Saturday, 29 August 2015

Action in 'The Learning Pit'

James Nottingham

Before I unpack this concept with the class, we need to pull it to pieces here.

This could be about learning a skill or grappling with a confrontational concept where learners are faced with a dilemma.

The Learning Pit and being faced with a dilemma... 
- Promotes deeper thinking
- Develops persistence

- Demands students to get past the 'panic' stage
- Requires the problem to be clearly identified
- Requires the use of different strategies

- Allows learners to help each other
- Lets learning be co-constructed

- Requires the process and learning to be reflected upon

This is what I have already unpacked in my earlier readings.!Instilling-a-growth-mindset/c24tn/1

Make the process of 'The Learning Pit' clear and visible to learners so they know what happens and the skills to use at different points.

Make sure you throw in the challenging questions that causes learners to'struggle' to find the answer. I found it! There is no sense of elation without the struggle.

See 'The Learning Pit' as a collaborative experience where we build on each others ideas and skills.

The 'Learning Pit' sequence:
1.  At the start of the pit - ask a concept question - to push past surface knowledge.

2. At the bottom of the pit - add thinking strategies and collaborative opportunities. Focus on the Growth Mindset, never giving up but celebrating the struggle.

3. Outside the pit you have your deep answer or 'Eureka' experience.

4. Post pit - ask metacognitive questions - how did you feel, what strategies did you use, what will you use again?

8. Meaningful Reflection: 

Focus on self improvement rather than achieving grades.
Reflection gives next steps for learning - formative.
Reflection is documented to allow for tracking of progress and thought process.
Reflection is shared to provide collective support.

1. Introduce the pit in relation to our weaving endeavours as we all found these challenging. Focus on a physical skill. 

2. Begin to develop our own visual to represent this concept.

3. Introduce a conceptual dilemma to them and see ow we respond. See if they can relate it to the Learning Pit.

Improved Quality of Reflections

The initial student reflections on their learning were about being happy they had coloured something in neatly. After I introduced the iReflect sheet with starter sentences, this added more detail in their reflections and helped them focus on sharing evidence and next steps.

Links to reflections

One particular reflection that shows thinking along a Positive Mindset is with Ella teaching another student how to weave. She was quite hesitant in this task but used lots of strategies to manage the challenge, resulting in a big gain in confidence.

Next Steps:
We need to keep developing visual posters, unpack a Positive Mindset for our weekly targets and reflect on the evidence our daily learning. The positive phrases need to be what is heard every day so it sinks in and becomes second nature.

I need to give them some big challenges and let them see how they respond.

Action in Class!

We have been working on sharing the Positive Mindset through making posters, using the new skills from Carol. Students who have been to the workshops then become the AKO teachers and the whole class shares the learning.

See the link here.

Unpacking a Positive Mindset

We sorted lots of statements into a GROWTH or FIXED MINDSET. This formed our class display, which is referred to throughout every day. The kids use this language in commenting about people they want to recommend in our end of day class oral reflection.