Exhibition Training Part 3
The exhibition is like a puzzle where a lot of pieces need to fall into place to create an experience for the students. This is of course all within the context of the needs of the school and students and local curriculum. A key indicator is whether students are able to take action.
Our group investigation continued this morning and Jill and I have changed the current two rubrics (covering broad elements, one for the group and one for the individual) into 5 separate rubrics that cover a wider range of skills in more detail. We now have rubrics for Self Assessment, Written Report, Oral Presentation, Research Skills, and Personal Skills. While this is a drastic increase in the number of rubrics, we have made the assessment process for the exhibition as a whole much more transparent as the rubrics are less detailed in their own right, but when combined cover a broader range of achievements.
The oral and written rubrics were more or less replicated from oral and written rubrics that we have used through the year with the students already. This consistency (should) will help students fully understand what is expected of them in the exhibition. What we have discovered is that while the exhibition may seem a large undertaking, it is really just more of the same things that we are already doing. Through a regular unit, only certain aspects of student achievement are monitored and assessed, but with the exhibition nearly everything the students do is put under a microscope. So our thinking has been that we need to keep the day to day operations of the students as familiar as possible.
Watching all the other groups share their personal learning was very eye opening and inspiring. One group delved into the idea of Action, and the forms that it can take; others looked at developing calendars for the exhibition; one school created an exhibition website (Google Sites) from scratch and others like Jill and myself looked into assessment. This was a wonderful experience as I was immersed in a vibrant network of teacher learners, all experiencing relevant learning journeys. The workshop resource website will certainly be visited regularly by me in the future!
This was an eye opening example of action taken by a group of 11 year old girls in Tanzania and certainly puts things into perspective.
What are your feelings about the exhibition now?
I feel confident with it. Back to the day 1 analogy – I know what I don’t know, and that can really only be fixed with experience.
What have you gained from this process?
This workshop has been affirming. A lot of what I was unsure of, I had a hunch about and by and large, these hunches have turned out to be accurate.
How does an exhibition promote understanding?
It requires not only a deep level of learning, but also that learning needs to be made visible. These build each other up, too. The process of sharing learning is an extra step, part of the inquiry cycle, that requires learners to clarify their learning and in doing so, take it to a higher level.
How has your perspective changed?
Not a great deal. I am happy with my understanding of the exhibition as well as my place within the process.
Based on what you have learned about the exhibition, what will you do in the next
Five Days – go back to school next week and implement the new assessment rubrics with the students. These were not due to be distributed until now, so implementing them will be quite seamless.
Five Weeks – this will take me more or less up to the end of the exhibition. I don’t want to lose sight of observing the process by trying to do too much. This is only my first year as a facilitator, so I want to experience this first time for what it is – an opportunity to learn from Jill my Y5 colleague as well as from the systems that are in place around the exhibition.
Five Units – This workshop has served as a further PYP educational experience so I am hoping to inject a greater level of PYP language into my operations and teaching. Particularly, I would like to use Form and Function as base concepts that will inform students in creating their lines of inquiry independently.
Five Years – I’ve never really thought this far ahead, but likely not a Y5 teacher running the exhibition. Nothing against the exhibition or Y5, but six years is a bit too long to be in the same position in a school. That being said, my experience as an exhibition teacher will help build the culture of the exhibition at my school further.