Teaching in a Bubble

IB PYP ESL Elementary Educational Blog

Hello IB PYP Educators💟



Happy Monday, Just WOW-I am FINALLY getting around to welcoming all of my fellow IB Educators. I hope that this post reaches both nearest and furthermost “corners” of the earth.  I can’t express how much IB has changed my pedagogical skill set!! Isn’t inquiry the most amazing form of instruction? I currently have 3 years experience instructing at an IB PYP campus and I look forward to more, but currently I am on a little hiatus.

IB has opened new doors and new worlds for me as both an educator and on a personal level. I’ve learned to appreciate my reflective mannerisms as well as to stretch myself while becoming more of a risk-taker. I really feel that I am just as much an inquirer as my students each day. Just as my students have aided molding me into the person and professional that I am, I look forward to collaborating and learning from all of you !

I have to admit that my first year of acclimating with all of the new lingo and terminology had my head spinning. But just as with everything else: practice, failure-yes, I said failure, determination and actually putting the pieces into action gave way to more clarity.

So what is IB you may be asking? IB  PYP stands for the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program. There are actually 3 componets to the program: IB PYP (early childhood through elementary), IB MYP (IB Middle Years Program-think middle school years) and IB DYP (IB Diploma years program…think high school).  It is an international framework that uses inquiry as it’s main vehicle to instruct students ages 3 to 12 or early childhood through elementary. The framework is actually comprised of several other components: UOI’s (units of inquiry-of which are like over-arching themes that are cross-curricular), learner profiles and attitudes (which are the programs founding personal characteristic traits or behaviors that each scholar should grow and refine), key concepts & transdisciplinary skills.


Within all of the above mentioned “frame works” the subject matter are assigned and instructed to include district and state standards. IT sounds like a menagerie of disjointed parts, but I promise-all of the pieces  compliment each other and build upon each other as well.

Yeah, I told you that initially it seems a little overwhelming! Don’t get me wrong, before I discovered IB, I was still all about student choice and student driven projects….I just hadn’t mastered the art of student driven instruction or harnessed the power of student reflection for that matter. I encouraged my students to take risks, investigate and experiment with the world around them. I “gave” them options to select from (because I thought I was so savy, lol). The options that I gave them obviously made it easier for me to “manage”, but I still felt as though I was soooo avant garde. It made my traditional teacher buddies and my admin a little nutty, I have to admit. I think that they kind of view me as—->>> over there in that corner is little miss doesn’t color in the lines, lol.

But when I switched over to IB, I have to admit, my methods seemed to flow with the IB framework and curriculum. In fact, giving students more authentic choices actually re-ignited my passion for teaching and inspired me to think even more outside of the box. One of the first concepts that we instruct students on (as an early childhood teacher) are the learner profiles. This is a set of 10 qualities or attributes that the students learn to embody each day throughout their instruction, inquires and investigations. The ten learner profiles are in no particular order: caring, risk-taker, knowledgeable, inquirer, balanced, communicator, open-minded, thinker, reflective and principled. Students need a great deal of practice embodying the traits through modeling, practice, reflection and good ole trial and error…..after all, we are speaking of our youngest scholars. I mean most of them are still working through social etiquette and social graces to begin with. That is why I love introducing the learner profiles first. They set the stage for what is expected and I usually begin withe principled…..someone who makes good choices given various situations (even when no one else is looking!!!).

Mind you , this is my spin on the IB trait and we are encouraged to personalize a bit to meet the needs of our students and communities. We usually introduce new traits every other week so give our scholars a bit of practice, but spiraling is a year long process. By the Christmas holidays, the students are familiar with most of the learner profiles.We also journal about the traits during reflection time each day. Each student has an IB Journal and they can journal about what ever they’d like in the beginning of the year. As they become more acquinted with the traits then I may prompt them on some days to reflect on how they demonstrated embodying or exhibiting being “disciplined” that day, how they plan to demonstrate it or how they witnessed someone else demonstrate a particular trait.

We (yes, I also participate in reflection journaling as the students are journaling and I share my reflections with them on occassion, but the modeling process also goes a long way towards making it more meaningful and help them own journaling and reflecting).  This helps tie in the action cycle: Choose, Act, Reflect.

Today I want to share one little goody that I use to help me introduce and reinforce the concept of learner profiles: Learner Profile Crowns. I love for students to “make it their own” after the first couple of weeks of discussion and modeling. So I’ve also included blank crowns for students to dictate or illustrate what the traits mean to them in their own lives. I implement them in a variety of manners:

1. Beginning of the year mini-                 lessons

2. Informal assessment to check if         students grasp the concepts &             vocabulary and can apply in a           meaningful manner.

3. Fun and novel reflective  journal       entry,

4. Student-selected trait to focus on, (Action Cycle)

5. Peer nominated recognition for         displaying trait qualities at                 school,

6. Class-wide  Award                                 recognition each weeks,

7. Grade-level recognition each 9            weeks.

8. Artifacts for student UOI binder         and finally,

9. Artifacts for student-led                       conferences.



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I hope that you find this resource useful and as an aid to help make the traits more meaningful to with your students. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. What do you  utilize  to teach the learner profile traits?




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Boom Learning Digital Platform


BOOM LEARNING logoDisclaimer:  In exchange for my sharing this post regarding the Boom Learning platform-I will receive an annual subscription/renewal to the BOOM LEARNING platform. That being disclosed, I still feel that this is an amazing platform with a host of digital resources that will enhance your student’s engagement and improve their academic success.

