Sunday 21 September 2014

A snapshot:Just how much does this learner use SOLO?

I use SOLO to help create new learning. The context changes, the model doesn't. The following is a reflection of how I have used it in the last 10 days... 

In the classroom 'learning environment/learning space' (btw is there a space that can't be one of  these?!) my learners use SOLO to visibly notice how they are moving towards their learning goals, across the curriculum. They use it to help themselves plan for writing, for understanding texts they read, and representing numbers in a variety of ways. They use it to help them learn and develop social skills - they relate it to learning to share, managing themselves, listening to others and asking questions... Such important skills to develop. 

My awesome team of educators (in whichever 'learning space' they have been situated at any particular time) has been planning exciting next learning challenges for our students based on student voice; we all use SOLO to plan to meet the differentiated needs of our learners. Opportunities are planned for shallow, deep and conceptual understanding of the learning goals. 

I frequently use SOLO to reflect on and set out to improve my own practice (teaching and leading). 

Over the next few weeks I am looking forward to presenting at  TeachMeetNZ on the 4th October, at ULearn14 (breakouts 1 and 3) and filming an EdTalk. For each of these events I have my goals. I have been using SOLO to plan how I will try and meet each one and ideally offer something helpful for each person who views or attends to 'takeaway'! 

And whilst planning with SOLO, I am noticing my own learning against SOLO. I am new to presenting and am trying to soak up as much from others with more experience as I can! I know I learn a lot through doing, and receiving feedback. For this reason I intend to film my own presentations. I will then use the clips to critique myself and identify areas for improvement. 

I have been teaching my daughter to play new games, I helped her notice the 'how of learning' by referring to SOLO - why not!? She is now able to genuinely beat me at Chess, Checkers and Trivial Pursuit and our little family now has a fun new tradition (our general knowledge is improving too - soon we may even be able to move beyond the 'kid's questions'!)

So, why so much SOLO? Because SOLO is applicable to all learning and I'm a learner. I love it and I enjoy it. 

We don't each meet goals in the same way - the SOLO model allows for divergence! It's really important to notice, appreciate and enjoy reaching each next step; valuing how we got there and what uniqueness we bring with us. Remember to not only look toward the next step, but to celebrate reaching the one you are standing on. 

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