Learning spaces in the PYP
By Pilar Lavín, IB PYP Coodinator
A fundamental part of effective early years education in PYP is the creation of safe, stimulating and engaging learning spaces that promote exploration, curiosity, creativity, boldness and learning through play.
These are spaces where opportunities for authentic learning experiences are extremely important and where learners are valued for their knowledge, strengths and skills, as individuals and as part of a group. Learners who are emotionally engaged maintain more active participation in their learning (Rushton and Juola-Rushton, 2010). Deliberate attention is given to the structure, purpose, and function of these spaces as contexts that support play-based transdisciplinary learning, collaborative learning of knowledge, conceptual understanding and skills, and opportunities to take action.
Teachers build safe, stimulating, and engaging learning spaces through the following actions:
- The input of a range of multi-use materials.
- Organizing and rearranging materials as an invitation to learn.
- Creating areas for role-play activities, block play, scribbling activities in preparation for writing and expression through the arts, among others.
- Consideration of a range of choices and opportunities for group and individual play.
- Inclusion of students in the design and construction of play areas.
- The development of posters that reflect the students’ learning process.
Retrieved from “The Learner in Early Childhood”
How is the English class structured?
By Iliana Brien, Kindergarten English Coordinator
At Celta International School, English classes are prepared with great dedication in order to achieve successful and meaningful learning processes.
There is a certain complexity present in the challenge of achieving the balance between the particular objectives of the subject and those of the teaching team working together to obtain the expected progress.
Therefore, during the IB and English planning meetings, we bring diverse points of view, reach agreements and plan meaningful strategies to benefit the learning of the children.
Once the agreements are established in the IB meeting, with complete clarity about the concepts that will be worked on and how we will stimulate curiosity so that they will inquire and be reflective, we link these objectives with the Cambridge units, achieving continuity and a better connection.
It is then that the teacher of the grade with the support and advice of their coordinators plans the English class in detail in the moments assigned for this.
Essential moments in our English classes:
Daily routine. The purpose of the routine is to reinforce basic vocabulary and practice simple phrases that are used frequently.
The students actively participate by performing the daily greeting, describing the weather, the days of the week, singing and working with vocabulary about numbers, colors, shapes and some spelling.
It is a time when the children carry out routine activities, which they enjoy very much. All of these are done in English and the children respond surprisingly well.
Introduction. An introductory activity is done to introduce the topic that will be worked on during the class. The objective of this activity is to obtain the previous knowledge that the children have and prepare them for what they will be working on. This establishes a starting point and makes it easier to measure progress.
During the introduction, materials such as books, videos, photographs and flashcards, among others, can be used. Through these activities, the teacher observes and integrates the children’s interests without losing the main objective of the class. In this way, the students become an active and protagonist part, using their interests as a way to capture their attention and stimulate them to go beyond what is expected.
Activity. A variety of activities based on IB concepts and Cambridge program objectives are carried out, always looking for a playful learning, working with books, notebooks, and by stations, promoting teamwork. All these activities are guided so that the children analyze, reflect and reach observable conclusions, which are physically captured in photographs, records, tables, mental maps, etc. It is during this stage that concepts and ideas are clarified, questioned and what is understood is shared with classmates and teachers.
Closing of the class and farewell routine. The closing of class is the moment when, with the teacher’s guidance, students reflect upon the day’s work and draw their conclusions. They take ownership of the new knowledge, raise questions and express their interests, all of which is considered for the following lesson plans.
At the end of the class, apart from making a brief summary of the class, the follow-up activity is explained, which is done twice a week at home in order to reinforce the knowledge acquired during the course of the class.
During the farewell, supported by songs and instructions from the teacher, the children fulfill their responsibility to leave the work area clean and tidy for the next day. They say goodbye with a song, which is prolonged during the transfer to the classroom where they will have their next activity.
