Approaches to Learning in the PYP
Approaches to Learning
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Approaches to Learning in the PYP

The world around us is constantly changing and as teachers we have the responsibility to prepare our students for the future by making sure they have the necessary skills to thrive. All throughout primary, teachers make use of Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills to boost independence, creativity and the ability to work with others.

By Katharina Scherpel, classroom teacher 3 Blue

In this article, I will identify some of the different ATL sub-skills and share how we implement these skills in grade 3 through transdisciplinary teaching and learning.

Collecting, Organising and Interpreting data

During our consumerism unit, the students worked on their communication and research skills by asking questions regarding their role as a consumer. An example of this was when David, Pietro and Neel interviewed finance colleague Sam Bosma about her role as a consumer and what factors influence her when buying a certain product such as price, quality, environment or brand. 

After collecting the data, they were able to present their findings in the form of a bar graph and interpreted the information for further inquiry. The students clearly saw that staff members look at quality and the environment whereas secondary students often also focus on the brand when buying a product.

Creative and Critical Thinking and Presenting

In our Traditions and Culture unit, students worked on their creative and critical thinking skills when creating their culture at the end of the unit for their summative assessments. Throughout the unit, the students explored each other’s cultures and traditions and were encouraged to create their own culture based on what they learned. Anastasia, Luca and Marina created a culture called Bambia that was inspired by the South African, American, Italian and Romanian culture. The students shared their culture with the rest of the classmates by creating a PowerPoint or a poster.


Group decision-making, accepting responsibility and conflict management

Students worked on their social skills while making a water filter in our water unit. Before creating their water filters, each group had to create designs of their water filters and decide on one as a group. Before making their models, they had to decide on the materials and who would be responsible to bring these materials to school.  As you can imagine making a water filter might not always work out effectively which can also cause frustration amongst a group of young students. A number of trial and error, showing respect and listening to each other allowed students to effectively resolve conflict as a group.