I talk to people a fair bit about the importance of students being fully aware of what they are learning, why they are learning this, how they are doing and what their next steps are. Fellow educators come into the classroom and, without fail, comment on how well the kids know where they are at. They’ve even wowed the local Intermediate and College Principals with their in -depth knowledge of their own learning.
But how good are they really?
Are they just parroting learning intentions, or do they have a deep and holistic grasp on their learning?
I decided to put this to the test and find out. So, in the holidays I did nothing. Zilch. Didn’t come into school once. I planned out the first day as a big planning and reflection session (plus dancing lessons and library!) and that was all. The long-term planning for the term was decided by the students. Here is what they came up with, after small group discussions around different subject areas and whole class sharing of ideas- Term 4 Targets. We also came up with whole class, competency based, learning intentions to help us become more successful learners. These two aspects form the basis for the weekly planning, whereby there are whole class sessions and optional sessions, so students can chose the meetings they require for their learning.
They were able to suggest learning intentions that were necessary, relevant and that useful for their inquiry. I think this also shows how open and honest students are about their learning; something we have worked hard to achieve all year. Students suggested meetings that were appropriate for them and are attending these meetings without embarrassment or scorn from others if they are seen as a bit basic.
They have become much more capable learners and I feel they are on their way to being well set up for their life. Well done Room 3!