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Susan Powers

I am an avid fan of inquiry based learning. Having taught for 23 years, mostly with the International Baccalaureate's Primary Years Programme, I have discovered that children love to be an interactive part of their own learning. The products in my store are engaging and hands on, promoting inquiry, critical thinking, research and communication skills. You can find more tips and tools on my blog too. Enjoy! Susan

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I am an avid fan of inquiry based learning. Having taught for 23 years, mostly with the International Baccalaureate's Primary Years Programme, I have discovered that children love to be an interactive part of their own learning. The products in my store are engaging and hands on, promoting inquiry, critical thinking, research and communication skills. You can find more tips and tools on my blog too. Enjoy! Susan
A Human Body IB PYP Science Unit of Inquiry
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A Human Body IB PYP Science Unit of Inquiry

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Flippables, foldables, 3d models, experiments, research, transdisciplinary…….all in the name of inquiry based science. With over 170 pages, this 6 week, IB PYP unit of inquiry is looking at the human body and how our organs and systems are interdependent, together with how we compare to the systems that give life to other organisms. It is wholly differentiated with tasks marked A being more challenging than those marked B. It is suitable for grades 4-6. I have planned around the key concepts of form, function and connection. Our lines of inquiry are: What are the major systems within our body and what is their purpose? .How do the organs function and connect within a body system? How are human body systems interdependent? .Compare and contrast human body systems with those of other living creatures. Included: We cover circulatory, respiratory, digestive, nervous, immune, skeletal and muscular systems. Pre assessment tasks Provocation activities Inquiry task cards Optical illusions for brain work! Over a dozen interactive notebook activities Collaborative science experiments Research tasks Expository writing Reading articles for each body system. STEAM craftivities Inquiry based maths Formative assessments and reflection sheets Summative assessment If you like this unit of inquiry, you may be interested in my other complete units as well, including: Revolutions Across Time, Rainforests, Rocks and Minerals, Money, The American Revolution, Extreme Weather and Global Warming, Adaptations of Living Things, to name a few. For more ideas and FREEBIES all related to inquiry based learning, check out my blog www.pypteachingtools.com . Enjoy! ~ Susan Powers
A Geometry Inquiry: Tessellations All Around Us
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A Geometry Inquiry: Tessellations All Around Us

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Geometry is all around us. Tessellations are the art of maths. Make maths interactive and hands on. This 3 day math workshop includes trans disciplinary skills of observations, inferring and critical thinking, where the children have to identify polygons and create their own tessellations. This IB PYP aligned geometry presentation includes a slide show that demonstrates how patterns repeat and occur in nature. Take a walk outside and allow the children to explore and inquire for themselves! Then, watch a video about the activity and let them create their own fantastic tessellations. UK & USA spelling. You will need PowerPoint to view and show this lesson. It can be edited to suit your own needs for your class. I created it using PowerPoint 2007. I have used this with 3rd grade and 5th. Thus it is easy to differentiate for 3rd-5th grades. It aligns with KS2, CCSS Math standards and with the International Baccalaureate’s PYP Phases 3 and 4. There is a video clip included to demonstrate the activity as well as instructions with children’s examples. You can find many more inquiry based learning tools in my store and on my blog www.pypteachingtools.com. Enjoy! Susan Powers
100 Acts of Kindness Challenge and Craftivity
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100 Acts of Kindness Challenge and Craftivity

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Random acts of kindness brought into the classroom. What a wonderful way to celebrate the love in our world as we lead up to Valentine’s Day, yet can be done all year round too. Can you reach 100 acts of kindness and pin 100 Kindness coupons to your wall within the time frame? For each act of kindness witnessed, the children will complete a Kindness coupon for the person who was kind and the coupon is attached to the wall/chart. This 12 printable packet provides the tools to implement an idea that has been going around for quite a few years. 100 Acts of Kindness is a classroom challenge that brings a great awareness into the children’s minds, that it is absolutely wonderful to share caring and love. As the compliments are handed out and the kindness coupons are added to our wall, we can see exactly how much love we bring into the lives of others and, in turn, into our own. The children are able to see, by sharing, that when we show love to others, we feel the love within ourselves. This challenge is designed to be completed within 20 -25 days. ( I usually implement it beginning on Martin Luther King Junior day, and we end it with a Valentines Day celebration. You can do it any time of the year, of course. You will find: • Kindness Coupons to print , that the students will complete as they see acts of kindness being carried out. These are used to track our challenge. • Compliment Coupon: To be completed and handed, or left anonymously, to the recipient. • Quilt tiles: create a classroom Kindness Quilt with the quilt tiles. I like to brainstorm as many words as possible that mean caring and love and gratitude. We write the word in the centre of our tile, colour and display. These activities are perfect for demonstrating and practising the IB PYP Learner Profile traits of Caring, Balanced and Principled, together with the IB Attitudes of Appreciation, Empathy and Cooperation. Enjoy as you help to spread the love!  Susan
All You Need is Love Drama Circle Activity
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All You Need is Love Drama Circle Activity

