Sunday, March 13, 2016

Exhibition Retreat Planning

If you want to try planning an exhibition retreat, here are some steps to help you organize it.

  • Talk to your administrator about the idea. State the purpose and how it is going to benefit the students through the process of exhibition.
  • Start introducing the idea to parents and the teaching staff. Include a conversation with mentors to get them on board and excited about it.
  • Set a date. We had the students stay over night on Thursday so the retreat was for two full days. While it was exhausting for teachers since we were with the students the entire time without prep time, it allowed lots of time for lessons and fun. 
  • Create a blank schedule off timetable and share it with your mentors and specialist teachers. Ask them to donate their time and teach a lesson with the students at some point during those two days.
  • At the top of the schedule, offer some suggestions for staff members who want to participate, but are not confident about their ideas. 
  • Enlist the room parent to help organize the food. I asked families to send in snacks and drinks for the two days and to provide breakfast. We had more than enough food and the parents were eager to help. 
  • Talk to families. I did this during the exhibition morning for parents and students. In hindsight, I would talk to families way before this since it was a bit of a time crunch.
  • Make a packing list. In addition to the normal sleep over items, students brought yoga mats to sleep on and fun items such as a torch, game to play, stuffed animal and scary story.
  • Afterwards, have students write thank-you letters to everyone who participated, including the staff, chaperones and parents.


Exhibition Retreat

A few weeks back I had the privilege of traveling to England to attend the IBO Exhibition workshop. While collaborating with teachers and administrators from the region, I got this wild idea to organize a grade 5 exhibition retreat for the students. The goal would be to get them excited about the journey and process ahead of us and have experts come in to teach on various topics.

I went to my administrator and shared this idea with him. He was game for giving it a try, including the overnight sleep over. It was a lot of organizing and working with parents and staff to pull it off, but it was a huge success. A parent called me a risk-taker and I love it when I can live and model the PYP learner profile for my students. If you have an idea, give it a try and work to accomplish it!


Friday, March 11, 2016

Student Myth Plays

During our writing lessons in this Unit of Inquiry about Ancient Civilizations, the students spent their time creating and writing their own myths. Many opted to write their assignments in the form of a play. We then invited the parents to come watch the students present their very own myth plays. Here are some photos!