One of the biggest causes of learning tension I see with teachers new to inquiry or PYP, centers around planning for inquiry.
There are lots of great blog posts about planning for inquiry:
However, many of these posts focus on inquiry-based planning in a long-range and short-range sense. The question I get from many teachers I work with is:
“What does inquiry-based planning look like from day to day?”
I have noticed that many of the teachers new to inquiry and PYP at my school use their day plan templates from non-inquiry-based or non-PYP education systems. I wonder how much these day-to-day planning tools preclude teachers from achieving their goals of planning and teaching units in an inquiry-based, PYP way?
Inspired by this question, I have been working on a mock-up of a potential PYP day plan template. I have tried to structure the day plan to include time for Unit of Inquiry, Stand-Alone Math Inquiry and Stand-Alone Literacy Inquiry. Within each type of inquiry I have tried to include an explicit focus on the essential elements of the PYP, stages of the inquiry cycle, approaches to teaching, assessment and reflection. Here is my first draft:
Here is an example of what it might look like once it is filled in:
My hope is that by changing or adapting their planning tool, teachers will also change the way in which they plan – and consequently the way in which they teach. Building space on day plans for a guiding questions, elements of the PYP, stages of inquiry, approaches to teaching, assessment and reflection will hopefully make these components of inquiry-based, PYP teaching and learning more explicit in the minds of teachers when they are planning each day. If they are more explicit in the minds of teachers when they are planning, hopefully they will also become more explicit and transparent for the students as their learning.
This is my first draft of a PYP-friendly day plan template and I would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and feedback as well as see some other examples of day plan templates that support the unique needs of planning for inquiry in a PYP school.