Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why A Learning Community?

After spending two weeks on building collaborative skills, the accountability of learning, designing and reflecting on the learning process. Self-regulation became a focus during the learning process while collaborating. How do I stay accountable during distractions? How do I commit to compromise during team discussions? How do I build and learn from my teams' thinking? What is designing a project? Why create and explain my learning?

Students were given opportunities to reflect and fortify the thinking skills when designing and creating a task. Students reflected on the importance of learning outcomes when creating and found that creating is more than just assembling items or objects together.

The students pointed that throughout the process of building the scribble bot, they were:
  • Thinking
  • Trying and retrying.
  • Problem solving
  • Confirming learning and discovering new learning
  • Referring to criteria for expectations
  • Covering learning concepts: French Science Social Studies Arts Math
  • Collaborating
  • Learning from the team
  • Having conversations
  • Reflecting, and adjusting
  • Improving, through many attempts, there was lots of growth
  • Accepting, feedback- from team members
  • Compromising on ideas  
  • Stopping. thinking and deciding

Students in teams unpacking the learning process of projects.

QR codes of the projects were posted and students were able to give feedback to classmates. They unpacked what is reflection, what is feedback and constructive criticism. These conversations lead into fixed mindset and growth mindset that we will continue unpacking by focusing on habits.

Students also shared their expertise on technology for the project. I did not teach them the how to of the tools they developed the skills to be successful and creative with the tools. (ShowMe, iMovie, Google presentation, Thinglink, Fotobabble, 30hands pro)

After 3 weeks, I am starting to see students understand that thinking is not just something you keep to yourself. It is what you can share, reflect, reapply, create, explain. Learning is a community full of feedback and new learning. The trust during learning with no judgement, increased risk taking for achieving and succeeding. We focused on the success and the improvements during tasks.With the open ended tasks students became problem solvers, designers (all scribble bots were different). They understood concepts of structures, electricity and developing French language through team conversations and explaining. We worked with our needs and built our learning community!

My goal is to make students confident, and think of school as a learning environment where they lead their learning, make mistakes for growth and design their thinking.

How are you encouraging growth, self-confidence, self regulation and collaboration?

The eportfolios for housing the tasks and reflecting about the process of learning.


  1. Rola, I absolutely love seeing what you're doing in your classroom (and reading about why you're doing it). Your students have obviously learned a lot since the beginning of September. I'd love to hear more about how you scaffold for students with special needs? Is this an issue, and if so, how do you address it? This is something that really interests me, and I'd love to know more.


    1. I don't have students with Special needs. We scaffold for reflecting and checking on concept needs. I teach French Immersion and most students have different entry levels. Once students publish their eportfolios publicly you will see the difference in their entry levels of French and thinking. They do explain the process all the time by referring to the co-constructed criteria.

  2. Hi Rola,

    I really love getting a look inside your classroom (and your head) through your blog posts. I can see that learning is messy and that students really deeply think about their thinking.

    I like that you had the students figure out how to use the tech tools by themselves without your explicit teaching.

    I hope things are off to a great start for you this week!