Friday, 5 July 2013

Small change BIG difference#2

Keywords in learning objectives, on the whole tend to relate to skills that need to be developed or acquired as a result of working towards a specific task.

Earlier on in the year I decided to look at keywords that related to personal qualities I wanted the students to consciously develop. Things that are discussed in staff meetings all the time, things that very much constitute good practice, things that we are asked to make explicit rather than implicit.

So I asked students to derive their own definition of the terms 'persistence' and 'resilience'. Job done. In an art lesson, dictionaries were used, students had to exert mastery over their use of language, little bit of group work, differentiated questioning used, literacy boxes were ticked etc

But what was so much better than that, was as the lesson progressed, one of the lads became frustrated as his work was turning out quite the way he wanted despite success the previous week on similar tasks. After turning to his talking buddy and asking him to brief his struggling partner, I stepped back and assured him that the results he saw previously would come through practice.

So I stepped back.

A few minutes later, an eruption. A pencil struck the floor.

'I can't do it!!!'

I am not normally a shouter, so I turned slowly around to apprise the situation. I looked over and there was my struggling student, frustrations having got the better of him, staring at his work. Dissatisfaction, anger written all over his face.

I walk over.

As I do this guy's talking buddy turns round. Lays a sympathetic hand on his shoulder. Looks him in the eye and says

              'O****. You've got to be persistent. Use what you learned last week to be a resilient learner'


              'Yeah. OK then.'


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