Sunday, September 14, 2014

All About Learning Experiences!

Yes I have not tackled the curriculum content yet!  I am still creating learning situations for students to unpack, why collaborate? How to collaborate? What is a task? What is thinking? and What is creating?

These learning experiences are life long skills that would embed in any content and any situations at school and outside school. They are skills and habits that students need to be immersed in and for themselves to develop react and reflect.

Yes of course there are moments that are chaotic, unexpected, as it should be! Teachers need to know the real meaning of scaffolding during all learning experiences, when to stop the whole class and react to the situation, reflect and readjust. These situations become the co-constructed expectations for building a community of risk takers, amplifying students' voices , students becoming accountable, reflectors and owners of learning from these experiences.

Many learning situations throughout the year are successful and unsuccessful, how are we taking the responsibility of owning the learning and reflecting?

During week two we consolidated on the criteria of collaboration. On a daily basis and even throughout the tasks we are determining individual goals on the collaborative criteria, stopping, reflecting and resetting goals. Last week post explains collaborative tasks.

The best moment was when students began discovering that learning is a community. In groups they were writing questions to promote french oral conversations about daily needs. Students come with a backpack of knowledge, we need to give them a chance to share it and learn from each other. In groups they shared their questions and already learned from each other the verbs, the format of questioning. I gave them time to share and add their new learning in their French notebooks.

Meaningful learning experiences are, when students are given opportunities to take ownership, reflect, share learning and apply it. A meaningful learning community is a community of respect for opinions, respect for sharing thinking, questioning, adapting when reflecting. 

This week we also explored what is creating and explaining based on last week's project on the scribble bot. Students' described what is creating, how to explain about the scribble bot and how to capture learning by using some tech tools. Lots of thinking, unpacking of learning that students will continue reflecting on, creating, explaining, sharing learning and skills on using tech tools. Lots ahead!

Some pictures of week two of students' experiences at learning.

What will be your students' learning experiences this coming week? We have lots ahead to revisit and reflect. I would love to hear about your experiences with your students!

Thank you for the feedback from last week's post and so exciting to have teachers try the sticky notes needs in class. As promised I will share our next steps. Students categorized the items and wrote questions about their needs since we are French language learners class. A group also took ownership of finding the cost of the items as we are learning to be a caring community . I had the students reflect on this video: 

With students' permission I am sharing a couple of projects on explaining:

A link to 30 hands about the Scribble Bot: 30 Hands Pro  Another video: Sharing learning


  1. Rola, I love seeing what's happening in your classroom! Every time I do, I wish that I could be there in person to see it in action. I don't know enough about the French curriculum expectations, but aren't there some that overlap with what you're doing right now? Why couldn't expectations be addressed while also creating these learning situations? I'm just curious more about why you chose not to go with this option.

    Thanks Rola!

    1. I think the same way every time I read your blog posts too. Yes I agree what we're doing covers the French oral expectations. The reason I have not mentioned it in class because I would like the students to focus on skills and habits first. I do share the curriculum with the students and they unpack the overall expectations. I think by unpacking what is collaboration, speaking, thinking and creating they get a better understanding of skills and habits when I share the curriculum with them. We are focusing on growth mindset. We will be starting with Social studies as well for a concept this week. I don't teach math and English I cover all of the other subjects.

  2. Hi Rola,

    I enjoyed reading this post and getting a glimpse into what you and your students were up to this week.

    I would argue that you ABSOLUTELY addressed the curriculum, but in your usual creative ways.

    It sounds like your class is coming together beautifully and that they are learning the valuable skills of collaboration, communication and questioning.

    We really enjoyed doing the sticky notes activity in our room as well and I am so happy to have gotten the idea from you. An interesting conversation that arose from our variation on the task was around which parts of the room did not have sticky notes on them and how we can better use those spaces.

    Good luck on week 3! I look forward to reading all about it!


    1. Thanks Shauna, I do spend time building habits and skills. Once I share the curriculum with my students they unpack the overall expectations and already have the understanding of collaboration and how to create their own projects.

    2. I was able to do that with my 5/6 last year as well and am wondering about how to give my 3/4s ownership over the curriculum. Any tips?

    3. Students are aware of report cards and that you have to mention their effort based on a document from the ministry. The overall expectation are the guide for their learning and planning their tasks to answer to these expectations. I have given students an example like following guidelines for assembling furniture from Ikea as you know what the end would look like and having to unpack the steps to get there. Think of an example that they can relate to, to have an end in mind and the steps to get there. Minecraft if they are familiar would be a good example.