“Didn’t we do that in Year 7?” Using reflection and our big thinking skills to get pupils to improve their thinking Phil Smith FS Consultant Bury LEA Transferring information and the role of understanding Cayard forced America to the left, filling its sails with “dirty” air, then tacked into a right hand shift…That proved to be the wrong side. America, flying its carbon fibre/liquid crystal main and head sails, found more pressure on the left. Cayard did not initiate a tacking duel until Il Morgo got headed nearly a mile down the leg…Cayard did not initiate a jibing duel to improve his position heading downwind and instead opted for a more straight-line approach to the finish.” 1. Who forced America to the left? 2. What kind of air filled America’s sail? 3. Which boat had carbon fibre liquid crystal main and head sail? Transferring information and the role of understanding Does answering the question successfully mean you understand what the paragraph is saying? “If we continue to transfer information without checking for understanding, without relating it to the existing mental models which allow or disallow the pupil to integrate the new information, without relating the new information to their world, then we build in failure from the outset.” A. Smith Connecting learning and your brain Connecting the learning to what the pupil already knows and understands is essential for raising achievement and motivation “Teaching has never been and never will be about the transfer of information.” A. Smith Pre-course warning! This is a longer-term module that should be implemented By the end of this session See the vital role of getting pupils to reflect on their learning Start to create a useful way of speaking about thinking and learning Thinking..what do we mean? “Thinking” has lots of meanings Thinking relates to cognitive activity triggered by challenging tasks and problems Thinking about how we think is called “metacognition” Why is reflection so important? Getting pupils to reflect on their learning helps them become more aware of their thinking and learning Metacognition is particularly important when pupils are doing difficult tasks and reviewing their strategies and progress Why is reflection so important? Doing this is really hard without words! It gives teachers an insight into skills, knowledge and understanding Getting pupils to reflect..some practical strategies “Three things” “I’d like you to describe three things that you remember as significant about the last lesson. Then swap your three things in pairs. Try to get at least five significant things between you.” Variations on this might include Three most important/three most useful/three things to teach someone else Three important questions which someone should be able to answer Agree what the keywords were-use them in a sentence to show understanding Getting pupils to reflect..some practical strategies “One, Two, Four, Eight.” “Think of one significant piece of information from the work we did last time. Now take your one thing and swap it with someone else so that you have two pieces of significant information. Now swap your two again so that you are left with four. Finally go for eight or as near eight as you can manage!” Getting pupils to reflect..some practical strategies “Interview mapping” “Interview at least three others and from each find out what three things they considered most important about the work we did last time. Then review your findings in pairs.” The use or lack of “mysteries” at Key Stage 3 Sorting relevant information from irrelevant Geography Year 8 “Why is Dai Williams involved in the building of a new Japanese restaurant in Bridgend?” Pupils’ reflections on learning in lessons What do you think you learned during that lesson? MP. We learned about assumptions, like you shouldn’t just rush into deciding something without thinking carefully. MP2 Yeah, you thought you were right and then you had to think about it and you weren’t so sure especially when you listened to other groups Int. How did the teacher help you? FP1 The teacher kept saying, “Do you really know that? Is it a fact?” Usually we were wrong, well sort of MP2 You had to have evidence to back it up, like in a court..like a trial T. Pupils’ reflections on learning in lessons FP1 At the end you could see how lots of fights start. People think they are right, but they don’t think, not really. It was funny when the teacher talked about fights he used to have with his brother, just like me and my sister Read the rest of Handout 13.1 and consider what benefits pupils get from the awareness they are expressing. Do pupils in your class have this level of awareness of strategies and learning? Developing a vocabulary about thinking and learning TASK The wardrobe example (An analogy for reflection at Key Stage 3) See handout 13.2 Wardrobe challenge and Key Stage 3…what’s the link? The need to set challenging problems/enquiries at Key Stage 3 The need to allow pupils time to check and refine their thinking (possible issues related to writing vs. card sorts etc) The need to use existing knowledge (Joined up whirly planning) What are your thinking words/concepts? How would this Art and Design department develop a language for learning? In groups of three suggest 6 words