Tag Archives: Independent Learning

Simple metacognitive strategies

Closed book/open book

Set an assessment/quiz to support retrieval of content previously taught.  Students divide the page in half and answer first on the left side with no books or notes to support them (you could just use different coloured pens rather than divide the page).  Then allocate another period of time where they can use their books, notes if they wish, to add to their answers.  By using the left-right column method, they are forced not only to spend time retrieving the information (or even just trying – which still benefits memory), but also have a clear record of how easily and accurately they could arrive at correct answers from long-term memory, without consulting external sources. This supports metacognition by building students’ explicit awareness of their level of learning, which can then be used to guide their study.

Questions that could be used during/after an independent task

During:

What am I trying to accomplish?  (This encourages the student to identify the purpose of the activity)

What strategies am I using?  (This requires students to think about what is required of them)

How well am I using the strategies?  (This encourages students to monitor their progress and adapt if necessary)

What else could I do  (When students get stuck, this encourages them to think for themselves!)

After:

What resources have you used in your learning on this topic so far and how useful were they? How else could you use them to support your learning?

How much has today’s learning challenged you? How could you increase the challenge? How would you tackle it?

What skills have you been developing in the lesson so far?

In what contexts outside the classroom might you encounter what we are learning today?

How could what you have learned today be used in other subject areas?

What do you need to do next to make further progress?

Challenge Grid – Retrieval Practice

Challenge Grid forces students to recall content from the previous lesson to  earlier in the course.   More points are awarded for answering questions from way back than the previous lesson.

This serves to give students feedback on what content they need to be revisiting in their personal study time.

Template below.

Challenge Grid Template

News diary pro-forma

This was forwarded to me my Helen who observed Emily use this in a citizenship lesson.  Emily asks the pupils to read newspaper articles and then link them to the themes in citizenship (which are listed on the left hand page). This can then be used as a starter activity, where pupils share their articles and what they have learnt from them.  Thanks Emily, I am sure there are many ways other departments could use something similar.

 

TED talks

There is a link to a page that talks about ‘Green TED talks’, it wasn’t really that that caught my eye but the idea of students preparing TED talk.  It talks about using the green screen to provide a background and this is something that could be done here in school with the help of IT or SDLs, or it could just be done without.  This could work well linking to independent learning and research skills.

How My Students Create Their Own TED Talks

 

15 Minute Forum Thursday 19th October 2017 – Organisation

This half term’s 15 Minute Forum focused on the independent learning them for the autumn 2 half term of organisation.  Thank you those who attended, there was a really interesting discussion with many ideas shared:

Items discussed:

  • Providing A5 for students seems more beneficial, dissuades them from folding sheets/losing sheets if we ask them to stick them in straight away.
  • One thought was to check glue/scissor provisions per department to enable better organisation of sheets.
  • One method was to offer an ‘organisation buddy/guru’ who could model how they organise their books.
  • Staff members could model organisation, or at least explain how you might analyse a text using the visualisers.  Also, providing consistency when starting a new topic – how do we expect students to begin/note take? For Sixth Form, it would be useful if they have been offered ideas of how to organise that they can select for their own notes right from the beginning.
  • We could even narrate mark and explain why we have put ‘SP’ here (using a visualiser, or photocopied piece of work per class member) or explained why this piece of text/answer is a Level 4 and not 5 and the whole class puts the same response.
  • One point was raised about personal organisation systems of students which may be different to those modelled, and may seem like ‘organised chaos’ but works for the student.
  • In response to this, some members suggested asking students to justify their organisation strategies in 1:1 meetings e.g. ok find me information on this in your book, show me the definition of this term in your book.  Any organisation system is fine, but justification may be required to ensure that it is organised? [Just a thought from the group].
  • Perhaps one of the themes from the Peer Mentors/Y12s could be organisation.
  • Knowledge organisers were raised – is this a good thing?  One staff member talked about the Michaela School using it across all subjects and it seems to be working?  A blog has been forwarded from HUM to all members of the T&L forum.
  • A contents page at the start of the exercise book that the students keep referring to?  Numbered pages for exercise books? All of the assessed work in a separate book?
  • Y10 induction might be useful for providing parents/students with ideas on how to organise.
  • Photocopy planners as part of work scrutiny to see who students are coping with their organisation?

AOB

  • There should be a focus on presentation skills – this is in the 6th theme – research skills. Could/should it be sooner?