When Grade One Define Learning.

Connie is developing a book about the Learning Wall and we wanted the children to develop their own definition of learning.

1P define types of learning:

  • It is something you can already do and you use it to teach yourself something new.
  • People can teach you things, but you have to work out how to use it by yourself.
  • You can learn things by yourself.

 

Owen: It’s when you don’t know it, then you think, think, think and then you  think… umm maybe it’s so and so.

Masaichi: First you don’t know then you think then you get it.

Erik: You do new things like your brain will grow.

Jimin: Teacher says something is wrong and you think again and again and then you do and the teacher say yes.

Vita: You don’t understand and you say to teacher I don’t understand and then like teacher  says what it mean.

Jesse: First you didn’t know that and then you write it then you know it. You think and then you know it now.

Chloe: When you do something, it is when you don’t normally do it and then you do it it like drawing.

Aoi: You can go to friend and friend says think and then you can learn to remember and your brain will get big.

Laetitia: Is like you the teacher teach you.

Diego: Learning is something new you don’t know. Someone can tell or you can use your fingers. You can figure it out.

Hayato: You don’t know, someone tells you and you know.

Ken: You like someone tells you, but you teach yourself how.

Sophia: You don’t know something, first you think yourself and then you can ask someone.

Mona: First you study and then you know.

Devano: You do something you don’t normally do and you do things you don’t know.

 

New Learning

 You can learn it by yourself or with people. You can learn from doing things. It is something new.

Ken: Stuff you don’t know and then you can do it.

Vita: You don’t know how to write something and then you write.

Erik: Is the teacher teaches you something new.

Devano: Your friends can teach you new stuff.

Chloe: Sometimes when you make a book.

 

Wondering

Is asking questions because you want to know more about what you are thinking about.

Masaichi: You ask can you do it.

Jesse: You go to home and you want to eat and you wonder is there the ice cream.

Owen: My dad showed me a video about NASA, and I wondered how black holes were made.

 

Attitudes

It is about how we behave towards ourselves, the whole world and the universe.

Sophia It’s when you’re independent

Diego: It’s respecting

Ken: Not just people it is the whole universe

Hayato: It’s like being kind

 

Skills

They are something you can do to help you learn and help you do things.

 

I was scarred but I tried (this is a kind of learning the children added to the learning wall)

It helps you know you can do it and then you can learn new things.

How do we help children understand works 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 make a space mask, 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. They have had several questions from the morning meeting

Owen: “So black holes… how do they get made?”

Sophia: “How do you make the sticks go together?”

These are thought provoking 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).

Reviewing our Learning Wall, “It opens my mind.”

A reflection on our Learning Wall, “I like it. It is like open my mind with with new learning. I feel like I am playing and learning.” Chen Yan

The Learning Walls are becoming quite full. We invited the children to review their wall. The walls are an array of colors, reflecting the different thinking and learning happening in our learning community. The children decided  to sort each kind of learning and then stick them together. This gave the children an opportunity to reflect on the kinds of learning they had documented. They agreed to place them in their portfolio.

Sorting the kinds of learning.

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Placing the same kinds of learning in a graph or some kind of organizational form.

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Documenting how many of each kind of learning there was. Reflecting on this and thinking about the next Learning Wall.

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Peer support
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Teacher Reflection

The most documented kind of learning is “blue thinking” or new learning. Next is “green thinking” or wondering. This is interesting to note and clearly shows children can explain they are learning. Having looked at the wonderings they are things  the children are thinking about and seem to act on, such as, “How will I make a Lego tower?”

The skills and attitudes we are developing are a close 3rd and 4th. There markedly less of them. We wonder how to balance this and build the vocabulary of learning. We have been using videos to help develop childen’s understanding. Link to post.

Some children have only documented their learning when directed to do so by a teachers and others have a wall full of colored cards. This does not reflect language level, the highest number of posts is by a beginner EAL student and one of the lowest is by a native speaker.

Developing the use of technology to maximize our learning community.

Our next step is to look into the role of technology to help document our learning. Some children have been informally using twitter to share their learning. We would like to formalize this and introduce Kidsblogs like last year. Every child would then have a digital learning space that could be shared with broadest possible learning community.

