It is interesting to ask students what successful learners do – you always get students who say the secret to success is to concentrate hard or work hard. I agree this is important, but is there more to a really great learner than that? I wanted to pose this question to the students in my class to get them to reflect and this is what they came up with:
“Concentrating hard” and “Working hard” is important and it’s about half the picture.
For example, I’m terrible at art and no matter how hard I concentrate on painting, it’s unlikely I’ll be the next Picasso.
If I concentrate really hard, will I come up with the next great ‘i’ device that we can’t live without? Maybe, but collaborating with others might help me extend my ideas…
As a result of this discussion, we decided that students would have a learning buddy. The kids all wrote down 2 learning skills they were good at and 2 they needed to work on. I then paired them up, so everyone is now a helper and being helped to make improvements by a more proficient peer. They have to plan out how they will help out their learning buddy and how they can pass their skills on, which is no mean feat. We’ll see how this goes!