The NZ Curriculum has within it a beautiful gem - the Key Competencies. My plan for 2014 is to teach children explicitly through the understandings of the 5 Key Competencies. Once students fully grasp the point and understanding of the Key Competencies then true independent learning can thrive.
So my plan for 2014 is to explicitly discuss, share and talk about why, how and when we are learning with the Key Competencies. Despite the children being young, I know that being able to discuss the ins and outs of learning can only benefit the learner.
Around the classroom walls and on the classroom Google site the Key Competencies are prominently displayed.
As a class we spent 4 x 10 minute pockets of the first day of school talking through what the KCs are and helping to define them. We discussed how an activity, which on the surface appeared to contain no learning, had all 5 Key Competencies embedded within and what we had learnt because of that experience. As we chatted it seemed as if the odd light bulb was turning on and cogs were grinding. On only the second day of school, without prompting, different students referred to the KCs independently when we began to talk about our learning for the day and what we would be thinking about. These kids are only 7 or 8 years of age and are so receptive to hearing about the whys and whats of learning.
We will be documenting the students' thinking and learning with a 1:1 iPad program. By doing this we are creating not just a reflective act but also a prospective one as it shapes the design of future learning needs. Students are metacognitively processing their achievements and failures, leading to an increased understanding of their own learning journey.
Some students this year are highly impulsive and prone to over-sharing. These students will thrive in this environment as they are already responding to subtle cues for self management and are enjoying the discussion and sharing around their learning.
I am really looking forward to 2014 and the possibilities that this approach could bring. We will be documenting, sharing and reflecting on our learning via our student blogs.
Bring on the choice learning!