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Drama and Valentines! It brings out the risk-taking, creativity in all kids and everyone has so much fun! These printable cards are just one of my drama circle activities that I use to practice the trans-disciplinary skills of cooperation, social, communication and thinking to name a few. One card begins the round and each child has to act out the instructions on their card, following on from the previous card. The language within this activity focuses on the IB attitudes and the Learner Profile traits, thus reinforcing the children’s knowledge and understanding of the IB’s academic vocabulary. It is great for literacy centers activties as well as cooperative group work. This drama was designed for my 5th graders as a fun review of the speaking and listening strands. The theme is around an original story about tolerance and acceptance, with humour added. Simply gather the children into a seated circle, shuffle the cards and distribute a card to each child. The start card leads the way and the children have to read their own instructions on their card and then listen and look for the actions and words from the acting of each person so that they know when to take their turn. This is developing listening and observational skills as well as communication, presentation and thiking skills. Not every card requires speaking; some ask only for miming. There are 24 cards within this packet, an instruction card and title card for your centers if you wish. I have also included additional blank cards for your own use. The drama cards can be used for 3rd-7th grade and used within a whole class scenario or smaller groups, where the children are given several task cards to read and act from. Cards marked with a star have less text and therefore can be used with more struggling readers. The concept of drama circles is a great ice-breaking activity or a fun review of the IB language. It works well as a refresher of the trans-disciplinary skills prior to the Exhibition also. You can find more ideas and freebies for the IB PYP on my blog at www.pypteachingtools.com. Enjoy! ~ Susan Powers
An Inquiry Based Tic Tac Toe Homework Packet for the IB PYP
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An Inquiry Based Tic Tac Toe Homework Packet for the IB PYP

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Homework suddenly becomes FUN and meaningful! Double whammy! Be the coolest teacher in the school with these engaging inquiry based tasks focusing on the 6 IB PYP themes. This EASY print and go packet contains 6 themed homework sheets with 9 trans-disciplinary activities in each theme, giving a total of 54 different inquiry based activities. Thus, these can be used for 3rd grade up to 5th grade. I have used these homework sheets as a reflection piece for my IB PYP class to gauge their own knowledge and learning. They can also be used successfully as formative assessments/exit slips depending on the needs of your class. Mix and match the pages! The activities focus on the Key Concepts, Learner Profile and the IB Attitudes, requiring the children to show their thinking and explain their solutions. Every one of the transdisciplinary skills is used within these activities as the children get to independently select their homework, research it and communicate their findings in fun, engaging and very creative ways. I hope you find this resource useful. Please take a look at the many other resources that I have in my store and on my blog, all aligned with the CCSS and the IB Primary Years Programme. Enjoy! Susan Powers www.pypteachingtools.com
A Complete IB PYP Unit of Inquiry Developing Multi Cultural Awareness
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A Complete IB PYP Unit of Inquiry Developing Multi Cultural Awareness

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A wonderful, globe trotting inquiry into the myriad of ways that people across the globe express themselves. This unit of inquiry that is perfect for the IB PYP, to explore the trans disciplinary theme of How We Express Ourselves. This unit explores culture and heritage and the diversity within the world, through the lens of literacy; and the arts. Within poetry and folktales, the children learn how people from different cultures and with different traditions, express themselves with words, costume, music and much more. You will find the following within this 90 page complete unit: Mapping - the continents and the oceans. How we express ourselves in different cultures. Native American Indians and immigrants. Folktales and various forms of poetry. Comparing and contrasting folktales and poetry. Writing folktales and poems to express. Totem Poles around the world- as a means of expression. 9. Research- the origins of totem poles in different cultures, traditional dress across the world. 10. Math: place value and rounding with crazy creative numbers. 11. Math - patterns and rhythm. 12. Researching our own culture and heritage. This unit culminates with a “World Street Fair”, celebrating the myriad of ways that people across the globe express themselves with literacy and art. If you like this complete unit, you may also like my many other IB PYP related materials found in my store. There are complete units of inquiry for every theme, for 3rd grade unit to 6th grade. Enjoy! Susan Powers www.pypteachingtools.com
Crowns with Attitude! An  IB PYP Growth Mindset Activity
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Crowns with Attitude! An IB PYP Growth Mindset Activity

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The IB PYP Attitudes is a great growth mindset tool in itself as it teaches the children the attitudes of a learner and that everyone has the ability within themselves to have a postitive and successful attitude. This fun, crafty interactive activity can be used in a multitude of different ways. I like to use it as part of a growth mindset focus with the vocabulary and comprehension of the IB Attitudes being reinforced. Each crown has a space for the kids to write about how they have used or will use that particular attribute of a learner. Ideal for 1st -5th grades. UK & USA spelling. Suggestions for use: Reward attitudes as they are seen in the classroom Review the children's’ understanding of the Attitudes and have them select which one best suits them. Focus as a class on the IB Attitudes and the children can select their own crown. As a whole school award system for promoting the attitudes of a learner. Perfect for back to school as a getting to know you activity. This packet includes 14 different crowns plus teacher instructions and examples. If you like this activity, you may also be interested in my IB Learner Profile Crowns. You can many, many more ideas, freebies and PYP resources in my store and on my blog. Enjoy! Susan Powers www.PYPtechingtools.com
Feel the Love Valentine's Activity Bundle
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Feel the Love Valentine's Activity Bundle

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Everything you need to make that lead up to Valentine's Day full of love, fun and learning. This bundle contains four of my best selling activities. You can help to reinforce that sense of community within your classroom as you review reading comprehension skills with cause and effect task cards, set the challenge for 100 acts of kindness within one month! Bring out the risk takers and laugh with the drama circle, developing speaking and listening skills and finally help to motivate budding young authors with the writing workshop. Each activity is tried, tested and approved by 3rd through 5th grades. With this bundle you are saving 25%! With love, Susan Powers