After reading Michael BondClegg’s post about timetables, which got the wheels turning in my mind again, I remembered that I had been meaning to write about two reflections by one of my students in response to the learning she had planned.
Students have been planning their days for a while now. Taryn helped me get the ball rolling, and it’s one of those things that has changed the face of our learning so much that we can’t go back; we don’t want to go back. It’s incredible how it has transformed the environment from ‘waiting to learn’ to ‘can’t wait to learn’. The benefits to the students’ time-management and reflection skills has been enormous, and it has also helped me identify better where, when and how to intervene to amplify the learning.
Anyway, here are the reflections:
This is my daily plan of today! So today I started with science, and I answered the Galileo questions, next i did some unit. After break and P.E. I planed to do some maths, but then I said my self today I was not in the mood for maths like everyday.😂 So I concentrated in genre writing, and wrote some poems.
Today most of the time I did maths, because I wanted to improve my knowledge in time. I didn’t do the writing because I did science but, you know when you do something and then you get SO concentrated that you don’t remember what you wanted to do next? That, that happened to me. Next I want to do some writing, I didn’t do writing that much this week. 📝✍️
This is the line that got to me the most: ‘you know when you do something and then you get SO concentrated that you don’t remember what you wanted to do next? That, that happened to me.’
That’s kind of what Michael is talking about when we respect students’ choices, help them access deep learning, and not cut off their creativity.
First, it made me happy, I mean this would never have happened if I was making all the decisions. But then I realised that the students were still thinking of all the tasks they had to do. Not easy to get lost in your learning if you’ve got a list to tick off each day. Also, some students were disappointed if they didn’t do what they had planned. That wasn’t what was supposed to happen!
There are always bumps along the road…
So, recently students have not been planning their whole day from start to finish but, instead, they are setting goals for the week, deciding how they will achieve those goals and thinking about how they will know they have achieved them. At the end of the week, they reflect on whether they achieved their goals, what helped or hindered them, and set new goals for the following week. This has helped students avoid thinking that they must change task just because they decided that they would do so at a certain time. This tended to happen because that was what they had been doing for so long, and the planning sheet they were given was too similar to a regular timetable. Now, they have the option to add more goals and make adjustments throughout the week, and they refer to the planning sheet on a daily basis, but they needn’t be overly concerned by time constraints when they are ‘in the zone’. My job hasn’t changed much from guiding them to balance their choices during the week and helping them develop their skills and understanding through conferencing with them and offering workshops tailored to their needs.
Now it’s enough for me to ask them what they want to learn, and off they go. Hopefully to get a little lost.