A reluctant Blogger, PYP Lover & a Tug of War Thinking Routine

Seisen News

A reluctant Blogger, PYP Lover & a Tug of War Thinking Routine
Sandra Mulligan

In a PYP School everyone has to be a learner.

For three years now in Seisen Elementary, we've sought to reach out to our own parents and to prospective students and parents about teaching and learning via our Elementary Blogs. I have to say, none of this comes naturally to me. I'm of the generation who wrote in notebooks for teachers or in sealed envelopes to friends and families, very little of what I've written has specifically been with a public audience in mind! In an angst of feeling, 'What can I write that might be of interest?', and wondering, 'What can I write about that hasn't been shared or written about a million times already?' and worrying 'Where can I get the time for this?' I find myself thinking about the Learning Pit, a concept we share with our students about learning. 

When learning is hard...it feels like we are stuck in a pit. Stuck in a pit, we need to figure a way out and how to work through the hard part of learning. 


The Learning Pit (James Nottingham)

So I need to figure a way out of my pit, to blog effectively!

At one end of the scale, I so want to communicate to our parents, the wonderful things their daughters are doing at Seisen and share how we're approaching teaching and learning so we can collaborate and work together to support and celebrate learning. On the other end of the scale, I fear my Blogging needs work and wonder if anyone reads our posts! 

My thinking mirrors a Tug of War thinking routine currently in use in 2C's classroom:

This routine builds on children's familiarity with the game of tug of war to help them understand the complex forces that "tug" at either side of a dilemma.

So..I'll continue to reach out this year with the Elementary Faculty to share insights about teaching and learning at Seisen through our Blogs and adopt what our Grade 3s are doing - developing a Growth Mindset about my Blogging. One of our goals this year is also to communicate student learning with parents via Seesaw. Watch out for further notifications from class teachers.

So in the midst of my angst, I hope I've shared three routines we use to support  learning:

The Learning Pit (developed by James Nottingham)

A Tug of War Thinking Routine (from Project Zero, Harvard)

Developing a Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)

These routines are a reflection of our desire to develop with our students' life skills for learning.


I'd really like to share our appreciation to all parents who joined us for our Back to School Day this month!

  Parents Back to School Day 2018 at Seisen!


EAL Parent Workshop 2019-20

On Friday 27th September, our EAL teachers Ms Ingrid and Ms Katie facilitated a Parent Workshop about WIDA assessment, how the program runs and how to support your child at home with English development. 

SOLO and Vocabulary Lists

This post provides a summary of the possible assessment criteria for each Grade Level's Unit of Inquiry. 

Inquiry in the Enhanced PYP

How the students and teachers are engaging with the enhancements of the PYP. Through a self-reflection activity on the dispositions of inquiry teachers and inquiry students we acknowledge strengths and set goals. 

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