A selections of children reflections:

Chen Yan: I like it. It is like open my mind with with new learning. I feel like I am playing and learning.

Daniel: I don’t use it. I don’t think about it much. It needs to be in a better place.

Lucas: Learn (the types of learning)

Vivi: When I do good stuff I will put it down.

Ian: I will do more new learning. You can see what you learn.

Yutika: It helps me remember my learning.

 

 

 

 

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).

The Learning Wall, how children are using it to document their thinking and learning.

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The children have begun to place their thinking and learning onto the Learning Wall. It is differentiated and shows a gradual release of responsibility to suit each learner.

IMG_11441) Children spontaneously putting thing up.

Olivia: I make the jelly fish I put on top. (Wondering how to secure the top.)

 

 

 

 

2) Children wanting to share their thinking and learning and asking for help to IMG_1145determine the kind of learning it is.

Alex: Me, me, me, the game Ms Saito. Game is Ms saito, me play. Me learn. Me learn new game.

[Pointed determinedly at the wall.]  (New learning of a game, taught by a friend)

 

 

IMG_11463) Teacher’s noting learning and then children choosing to put it on the wall.

Yukei:  Look we are doing it together. We are building it.

Zoe:  Umm this looks like orange learning, to me, it is a skill, you are respecting each other and sharing ideas.”

Yukei finished the building and then came over and asked to put it on the Learning Wall.  This is a skill Respecting others – social skill.

 

4) Teacher’s asking children what they are doing and asking them to put it onto the IMG_1147wall.

Zoe: What are you doing? Can you share your thinking and learning with me?

Isa:  I am playing Lego with Owen. I am learning Lego.

Zoe:  You seem to be listening and talking . Do you think the listening and talking is helping you learn?

Isa: Yes, Owen is helping me and I am listening.

Zoe: Let’s put that on the Learning Wall. I think that is orange thinking, you are using communication skills.

 

IMG_11485) Teacher’s taking photographs and children deciding what kind of learning was happening.

Connie: Can I take a picture of your learning? What are you doing?

Daniel: I am making a marble run. I am thinking about what it will do if I put this here [points to pieces of marble run].

Connie: Here is your photo Daniel. How are you going to share your learning?

Daniel: Photo and drawing.

After some discussion Daniel choose the attitude curiosity.

Children are recording with words and pictures. As teacher’s we may scribe for children or write specific kind of learning. On every paper the children show their own learning, so they remember it, for example, if a teacher writes the child draws.

Examples from all the children. Interesting to note some children decided multiple kinds of thinking and learning were taking place and joined colours together.

Learning Wall examples

How we develop a shared language for learning in Grade One.

The children have designed their learning wall. It is a rainbow of coloured papers. Each child picked their colour and shape. It takes up a whole wall of the class and shows the value we place on sharing our thinking and learning.

The teachers have spent a long time deciding what areas of learning to focus on. We do not feel this is a completed process, rather, it is a way of thinking about our learning. We hope it will change over time to reflect the learners using it.

The children decided which colours will represent their learning areas. We were rather concerned this was a tokenistic gesture, as the teachers decided the areas to be represented. We brought these areas of learning to the children to see if they resonated with them.  They could certainly verbalise when they had:

  • Learned something new which helped them
  • Had an idea or question which provoked them to learn something new
  • Used a skill such as speaking and listening to share or learn something new

We are happy with how this went as we hope the children will add their own ideas overtime. At present it helps all of us forge links with our curriculum and makes our thinking visible.

Our first attempt at writing up the four areas of learning.

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We wonder what other ways the children will choose to document their learning. We have noticed the children using drawings to show their learning. The visual medium of photography is appealing to some children. Other children have shown a desire to use social media such as Twitter. We find ourselves wondering how we will connect technology and the learning wall. How can we use all the tools available to us? As you can see we are all learning about our learning.

 

Maths and Inquiry. How can we make our learning wall?

We invited the children to decide how to use this space to show their thinking and learning. We want to promote a reflective classroom culture where our community of learners can consider how their choices promote learning, especially through play. The children have chosen to call this space “The Learning Wall”. They decided each person in the class will have a space of their own.

How would the space be divided?

This is a video of one of the first times the children had a discussion together. We are focusing on communication skills: speaking, listening and nonverbal communication.

The debate continues…