The English class is an important part in the development of communication skills, so great effort is put into them, trying to make them fun and enjoyable, structured and clear, providing knowledge that will be useful throughout life.
Baby Led Weaning Method: what is it, benefits and how to introduce it?
By Ana Laura Arias, Day Care Coordination
The Baby Led Weaning method, also known as BLW, is a method of complementary feeding self-regulated by the baby, in which porridges or mashed foods are excluded and solid foods are offered. The peculiarity of this method is that, unlike the common, the baby is fed on solids, purees and mashed foods are not offered, solid foods are placed within the baby’s reach and he decides what, how and how much to eat.
It is called complementary feeding, since it is complementary to breastfeeding or artificial breastfeeding, that is, first a breast or bottle feeding is offered and then BLW is offered.
Benefits of Baby Led Weaning
The main benefits of Baby Led Weaning:
- Promotes autonomy.
- It respects evolutionary rhythms.
- Allows control of their own body.
- Allows them to identify the flavors of foods individually.
- Provides the ability to experiment and discover.
- Prevents obesity.
- Promotes healthy habits: If the BLW method is carried out correctly, i.e., parents follow a healthy diet and take care of their child’s diet, the child will acquire adequate guidelines from an early age that can be followed for the rest of his/her life.
- It promotes psychomotor development since the child will pick up, touch and handle the food, promoting the development of hand-eye coordination, chewing, swallowing, etc.
When to start Baby Led Weaning
A baby is considered ready when he/she acquires the psychomotor skills to safely handle and swallow food. Like any other developmental milestone, not all children will acquire them at the same time, although in general these changes usually occur around the sixth month.
- Presenting an active interest in food.
- The disappearance of the extrusion reflex (expulsion of non-liquid food with the tongue).
- Being able to pick up food with the hand and bring it to the mouth.
- Maintaining the sitting position with support (the child remains seated during feeding).
To ensure that the child’s energy needs are met, there is no nutrient imbalance and the infant does not choke, it is essential that this technique is supervised at all times by an adult and the following is provided when applying it:
- Offer foods that provide sufficient energy.
- Continue breastfeeding.
- Introduce foods that provide iron on a daily basis.
- Constantly monitor the infant and adapt to the infant’s special situations.
- Manage the situation quickly if choking occurs and learn to differentiate it from gagging.
- Ask your pediatrician for a list of foods that may be a choking risk.
It is important to monitor what is offered to the baby, especially for possible allergic reactions.
By Dr. Jorge Luis Rangel, Celtic College Medical Service
Allergies are exaggerated reactions of our immune system to agents foreign to the body. The most common manifestations are allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, but there may also be lesions called wheals, which are plaques of inflammation on the skin.
Substances that cause allergic reactions are known as allergens. The most common are:
- Animal dander
- Bee stings
Although allergies have a strong genetic component, there is a direct relationship between air pollution during childhood and the appearance of new cases.
When does an allergy become an emergency?
Not all allergies require a visit to the emergency room and most of them remit after the use of antihistamines, such as loratadine or chlorphenamine (it is necessary to assess with your doctor which is the most convenient for your particular case).
The alarm data are: swelling of the face (eyelids, lips, cheeks); sensation of having something stuck in the throat, difficulty breathing, appearance of wheals in most parts of the body.
If you have ever had a reaction with the above mentioned data, it is important to have epinephrine at home or even carry it with you. Epinephrine can be found in any pharmacy. The most friendly presentation for use by non-health professionals is Epipen. It is necessary to go for consultation every 6 months to know the dose that would be needed according to weight, since it is a drug that can have side effects on the heart. After the use of epinephrine, a follow-up visit should be made to confirm that there have been no complications or to manage them.
Is there a cure?
In many cases, especially when reactions are severe, they cause constant disability or exposure to allergens cannot be avoided, vaccines better known as immunotherapy can be used. In case of considering the use of this treatment, it is necessary to consult a specialist in allergology.