Supporting our PYP Learners

MIS Mission

An empowered, innovative and agile community of learners who achieve and contribute positively within and beyond the school.

As a community of learners, we (teachers and parents) support and empower our students through the framework of the PYP to achieve and contribute. During virtual learning, parents’ role has inevitably shifted to a different and often larger role as you observe and support day-to-day learning. In our daily plans, we provide our learning community (students, parents, teachers) with the “what to learn” for the day and “where” to find the resources. Teachers are also experts at the “how” to learn best through the PYP – teaching practices (pedagogy) around inquiry, assessment, feedback, etc. These are embedded through the learning engagements and supported through teacher-made videos, audio clips and “live” in Google Meets.

As part of our learning community and in an essential “support” role, here are some additional practical tips on what you can do to support the “how” in the PYP in your day-to-day interactions with your children in virtual learning and beyond. The framework and content below are based on the International Baccalaureate’s “5 ways you could support your child as a PYP parent” and from PYP educator Taryn Bond-Clegg’s outstanding blog post “Pedagogy 101 for PYP Parents.”

At MIS, we believe that learning happens best when students have agency in the learning process.
(Source: MIS Definition of Learning)
• Allow your child to use their ideas in their work. Encourage their voice!
• Remember the evidence of learning they are submitting is theirs – not yours. It should reflect their unique voice.
• Reflect on the choices you are making about their learning and what choices your child is making. Choices may include when they learn, where they learn, what they learn, and how they learn. Could your child have more ownership over some of these choices?

At MIS, we believe that learning happens best when it is conceptual and organized in fundamental big ideas that facilitate transfer.
(Source: MIS Definition of Learning)
• Ask questions that support understanding.
• The best way to do this is to use the PYP key concepts.
What is it like? (Form)
How does it work? (Function)
How is it connected to other things? (Connection)
How does it change? (Change)
Why is it like that? Why is it the way it is? (Causation)
What are the different points of view? (Perspective)
What are our responsibilities? (Responsibility)

• The great thing about these questions is you can ask them about anything! They are conceptual and will help your child access deeper meaning.

At MIS, we believe that learning happens best when we monitor the cognitive process.
(Source: MIS Definition of Learning)
• Teachers will give feedback – live in Google Meets, through audio comments and written comments to help students monitor their learning.
• Help directing your child back to the teacher for specific feedback is a great idea. The skill of asking for help and where to go for help is an important life skill!
• Asking questions such as “What might you do next?” helps your child focus on the learning process.
• Feedback that focuses on what they did well is also important. Celebrate your child’s learning!

At MIS, we believe that learning happens best when it is relevant to the learners.
(Source: MIS Definition of Learning)
• PYP learners are excellent as asking questions and have many each day.
• As Taryn Bond-Clegg suggests, meet a question with a question. Here is one way to respond to a question from Taryn: “Great question! How could you find that out? What resource could you use to discover that? How could you figure that out?”
• Using the phrase “I wonder…” and wondering together is an excellent way to encourage inquiry. You do not have to have the answer to everything.
• Be learners together. You cannot research together on every question your child asks but find one that you are both interested in and learn together, find out together, enjoy the learning process together.
Wonderopolis is a great site to explore together with more than 2,500 answers to common children’s wonderings with videos and text. They even have a great virtual wonder jar for families.

At MIS, we believe that learning happens best when learners can identify and monitor cognitive processes.
(Source: MIS Definition of Learning)
• Taryn Bond-Clegg includes two easy questions parents can ask that have reflection superpowers and can be asked around any learning:
How do you know?
What makes you say that?
• We want to get children thinking about their thinking. There are no right answers but saying this out loud often helps children process their learning and develop deeper understanding.
• Again, your role is to ask questions, not provide the answers.

Carla Swinehart
PYP Coordinator
Works Cited
Bond-Clegg, Taryn. Pedagogy 101 for Parents. 20 May 2020. Blog. 14 October 2020.
International Baccalaureate Organization. Digital Toolkit. 2005-2020. 15 February 2020.
—. “International Baccalaureate Organization.” 2020. PYP Resources. PDF. 23 September 2020.
Mahindra International School. “Definition of learning.” Definition of Learning. Pune: Mahindra International School, May 2018. PDF.