Welcome to my Professional Learning blog.
My name is Matt Nicoll and I am a high school teacher in New Zealand, interested in improving the classroom experience for my students. I am open to trialing new approaches and hope to use this blog to reflect on my ideas and practices.

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Learning Process and SOLO Taxonomy

Today was a Teachers' Only Day at Rolleston College. One of the tasks we did was to try and learn a new skill. Some chose to be taught how to do a layup in basketball. Others were taught how to draw a zombie penguin cartoon character. I taught people how to join Twitter, and send a tweet using hashtags.

The actual skill being learned was irrelevant. Everyone was directed to a skill they knew they could not already do. Needless to say, there were a lot learning to draw Zombie Penguins!! We were building empathy for the learning process. We were also self-assessing using SOLO rubrics.

In a quickfire 15 minutes, we walked our self-selected groups through the ups and downs of learning something new. The frustrations and the feeling of success. The wondering of the "Why?" at times, and the realisation of "That's why!", for some.

process seed.jpg

Our "learners" were able to use the SOLO rubrics to identify where they were with the skill before we started, and track their progress over that very short time period. Our own next steps would be to identify the strategies they used to enable them to improve in their skill(s).

I really hope this short activity was of value to our teachers, and they have been able to find something they can use in their classes this year. I know that it has reminded me to be very explicit with the use of SOLO (for example) in helping learners be aware of their own progress within a lesson, or across a week/unit, as they learn new skills and knowledge. The key "take home" for me, was to guide learners to identify the strategies that helped them learn and "move to the next level". This is my next promise to myself for the year: I will use SOLO Rubrics more with skills and knowledge and get learners to identify their successful (and unsuccessful) strategies in learning.

As an aside, the SOLO Rubrics are really easy to make when teaching a new skill. This link takes you to a SOLO Rubric Generator. After inputting a verb and context for the skill, you just do a little bit of proof-reading and editing, and it is ready to roll...

1 comment:

  1. What seemed like a surface learning activity was actually quite deep. Thanks Matt for articulating it