How can you be sure the kids in your class are actually fully aware of their learning?

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!


3 thoughts on “How can you be sure the kids in your class are actually fully aware of their learning?

  1. Hello, Miss Winder. I am one of your old students – from back in 2010, I think. My class might have been one of the first you tried My-Learning on. I never really thought much about it until I bumped into your blog. I’m very impressed. Some of your ideas are quite brilliant, and a breath of fresh air compared to the more restricted methods others employ. I agree with you on that children need to be given more room to find ways of enhancing their own learning, because, when it truly comes down to it, only we are in control of how much we can take in. Keep up your good work.

    1. Wow! Thanks for the lovely, kind comment Lu Jia. Yours was the very first class I tried doing things differently with, in fact. I hope school is going well for you. I’d love to hear how things are going and what you are up to now. My email is if you’d like to let me know.

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