I was pushing too hard, we were moving too quickly and kids have a very precise way of letting you know! I was inundated with questions I was sure I had already answered 10 times before, the quality of work I was getting did not reflect my expectations, and frustration levels were rising.
So we hit reset! It was time for some explicit teaching about the key tools we were using.
I spent my Sunday planning session rethinking what was most important for the week. Which things mattered most, which concepts did we need to get right so we could benefit long term? I decided to focus on a few key things and to make these a priority for the week. The other stuff will have to wait.
So this week I put in extra sessions to help develop my student’s assessment capabilities. We scheduled in plenty of time to discuss, analyse and reflect on our reading e-AsTTle test results. Being actively involved in identifying next steps for learning is hugely motivating for the students I teach. They are at an age where being told what to do and directed what and how to learn is a complete turn off. Being given the strategies to discover their own strengths and weakness and decide on what should be their next focus is hugely empowering. This is how they became powerful partners in learning.
We spent time looking at e-AsTTle, what could this tell us about our learning, how could we figure out where to next? Then we spent some time reflecting on how we might achieve these things? What actions could we take? How could we help ourselves? And who could help us along the way? We used our learning journal blogs for the first time. It was important to take the time to discuss the mechanics of these too. How do these work? Why do we even need them in the first place? Who will I share these with?
We also spent some time looking at OneNote itself. This needed some serious sorting out! Kids ideas about logical organisation are all very different! It was time for some gentle standardisation to make giving and receiving feedback easier. By the end of the week I felt like we had all had a chance to catch our breath. They have learnt so much in a short space of time but like anything new, sometimes you need to take minute before heading back into the fray!