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Our school is going to have a PYP Exhibition process coming up from October 2018 to February 2019. I am going to conduct a series of workshop for mentors, and I decided to make a bank of questions of PYP Key Concepts. I made the questions for 7 Key Concepts, since the Enhanced PYP will have Reflection embedded in all the learning process whatever the concept is. Here is the PYP Concept Questions:



Posted in 21st century learning, blendedlearning, differentedinstruction, technology

Differentiated Instruction: Blending the Learning

Differentiated Instruction is never an easy implementation, even if we think we know the what and the why. The how part is always challenging. During our last year professional learning community (PLC) process, a group of teachers whom decided to pursue their inquiry into differentiated instruction, tried an activity inspired by Kasey Bell in her Shake Up Learning website. We tried the Interactive Learning Menu to implement our knowledge of Differentiated Instruction.

Differentiated PLC
PLC Group of Teachers: Differentiated Instruction

In grade 5, we began together by filling the PADLET together by answering some questions. Students began by opening the instruction in their Google Classroom and go to this Google Slide. After answering questions in padlet, students chose 1 menu from 1-4 and 1 menu from 6-9, and they continued to do the rest. Some students did all the menus, while some other students did some of the menus, this mean, students can learn in their own pace.  We used technology for the online games and describing how to divide decimal in Flipgrid. So in a way, this experience is also including the Blended Learning method by using technology and hands on activity in 1 session. Other menus provided pairing games and group games, giving chances for students to collaborate and compete with each other. We are also included an activity for kinaesthetic learners by doing fraction hopscotch and flicker game. We tried to include all the essential elements such as learning profiles, styles, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity & communication, and real world engagement (word problems) in the learning menus.

Here is what it looks like:

We tried to implement the learning menus to other level too, and here is the presentation made by one of the teacher in Y2: DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION BY ETI.

I think, we have made a major break through in implementing Differentiated Instruction, we learned so much from the reflection going on the PLC discussion, and of course, we are always give room for improvements.

Please, if you have feedback or opinion, or want to share about how you do differentiation in your classroom, I look forward to know!

Posted in #inquiry, #pyp, 21st century learning

Personalized Learning: Student’s Driven Inquiry = iTime

This academic year, our school tried something new regarding to personalized, student’s driven inquiry. We started from the powerful question: “Are we preparing kids to learn without us?” It was the question that drives us to aim for Self Regulated Learner, one of the school mission and vision of Cikal 5 Stars Competencies.


“How can we shift curriculum and pedagogy to more effectively help students form and answer their own questions, develop patience with uncertainty and ambiguity, appreciate and learn from failure, and develop ability to go deeply into the subjects about which they have passion to learn?” (Richardson, W,. 2012:23). This question raised by educator and blogger Will Richardson got the author of The Power of Inquiry book, Kath Murdoch, thinking. And got me thinking too. As the PYP Coordinator in my school, I am responsible to the implementation of unit of inquiry and the big final project The PYP Exhibition.

How do we provide time and space for student’s driven inquiry? How do we prepare students to be able to choose issue for their PYP Exhibition?

Those questions drive us to the implementation of iTime. iTime is a time where students can have their 1 hour a week independent sessions, where their can pursue their passion and interest in 5-7 weeks project. It was a challenge, with our tight schedule of other unit of inquiries and learning outcomes set for the academic year. Thus, students and teachers were all excited with this new experience.

In Sekolah Cikal, we started to implement iTime from grade 4 and 5. Next year, we are planning to implement iTime from grade 2 to grade 5.

What does iTime look like? Here is a video explaining everything about iTime in Sekolah Cikal.

Posted in #inquiry, #pyp, 21st century learning, edtech, ict, technology

Fun and Engaging Learning with QR Codes in the Classroom

I’ve been using QR code in my PD sessions for new teachers, and I have been wondering a lot about how can teachers use QR code in the classroom for teaching and learning.

What is a QR code? How does it work? How do we use it? And how do you make QR code?

QR, or Quick Response codes is black and white 2d image barcode that can be read using smartphones, tablets, laptops and dedicated QR reading devices. They link directly to articles, emails, websites, phone numbers, videos, social media pages and more. All you need is a camera lens on your device and a QR code scanning programme which can be downloaded online for free as an app.

QR code is everywhere now. At the back of your cereal box, on the result of government standardized test, even grocery stores promote their stores through posting their QR code on advertisement.

How to make a QR code:

  1. Copy the link of the file, video, website or social media page that you want to share.
  2. Open QR code generator such as, or, or just simply googled QR generator and it will display many webpage of QR generators.
  3. Once you received a png or jpeg image from the QR generator, you can share or print your QR code.

How can we use this technology in the classroom?

