All teachers had given children planning sheets with skills written on and asked them for their ideas. This gave them more interest in learning and more ownership.
Immersion consisted of visitors, a trip or a selection of artefacts and videos. Children were gaining real life experiences and opening up their ideas to wider possibilities within the topic.
“When pupils were putting their ideas down they didn’t include any out of school activities. When it was explained that they could go out the ideas changed – measure distances, follow maps, draw maps in the local environment etc.” Shelley Zatac and Bryn Celyn
Instead of KWL grids, teachers gave children topic vocabulary and asked what they knew about the words. This revealed different meanings and contexts and children came up with better questions. The list was used to help inform planning which led to children being more engaged.
Children’s interested were used to further topics. In one class a variety of subjects and topics were explored thanks to the interest children had shown in different countries.
Teachers said they were listening more to what children want to learn. This has sparked more interest at home, especially for science.
One teacher had started the topic with making a maze, which had led to a great topic, using google drive to create fluent teacher/child feedback.
Three teachers had given the children key questions and had organised immersion as a carousel of activities or art. Children were excited and more motivated. Post it notes were used for feedback from the children
One teacher has a ‘learning line’ ending with ‘eureka’ for each learning journey, which shows all the points along the process (see anecdote below).
Children are engaged, thinking more about their next steps and they care more about their learning.
“Following Day 1 of the project, I felt inspired by a quote Shirley shared:
‘Ascertain what the child already knows and teach him accordingly.’ (Ausubel, 1968)
I was also particularly inspired by the learning line which contextualises the children’s learning. After reading James Nottingham’s work on ‘the learning pit’, I took the idea of a signpost (learning this way) and an end goal (eureka!) and constructed a learning line which I share at the start of every lesson. All classroom displays mirror this process. The children now understand how learning builds incrementally. They expect to see it. We link these to our daily essential question, which begins talk partner time. Children have greater ownership as a result and their engagement has increased significantly.” Kellie Egleton