How much help do we give students during Exhibition? The big question. After 5 years of facilitating the Exhibition, my answer is…quite a bit.
The Exhibition, designed for a student who has been involved in the PYP for many years, with a sound fluency in English, is challenging on so many levels. It’s exciting, engaging, but overwhelming. To engage in an in-depth inquiry, synthesizing all themes, incorporating all of the key concepts, resulting in a final presentation to parents and the community is a lot for any 10-12-year old.
It should be a celebration, and my belief is that to enjoy it and feel confident, most students need a lot of support. We want to release the students. Give them an end mark. Let go. Ideally, that would be what would happen. I have one student who can manage that, easily. He’s taken action already. He’s found alternative people to interview. He’s started a campaign. He’s reached out to the community. He’s already completed everything and more–all independently. Today, he told me, he could present his Exhibition tomorrow if he needed to. I believe him.
For the rest…My EAL students, my new-to-the-PYP, my students with learning challenges, honestly, a lot of the boys, laying things out week-by-week has been a saving grace. Our weekly schedule looks like this.
Students see several weeks ahead. As a teacher, I have a full Exhibition weekly planner. Students have also have been given a final checklist as well so they can see the end. Every week, they sign up for conferences with me so I can see where they are and provide support.
In their reflections, I can see that they rely on the weekly checklist. They’ll talk about if they’re caught up or behind, based on their weekly goals. I haven’t assigned homework either, but we’ve talked about how to decide if they need to work at home. They’ve told me explicitly, they need the checklist.
At this age, I think laying things out weekly for the students makes sense. When they get to their personal project in the MYP, they’ll need to be more self-sufficient, but from what I’ve heard, it’s hard even then.
What are your thoughts on the organization of Exhibition? How much do you do for your students?