning about snowflakes!  I started off reading Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin to all of the 3rd grade classes.  I also wanted the students to review and practice using reference sources.

Reference Practice

I had the students partner up and use either a dictionary, an encyclopedia or an atlas.  They looked up the definition of snow or snowflakes or wrote one fact about snow from the encyclopedia.  The students used the atlas to locate the city of Snowflake and to determine what state it was in.   Reading the Snowflake Bentley book and doing the research used all of our time for the first week.

Photograph by Snowflake Bentley

Image from Creative Commons

Sharing our Research and Cutting Paper Snowflakes

The next week we reviewed what they learned about snow and snowflakes.  I summarized the facts on a whiteboard and then we proceeded to the fun part.  The students cut out 6 sided paper snowflakes.

Students showing off their paper snowflakes

Students with their paper snowflake creations!

Thinglink and Digital Snowflakes

I created a Thinglink page that included 2 websites where you can cut “virtual” snowflakes.  The sites are so much fun and a bit addictive!   Check it out…http://www.thinglink.com/scene/479319938847211522.

My Thinglink post about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley

  My Thinglink post about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley

I sent the link to the teachers and they let the students explore the Thinglink page which also had links to the Bentley museum and the NOAA website containing many of Bentley’s photographs.

Blogging on Edmodo

On the 3rd week I created Edmodo accounts for every student and they had the oppourtunity to blog about all of their “snowflake” experiences from researching to cutting snowflakes (paper and digital).  I had the students write down their thoughts about the whole process, from reading the book, Snowflake Bentley through research and cutting snowflakes.  I asked them to use the International Baccalareate (IB) PYP concept questions, the IB Learner Profiles and Attitudes while reflecting on the experience.  They wrote on index cards so when the time came to blog, they already had their thoughts down on paper.

Student writing on index card while looking at IB PYP Learner Profile and Attitude

Student using the IB PYP Learner Profiles & Attitudes to write reflection.  Girls reflecting on snowflake activities

Students reflecting on snowflake activities prior to blogging.

We also reviewed some internet etiquette.  I think they did a great job for the most part on reflecting on their experience and sharing it with their classmates on Edmodo.  Here are a few samples.

Jalen S: What are the points of view?The neighbor was excited because he knew nobody had ever taken a picture at a snowflakes before. I wondered- How can you cut straight lines?

Kameron: So the snowflakes have 6 sides. I got a dictionary for snowflakes and found out what it has.It snowed on Wednesday and I felt excited. What does it look like in real life?

Abi: Snowflake Bentley is open-minded.He thinks that snowflakes were cool.When I had to create a snowflake it was difficult.

By the way…I think I made it snow in Albany, GA!  We actually saw a dusting of snow on January 29 which was one of the weeks we were doing our snow instruction.

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