SOLO experiment update

The SOLO experiment involving students in medium-term planning is developing very nicely. (Click this link to see how it started: a href=”” title=”To”>I’m now running it with four groups including a HA and LA year 10 group studying and comparing Romeo and Juliet and War Poetry, a Film Studies group who are studying an introductory unit on film production and the macro and micro elements of film, and a year 11 group who are doing exam revision on Of Mice and Men. Each group has been presented with the objectives and outcomes and has planned its own learning journey. Obviously I’ve still been planning the lesson delivery (using @teachertoolkit’s 5 minute lesson plan), but I’ve been much more flexible in letting students choose the way they learn and have been happy to change a planned lesson in light of ideas that students have contributed. The main thing I’ve noticed (and which has been nice) is that I’m taking much more of a back seat in the classroom and there’s much more of a culture of help and support among students. This has been helped by a couple of laminated posters that I’ve stuck up around the room that I point to when students tell me they “don’t get it” or try to ask me for an answer without exhausting other avenues first (relating to the “brain, book, buddy, boss idea), and by writing some motivational messages based on classroom research that I found in @LearningSpy’s book on outstanding lessons (25% of all learning is gained from peers etc.). So overall, so far it’s going well. The students know what they’re going to be doing before they come in the room, they’re controlling their own learning and I’m doing less active teaching. As this is a new way of working, I’m still doing a lot of chivvying along and reminding kids to focus, but hopefully as this way of working becomes embedded in my groups and it becomes ingrained that this is how things are going to be done in our classroom, things will run more and more smoothly. However, next week I’m being observed with the LA y10 group and one activity will be a variation on “comparison alley”, looking at similarities and differences between Dulce Et Decorum Est and The Soldier, so that will be the litmus test.


About Andrew Warner

Mostly English teacher, AHT (T&L/literacy/CPD) & bibliophile. Irregular examiner, MTBer, armchair anthropologist & bassist. Fascinated by language & behaviour.

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