PYP Day Plan Template

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:

Planning for Learning

How Do You Plan?

Planning in RESPONSE to Learning

Planning for Inquiry

Planning for Concept Driven Learning

Rethinking the Way We Plan

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:

PYP Day Plan Template

Here is an example of what it might look like once it is filled in:

PYP Day Plan Template example

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. 

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48 thoughts on “PYP Day Plan Template

  1. Simon Fulford March 15, 2016 / 2:59 am

    I assume that the F & S for assessment mean formative and summative; what does the D stand for?

    Like

    • tbondclegg March 15, 2016 / 3:07 am

      Hi Simon, D stands for diagnostic. In my teaching I like to see what skills, knowledge and understanding my students have before a unit starts. (Also goes by the name of tuning in, assessment before learning or assessing prior knowledge).

      This allows me to understand where I need to provide whole class support, small group support and individual support. It also helps me identify the students who are coming with the expected knowledge, understanding and skills so I can help support them in how to extend their learning over the course of the unit.

      Like

  2. Nadine March 31, 2016 / 6:53 pm

    The day planner has interesting parts but once again too detailed for new to PYP teachers who are struggling to juggle with understanding of all the terms. With this in mind I would remove the parts from Knowledge all the way down to Learner profile(which are part of the planner and POI already). I like the “guiding question” and “stage of inquiry” parts. Feel there are details about the what of methods expected to use which could be included ….specially for the sake of newbies and in view of making something concrete shape up in those 75 minutes.

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    • tbondclegg April 2, 2016 / 6:27 am

      Thanks for your suggestions Nadine! I agree that this format can be overwhelming for a teacher new to the PYP. Most of the teachers at my school who are going to try this template are in their third or fourth years as a PYP teacher, feel pretty confident and are looking for a way to push themselves to focus on the 5 essential elements more on a day to day basis. Perhaps I could create a modified version for teachers who are new to the PYP!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jessica March 31, 2016 / 7:02 pm

    Looks very thorough and tidy. It is nice to see the clear direction of the inquiry and it allows for the potentials of where the inquiry can lead in the future.
    I will always struggle with the idea of scheduling and how to make it friendlier to student led inquiry, does your schedule look like this everyday?

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    • tbondclegg April 2, 2016 / 6:30 am

      Thanks for your comments Jessica. Right now most of the teachers at my school have blocked out time for Unit of Inquiry and we are in the process of building stand-alone math and literacy planners, so once those are in motion there will also be blocked out time for Literacy Inquiry and Math Inquiry. I would love to see more schedules reflect 20% time/i-time/personal inquiry time where students are able to pursue their own areas of interest and learning. How are the schedules set up at your school?

      Like

  4. Raya March 31, 2016 / 7:14 pm

    I liked the idea of the plan template but could you provide us some more examples. Thank you

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    • tbondclegg April 2, 2016 / 6:31 am

      Hi Raya,
      I have a few teachers at my school testing out this template. Once they have used them for a while, perhaps I could scan a few and make a post about how the template worked in action, along with their reflections and suggestions for improvement. 🙂

      Like

  5. Carole March 31, 2016 / 10:34 pm

    Would love to see how you would fill in the literacy and maths section of the day, if possible.
    I have started to attach attributes and attitudes to my planner but your planner is much more comprehensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tbondclegg April 2, 2016 / 6:33 am

      Hi Carole,
      Thanks for you comments! At my school, we are just getting underway in the construction of stand-alone math and literacy units. Once those units are planned, then I believe it will be easier to use the math and literacy section of this planner. But if math and literacy are still being taught in a traditional way (without a central idea, lines of inquiry, room for questions etc.) I think it would be difficult to use these sections of the planner.

      Like

  6. Anna April 9, 2016 / 6:55 pm

    Thank you, this has been an inspiring read. Would you clarify do teachers at your school fill these in by hand? Daily, for a week at a time, unit of inquiry at a time..?

    I think that the more one would use the vocabulary (in a) daily (planning), the quicker one would internalise the key to the PYP. In that sense I could see this planner help someone new to the PYP as well as those, who are more experienced. Being a fantastically helpful tool, I would like to make a suggestion: I would love to see this modified into a weekly planner, one shared with parents. With reference to your original work, for sure. Would this be possible?

    Many thanks,
    Anna

    Like

    • tbondclegg April 10, 2016 / 2:46 am

      Hi Anna, Thanks for your comments. When I created it, I had the intention of using it as a day plan and probably filling it in by hand (just a personal preference) but I think it would be cool for someone to turn it into an electronic template for digital day plans! I’d be happy to share the original file with you if you are interested in turning it into a weekly planner. You can direct message me on twitter @makingoodhumans with your email address and I will forward you the original file that can be modified. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Moly April 12, 2016 / 9:39 am

    Thanks for sharing the template. I am going to try it and see how it goes.

