Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondYEASMIN: Hello, everybody. This is Jane and Yeasmin's very last video diary for this course on planning for learning. So as usual, Jane and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your comments. So keep them coming in, because there are people responding to each other's comments. And as usual, thank you very, very much for the high quality of comments. So Jane, did you want to kick off with a comment from Helen?

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 secondsJANE: Yeah, lovely comment here, Helen. Helen described how she asked her children a rich question. Now, a rich question is a question that's-- it's not just got yes or no answer. It's not closed. And the nice thing about them is there's no lid on the learning that can take place when you ask a rich question. For instance, a question she's asked here, what would the world be like if there were no microorganisms? Well, she's asked it for primary school children. And they've had a good old discussion. If you asked that to secondary school children, they'd have a discussion at a higher level.

Skip to 1 minute and 3 secondsIf you asked university students, if you asked professors-- you can imagine whatever level you asked, what they talked about would be even greater, because the question hasn't constrained the learning and the discussion that can take place. This is a lovely question. And Helen says it really got the children engaged, really listening to each other and responding. So I mean, that's very valuable in itself. You've got children engaged with the subject matter. But it also gave Helen a lot of information about what her students knew. She's listening into those conversations and taking part in that discussion. And she realised that quite a few of her children had that misconception that all microorganisms are a bad thing.

Skip to 1 minute and 45 secondsGreat information and great way to either end or kickstart a topic or have in the middle. So thank you for that lovely example, Helen. We really enjoyed reading about that. And then moving on to Lisa. I loved your comment, Lisa. Lisa's described how she's created a very trusting relationship in her classroom, where students aren't afraid to admit that they don't know something. And that can be very hard in a lot of classrooms, right through from adult learners to the youngest children, but probably the older learners get, the harder it can be. And one of the ways Lisa's done that is she's actually shared with her students how hard she used to find it at school to share her ideas.

Skip to 2 minutes and 29 secondsAnd so that's quite a brave thing to do, to share that vulnerability. And she's obviously already trusts to the students quite a lot to be able to do that, so it's a very mutually trusting, supportive environment that Lisa's managed to set up there. So great kudos to you for doing that, Lisa. And she's explicitly told them again and again, she doesn't care if they get the wrong answer. Not only does she say that, she really means it. Because I must admit, when I was an inexperienced teacher, I can remember saying to my children, I don't care if you get the wrong or right answer. And they still wouldn't share their thinking with me.

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 secondsAnd it took me quite a while to realise it was because actually I did care whether they got it right or wrong. And so while on the outside I was saying, oh, no, I don't mind. On the inside, I was thinking, they got it wrong. I've got to try and correct that. Am I going to be able to do that? And the children were picking up on that. So to move on as a teacher and to get to that stage, where you genuinely don't care if they're right. You just want to know what they're thinking and find that really interesting and know that you can work with that and use that information to move students on.

Skip to 3 minutes and 36 secondsSo thank you very, very much for that Lisa. You've got something for us now, Yeasmin?

Skip to 3 minutes and 41 secondsYEASMIN: Yeah, just before I move on to the next comment, I just wanted to pick up on Jane's point about trust, which links to next comment. This picture on the slide with the jigsaws is actually really relevant, because trust is something that has to be built up-- actively built up-- and planned for by the teacher. It doesn't happen by accident. It's a deliberate action. And Faith very nicely describes some of the things that go on in her class, which actually is what it looks like when there's a trusting relationship going on in the classroom. So students are really good at telling Faith when they don't understand something. So that's trust right there. And that's exactly what the teacher wants.

Skip to 4 minutes and 24 secondsThey want to get to that authentic point out in learning that the students are at. So Faith is despite all sorts of things going on in her classroom. And if we unpick it, the only way these amazing things, such as whole group discussion where the group comes up to the teacher and says, all right, we don't understand this, these things can only happen if that trust is built up. And what you've got going on there is mutual trust, two way trust, student proactivity as well, student ownership, student proactivity, some independence, as well as some group collaboration. So how great is that? So well done, Faith, for nurturing that learning environment. You're obviously doing something right.

