Every academic year is different as students lead their learning and use their emotional journey through everyday learning experiences. Each year, I have to shift my pedagogical practice to build a respectful, collaborative, risk-taking, caring, compassionate and empathetic community. In my previous years, I have blogged about unpacking of the Unlearning to create a community that values perspectives for knowledge building and action taking.
This is my second year in Grade 7. I continue to explore the adolescent social-emotional learning of autonomy and agency of their learning. Their learning is being impacted by using creative tasks, focusing on why learning matters and what is next. The narrative of pedagogical practices shifts as I learn from the student’s needs, their reflections and how they learn.
We began exploring what thinking errors and biases we bring during collaboration. The team's collaboration requires trusting to share intrapersonal ideas, valuing all others interpersonal ideas to build knowledge, inquire, analyze, research and build connections for next steps. Through the metacognitive process, we built a community of trust, risk-taking, valuing all perspectives, persevering with curiosity to guide students interest and care for their learning.
The year unfolded as students reflected about their thinking errors and biases that prevented them from collaborating and valuing each others thinking. We focused on perspectives and trusting themselves to share without worrying about being judged. We also focused on contributing with respect as well as respecting others.
We needed to:
- Be active listeners
- Be collaborators with a growth mindset
- Develop communication skills
- Have positive attitudes
- Be reflective learners
- Be receptive to feedback
- Understand how we learn
- Determine learning strategies
- Believe in making a difference
On a daily basis, we collected thinking errors on sticky notes focusing on how their emotional learning to collaborate and accept feedback from others was affected. Through the ladder of inference (Rotman I-Think), the students were able to interpret their data and come up to a conclusion for their next steps.
From September to November we had many documentations and reflections. The students also had the first conversation with me that was recorded and shared with parents about their process of learning skills and how they have improved and their next steps.
Throughout the process, we began focusing on self-regulation and self-management of learning. The focus was on finding strategies about the learning process and environmental strategies to guide autonomy and agency on self-regulation and self-management. During a professional development day, our principal Mr. Sean Kelly shared the Understanding Learning Disabilities From York Region District School Board. The flow chart became an essential guide for my students to reflect on their learning and their next steps on individual perspectives about their learning process. The students developed their individual plans by collecting data, reflecting on self-regulation and the self-management of learning success.
More reflections about individual learning strategies:
It has been an amazing journey of reflecting and learning about competencies, learning strategies and building a respective and compassionate community towards learning and caring about each other. I will share more reflections about students' transformation of learning:
The process of a compassionate interdependent classroom takes time to have students collect data and reflect on how and why they are learning. With my scheduling, I am fortunate to be able to make time for reflections with the students to determine the next steps. We already had three documented individual meetings about success and how they have been achieved and their next steps. We continue to develop on, who am I and how I learn? The students will be learning about the brain and its functions and how the prefrontal cortex continues to develop especially with peer pressure.
I have so much more to explore and learn with my students on social-emotional development. We have success by using thinking models that embrace risk-taking and competencies as well as design thinking tasks that focus on problem-solving and empathy.
Pedagogical practices are always shifting and meeting students needs with the focus on emotional and intellectual practices. It is important to take time and have students take the responsibility to collect data and reflect on their learning process and how it is affecting their actions towards intellectual and social growth.
How are we building capacity for learning? How are we changing our narrative of pedagogical practices with our students?
- Reflecting on biases and assumptions
- Are students aware of their emotional learning?
- Are they reflecting on self-regulation?
- Are they finding tools to guide their learning strategies?
- Are students being active communicators and listeners?