A big thanks to the Manaiakalani Trust and the Telecom Foundation for giving me some time this year to focus on an inquiry into something that I am really interested in and that is very real to my students. My boys have benefited immensely from my inquiry becoming far more aware of their learning in writing and thinking deeper about how they can improve. The girls have also benefited because they have been caught up in the slip stream of the inquiry as well.
I feel like this year was successful but also that the things that I discovered will benefit my students next year more so than this years group. The strategies I learned to really push cognitive thinking are going to benefit the kids when exposed to them for a whole year and not just half a year which is what happened this time around.
Some key points from the year and the inquiry that stand out to me:
- Variety - give students choice and ownership and change things up even if its just slightly.
- Learning Progressions - give the kids clear learning progressions that they understand and are in their speak.
- Honesty - show them where they are and where they should or could be and encourage them to share with others.
- Excellence - show your students what excellence looks like. Share good pieces of writing above their level to give them something to aim for.
- Environment - provide an environment where the kids are comfortable and where they have options of where, how and who they work with. They love new furniture or moved furniture.