Skip to 5 minutes and 13 secondsAnd the reason this is important is, if we want to be good AFL (assessment for learning) practitioners, we do-- it's not a luxury to have that trust. It's actually a necessity. So well done, Faith. And I think this actually links on a little bit to-- the collaboration action links on a little bit to the next comment. Doesn't it, Jane?

Skip to 5 minutes and 35 secondsJANE: Yes, very much. Emma was actually responding to a question which I can't share, because the original poster didn't give us the permission, but wanted to know how we can get students collaborating to overcome misconceptions. And I love this example. Yeasmin and I were chatting before we came on air, and she was saying this is a really good antidote to that exam factory mentality. And what I love here, which we have got, some aspect of competition. She's got different groups working against each other. But within that, the groups are really collaborating. And what she's done is she actually puts the exam questions on the table in between them.

Skip to 6 minutes and 22 secondsAnd they're working to get as many marks as possible and then seeing which group of students is getting the most marks. I love that. Because it's putting them in a situation where they're really motivated because of that competition, but there's not the same risk because they're working together. And when you hear what other people say, it often triggers what you already know. Have you ever been in that situation, where you've been asked a question, and you're like, haven't got a clue? And then somebody else says something. And at that, you're like, oh, yeah. And then you can contribute. So that way, all the students are able to contribute and really, really work together.

Skip to 6 minutes and 56 secondsAnd Emma says, she likes the way that her students get to listen to what each other thinks. And that is so important. Even if what somebody else thinks is wrong, having that discussion about it can really help move not only the person that's got the misconception forward, but the person who's arguing with it. It helps to consolidate their learning. And sometimes, I think as teachers we can be a little bit nervous about students and their misconceptions. You think squash it quick. Don't let it come out in the open. It'll spread like an infection around my class. The opposite is true.

Skip to 7 minutes and 29 secondsWhen you're aware of those misconceptions and people get the chance to talk about them, and often you can hold a misconception at the same time as a correct bit of understanding in parallel, and when you actually look at them both openly together, you suddenly realise where you've gone wrong. So it's a great thing to do. I really love it, Emma. Lovely, lovely idea, which I can see perhaps some primary teachers being able to use as well. So although it's great in secondary, I think it's great for primary as well. So thank you very much for that. And then we're going on to-- I think it's you next, isn't it, Yeasmin?

Skip to 8 minutes and 7 secondsYEASMIN: Yeah, I actually continued the theme of active listening. So Clare actually uses the students' questions in her planning. And this time, we're looking at midterm planning. So well done, Clare, for that. It's not that easy to do. So what Clare does is, at the beginning of a unit, she gathers together all of the students' queries about that unit. So she asks the students, what do they want to learn about? In this case, it was the Mayas. And then she factors that into her planning. What a fantastic idea. What a fantastic idea. It's just so many hidden tactics that are in operation here.

Skip to 8 minutes and 51 secondsAnd what it does is it basically gives student the ownership, and therefore the motivation and drive to want to keep up the learning. So what Clare does is she gathers their questions at the end, uses it for planning, and then towards the end, she allows them to see how what they've learned has answered their questions. So it provides them with that learning hook, essentially. Now, I know that some teachers, maybe at secondary level, especially when we get talking about the exam factory, they may be worried in this scenario. What if what the students want to find out is not in line with what I, as a teacher, want to teach?

Skip to 9 minutes and 33 secondsWell, actually, what tends to happen is when the students-- when that mutual trust is built up, the students tend to be more responsible. So they do tend to really get involved with the learning. And they want to you know stick on task. And actually, we can be a little-- with a little bit of sort of clever steering of the discussion, we can quite possibly align up their questions with what we want them to cover anyway. And the truth of the matter is, if they ask a question or two, which is maybe a little bit outside a topic, it doesn't matter.

