- 2 teachers
- 22 students + netbooks
- 2 data projectors
- 2 laptops
- Term 3 plans – sorted
One of those days …. you sit back and think WOW, this is what learning should be about!
At our school each teaching unit traditionally has a planning day to prepare for the next term. A few weeks ago my teaching partner and I decided if we wanted our students to take responsibility for their learning they needed to be part of planning day
Today was the day … about half our 5/6 students took up the invitation to attend, some reluctantly. We had made a decision that our school leaders (house captains) should participate. We had an incredibly representative group of students choose to join us. Should we have expected them all to attend? Maybe ….. but given that we weren’t sure how the day would go, we wanted the students that were there to be committed and enthusiastic. Will more students opt to be part of it next time? I would hope so. We started small – planned Integrated Studies and Writing.
What came out of the day ….
- the value of using Back Channel to add to discussions and give a voice to all students ..Class planning Today’s Meet
- students working together to understand VELS
- our Integrated Studies goal for next term …… to understand how we affect the environment and what we can do about it
- a range of ideas as to how we can achieve those goals
- a recognition of the importance of providing choices in task and options for working styles and that one student’s challenge is not necessarily another’s
- the importance of supporting students to build knowledge but recognising that they like to do that in different ways (some want instruction, other’s like to explore for themselves
- a Term 3 ‘writer’s festival … comedy, film & story’ – the discussion that led to this idea was a perfect example of not settling for your first thought.
- a very animated and sometimes heated discussion on homework – that is still to be resolved
- a sense of excitement and anticipation about next term
- the level of student involvement – everyone’s willingness to contribute
- student’s ability to rise to the occasion
My favourite comments for the day …..
“We want to do something the teachers haven’t done before so we are all learning together”
“I have been waiting all year for something like this to happen”
“The people that don’t do homework shouldn’t get consequences because missing out on the things that we do and learn sort of is a consequence”
The planning is messy, the documentation is not formalised, but the ideas and understanding of where we are heading is clear. Will we do it again – absolutely.