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         Instructional Technology – ICL – PYP – Project Zero – International Education

August 12, 2013

Units of Inquiry (PYP)


I wrote in the Spring that I would be starting a new job at Washington International School (WIS) in the District of Columbia. The move would offer me new learning opportunities and a return to working with international students and educators. It would also offer new topics for what I share in this blog and at the Edtech Co-Op podcast. So here is some of my learning as things get rolling at WIS.

The Primary Years Programme of the International Baccalaureate (IB) is totally new to me as I only have experience with the high school diploma curriculum. After spending so many years in elementary schools working to develop curriculum, I feel like I found the holy grail with the PYP as I spent much of my summer reading about the programme. I now get to see the PYP in action and am looking forward to sharing my learning as the year progresses.

So if you are already a PYP teacher, I will be presenting probably much of what you already know. But hopefully the Washington International School take on the PYP might offer you some new ideas. I definitely will be recording podcasts with our teachers as they not only teach the PYP but they teach it in several languages as WIS is a full immersion, dual language school. I am told that not all PYP schools teach the full curriculum in the second language as well as in the local language.

If you are new to the PYP and are looking for a fully developed curriculum built around interdisciplinary units focusing on inquiry, learning goals based upon big ideas/concepts in UbD developed units, transdiscipline skills, global awareness and many habits of mind, then get ready to learn with me.

Now take a look at the photo at the top of the post. It is display that can be found right when you walk into the school as well as in the hallways and in the teacher lounge. It lists all the units of inquiry by grade level. One could not ask for a more direct and validating reminder to students, parents and staff members of what we are teaching here at the primary school.

Here are a couple close ups for Grade 3 and 5 start of the year units of study.



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