GNS MYP Coordinator Hosts IB MYP Workshop
Ms. Simpson hosted an IB workshop for over 25 teachers across BC and Alberta.
The BC Association of IB World Schools hosts annual workshops for IB Schools to take part in for professional development days and this year, our IB MYP Coordinator, Ms. Gina Simpson, was asked to host a presentation on “Teaching Strategies for the Approaches To Learning Skills (ATLS).”
“The Approaches To Learning Skills are foundational to student learning and more schools are becoming aware that it’s those skills and strategies that are wanted as attributes and qualities of future employees in the workforce. It’s about creative and critical thinking, social skills, research skills, communication skills and self management,” said Ms. Simpson.
She noted that a main focus of the workshop was to address a challenge many teachers face while continually trying to improve their teaching methods; to explicitly teach these skills in their classes so that students know that a skill learned in one class is transferable to other classes.
“During the workshop, I helped teachers think about different ways to introduce various skills to students that were external from the content of their courses and then helped them develop mini ATLS lessons that were 10 to 15 minutes each,” said Ms. Simpson. “The lessons were not content specific so the activities could be used in a variety of different classes like Language and Literature or Science—they just focused on a specific skill.”
The workshop was 90 minutes long, with over 25 teachers from British Columbia and Alberta logging in virtually. Ms. Simpson helped the teachers create their own individual database so they could share and continue to build their list of resources—very similar to what is already done at GNS.
The Approaches To Learning Skills are first introduced in the Primary Years Programme and then are more refined in the Middle Years Programme, a process that continues on in the Diploma Programme. The goal is for students to have a set of well developed skills at the end of the MYP in Grade 10 and then have the ability to utilize them in subsequent grades.
After the virtual workshop, Ms. Simpson was approached by a colleague from the BCAIBWS who works with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education department who specializes in teaching the IB cohort, to present the same workshop to a group of 65 candidate teachers.
“I was invited to go over and teach the same workshop to those teachers currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Education program” she said. “That’s a really cool connection for the school, because hopefully we can get those student-teachers coming over that already have that background in IB MYP. They understand inquiry-based learning and are keen to be in an IB school like GNS.”
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