Strengths based approach to bringing the ATL skills to life

This year, during the PYP Exhibition I decided that I wanted to try a new approach to incorporating all of the Approaches to Learning (ATL) formerly the PYP Transdisciplinary Skills. Over the course of a students PYP ‘Career’ these skills are meaningfully incorporated across all units of inquiry.

Viewing the PYP Exhibition as an opportunity for students to display who they are as learners and work collaboratively together I was looking for a new strategy to bring share students strengths and increase collaboration in a meaningful way. At the beginning of our PYP Exhibition unit, students completed a self-assessment rating scale about all of the ATL skills. They then selected a skill which they felt they could be a community expert in to offer advice and mentoring for students who may need support with that skills during the exhibition process.

IMG_2340Students completed a large cue card that featured the name of the skill, a tip for the skill, and their name so if another student wanted to seek them out for help they knew who to ask. After the cue cards were completed, I hung them in the hallway under the ‘categories’ so they would be in a visible location. This is a far away picture of the board not quite completed.

After doing this activity, I found it to be very valuable for students to see these as skills that we are constantly developing and improving. It was also important for them to realize that there are different people in the class who have different strengths and they can support each other. I would like to use this type of board again next year, but not wait until PYP Exhibition to introduce it but rather be a living component of the classroom that is updated and changed in various units.

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