I was lucky enough to attend ICOT in January and got some great ideas and food for thought. One such idea that grew as the conference went on was to create a wall of skills and tools I thought the students needed to be great learners. The idea was to add skills/tools as the year proceeded and skills were taught. These skills relate to inquiry, like Lane Clark’s “Think Box” as well as being quite general in their application, for any learning that should occur.
So far, as you can see, we haven’t added too many tools and skills to the wall, but it is growing. As the year goes on, I plan to discuss and explicitly teach:
- Different types of action one can take as a result of an inquiry, as well as how the success of such actions can be measured.
- Ways in which students can be more independent.
- Ways in which students can share or report their learning.
- Skills to ensure collaboration in the classroom is effective.
- Ways in which students can research and record information; and skills to use when researching to find relevant, true and useful information.
- Thinking skills – including, but not limited to, “Visible Thinking Routines” which will be taught as and when necessary.
- Ways in which to personalise learning – both to find out about things students are interested in and to work on things they struggle with.
The idea behind this wall is that each skill or tool will be recorded so students can see what they have learned throughout the year really clearly and so they can take responsibility to choose which tool to use in which situation. This should, in theory anyway, make them more independent learners who have more control over their learning.