Accredited by the Council of International Schools, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the International Baccalaureate Organization, the International School of Stuttgart (ISS) has offered a truly international education for over thirty years. Recognized by the state of Baden-Württemberg, ISS offers a diverse and exciting experiential and student-centered curriculum to a co-educational, multicultural student body of over 800 students from over 53 countries.
As a PYP Coordinator, Alex Whitaker wanted to streamline teaching and learning in his school community. He shares, ‘‘For the past few years, our school has been looking to revamp and relook at the way in which we consider assessments, recording, and reporting of learning. We wanted to change the structures and the systems, but it was challenging to do so when our teams were using multiple platforms for their day-to-day tasks. We spent a lot of our time duplicating information on different platforms and were not able to focus on deepening our understanding of the PYP and reflect on our practices”.
Sharing his experience and challenges associated with using multiple platforms as a homeroom teacher, Baldwin Wu explains, “As teachers, most of us struggled with balancing the different platforms we used – one for planning, another for portfolios and communicating with parents, and another for recording and reporting. We had to juggle all of this while teaching and it was both frustrating and time-consuming”.
Streamlining Teaching And Learning Practices With Toddle
With Toddle, the team at ISS was able to streamline their everyday teaching and learning practices, which not only saved time but also led to a deeper shared understanding of the PYP curriculum. Alex shares, “Toddle has helped consolidate our platforms and how we did things into a more streamlined system. It helped us become more efficient, have more focus, and lay greater emphasis on teaching and learning because all of our energies are going into one place. The link between the planning process, assessment, and communication with students and their families makes Toddle truly unique. It joins all the dots of teaching and learning that many teachers are struggling with for years. For us, Toddle became a single platform connection between different aspects of what we were trying to do.”
Enabling Meaningful Dialogues within the Community
Planning on Toddle played a key role in developing a deeper understanding of the curriculum, for both new and experienced educators. Alex elaborates, “Our previous platform was a thorough system that helped in document planning but it felt like a compliance model. Teachers filled the planners not necessarily to support classroom learning but because they had to fill their requirements as a PYP teacher”.
Transitioning to Toddle changed the way teachers viewed planning. Alex explains, “The teachers who have started this year and are new to PYP have transitioned quickly to understand the elements of the programme, which are visible and tangible within Toddle. The planner is scaffolded to provide guidance at every step, which is very helpful for anyone trying to understand how different pieces come together while planning”. He further shares, “When I plan a learning experience on Toddle, I do so with the assessment in mind. As I add both to one place, I have to think about all aspects of the inquiry cycle and not just one particular part. Teachers can also see each others’ planning and work in a truly collaborative way. The use of Student Portfolio, Student App, and Toddle Classroom have led to meaningful and personalized feedback in a truly supportive way, even in the event of distance learning”.
“Our teachers have now begun to think more deeply about how they can bring PYP to life within the classroom. As teachers plan on Toddle, they are encouraged to spend time thinking about what they hoped for students to learn through the learning experiences they created. As a result, there has been a growth in teachers’ understanding of how things work, and teachers feel more empowered to share their learning within the PYP”.
Making Learning Visible for Families
With Toddle, teachers can provide families with an authentic window into their child’s learning. Baldwin explains, “Before Toddle, I felt that parents lacked context when I tried to communicate learning with them. The other platforms did not help parents fully understand their children’s learning journeys. On Toddle, I can now collaboratively plan with my colleagues, assess it on the same platform and tie all these pieces together when I communicate with parents. Toddle’s Student Portfolios and Progress Reports give parents a lot of context to understand their child is learning and doing in the classroom. We can also tag learning experiences and focused PYP elements to their child’s journal and on Toddle Classroom, creating transparency between teachers and parents. The whole element of communication on the Toddle platform has been life-changing”.
“Teachers, families and students can now engage in a dialogue through the Student Portfolios or Toddle classroom, making it an authentic and meaningful experience. ”
Toddle is the preferred teaching partner of 20,000+ PYP educators and 1,000+ PYP schools around the world. Developed by experienced IB educators, Toddle streamlines planning, portfolios, assessments, reports, and online learning – all from one intuitive interface. Through Toddle Community, educators from around the world can collaborate with each other for sharing best practices and teaching-learning resources.
Request a demo today to understand how you can empower student voice and choice to demonstrate and share learning, engage in authentic assessment, and get deep insights on student progress across PYP elements and curriculum goals.