For background to this momentous step forward please refer to my post: Ownership of learning: a big step forward.
I apologise for a lack of visuals in this post, but I was so engrossed in the process of noticing and naming; and consciously engaging and interacting with my students in a way so as to promote ownership of learning, that I forgot to take photos!! I am still on a high from the awesomeness of it all!
Who has used a map?
This was my opening question to my students who responded with enthusiasm.
I then asked them to consider and record their response to this question: What are the criteria for making a good map?
I then asked them if there are criteria that a good map should include that they may not have considered – they agreed. To which I responded, “Let’s find out.”
I put the question on the smart-board: What are the criteria for making a good map? Show your understanding in any way you like.
I followed this with an brief explanation of my intention, “I want to hand over the learning to you rather than control it. Before you approach me with a question, please ask yourself: Who owns the learning?” I then wrote this question on another board as a reminder to them and to myself.
We then discussed the skills and attitudes they could need for the task.
I scribed their responses on the board:
As they inquired and problem solved, I made a point of naming the skills they were using so we added these to our list as time went by.
Next I asked them to consider the attitudes they could need to demonstrate? They responded:
Part of letting go included allowing time for reflection. We used a familiar structure for doing this:
1. What went well?
2. What challenges did you face?
3. How did you solve these?
4. What attitude do you still need to work on?
5. What skills do you still need to work on?
Here is a collection of responses…
1. Finding information and organising it; we showed persistence; cooperated; finding pictures; confidence; helping each other; organising ourselves by dividing up the responsibilities.
2. When I got stuck I didn’t know what to do; no patience; no risk taking; concentration at times; technology and making decisions; at first we didn’t know what we were doing; cooperation; time limit; team work; when we all wanted to present in different ways.
3. Asked friends; worked with the teacher; tried a different way; we stuck to our agreement; asked the teacher; compromised.
4. Patience and risk taking; creativity; commitment; cooperation; respect; positive attitude; reflective; openminded.
5. Decision making; cooperation and communication; thinking; research; problem solving; computer skills.
What did I notice and what did I learn today?
* handing ownership to the students naturally differentiates according to needs and learning styles;
* my learners are engaged in their own learning and so stay on task
* they collaborate as they need;
* they find ways to solve their problems;
* asking a question to answer their question is more effective than giving them the answer;
* pointing to the question: “Who owns the learning?” was enough of a reminder for them to make the decision for themselves;
* I am more available for the kids who need more support.
Will I do this again?
Ownership of learning promotes learning! Duh!