Skip to 10 minutes and 9 secondsIt doesn't matter, because if we address those questions, we're hooking them in so strongly that they're then going to still be there for the big stuff, perhaps might be considered a little bit more boring, et cetera, if you like. So it's not a strong hook that drives and motivates the learning. So well done. Thank you very much, Clare, for that comment. So moving on to a comment by Warren. Warren has spoken about making links and connecting ideas and how I like to use the word spiral here. So what he does is he revisits a piece of learning later on in time, later on in the year. And that's a really good idea.

Skip to 10 minutes and 59 secondsAt secondary level, in these days of linear assessment, things like learning retention is a big-- it's something we speak about a lot and we worry about it a lot. And so revisiting is important, whichever way you look at it, in order to support long term learning. But we want to be careful about how we go about doing it. So making links and connecting ideas is really important, because we don't learn facts and figures in isolation.

Skip to 11 minutes and 28 secondsAs Jane and I, when we spoke about this earlier, we know that neuroscience says that we learn by linking new ideas to old ideas, and so revisiting and helping the students make those links is so important to help that learning part into their long term learning. And also, when we revisit to, just to do things-- not just to repeat the same information over again, but maybe to give it greater depth, a greater complexity, and to give it a different context as well. Otherwise, we'll be just hammering away at them with the same information over and over again. So thank very much, Warren, for that.

Skip to 12 minutes and 10 secondsActually, the next slide that I'm going to pass over to Jane for, I think it does actually become a theme of wider context, doesn't it, Jane?

Skip to 12 minutes and 19 secondsJANE: It certainly does. This is from Manette. Thank you very much, for this Manette. She gave an example of when she was doing food science with her year threes. And one of the things she did was involve the school dinner lady, which I love for lots of reasons. One of them is that when they went to dinner, they're going to have that learning reinforced. It makes the learning relevant and real and purposeful. And going back to something again and again really helps to strengthen those connections within your brain. It becomes long term knowledge, rather than a little bit of learning that might float up again at the first opportunity.

Skip to 12 minutes and 57 secondsOne of the things that Yeasmin and I liked about this as well is the respect it showed to the dinner lady. Yeasmin was saying, perhaps in a secondary school, slightly different context, you might actually invite the dinner lady into your lesson. And just think what that would do, not only for the children's learning, but for the relationships within the school. We don't talk really about AFL and trust being at the heart of AFL and how important that is. And in some schools, sometimes perhaps that trust and those really good relationships don't go beyond the students and teachers.

Skip to 13 minutes and 30 secondsWell, if you aren't really respecting the wider school community-- and I think this is in the minority of schools, but it does happen-- how can you expect that those relationships within your class are going to be really, really strong if you're not showing respect to others around the school? So we just love this for all sorts of reasons.

Skip to 13 minutes and 52 secondsBut just going back to the learning in the classroom, this is just great for-- as we say, going back to Warren's point, reinforcing learning and making it relevant, which is something we talk about so much in science learning today. One of the best words is science capital, isn't it, which is about making science relevant. So hats off to you, Manette. Lovely idea. So we've come to the end of the course, the end of our last video diary. As Yeasmin said at the start, we've loved working with you. We've really enjoyed this new course. So well done to Andrea, Chris and Dylan for making a wonderful course that we've really enjoyed working on.

Skip to 14 minutes and 34 secondsAnd we hope you've enjoyed it a lot, too. Hopefully see you. Our next assessment learning course starts on the 21st of January. So hopefully see some of there. We love it when we see old faces, so-- or old names. We don't actually see your faces that often online, do we? So yep, keep going. And happy new year.

Reflecting on your learning with Jane & Yeasmin

Jane and Yeasmin will record their final video diary and upload it to this step. This step is open access, so you can access it without logging in. Just bookmark your URL to your favourites.

Reflect on your learning this week

Now is the time to complete your reflection grid if you have not already done so. It’s useful to keep a note of your thoughts, ideas shared by other participants and new practices you’ve developed as a record of your professional development on this course.

What ideas from your reflection grid (or the video diary when available) best represent a change in your teaching practice?

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Planning for Learning: Formative Assessment

National STEM Learning Centre