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Inside the IB: Kindergarten

Inside the IB: Kindergarten

An inside look at the International Baccalaureate curriculum in an International School of Indiana classroom.

Students at the International School of Indiana (ISI) participate in a universal International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum, meaning every student, from our youngest learners to our seniors, engages in the holistic course of study that most U.S. schools reserve for only their top five percent of students or fewer. Students aged 3 through Grade 5 participate in the first of three IB programmes taught at ISI, the Primary Years Programme (PYP).

The PYP Framework

The PYP offers an inquiry-based, transdisciplinary curriculum framework that builds conceptual understanding. The PYP has evolved to become a world leader in future-focused education. It is an example of the best educational practices globally, responding to the challenges and opportunities facing young students in our rapidly changing world. 

The PYP curriculum framework begins with the premise that students are agents of their own learning and partners in the learning process. It prioritizes people and their relationships to build a strong learning community.

Inside a Kindergarten Classroom

ISI Kindergarten students started the school year with their unit, How We Organize Ourselves: everyone has a responsibility to make our school work. The unit works as an inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities, the structure and function of organizations, societal decision-making, economic activities, and their impact on humankind and the environment. 

Throughout their time at ISI, students revisit the How We Organize Ourselves unit with more in-depth topics, but Kindergarten students begin learning these ideas on a small scale within the school building. 

During this unit, ISI Kindergarten students delved into three exciting lines of inquiry:

  • People at Our School and the Jobs They Do - Our Kindergartners embarked on a journey to discover the many wonderful people who contribute to the functioning of our school. From teachers to custodians, each person plays a vital role. This exploration helps our students appreciate the diverse community that makes our school a special place.
  • How People at Our School are Connected to Us - Through stories, discussions, and activities, our little ones explored the ways in which the people at our school are connected to their lives. This line of inquiry fosters a sense of belonging and understanding of the interwoven relationships within our school community.
  • My Responsibilities at School - In this line of inquiry, our young learners reflected on their own roles and responsibilities at school. Through interactive tasks and discussions, they'll understand how each contributes to the harmonious functioning of our learning environment.

ISI Kindergarteners’ learning through the unit continuously ties back to the same central idea across different subjects. Our teachers incorporate hands-on and interactive activities into their daily instruction to provide young learners with a variety of opportunities to explore and understand these fundamental concepts in fun and engaging ways. Some of the activities in this first unit include:

  • Learning about Venn Diagrams and how to compare and contrast - Students compared their responsibilities at school and at home. 
  • Activities to allow creativity and fine motor skill improvements - Students work on many crafts throughout the unit, including building a diorama of the ISI campus.
  • Opportunities for inquiry - Guest speakers visited Kindergarten classrooms, and students toured different campus facilities, allowing students to ask questions about how the school works and is connected. Speakers included principals, curriculum coordinators, teachers from different grade levels, administrative staff, and custodial staff.
  • Learning to recognize and create patterns - In math, students learned to create and extend patterns, including colors, numbers, and shapes. Students are also working on object counting, matching games, play-dough activities, and counting to determine the number of objects in a set.
  • Developing beginner reading skills and a love of books - In language lessons, students are working on differentiating between illustrations and written text by discussing how words and pictures tell a story differently, and they are exploring books related to the current unit. Students also engage in interactive read-aloud sessions, using expressive voices and predicting what might happen next or chiming in during repetitive parts of the text.
Want to learn more about the IB curriculum and what sets ISI apart from other schools? Schedule a personal tour or sign up for an Info Session today!
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