Today I asked my students to think deliberately about themselves as learners.
I invited the Principal in and we modelled the process we wanted them to engage in. This idea was based on a template from a resource developed by Layton Schnellert and Faye Brownlie. They recommend starting the year like this, but I modified into a kind of New Year’s resolution for students. One of us filled in a template on the overhead as the other talked about each question as it related to us personally. We talked about our goals for our own learning for 2012. I had the kids follow up, filling in their own templates.
It was interesting how difficult it was for many of them to answer questions like, What am I good at, What is the best way for me to show what I know, What am I interested in. I need to work with them some more on the goals they set. I will work harder needs to be replaced with specific ideas such as, I will keep my binder of work organized, or I will get a small group together to study before a test. I want to help them learn specific strategies and to understand that this is not a static thing – they can get better at what they do.
I want them to engage. Lots of them just do school. They don’t understand that it is about learning. They have a host of strategies that work for them for doneness – copying from a neighbour, getting an adult in the room to give up and finally point at or tell them the answer, scraping together enough to pass. At the heart of this is the assessment model they have become accustomed to. Don’t get me started.
On the other hand, this is my goal as a learner for 2012 – getting better at assessment of students. I going to do a whole lot more thinking, designing, talking and, hey, blogging on this topic.
Here is one of Kiana’s drawings, which she works on in her free time – talk about engaged! Her goal today was to get a scholarship to go to art school. She’s in Grade 8: