Personalised learning prompts for children.
What types of learning prompt do you use to support children in their learning?
These two are found in every classroom in my school – they vary from year group to year group to meet differing needs and abilities. Perhaps I shall blog on that one on a future date.
The last class I taught before headship was a Year 4 class with another teacher. She was the most inspirational teacher I have ever worked with. She is still on our staff and I am always excited and in ORR every time I observe her teaching. It becomes very much a partnership because I simply want to join and soak up the children’s learning, thinking, exploration and investigation.
That particular cohort we taught together in 2 ability sets were incredibly challenging. Our classrooms dripped with learning prompts, working walls, celebrated work but something was still missing.
The differentiation between the cohort was vast. Small middle group of similar abilities and then 2 extremes either side.
We were working with each child on their targets and began with asking them about something personal they wanted to achieve and it did not have to be school based.
Some wanted to be able to have horse riding lessons. others to swim a mile.
Reading, writing and basic maths were a major push for this cohort as there seemed to be so many gaps in their learning based on our initial teaching and assessments. The assessments we had received did not match the children. It was as though we had leaky buckets – however, we were not filling empty vessels. After great discussion we knew we had to address these as these basics were the keys to unlocking the doors to learning. Without some of these key basic skills, these children were going to have difficulty accessing the curriculum.
(Yes, there were questions to be asked about why there were so many gaps in the fundamentals. If I ever blog about my first year as HT, then you will find out what happened to arrest this problem of gaps in learning and inaccurate assessment.)
And, that is where the idea stemmed for our keys to learning.
We gave all children a key ring fob and we took it from there.
Every child developed their own personal set of learning prompts in the form of keys on a key ring. The possibilities with this resource are endless.
Children began to make their own prompts and began to take responsibility for the areas they knew they needed to tackle, practice and reinforce.
The children loved proving they no longer needed the learning key. They were desperate to move on and make decisions as to the next key they felt would support them in the next steps for their learning.
Even down to creating mini mobile phones for phone a phoneme to support children in knowing the phonemes for each sound.
Every child’s key ring fob had their photograph and name on. These were totally personal.
There are several available for download on http://www.tes.co.uk – I am registered as Opera Diva. (no surprises there!)
Link direct to resource is :-
Sample of literacy learning keys – http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Literacy-learning-keys-6122474/
Sample of maths learning keys – http://www.tes.co.uk/teaching-resource/Maths-learning-keys-6122470/
Although these learning keys were created initially as a learning prompt for English and Maths: the principle can be transferred to any subject whatsoever.