Thursday, 29 May 2014

Learning Zones!

This is something I have trialled in my Year 3 class this year and it is fantastic! 

We call it 'The Understanding Egg!' This represents the different zones to learning within a lesson or over a topic. The middle of the egg represents confidence and full knowledge and capability. The white part represent trickyness where work may seem difficult and they need more help. The silver part represents the frying pan which is the 'panic zone'! At the beginning of the topic I tell the children the desired learning outcome (like writing their own mythical story!) and they have to write their name on a post-it and stick it in one of the learning zones. This is an excellent tool for self assessment which is very visual for the children and the teacher - immediately you can see who is panicking and who will need that extra bit of support to get going. Thoughout the lesson or topic I ask the children if they would like to move their name. The children are so good at using this as a self evaluation tool that they jump up in class and move their name without even asking! Independent learning here we come! Then at the end of the lesson or topic just before we complete the desired outcome I ask them if they would like to move their name for a final time. This is quite powerful as now we can discuss the movement in the zones and how some children are much more comfident now than they were at the beginning. 

This is a photo of my egg at different points in our literacy topic when the children at the end of the two weeks were going to write their own myth. Take a look at the movement in their names! 




Ideally we do not want any children in the panic zone, especially at the end of the unit where we are hoping they have learnt everything they need to be successful. But by picking those children up after I have marked their work to actually show how good their work was was quite powerful. One child actually said 'I didn't need to panic did I Miss?' 

Try it in your classroom and see the benefits!

Literacy Working Walls

Here are another few examples of literacy working walls in my Year 3 classroom. 

Here you will see I have included a display about 'Magpieing' - this is where the children read good quality texts, act like magpies and steal the quality vocabulary from it to use later in their own writing. They absolutely love it! This display also acts like a working wall as it changes regularly depending on what unit we are covering!