    Like

    • tbondclegg April 12, 2016 / 10:42 am

      That’s great! Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions. 🙂

      Like

  8. Sandi stone May 5, 2016 / 12:13 pm

    Could you please send me some completed examples. I am seriously thinking of trialling your format..I will note you as owner/ creator. Thanks Sandi

    Like

    • tbondclegg May 6, 2016 / 5:47 am

      Absolutely! You can send me your email address here or direct message me it on Twitter @makingoodhumans. I’d be happy to share – not credit needed. I’d also love to hear how it goes and any feedback about to improve it!

      Like

  9. Paula May 27, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    This looks great! Would you mind sending it to me as well? This will really help imbed the PYP language as well. My email address is nz.ashby@yahoo.com
    Thank you so much.

    Like

    • tbondclegg May 28, 2016 / 6:46 am

      Absolutely! I will send you the editable version. I’d also love to hear how it goes if anyone puts it into action. I’m very open to feedback and suggestions as well!

      Like

  10. Nicole June 5, 2016 / 7:27 pm

    Can you send me the editable version too and any other examples? I’d love to try out this template with the teachers at my school.

    Like

    • tbondclegg June 6, 2016 / 3:54 am

      Absolutely! Either find me on Twitter @makingoodhumans or send me your email address. 🙂

      Like

  11. Cris July 28, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this information.

    Honestly, I keep not understanding how it works in real life. This is my first job as a teacher (Grade I) and my school is also an IB. I really do not understand how to make it so that I can have a whole idea of what Im going to be doing everyday with the students. Maybe what I am asking is too basic but Im really lost and I would appreciate if I could get some answer.

    For example, let’s say that the first week of school I decide to go back to review alphabet, work on phonics sounds, start forming words with the first group of sounds (satpin), etc. For that, the way i do my lesson plan tells me everything I have to do during the whole class so I have a guide of what to do at each time:

    Class: Grade I
    Subject: English (Language)
    Duration: 50 minutes

    Activities:

    -Explaining kids we are going to go back to Alphabet and review the different sounds of the letters.
    -Review Alphabet: Worksheet with all the letters of the alphabet. They will have to cut them and order them from A to Z. Also they will have to name them.
    -Playing video about the phonic sounds for ‘S’, ‘A’ and ‘T’: “jolly phonics song – Youtube.
    -Start explaining S and relate them with the sound of actions (for example, ‘S’ – weave hand in a S shape, like a snake, and say ssssssssssssssss)
    -Distribute worksheets:
    Worksheet 1: they have to relate the letter S with images (for example, S with an image of a ‘sun’, a ‘snake’, the ‘sea’, etc)
    Worksheet 2: they have to write the name of different images (for example, one image will be a ‘sun’ and they will have to write down the letter of that image. Those students more advanced can write the whole word)
    -Read a story: read a story where the sound S is being repeated along the story (for example, “Sam’s holidays’ – This is Sam and he is on holidays. Sam wakes up every morning when the SUN is out. Then he goes to the SEA with her SISTER and they play with the SAND. They love building different shapes. Today he draw a SMALL SNAKE… etc).
    -Story review: ask the children where did Sam go? With who? What did he do? ….Is there any sound that you find familiar? Ask them to draw all the words we found with the sound S and write down the word.

    How can i convert what i just wrote on an IB PYP Daily lesson plan for Grade I (English)?

    I really appreciate any help?

    Like

    • tbondclegg August 1, 2016 / 1:53 pm

      Hi Cris,
      Congrats on your first job as a teacher, and starting out with an IB is a great way to begin your career in education. It is a great system, but it does take some time to get used to! 🙂
      With regards to your questions, “How can I convert what I wrote on a PYP daily lesson plan” the short answer is – you can’t. It’s kind of like trying to jam a square peg into a round whole.

      The longer answer is that planning and teaching looks and feels quite different at an IB school than what many of us remember from being a student ourselves, and also quite different from what many of us were trained to do in Teacher’s College. So a huge part of becoming an IB teacher involves a process of unlearning and relearning. It’s not about doing the same things in a different way, and more about completely revinvisioning what needs to be done to help students to become critical thinkers and global citizens. Being an IB teacher is much more about learning than teaching, so a great first step is to shift your own focus in the classroom from teaching to learning. Invest in your own professional learning. Read blogs. What Ed Said and Inquire Within are great places to start. Read about inquiry. Read about planning in response to learning. Read about concept-based teaching. Reflect on what you know and understand about how people learn. Reflect on whether your practices align with your beliefs about learning. Join Twitter so you can talk to other IB teachers and see pictures and videos of what their days look like. Challenge your own understanding of the purpose and use of worksheets, tests, lesson objectives, grades, whole-group activities etc.

