The Learning Wall, constructing understanding of words with big meanings.

As we develop our Learning Wall we have found it useful to refer to the colour of the learning and thinking. We have been modelling our thinking out loud to the children. This seems to resonate with them.

“You wondered how to plant apple seeds, I think that is green thinking which is wondering. I think I used blue thinking which is new learning when I used the internet to search how to plant apple seeds-I didn’t know how to look after apple seeds.”

The children have begun to ask to put their thinking and learning onto the learning wall. In response to reading a book these questions. Isa thought these were wonderings.

Chen Yan: “Why do some people have scars and other people not have scars?”

Yutika: “Where can you find snakes?”

These are thoughtprovoking quotes about questions.

A welleducated mind will always have more questions than answers. Helen Keller

“Judge a person [man] by his questions rather than by his answers.” Voltaire

How do we help children develop their personal understanding of words with big meanings?

As part of our Unit of Inquiry we decided which skills and attitudes to focus on. In our new unit we will build on previous approaches to learning and attitudes. We highlight examples and construct a shared understanding with the children. We have also tried to find multimedia resources to help our conversations. We will use this to stimulate discussion as we co-construct a class understanding of these words.

We will explore the attitudes of curiosity and independence, (purple thinking).

We will focus on the skills of (orange thinking)

Thinking skills:

  • Comprehension– When I learn something I can explain it or use it.
  • Analysis – I can find out how things are the same or different.

Communication Skills:

  • Viewing – I can learn by looking at things. I can think about the words and pictures people use to give a message. I am responsible for what I watch and search for.
  • Presenting – I can make things for other people to see. I share my ideas in many ways.

Self-management Skills:

  • Organization– I can think about what I am going to do and then do it.
  • Time management– I get things done.

Research Skills:

  • Formulating questions– I ask questions because I want to find things out.
  • Planning– I think of ways I can find out about something.

Presenting Research Findings– I can share what I have learned in different ways  so other people  can understand it.

It would be very helpful if you could discuss any of these areas with your child.

Videos which explore the attitude of curiosity.

Video which explores the attitude of independence (being responsible for yourself).

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