that you think the pupils might find useful in reviewing their work at the end of the unit. Remember you want them to talk about processes as much as final product. You may choose words from the unit Possible answers might include Stage Possible words 1. Collecting information and ideas Identify, recognise, response or responding to stimulus 2. Generating ideas and designs Imagine, visualise, adapt, experiment, define, metaphor 3. Realising designs Translate, interrelate, synthesise 4. Checking or refining Reorganise, contrast, stereotype 5. Evaluating Meaning, assess, compare, analyse But what are the big concepts in your subject that help pupils reflect? Ready for more? As a department identify the words for your subject, which are appropriate for your pupils (see Handout 13.7 to help get you started) Display some thinking words on A4 pieces of paper, complete with definitions and, after a suitable activity, allow pupils to choose words which match the mental processes they have been through Plan opportunities to develop the use of these words in plenaries Coffee Break How can we use big concepts and skills to create more motivating and challenging lessons? By the end of this session we will Highlight some of the principle concepts and skills in your subject Understand how these concepts and skills can be used to improve pupil motivation and understanding Connecting the learning “We have got to do a lot fewer things in school. The greatest enemy of understanding is coverage. As long as you are determined to cover everything, you actually ensure that most kids are not going to understand. You’ve got to take enough time to get kids deeply involved in something so they can think about it in lots of different ways, and apply it-not just at school, but at home and on the street and so on.” Howard Gardner (1993) Providing the BIG picture “I begin first by becoming aware of the overall length of the work, then of how it will divide itself into sections (perhaps movements), and then of the kind of texture or instruments that will perform it. I prefer not to look for the actual notes of the composition until this process has gone as far as possible. Finally the notes appear.” Michael Tippet 1963 Can pupils see the BIG picture? Many lessons focus on the detailed content of a unit of work It is less common for there to be an emphasis on the larger patterns that characterise the distinctiveness of learning in a subject Without explicit attention to the skills and concepts of a subject, the transfer of learning from one context to another is less likely Teachers are really “similarity spotters” Big concepts and skills “Long term planning is a way of making learning bigger than the sum of its parts. Its goal is surely the creation of truly independent learners. This is a popular but rarely realised mantra. Perhaps a better way of putting it, one that captures something of the professional effort required, is to say that the goal of long-term planning is the TRANSFORMATION of those pupils who are reluctant or afraid to take responsibility for their own learning.” What are the big concepts and skills in your subject? Subject Areas for pupil development over their three year Key Stage 3 course 1. Art and Design Exploring and developing ideas Investigating and making art, craft and design Evaluating and developing work Knowledge and understanding 2. Design and Technology Understanding materials Designing Using ICT Using control 3. PE Acquiring and developing skills Selecting and applying skills, tactics and compositional ideas Evaluating and improving performance Knowledge and understanding of fitness and health Making and producing in quantity What are the big concepts and skills in your subject? Subject Areas for pupil development over their three year Key Stage 3 course 4. History Chronological understanding Knowledge and understanding of events/people/ and changes in the past 5. Religious Education Learning about religion (beliefs/practic es and forms of religious expression) Learning from religion (responding, evaluating, applying own experiences, sense of meaning and purpose, values, Historical interpretation Investigation Interpretation Reflection Empathy Evaluation Analysis Synthesis Application Expression Historical enquiry Organisation and communication What are the big concepts and skills in your subject? Subject Areas for pupil development over their three year Key Stage 3 course 6. Geography Vocabulary 7. Modern Foreign Languages Grammatical progression (i) Nouns and pronouns (ii) Adjectives and verbs (iii) Structural features (iv) Other features Skills progression (i) Application of knowledge (ii) Study skills and learning strategies (iii) Dictionary use Knowledge of places Patterns and processes Geographical thinking Geographical explanation Investigation Map skills Fieldwork What are the big concepts and skills in your subject? Subject 8. Music Areas for pupil development over their three year Key Stage 3 course Controlling sounds Creating and developing Responding and reviewing Listening and applying knowledge and understanding Important cognitive skills 5 sense visual tool See Hear Feel Taste Smell Mexican migration and developing thinking skill strategies Record the meaning of this account by