,While it is important for our students to be thinkers, it is even more so for them to be aware that thinking is a process and what that process looks like. By having visual representations that break down the steps of different forms of thinking, students are able to internalize the steps they need to take in different situations so they can begin to independently problem solve, make connections, reason with evidence, build explanations, and consider different viewpoints.
Part of each MYP unit in each of the eight MYP subjects is the Statement of Inquiry (SOI). This is a statement that is comprised of the Key Concepts, Related Concepts, and Global Contexts students will be learning in the unit. It serves as the conceptual learning goal for the unit: at the end of the unit, students will understand this big idea that is important to our daily lives. The SOI, or learning goal, is not a secret, but rather shared with students from the beginning of the unit so that they can link the skills and understanding they develop to it over the course of the unit.
Teachers share the SOI with students and have them reflect upon it in many different ways. Some might use interactive methods, such as in a an interactive notebook, binder divider, or online word cloud or mind-mapping program. Others might use a more visual method by having it displayed and color coded in their classroom, so students can pick apart the Key and Related Concepts and Global Context. The other day when I visited Ms. Bockhausen's room, she had transformed the SOI for her two different courses into a translation activity, where students had to brainstorm different synonyms or word associations for each part of the statement, looking for new understanding based on the multiple layers of meaning they create. Through each of these methods, students are recording their thinking and becoming aware of how to use different thinking strategies later in other contexts.
One way to reinforce these thinking skills is to talk with your students about questioning and thinking at home as well. For ideas for how to do so, please see the Parent Resources page for resources on modeling questions and supporting student skills.
Ms. Belzyt is the MYP Coordinator for the Royal Oak Middle and High Schools, an IB educator, and life-long learner
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