Who has control?

Interestingly, when I’ve spoken to the students in Year 6 lately, they’ve told me that they have lots of control in the classroom. I can’t say I agree, though they may well have plenty of control compared to previous years at school. So, to give both myself and the kids in my class a better idea of who had control over the various aspects of the classroom, I decided to have a big discussion around this.

Below is the result of this discussion:

Miss Winder controls: Teacher and kids have joint control: Kids have control:
  • Deadlines
  • Direction of discussions
  • Mathletics tasks
  • Warnings
  • Units of inquiry- “big ideas”
  • Trips
  • Visitors
  • “Thoughts on this” board
  • Brain teasers


  • Tasks
  • Opt in meetings
  • Group meetings
  • Class meetings
  • Learning intentions
  • Choosing goals
  • Deadlines
  • Noise level
  • Success criteria
  • “Did you know” board
  • Planning the day – decide when to do things
  • Where the furniture is in the room
  • How we behave
  • Who we work with or whether we work alone
  • How we use our time
  • Where we sit
  • What we do for fitness
  • Whether we attend opt in meetings
  • Choose how hard we try
  • Choose what rewards we get
  • Whether you need to get a drink or use the toilet
  • What/with whom/when you talk
  • Choose what you want to learn within the big idea in inquiry
  • Choose to add your ideas to the “thoughts on this” board
  • Choose what to write about for goal practice
  • Choose what to do when weekly tasks are finished.







So what is the outcome of this discussion?

The students decided that they’d like a little more control now – they would like to add brain teasers to the board for their peers and they would like to suggest learning intentions for opt in meetings.

Later in the year, they’d like more control, in terms of planning, which we will do collectively like last year. But they don’t feel they are ready for this just yet and I definitely agree.


It’s very exciting to see the kids getting a better understanding of their place in the learning process. They have become quite reflective and realistic.


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