This post was published by Anne-Marie Flanagan on 30 August 2011.
I started the Year with a group of students who relied heavily on me as the provider of all the answers and they were reluctant to take risks with their own learning. Until the introduction of CLLC I had not been big on change or risk taking however since the introduction of specific PLT’s my own practice within the classroom was placed under a microscope and I was able to see a change was necessary for me as well as the children in my class, in order to move forward. Last years class were very open to change and were willing to journey with me on a new way to explore the area of Inquiry learning through literacy. We had built up a level of trust and collaborative learning,we were all on the journey together as learners.
Through my inquiry unit I wanted to ensure the children became independent learners.I was transparent with the curriculum expectations ie VELs, this initiated discussion and collaboration on where their learning would go.Through personal reflection this required an equal voice and the ability for the children to take ownership of their own learning. This came about through the development of the learning pyramid,through professional learning I sourced an article based on Blooms taxonomy (Self directed learning: A pathway to creativity in Learning Matters Vol 15 No 1 2010). As a level we decided to trial this within our classrooms and report back to the PLT at the end of term. The PLT discussions challenged our thinking and challenged our practices within our classrooms as well our personal learning and teaching. My class and I underwent a significant shift in thinking. Whilst I was aware of the children’s individual styles of learning I was not aware of how to apply this to classroom practice.
Through on going negotiation with my students they are now at a point where they take ownership for developing effective and varied tasks around Blooms taxonomy, in order to develop a deeper understanding and knowledge within their Inquiry Unit.
The following example from our Inquiry Unit on Endangered Species is a pyramid created by one student on Pandas. At the evaluating level this student chose to create a text where he would recommend 5 ways we can save Pandas (as shown in the 2nd work sample).
Here are some of my students WOW moments:
- “Get more done this way -steps-planner” Hayley
- “Funner – get to pick what we learn” Melanie
- “Get to learn from other people” Monika
- “I like the fact we have a say” Kelsey
- “I learn things better because it is explained better” Izabel
- “It is more inspiring” Joesat
- “…explore different ways of presenting” Dylan