One teacher described how she planned number bonds to 10 then making 20, then missing numbers, then inverse. Starting with minimal explanation led to links made to 20, solving problems, reversing calculation and more complex calculating and verbal reasoning.
In measure, the planned order was same, different, shorter, longer, ordering, open ended. SOLO builds comparisons and the subsequent understanding is deeper. Children’s explanations are clearer and they are using better vocabulary. This led to children making links and extending their ideas. They naturally moved on. The direction of the lesson changed and there was a challenge increase for higher achievers.
Fractions topic planned: shape cut into quarters, sort into equal or unequal. Chopped apples into quarters, cakes and buttons for quarter as a quantity. Children made links and were able to draw and explain fractions because of the use of SOLO, especially making links between the same fractions with different quantities or shapes. Children could visualise and reason what a fraction is, and were able to apply to other unexpected fractions e.g. 1/3 divided by 5, rather than relying on memorisation. They could solve problems.
Teachers had planned maths lessons with SOLO, naming the stages do it, twist it, solve it, let’s practise, let’s investigate, let’s prove it. Do it could be number bonds to 10, twist it would be missing numbers, solve it would be solving word problems. Teachers found this gave a clear progression of learning and developed deeper understanding rather than rushing through new content. Children mainly gained confidence, although those children who stayed on ‘do it’ did not develop their self-esteem.
Children’s discussion is promoted and the teacher is helped with the level of questioning and planning to ensure deeper understanding. The SOLO verbs were useful.
Year 2 planning for the Great Fire of London first started with the date (recall), then linked ideas about it, then justified and analysed looking at the fact that the houses were too close together and made of wood. They went on to hypothesising and arguing about the design of London, explaining their ideas. Children explored applied, extended and debated, gaining deeper understanding.
A plan for fire engines: what is a fire engine (one idea), how are they used (linking ideas), different parts of a fire engine (understanding), design a fire engine (extending). Children were thinking, embedding, deepening their understanding and using questions.
A learning journey for a geography focus linking to celebrations: what is a map (one idea), what are the countries and continents (many ideas), focus on Lapland (linked), plotted Santa’s route (extend).
Overall teachers found using SOLO in this way led to a return to ability grouping in maths but was a great aid to planning.