      Being a successful IB teachers comes so much from knowing and transforming yourself as an educator – so think of yourself as a learner first and a teacher second. But I can assure you it is very worth it! Good luck 🙂

      Like

  12. coolcommunicators July 31, 2016 / 5:50 am

    Hi,
    Would love to try this format. If you could share a completed one that would be helpful.
    Thank you

    Like

    • tbondclegg August 1, 2016 / 1:59 pm

      I have only completed sample copies, but I have not yet tried this in practice. If I come across any other competed ones from colleagues I will be sure to share them. 🙂

      Like

      • Deborah McHarg December 30, 2016 / 1:25 pm

        This is just what I need, could I have an editable copy too please?

        Thanks.

        deborah.mcharg@gmail.com

        Like

  13. Hajra R August 19, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Hello everyone, I am a new teacher. I would really appreciate if someone could email me Math grade 4 planner. I really need some help to design my own so I require a sample. Much appreciated! Email: hajra.rahman@hotmail.com

    Like

  14. Emma Stafford September 8, 2016 / 2:07 am

    I would love to have a digital version as well for my new to PYP staff! email =

    emma.stafford@isnsz.com

    Thank you!

    Like

  15. Christine Mamo November 6, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    Hi,

    I am the PYP coordinator at my school and I’d love a digital version of the day plan template to share with my staff. I think the idea has great potential and helps to focus staff on incorporating the essential elements into their lessons.

    cmamo@canadian-school.pl

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Christine

    Like

  16. Bianca November 14, 2016 / 6:21 am

    Love this and love how generous you are with your work and reflections. Thank you! I am not new to PYP but am now officially PYP trained! I too need to unlearn many things. Please do send a digital version of your amazing lesson plan template! I am going to share it with my colleagues. We are in the process of looking for a lesson plan template we all agree on- and I think yours is ideal.
    thanks again for all your sharing
    Bianca
    biancaindeed@gmail.com

    Like

  17. Mandy Patrick November 25, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    I’d love to be sent them too! Wonderful tool! Thank you 😊

    Like

  18. Shanda Heath December 22, 2016 / 7:47 am

    Can you send me a version of your planner. I am new to the PYP and would love to see if it gives me more focus and understanding of my day. Thanks!

    Like

  19. Sabine January 3, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    Hi, Thanks for this. Would you happen to have a filled in example of language acquisition, i.e. a foreign language at beginners level where inquiry is very difficult since the children don’t speak the language yet. Would be very grateful for any info. My email address is: sdepauw@ais-antwerp.be Thanks!

    Like

  20. Charlie January 10, 2017 / 7:43 am

    How has your trialling of this gone? I would likek to start this too, at least with a few teachers. Would it be possuble to send me some completed examples too?

    Thanks so much!

    Like

  21. Iain Clark February 7, 2017 / 2:23 am

    Hi there, I know this is something that you were developing last year, but I would really appreciate getting a copy of this as well, please. I work at a PYP school in Japan, and I will be taking over the first class this year. The class start in April, but I am trying to get a handle on my planning format.

    My e-mail address is iain.clark@sunnyside-international.jp

    Thanks very much in advance.

    Iain.

    Like

  22. shadab zehra May 15, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Hi,

    This template is very helpful …would love to have an editable copy of this template and few more examples of the filled template.

    shadabbeacon@gmail.com

    looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

    Like

  23. tbondclegg June 11, 2017 / 8:11 am

    Hi everyone,

    Hopefully by now if you have requested an editable version of this day planning template, you should have received it. If for whatever reason you haven’t, please let me know. 🙂

    Like

    • Kikki June 12, 2017 / 4:51 am

      Please send me a day plan template

      Like

      • tbondclegg June 12, 2017 / 6:21 am

        Sure. Just send me a working email address and I will send it right along.

        Like

  24. Sarah June 23, 2017 / 6:48 am

    If you don’t mind, could you also send me a copy? svincent@aspengroveschool.com I just discovered your blog and I am enjoying reading so much!!

    Like

    • tbondclegg June 26, 2017 / 6:22 pm

      Absolutely! I have sent it – if it doesn’t arrive, let me know and I will try again. 🙂

      Like

  25. Born of His Heart Ministries /Independent Avon Representative July 10, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    Hi! I would love a copy as well. bornofhisheartministry@gmail.com
    I have to facilitate a PYP POI planning session and would appreciate any information you could send my way!
    Thank you!

    Like

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