Learning journey

On a journey of independent learning

Independent learning journeys were introduced to the students of Room 1. We were aiming to give the students agency in their own learning. 

“Students have a sense of "agency" when they feel in control of things that happen around them; when they feel they can influence events. This is an important sense for learners to develop. They need to be active participants in their learning. – Learner agency spotlight: NZ Curriculum Online.”       elearning.tki.org.nz › Teaching › Learner-agency

This learning journey involves a series of tasks to be undertaken independently and for the students to make choices of what to do and when. Knowing that they must strive to complete all the tasks by the end of the journey and having a choice of the order in which they complete the tasks. This gives students some control over how they go about finishing. Sometimes a writing task suits more in the morning rather than completing the art tasks or vice versa, so choice can make them feel in more control. As students finish they tick on the sheet by their name and under the task. Once the teacher has sighted the activity and discussed it with the student to ensure it is completed well, it is signed off and classed as completed.

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The students complete the learning journey tasks independently, as an extra to their learning workshops for each specific area of learning and the related follow up activities, such as reading or math.

Many of the students took to the challenge of our first learning journey with great enthusiasm and when the new learning journey was introduced on Monday morning it was met with "lot’s of “Yay!” and “Awesome.” comments. The students were bursting to get started and they were actively engaging with others, discussing how they would go about the tasks and which order. 

The learning journey is based around our inquiry of “Our Place” and the Taupō volcanic zone, so volcanoes and earthquakes feature a lot. We have also shared our learning with Room 4 and they are joining us on this journey of discovery.

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Making a 3D volcano diorama, exploring statistics of earthquakes using Geonet.org.nz, watching a video and answering questions on Seesaw, writing a narrative about being caught in an eruption, sequencing pictures of an eruption and describing what is happening and naming the parts of a volcano and researching what they do are just some of the activities for students to tackle this time around.

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It was interesting to see which activities the students took to first and in asking them about their choices. Many of the students started with the sequencing activity and told me it was a fast activity and that they could get their first sign off on the tracking sheet. Some took to the 3D volcano diorama as they are passionate about art and being creative. A few students logged in to Seesaw and completed this activity first and it was great to see the communication between students when they had to solve problems with devices and challenges of the tasks and they were able to work together to solve these problems.

The students were asked the question “What do you like about our learning journey?”

Carys - Everytime we finish one activity is one step closer to getting our can do time. I like seeing my activities get signed off.

Annabelle - I like the 3D volcano and all the art activities. I do them first.

Juno - I like being able to choose the activities I do and the order. We don’t have to do the same thing as everyone else in the class.

Gracie - I like finding out new things and the learning journey is a challenge.

Lily - Other people might have done the activities already and they can help us if we get stuck.

There is also an overwhelming amount of interest in having art and construction activities as well as research and math activities on our learning journey for the children to tackle independently.

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Curriculum Links

English: Speaking Writing and Presenting - writing process, Art - creating visual art, Science - planet earth and beyond, Digital Technology - DDDO and CT, Maths - statistical investigations, Reading - different types of text.

Keywords

Authentic learning, independent learning, research, Our Place inquiry, choices, learning journey, writing process, digital technology, participation, enthusiasm, engagement.

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