Thank you for being available to participate as a mentor in the PYP Exhibition Unit of Inquiry. You will be working with small groups of grade five students, supporting them as they engage in a collaborative inquiry process that involves them in identifying, investigating and offering solutions or actions to real-life issues or problems.
The end result of this is The Exhibition, a presentation by the students to the school community of the results of their inquiries.
Not able to attend our mentor information meeting? No worries! Check out the presentation notes below:
The PYP exhibition has a number of key purposes:
* for students to engage in an in-depth, collaborative inquiry
* to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate independence and responsibility for their own learning
* to provide students with an opportunity to explore multiple perspectives
* for students to synthesize and apply their learning of previous years and to reflect upon their journey through the PYP
* to provide an authentic process for assessing student understanding
* to demonstrate how students can take action as a result of their learning
* to unite students, teachers, parents, and other members of the school community in a collaborative experience that incorporates the essential elements of the PYP
* to celebrate the transition of learners from primary to middle school education.
The Role of the Mentor
The main role of the mentor is to advise and keep students on track throughout their inquiry. The mentor should:
* meet regularly with their group(s) – once per week
* offer advice on locating resources and using them efficiently
* ask questions
* help to interpret sophisticated or difficult information
* help to organize, arrange, or facilitate interviews, phone calls, field trips or electronic communications (emails, Skype, twitter interactions, etc)
* provide goal setting and time management advice
* be supportive and encouraging
* celebrate achievements and successes with students
The mentor should not:
* do any of the work for the students
* tell the students the direction to take, but instead ask probing questions to help facilitate their inquiry
Do not hesitate to ask for help from the classroom teacher, the PYP coordinator (Jen Friske) or the school principal (Ryan Siemens) any time you need. It is also important that any concerns over lack of progress be reported to the classroom teacher as soon as it is evident.
Mentor – Student Meeting Suggestions
1. Build rapport with your group, explain why you wanted to be involved and find out what the students are interested in.
2. Have the students explain the Central Idea, their lines of inquiry and their plan of action. You might like to clarify their understanding of the topic by asking them questions and by discovering what they have already found out about the topic. You may make suggestions for further research.
3. As the students move along in their inquiry, they should be posing questions and pursuing answers. Check their progress, give them advice, and ask them probing questions to lead them into directions that could be helpful.
4. Ultimately the students need to ensure their final Exhibition presentation (as a group) includes the following:
a) Written work in a variety of formats and styles
b) Oral presentations, individually or in groups, to the school community
c) Use of technology
d) Ways students have taken action to help solve or bring more awareness to this real-life issue
Major Features of the PYP
The aim of the PYP is to develop internationally minded people who exhibit the characteristics of the Learner Profile, people who strive to be: caring, thinkers, risk-takers, knowledgeable, balanced, inquirers, open-minded, communicators, reflective, and principled. Students are expected to demonstrate these characteristics as they prepare for the Exhibition.
The PYP incorporates five essential elements, each of which are expected to be evident in the Exhibition Unit of Inquiry.
Knowledge: which is explored in the six transdisciplinary themes; for the Exhibition the relevant theme is ‘How We Express Ourselves’
Concepts: eight concepts have been identified that have relevance within subject areas but also transcend them ; the students within each work group are to follow a line of inquiry related to the different concepts.
Transdisciplinary Skills : students are expected to demonstrate the application or development of skills that have been identified as necessary to succeed in a changing, challenging world.
Attitudes: as they proceed through the inquiry process, students are expected to demonstrate the application or development of the 12 PYP attitudes
Action: students are expected to apply their learning through responsible and authentic action
The students have been provided a digital guidebook that will support them in achieving the expectations of the Exhibition Unit of Inquiry. Mentors are encouraged to become familiar with the document.