Students in the elementary school years – the Primary Years Programme (PYP), in IB terminology – learn all the skills outlined by state and federal requirements. The PYP also focuses on developing academic, social and emotional wellbeing, as well as broadening students’ perspectives and encouraging strong personal values. The PYP nurtures independent learning skills, encouraging every student to take responsibility for their learning.
The PYP program asks students to look at six themes and consider the links between them. The themes include:
- Who we are
- Where we are in place and time
- How we express ourselves
- How the world works
- How we organize ourselves
- Sharing the planet
Here are two examples of the PYP in action:
The Living Museum
In third grade, we do an amazing project called The Living Museum. We discuss what it means to be a hero, delving into the traits, qualities, and IB attitudes displayed by heroes. After researching many inspirational people, students do a research project on a hero they admire.
The work doesn't stop there. Channing Hall students then dress up as and adopt the persona of their hero to take part in a living museum. Students are courageous in the way that they speak to museum visitors, and they truly are knowledgeable about their hero. It is a wonderful sight to see all of the third graders so excited, engaged, and beaming with pride at this event!
Making fudge is a favorite math activity for first-graders.
Math Is Everywhere
First-graders love math! Channing Hall students use math skills everywhere, not just at school. They math in music (rhythm, beat, timing) as they learn a line dance. They see math in art (patterns, geometry, symmetry) while learning to draw faces. They experience math in cooking (measurement, addition, subtraction, fractions) by making fudge with the help of eighth-graders. Finally they experience math in the real world during a field trip to the grocery store (money, time, addition, subtraction, percents).
At our local shopping center, students interview employees and ask them how they use math in their jobs. Each student is given $2 to spend and learn to read labels and pay tax!
Students learn that math is important in everything we do and everywhere we go, not something we use only at school during our math lessons.