During PD sessions for new teachers, I shared reading links through QR code. I post the QR code on the slide presentation. No more photocopied reading articles, or waste your time just to deliver e-mail to participants. Just ask the participants to download the QR reader on their phones or tab, and ask them to scan the code, and there you have it.

I am thinking about using the QR code in the classroom for making teaching and learning more productive, fun, engaging and challenging. Here are some ideas:

  1. Replacing boring written test or quiz into mobile and more interactive quiz activity.

Create the quiz in Google Form, generate the link into QR code, print it on paper, and post it on classroom wall. You can make several QR codes for several numbers of quiz problem.

  1. Differentiate Task

For example you are teaching about governmental system and you have some videos and articles for your students to go through. Divide the class into several groups, have them watch different videos or read different articles. Post the link into QR codes in several learning stations, have them discuss it in groups.

  1. Treasure Hunt game/ Pokemonlike game

Use the QR code as clues for playing treasure hunt game. Insert links of riddles or clues of pictures that the answers can be the way to the next station.

More ideas for using QR codes in here.

What if your school don’t provide one on one iPads or gadgets? Well, be creative. A teacher in SMAN Petungkriyono, Pekalongan, succeeded in using QR codes as assessment tools, with little help from his fellow teachers. The teacher asked his fellow teachers to gather their smartphones and let his students used them to scan for quizz problems. It is never

I hope this article helps teachers to think of more ideas to use technology to make learning more engaging and challenging.

Here are some inspiring source of using QR code in the classroom:

Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent) provides an overview
of how to make a “talking” QR code!

Tony Vincent

And take a look at Kathy Schrock Guide to Everything about QR Code in HERE.

And a LESSON PLAN on how to use QR code in a lesson.


Posted in 21st century learning, edtech, ict, technology

Testimonial: How I become Apple Distinguished Educator 2017

I am very thrilled and overjoyed, when I got the e-mail telling me that I got selected to join the Apple Distinguished Educator Class 2017. But what is Apple Distinguished Educator? Why does it say distinguished? What is the difference between Apple Distinguished Educator and Apple Teacher? How do you become one?

In 1994, Apple created the Apple Distinguished Educators (ADE) program to recognize K–12 and higher-education pioneers who are using Apple technology to transform teaching and learning. These are the educators who are looking to change the world. They are active leaders from around the world helping other educators rethink what’s possible with iPad and Mac to make learning deeply personal for every student.

Trusted advisors

ADEs are experts on the realities of integrating technology into learning environments, and they work closely with Apple to foster innovation in education.

Passionate advocates

ADEs share their expertise in using technology to help engage students in new ways with other educators around the globe.

Authentic authors

ADEs provide best practices and leadership in education through published lessons, courses, books, and more.

Global ambassadors

ADEs work together to develop and promote powerful ideas for improving teaching and learning worldwide.

This is a video describing what Apple Distinguished Educator is all about: 

From all of those information, you got the point why is it distinguished right?

What is the difference between ADE and Apple Teacher?

Apple Teacher is a free professional learning program designed to support and celebrate educators using Apple products for teaching and learning. As an Educator you can build skills on iPad and Mac that directly apply to activities with your students, earn recognition for the new things you learn, and be rewarded for the great work you do every day.

But we don’t have the program yet in Indonesia. Well, soon I hope. It is because there are not many ADEs from Indonesia. There are 5 Indonesian citizen who are now officially ADE. This year’s ADE from Indonesia are me, and another teacher from Palembang. I hope there will be more ADEs in the next years to come.

So, how do you become Apple Distinguished Educator?

You need to apply, of course. There are forms to be filled. And you are asked to send a 2 minutes video, describing your passion in education and technology, and how you can empower other people in teaching and learning, and embracing the challenges of 21st century teaching and learning. And also, the video must be done by using the apple technology, and show your creativity as well.

Tips for making the video:

  • You don’t need to show how high tech you are, just show your creativity.
  • You can see other’s ADEs application videos on Youtube, but not as a reference, but to see what kinds of videos that had been done, to avoid similarity. Different is good.
  • Showing how you interact and empower others, are essential.

I got an inspiration from Shaun Kirkwood about having selfie stopmotion video just for fun, during his ‘Bringing the F word back to School’ at 2016 iPad Conference. I collected the clips for my video for 2 weeks. This is my video application for Apple Distinguished Educator 2017:

Now, I am looking forward for the event for ADE Asia Pacific in July. Can’t wait to share the experience with the world!

Posted in #inquiry, ict, technology

iPad Sharing Sessions for Y1-2 Teachers

Me, the IT manager Pak Chris, and Music Teacher Pak Aria, were given the opportunity to share our knowledge about using technology for grade 1-2 teachers. The event was held in our Media Resources Center (computer lab) Sekolah Cikal Cilandak. We begin with question: What do you want your kids to do with technology? Teachers shared their thoughts by using Post it Plus in iPad.

