I was continuing to reflect on the learning that occurred yesterday and in doing so, I had my kids line up in a human continuum. I know these are used for lots of things but I wanted to use them as a reflective tool and a tool for self-regulated action. Once the kids were lined up on the continuum from “I must have the manuals for the lego kits and a friend to do it with and I am still freaking out somewhat” to “Just throw the manuals out and unleash the kit on me – I want to create!” I had them take a good look around the room. I then asked them to consider the following questions:
- How could you help someone else?
- Where do you plan on being on this continuum in two weeks time?
- What will you do when you need help?
- How will you move forward from where you are at?
My purpose in doing this? To empower the kids in the class to choose to act. Making explicit the notion of action is one of the five essential elements of the PYP.
Stated quite simply, the action cycle asks students to reflect, choose and act. As they stood and looked around the room, my aim was:
- To help them see that there are options within our room to offer help and to be helped and to seek help.
- To provide them with like-minded colleagues to work with and also give them the opportunity to see who was out there that they could improve their understanding by working with.
- To provide an opportunity for those with greater experience to be gracious in the sharing of that knowledge in order to move the whole group forward.
- To remind them that choosing NOT to act was also taking action – the ball is in their court.
Now, I do know that these sound like lofty goals. BUT….there are times when it is good to be reminded that to experience change, you can wait for circumstances to be different, the season to turn, or the wind to blow, OR you can be a change maker in yourself. Will it work? Will I see an immediate, overnight transformation of 10 and 11 year olds choosing to “Be the Change”? Maybe not. Doesn’t stop me hammering that option home every chance I can get though!