drawing You can use one or two word annotations but do not take notes Draw symbols and stick people to represent the meaning of the story This is NOT an art lesson so don’t worry about artistic ability What does metacognition look like in a Year 9 Geography lesson? USA The border Mexico Thinking processes during the drawing task: questions to reflect upon Did you draw as you listened or did you wait for pauses? Which of your symbols represent concrete phenomena and which represent abstract ones? Did you get visual images in your head? Where did they come from? What happened when you did not have to draw? What parts were difficult to make sense of? Did drawing the border and labelling the two countries provide a useful structure? Pupils’ comments on the task “Doing this made me understand more what listening is about. Listening is more than having your ears open…your brain has to work as well.” “The pictures in your head. I get a lot of those and now I try and use them, like try to see things in pictures. You remember them better.” Pupils’ comments on the task “It made me realise why I don’t understand teachers sometimes. When you hear a load of hard words, you switch off because it’s too hard. But it’s not your fault, it’s more the teacher, so I do ask more questions when I don’t understand. “Drawing the symbols was really good. We kept thinking “How do you draw that?” and made you think what it was about. We compared symbols and I could see how my partner had got different things out of it.” Task 2 Do any of these skills have relevance in my subject at Key Stage 3? 1. Do the skills developed and practised in the first task have relevance in my subject? 2. Is enough attention given to developing them? 3. How can they be developed further? Pupils need to “know how” as well as “know that”, if they are to become more independent learners Reflection is the key to developing greater awareness and precision in such skills Task 3 Back to the USA/Mexican example Using annotation of longer texts to improve the level of thinking 1. Return to your map/drawing of the Mexican migrants’ story 2. Underline or highlight anything that represents an EFFECT in RED 3. For the underlined effects, underline in YELLOW if it is a LONG-TERM effect and in GREEN if it is a SHORT-TERM effect Classifying learning outcomes 1. Modular outcomes related to the specific content of a unit of work, which is taught and assessed within or at the end of the unit. Typically, facts and knowledge that can be tested in short answers Classifying learning outcomes 2. Longitudinal outcomes related to a number of units of work, which therefore can be taught and assessed over a number of units. Typically recurring skills. For example…. Regular and progressive work with causal reasoning, with framing enquiry questions to do with change, evidential understanding, with using visual sources critically (PROCESS) For example… Regular and progressive work on words such as “political” or “power” or “parliament” again and again building up really sophisticated meanings. (KNOWLEDGE) For example Regular and progressive work on “frame of reference” in which teachers help pupil make sense of a new period in the light of references to Social/Political/Cultural structures and values from the earlier period. (KNOWLEDGE and PROCESS) Classifying learning outcomes 3. Background outcomes that permeate the subject and represent its essential characteristics (skills of discussion etc) Ready for more? See “Practical teaching strategies for helping pupils review and recall” in order for them to transfer their learning Helping pupils improve their transfer skills “Doctor, doctor, I can’t remember… When did this happen? When did what happen?” In a 1996 research study 85% of the sample of 12 year olds asked, did not know what the word “revise” meant! SCOTS CLAN MAPS S Sensory C Colourful and visual O Outrageous T Thematic or topical S Sequenced C Chunked L Located A Associated N Numbered M Mnemonics A Alliteration, rhythm, rhyme P Personalised S Shared Sensory “To learn anything fast and effectively you need to see it, hear it, feel it.” T. Stockwell •Physical sequencing activities using post-its or cards (e.g. German vocab posted around the room and pupils have to move to find meanings of words) •Living essays •Creating flow diagrams on the floor using pupils and props •Bar graphs using chairs to mark different pupil responses •Creating living photographs Colourful and visual “Our memory for images is better than our memory for words.” Tony Buzan •Use review posters in bold primary colours and for a specific audience or purpose in mind •Coloured highlighters can be used to associate related topics or keywords •Use coloured highlighters to review vocabulary in modern foreign languages-look for different colours for adjectives, verbs and nouns •Complete topics using mind maps in bright colours Outrageous “I suppose the high water mark of my youth in Columbus, Ohio, was the night the bed fell on my father.” J. Thurber •Have pupils rehearse a speech in the most outrageous voice manageable •Construct “outrageous applications” for new information. How might you teach this topic to a Martian? How might a creature who had never been to this planet view the information? •List the key