Always on the search for new ways to enhance virtual learning for our EY1 students and have them engaged and interacting, Ms. Anu had the idea to have the EY1 community create a book.
Our youngest learners have recently completed a unit under the transdisciplinary theme of Sharing the planet. The curious students had many observations and wonderings about the natural world and, supported by their parents and teachers, they have created a marvelous book.
Having an audience to share their questions and learnings with gave the students a link to the real world setting and encourages them to engage in the unit.
The young learners had been busy exploring nature, engaging in invitations to play and create and respond to provocations to further explore their ideas and theories about nature. Observational videos, photographs, illustrations and comments shared as ‘evidence of learning’ showed a wide range of playful explorations and learning. Over the course of the unit, something magical had happened. Our learners had evolved. They had transformed. They were no longer passive recipients of information but active inquirers who began sharing information and wondered ‘why’, not just about nature but about everything around them including absences of their friends from Google Meets.
The book is only a tiny glimpse into their journey as learners, their discoveries and wonderings but also a significant milestone for us as a community of learners. Looking back, it becomes much clearer that in fact the process has had an impact on how we feel, work and think as a community. Despite the physical distance, EY1 inquirers used digital learning spaces to collaborate, create and learn together using the findings and wonderings they encountered in their own environments in different parts of India and the world.
The process of collaborating as co-authors and illustrators provided the learners with an opportunity to cultivate their relationships and engage with each other’s ideas, discoveries and inquiries. The EY1 learners showed an understanding of the purpose of books and their relationship with the real world by following the process of exploring nature and translating their observations and ideas into a new form. They represented their real-life experiences through oral language to be transcribed, and through purposeful mark making and visual language. The many varied learning engagement throughout the unit and the skills learned through them finally culminated in this celebration of learning and creativity.
Here we saw the MIS Definition of Learning in action, as they engaged in learning as a social activity with their families and peers. There was active engagement in the development of the book content and at the Information Literacy Google Meet with Ms. Devaki it was reviewed all together in its published form. The book also placed their learning Contextually; they knew that a book was going to be made and that it would reach an audience beyond their own class. We are looking to include this in due course on our school Destiny site.
Ms Helen Sharrock and Ms Anu Heyworth
Primary Principal EY1 Teacher
Mahindra International School. “Definition of learning.” Definition of Learning. Pune: Mahindra International School, May 2018. PDF.
“Learning in the Early Years.” Principles into Practice, International Baccalaureate, 2012, pp. 8–13.
“Primary Years Programme Language Scope And Sequence”. Ic.Edu.Lb, 2009, https://www.ic.edu.lb/uploaded/programs/IB_PYP_Program/PYP_language_scope_and_sequence.pdf.