Documenting our journey as a PYP school within Rocky View Schools

November 14 Professional Learning Day

Before we dig in to Self-Study groups for part of our Professional Learning day, we have a few areas of inquiry that were discussed during our PL Planning Committee meeting. With each grade team having a representative, it was a good time for us to get a ‘pulse check’ from teams on where their needs lay in terms of professional learning. The hope is that by engaging in some of this “pre-learning”, self-study groups will feel better equipped for the work they are doing together.

See our outline for the day HERE

Part 1 of the day – Reflection Time

Spend some time with your grade team working through your reflections from unit one, and ensuring that all areas of the planner are adequately filled out.

  • use the Planner Support Document provided to read about what types of things to include in each section of the planner
  • Access the Sample Planners on the IB website to see some exemplars of how other teachers fill out the reflection sections (as well as other sections of the planner)

Part 2 of the day – Assessment

During breakfast, we asked you to Tune In to the concept of Assessment. Using the Chalk Talk thinking routine – share your ideas about assessment, make connections to other staff’s ideas about assessment, and record any questions that begin to percolate as you read through the contributions to the chalk talk board.screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-12-39-17-pm

Finding Out

Arrange yourselves into groups of 4 (branch out! Sit with someone on staff you don’t normally have the opportunity to work with). Take some time to read through Making the PYP Happen – pages 44-55 and Prairie Waters’ Assessment Policy 

Sorting Out

Using the Sentence-Phrase-Word thinking routine, from each of the documents, record a sentence that was meaningful to you; a phrase that moved or provoked you; and a word that captures your attention or strikes you as powerful. Once your group is finished, engage in discussion about what you wrote down. Reflect by identifying the common themes that are emerging across your group, what implications can be drawn, and were there important aspects that were not captured that are still worthwhile?

**Don’t forget to Tweet to our #pwepl hashtag as you work through this stage!**

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Finding Out

Remain in your groups of 4. Using the Damian Cooper article: Eight Big Ideas to Support Learning for All Students  each of you will choose 2 of the big ideas to read about. Be ready to share your thoughts and reflections with your group from those big ideas. Think about:

  • How does this reading connect to and support what you read in the Assessed Curriculum section of Making the PYP Happen?
  • Does our Assessment Policy still adequately reflect practice here at PWE? Or are there changes/modifications to be made?

Sorting Out

Use the Micro Lab Protocol thinking routine as a group to engage in a conversation about what you read, and your thinking around the ideas presented by the reading and your group members.

**Don’t forget to Tweet to our #pwepl hashtag as you work through this stage!**


Going Further

Get up and stretch those legs! In the Learning Commons, you will find 5 different blog posts printed for you to choose from.

*** Thank you to Taryn BondClegg (@makingoodhumans), Elena Vizurraga (@EVizurraga) and Adam Pierce (@PierceAdamJ) for writing your blogs to share with the world!)

Select one that you are interested in reading, and form a group of 5 – try to make sure that each person in your group is reading a different blog post.

As you read your blog post, use the Connect-Extend-Challenge thinking routine to sort through your thoughts.

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After you have read your blog posts and jotted down your thinking, take some time in your groups to share the key ideas from your blog and some of your ideas from you connect-extend-challenge.

**Don’t forget to Tweet to our #pwepl hashtag as you work through this stage!**

Reflecting/Making Conclusions

As a whole group, let’s spend some time sharing our reflections and thoughts from our inquiry. Did you have any revelations? Ideas? Wonderings that are still sticking with you that you want to ask the whole group? Thoughts on our Assessment Policy? Does it need changing? Do you have current practices that you think are rock solid or innovative that you want to share with others?

Take some time to return to our Chalk Talk from the beginning, do you have new ideas, connections or questions to add?


You’ve been taking action the whole way through this inquiry process; shifting your thinking, adding new ideas, generating new wonderings…but as your exit slip, we invite you to take a moment to add a comment to this blog on the actions you plan to take for yourself. Using the prompts, through the lens of Assessment:

  • So What? – what is your understanding of the significance of Assessment?
  • Now What? – What do you hope to do going forward? Read/follow PYP Bloggers? Engage in a Twitter Chat? A new assessment practice you want to try? Considerations for how assessments will be used/documented in your UoI’s? Something else?

Part 3 of the day – Class Walkabouts

Let’s get moving. Mrs. Chapman, Mr. Pella and Ms. Mrak will walk us through their classrooms today

Part 4 of the day – Self Study Group Work

Before we part ways for the day, we will take a few moments to share where each group is at, and the process you are going through in order to achieve your goals.

The remainder of the afternoon is yours to gather evidence, engage in conversation, work on the action plan and make decisions on how to fill in your section of the self-study questionnaire.

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