When Students Take the Lead (Agency in PYP Speak)


#sol19- October 15, 2019

Something I love is sparky kids- kids who think they have ideas worth sharing and who want to make a change. In the last week or so I have been struck by many examples right in our classroom.

Last year we participated in the Ed Collab Global Kind Project and it is still having ripple effects. A week ago Friday the Growing Kindness Club, run by two students from that class, organized a Do Something Kind Day, with several activities planned for interested students from K-5 to participate in. It was successful beyond their hopes and they are eagerly planning their next event, Mix It Up Lunch Day, and this week several of the club members filmed a video to promote it that will play on the school weekly news program on Monday. Others in the group were working on making a stack of colorful cards to keep on hand when we notice someone at the school needs their day brightened. These students are making the school community a kinder place day by day (and it is already an awesome place to be).

Last week a student in the class was excited to share her Quiet Time project with the art teacher. The art teacher made space in the art room and M. was thrilled! This inspired her classmate to create an idea jar in our room for people who want ideas for what they could do during Quiet Time.

This week two students created a poster offering their services- they love to clean and organize and recognized that some of their classmates might not, so had a sign up for people who would like them to clean out their book box. They explained their sign up and privately told me, “We are growing kindness too and making our classroom a better place also.”

We were in the library last week when a student brought a book to me that she thought we should read for our #classroombookaday. It was All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant. After she read it to herself she asked if she could be the oen to read it to the class (this is a girl whose first experience in an English school was partway through last year). Without reading it, but trusting her and Cynthia Rylant, I said yes, of course. A few days later she was ready to read to the class (and needless to say there are other students who now want to read a book to the class- win-win!).

Yesterday two students came back from recess very excited. They had another plan. They wanted to start a group to read to younger students during recess. They quickly made a poster and asked if they could share it with the teacher who runs the school news program. To save him a step I volunteered to film them sharing their idea to share with him that way so that he does not need to schedule a time with them, so that will happen tomorrow.

I am thrilled with the way students are taking action and looking for ways to make things better. I love that they know that their ideas matter and that they can enact their plans. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next (and a future unit focuses on innovation-what will happen there?!).  #kidscanteachus


2 thoughts on “When Students Take the Lead (Agency in PYP Speak)

  1. It sounds you helped build a community that your students feel safe to express and explore their ideas. It is so great that it is so student driven. There is so much of the school year left, and so many more ideas to be had.

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