Hello Peeps.

I am excited to share a new platform that I’ve recently discovered. This platform “houses” digital task-cards, digital assessments, digital games and other media that can be accessed via an iPad,  computer, or smart board/Promethean board & the BOOM LEARNING  app. There are a variety of methods to procure and access the digital media. BOOM LEARNING is an asset to traditional brick and mortar schools which incorporate SOME digital content, schools or campuses who are in the process to migrating to sole digital content,  Google Classrooms/Chrome school accounts, home school/Coop groups,  & parents who seek to engage their children with robust, engaging and academic self-paced learning.

Subscribers will purchase “decks”. (There is also a healthy selection of FREE decks to select from across content and grade levels).  The decks are the actual interactive media. The decks will be stored in your account to access across a variety of devices. The decks can be employed in a variety of manners including:

  • Pre/post assessments,
  • Progress monitoring/RTI (Response to Intervention),
  • 1:1 instruction,
  • Partner games,
  • Workstation activities (center games),
  • Whole class instruction,
  • Whole class gaming competitions
  • Small group instruction,
  • Tutoring,
  • Self-paced instruction &
  • Self-directed inquiry investigations.

Currently educators have the option to purchase BOOM LEARNING digital content from either TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers ) or the BOOM LEARNING platform.  BOOM LEARNING is offering a SWEET deal to educators who create purchase digital content  via the Teachers Pay Teachers platform:  New TPT customers receive 3 sections, 80 students, 5 private decks at no extra charge for the first year!!!!!!  Um Hello–this is a steal folks.

There is a method to “store” all of your purchases on the platform. There are several account options: A free version/Starter account will garner you 5 students & 5 private decks to assign and or track student progress. The Basic account will afford you 3 sections, 80 students and 5 private decks.  The Power membership will offer you 5 sections, 150 students and UNLILMITED private decks. The Ultimate membership will provide 8 sections, 200 students and ULIMITED private decks as well.

The Classroom experience (individual assignments) is premium and requires a subscription for more than five students.  This method allows instructors to differentiate instructional content based upon student needs. Students can be assigned digital media (games, assessments, review, task-cards and the like); so students are able to move at their own pace. Students have access to the media both at school and at home with their unique class access link. Private publishing for more than 5 decks also requires a premium subscription

There is another method referred to as “Fast Play” which likens to the digital platform “Kahoot”.  In this mode, an instructor would select the “deck” or game that students will interact with as a whole class. Unlimited students have access to the media, but  student’s results are UNtracked.

Here are a few examples of what can be found on the platform:

Boom Learning Water Cycle Deck by Teacher Features

BOOM Learning US State Capitols by Boom Team

Watermellon Ten Frames by Della Larson’s Class

In short, I feel that the BOOM LEARNING platform is a win-win for educators and students. Below are my top 10 reasons to implement BOOM LEARNING in your classroom (home-school) today:

  1. New decks are available on a daily and weekly basis; this ensures that you have a plethora of content to select from. Boom Learning Library
  2. Decks address and meet a variety of content across disciplines.
  3. Decks meet a variety of age ranges/grade levels.
  4. Decks provide immediate feedback for your learners.
  5. Decks can be assigned to specific students (premium accounts).
  6. Decks provide a visually appealing format for visual learners. Decks allow learners to engage in self-paced practice-as often as necessary.
  7. This is an engaging and fun manner to employ digital learning into your instructional arsenal.
  8. Students will benefit from personalized instruction.
  9. Instructors/parents can engage in progress monitoring (premium subscriptions) to aid them in differentiating instructional content which meets the needs of their learners.
  10. Decks are created by actual teachers who have experience with “what works” in their own classrooms. These teachers are constantly refining their pedagogy as they embrace digital content to address the needs of each individual learner. This makes learning more meaningful as students can move at their own pace.


So go ahead and check it out. If you’ve been looking for a fun way to integrate technology infused lessons with your students, BOOM LEARNING is what you’ve been searching for.


I’d love to hear your comments and feedback, so feel free to drop me a message or thought below.




Cleo @Teaching in a Bubble

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Finding My Groove

DisgustHello!  I’ve have been soooooo M.I.A. and I can only apologize people. I have had a hugely eventful year with many “unexpected variables”. The good news is…this year has flown by and it’s definitely one for the records. Ya ever just have changes in all areas of your life at once? Well, that’s the kind of year that I’ve had.

The good news is that because of all of those challenges, I’ve developed a more “proactive can-do” kind of attitude.  {Yeah, I totally just coined that term, lol)

I feel like, instead of merely peering off of the edge of the ledge, I might as well jump….this is a whole new experience for me. I’m more of a “Cautious Carrie” type of girl. I like to weigh all of my options; ya know? I like to take my time and factor in all of the “danger” factor and “what if” scenarios.

One of my new ventures has been to F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. connect with others on social media platforms. I can’t express how overjoyed I am having taken the leap. I have had the privilege to meet so many AMAZING peers from across the country as well as in my own neck of the woods. I am learning so much {despite being such a neophyte}. I am just kicking myself for not taking the plunge sooner. This girl has never felt so much love and support from other like-minded people who simply “get her”.

Speaking of my peeps and taking on new adventures…..I have some great news that you’d probably LOVE to know. This week if you are looking for fabulous deals on Teachers Pay Teachers swag, ya gotta check out a sweet giveaway and fun week of  can’t miss steals:     

Thanks for Stopping by and GOOD LUCK everyone!

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