learning points from a unit of work (3 or 5 or 7). Now think of some very famous people, or people you know well, and have them tell you one of the points each, imagine they saying the points, one each, in order, whilst sitting round a table, or singing at a concert, or going rond a roundabout. Thematic or topical “They say that most adults over the age of forty can remember where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was killed. My memory on this one’s pretty hazy-all I can remember is being on top of a book depository in Dallas, Texas and then these policemen chasing me down the street…” US Comedian •Teach chronology by starting with the chronology of the pupil-which family member lived where? And when? And with whom? And what did they do? And how are they related? And how do we know? •Encourage pupils to make and use analogies •Use mind mapping to encourage identification of associations, common themes and connections •Teach settlements or ecosystems, or census data, or population change by starting with the immediate environment the pupils know best and build out Sequenced •Pupils use cards and detail the stages of an experiment on the back. Mix the cards up, turn them over and explain each turn in stage. Events in a role play or a novel, historical events, laws, principles of maths or science can all use sequencing activities. •Templates for structured thinking, structured written or oral responses •Fish bone diagrams, flow charts Located •Ensure that groups who are sitting SATs or GCSEs visit the room in which they willsit the exam beforehand. If possible, have them sit at the very desk they will sit at when they complete the exam. Ideally have revision lessons in that room with them at that desk! Associated •How do you use your long and medium term planning to ensure that both knowledge and processes are revisited and developed? “You can remember any new piece of information if it is associated to something you already know or remember.” Lorayne and Lucas Numbered •To remember dates use words to represent figures. For example 186,282 miles per second becomes “a dazzling sunray is flashing by” with 1 8 6 2 8 and 2 letters “You can remember any new piece of information if it is associated to something you already know or remember.” Lorayne and Lucas Mnemonics “These are best when invented by the learner!” A. Smith 0 Pill (nill is replaced by pill) 1 Sun (think of a comic sun with a yellow smiley face) 2 Shoe (one of your own shoes is best) 3 Tree (a fully grown tree in leaf that you are familiar with) 4 Store (as in superstore selling everything) Mnemonics “These are best when invented by the learner!” A. Smith 5 Jive (moving to a rhythm) 6 Bricks (hear the sound they make as they are stacked) 7 Heaven (pearly gates and angels with harps) 8 Crate (a wooden box for storing) 9 Line (a railway or even a clothes line) Alliteration, rhythm, rhyme “These are best when invented by the learner!” A. Smith The vitamin called A has important connections It aids in our vision and helps stop infections. To vitamin C this ditty now comes Important for healing and strong healthy gums. Finished with both of these? Here come the B’s: B1 for the nerves B2 helps cells energise Digesting the protein’s B6’s prize Alliteration, rhythm, rhyme “These are best when invented by the learner!” A. Smith A Austria Brilliant Belgium Device Denmark For Finland Finding France Good Germany Geographical Greece Information Italy Is Ireland Linking Luxembourg Names Netherlands Properly Portugal So Spain Specially Sweden United United Kingdom Alliteration, rhythm, rhyme Try remembering geometric shapes to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey.” Oh, take a rectangle And give it a squish The sides will be equal A square if you wish Now take a square And cut it in half Slice on the diagonal And you have a triangle Now take two triangles And place base to base. It is a rhombus, The base line erase Oh six triangles We can take Assemble together A hexagon shape Alliteration, rhythm, rhyme Try remembering weather words to the tune of “Clementine” Condensation, evaporation Water cycle, cirrus clouds Wind chill factors, ocean currents Trade winds, high pressure zones Stratosphere and centigrade Fahrenheit and barometers They excite you, they can’t bite you Please make friends with weather words Strong winds blowing Hail, sleet, snowing The weather’s with us all day long So look out your window in the morning Just in case the forecasts wrong Personalised “Where the pupil has a strong personal connection with the information it is readily recovered.” A. Smith •Encourage pupils to consider applications in his or her personal life: how might you apply this? In what ways might you benefit? How might you teach a younger brother or sister? •Using pupil questions to shape a series of lessons within an enquiry (see Robert Philips and ISM’s Initial Stimulus Material article) Shared •Structured opportunities to test understanding are a powerful aid to recall. •Use a variety of regular and informal tests. “Each one teach one.”, explaining personal notes or mind maps, preparing a lesson plan on how you would teach this to another group and formulating key questions and asking someone to test you on your understanding of them!