4-7-17 Board 2Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 9.30.46 PM.png

Then we went to explore Explain Everything for sketchnoting, iMovie, Camera, Book Creator, Math apps, and Toontastic.

Here is the video the video describing the sharing session looks like.

Posted in #inquiry, #pyp, math

Math – Make it Fun!

Do you remember what your math lesson in your primary of middle school like? I do remember mine. When I was in grade 4, I remember about learning fraction with my Mom, and I was crying over my frustration, and because my mom was also frustrated in teaching me to do the math homework problems. Maybe she was like, why can’t you understand this fraction? And she yelled, and yelled, and it got me crying more and more.

It was a traumatic experience for me. And since that day, that’s it. Officially, math is a no-no. And then here I am, working as a teacher. It was fun teaching other subjects like reading and writing by telling story, playing pretend. It was fun learning about art by making artwork, making music, role playing. Even in learning science, we got to experimenting on things or blowing up stuff. I know my favorite subject ever was art, because I got to use my imagination in creating things, playing with brush and paint, and, I also got good grades in art.

But math, I never got the chance to feel good about it. The thing about learning math in the past, is when you failed an exam, the teacher will give another test on paper, called remedial, and we have to go through all over again, the things that we don’t even understand before. They drilled us, like drilling a never ending hole. I used to get red marks on my math grades, and there was nothing I, my parents, and also my teachers can do about it.

And came the time, when I have to teach math to my students. I said to myself, hey, I won’t let what happened to me, happened to my students. I will not let them hate math, as I did when I was a child. I’m a teacher now, and I am in charge of the teaching. I can make math fun! And there I was, teaching the kindergarten math with counters, and songs, and games. And then teaching in grade 1 and 2. Math can still be fun. We raced to skip counting by twos and fives. We use beans and blocks to learn about place value by separating the tens and ones, and count them in groups. We make groups of objects in circles, in learning multiplication and division. And other hands on experience that brought math to concrete, from an abstract concept.

But then, the school ask me to be a grade 5 teachers. It was like the bridge to the next higher level of complexity in learning math. And one more year to the national exam. The learning objectives become more complex, and the pressure, well that is another thing. Students have to learn about fraction, decimal and percentage. Students have to learn about algebra, angles and measurements. And the language, the language of math seems to be more like an alien language to them. Such as equation, numerator, denominator, addend, vertex, and etc, etc. And also the challenge was, my students are learning in 2 language, English and Indonesian language. That was also the challenge for the teachers.

So, how can we, as teachers, can make students LIKE math? How can we make them love math, but learn math at the same time? How do we break down those stigma about math? How do we teachers, can say to ourselves, forget about counting, calculating and tables, let’s have some fun! Can we do that?

The answer is, yes we can. But of course, we can not do it instantly. It takes courage, to start making changes in your teaching planner, changes in your daily activities. It takes confidence in asking the right questions, provoking the challenge. It takes creativity in designing the learning path for the students.

Challenges can also came from other fellow teachers or school management. The questions like; what about the grades? What about the learning objectives? What about the national exam? What about doing the word problem? Can students overcome those things when all they do is having fun?

The answer is, why not? Research stated that, the more we learn in contextual meaning, different grouping, games, and with a fun and relax atmosphere, can develop skills in problem solving, higher level of thinking skills, and eventually good grades.

The thing is, we need to change our own mindset on how we look at things. If you think that math learning objectives as a burden, as a workload to do, than you’ll get nothing. But if you think that learning math as a challenge, as a fun way of learning, then you will get something.

You can always put math into something that you like. If you like music, then make it into songs, or putting the math equations into lyrics. If you like arts and craft, then you can make any arts out of numbers, patterns, or even equations. If you like reading and writing, then make it into a storytelling, book cover, fantasy story. If you easily bored with anything, you can make it into a role play, games, or even a competition out of it. You can do all of that, and at the same time, observe them, assess them, take notes on how they are doing it, their comments when they are doing it, take notes about how they collaborate with each other, how they learn from their mistakes.

Students nowadays, they need to be passionate about what they are learning. They always ask about “Why do we learn about this? Why do we have to learn about this? Why is it matter to me?” It is an understandable questions, because nobody wants to do anything if they don’t like it. Make the learning contextual, connect the learning into their daily life, throw them a problem to be solved, challenge their thinking without make it into drilling activity, make them practice math on their life, not practice on paper.

You might say that it is easier said than done. But hey, what is so hard about having fun? What is so hard about practicing into daily life? Change your mindset, change you class environment, put more hands on, and minds on activities in your class, add some games, going outside the classroom wall, connect to the surroundings, connect with each other. You can make it happen, let’s make it fun!