We love to celebrate student learning by showing off their products and performances.  We photograph, we post, we praise – celebration of achievement rightfully gets so much attention. Today we want to ask: what lies behind these products of student learning? Let’s use three samples of student work shared recently in our weekly newsletter available at http://zischina.com/newsletters-and-lunch-menus/
Here’s an insect created out of leaves by a Year 2 student:

Y2insectThis clever product was created in response to the PYP transdisciplinary theme of “Sharing the Planet” where students are exploring the key concepts of form, connection, and responsibility.  The class is digging into questions like:

  1. What makes an insect different from other living things?
  2. How do insects benefit ecosystems?
  3. How do our actions impact the world of insects?
In answering these questions, students are preparing themselves for future learning relating to sustainability issues and the form of living beings, while building their capacity to care for the natural world. Imagine the young hands placing those leaves and arranging the legs just so!      
This example shows what this Year 4 student would invent, given the chance:
Y4invention2 How have inventions changed the world? How similar are exploration and invention? What does it take to be an inventor? Students in this unit explore how new technologies shape societies. Not only are they answer these important questions but throughout the unit they are reading from a variety of sources and developing their writing skills. What would be the first thing you would clone using this wonderful cloning machine?!      
This Year 6 work is developing their skills using the Design Cycle:
Y6design2 The Design Cycle teaches students a process that is used in creative industries today. First: identify a need, research the topic in depth, develop a design brief. Second: develop and present your ideas, showing understanding and critical thinking. Third: create the solution/product, make the ideas a reality Finally: test and evaluate the result; prepare to start cycle again! This Year 6 student combines a favourite literary character with their visual arts and technology skills to show some of their product design.  We can’t wait to see the final result! Let’s celebrate the students and the products of their efforts, for it’s a celebration too of the collaboration and expertise of the teachers who are designing these engaging and powerful IB learning experiences!