PYP collaboration in action: our dynamic PE team

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SCIS-Hongqiao recently hosted a Professional Learning Opportunity for 18 PE teachers from PYP schools in Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing and Hefei.
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“The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth is limited to our own perspectives.” — Robert John Meehan

Research suggests that collaboration between teachers around student instruction results in rising student achievement. Other benefits of a collaborative school culture include sharing ideas, a supportive network, a common vision and a positive environment.

PYP teachers at Shanghai Community International School are strong collaborators. One great example of this collaboration is our Physical Education Department. Our PE teachers collaborate with their PE team, classroom teachers, other single-subject teachers as well as PYP PE teachers from other schools.

SCIS-Hongqiao recently hosted a Professional Learning Opportunity for 18 PE teachers from PYP schools in Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing and Hefei. Michael Barrs, Brendan Newman and Brian Sternberg, our SCIS-Hongqiao PE team, facilitated the day by providing time to discuss ways in which PE teachers can effectively collaborate with other teachers to provide strong inquiry-based PE lessons. The teachers shared resources, lesson ideas and assessment practices. There was time for them to model some of the PE games in the gym and the adults had fun playing. This was a valuable day for our PE team as they formed a bond with other PYP teachers and will continue to use them as resources throughout the school year.

PE games at SCIS provide opportunities for students to use their imagination and make choices to alter the game that leads to more success for their team.

SCIS PE teachers, along with other single-subject teachers meet with classroom teachers to discuss upcoming classroom units of inquiry. This atmosphere of collaboration within the school leads to deeper units and connections made within the disciplines to support the units of inquiry that are happening at each grade level. In PE, students are often exposed to learning activities that support the central ideas, concepts, and approaches to learning that are happening in the classroom.

PE games such as “Sink the Ship” provide opportunities for students to use their imagination and make choices to alter the game that leads to more success for their team. This directly connects to the central idea of the Kindergarten unit, people learn and express themselves through games. Students use their communication and social skills as they work together as teams to sink other teams’ ships by knocking down the pins and at the same time are also developing PE skills such as throwing, catching and kicking.

Another PE game, “Food Tag Frenzy” connects with both the Grade 2 central idea — responsible choices contribute to our health and our community, and the Grade 4 central idea — beliefs and knowledge influence food choice, as students deepen their knowledge of the food groups while following rules of a game, running and strategizing. Students use social skills when making group decisions to ensure they complete their task quickly and accurately.

Those are just a couple of examples of how PE teachers collaborate within the units of inquiry. The collaboration is ongoing throughout the year across all grade levels. Thanks to the PE team for demonstrating how to be great collaborators. It has paid off with increased student knowledge, skill and participation. Keep collaborating!

(The story is contributed by Janette Haggith, primary years program coordinator at SCIS.)


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