At the start of each sequence of learning we wish to hook the learners and pique their curiosity about the learning to come. This learning hook can come in many forms, it could be a short video, a question, an image, a puzzle or any other prompt which promotes thinking and curiosity.
Once we have engaged the learners with our learning hook, which starts to help them understand what and why they are learning, we need to reinforce the what and why by looking at our learning map. Our learning intentions help to contextualise the learning in the bigger picture of our progress and also give us specific outcomes for today’s sequence of learning.
Briefly discuss the learning intention of the lesson with students. State the aim of today’s lesson:
Now that students understand what the learning intention of this lesson is, ask students to spend some time filling in the ‘wonderings’ and ‘how’ section of the KWHL chart. Before sending them away to complete the table, have a quick discussion about the ‘how’ section of the table, asking students about ‘What makes a good question?’
Note: If students have not used a KWHL chart previously, you may like to brainstorm the ‘wonderings’ and ‘how’ ideas as a whole class to model how to use these sections of the chart. At this point it may be useful that curiosity is a mindset that we can adopt when developing wonderings.
Once learners understand what and why they are learning, there may be some learning input which will provide new knowledge. This could be a teacher or student modelling to the whole class how to create a simple algorithm in Scratch before the learners attempt this themselves. It could equally be a video tutorial, peer learning or exploration. The core commonality is that the learners acquire new knowledge which they will be able to use to construct deeper understanding. (We will explore different approaches to this in the individual pedagogical practice examples).
Learning input should always be paired with learning construction. This is time when learners are actively constructing their understanding by doing. This is an opportunity to play with new knowledge, experiment, push boundaries, fail and retry, and it is essential in creating connections between new knowledge which is the foundation of genuine understanding. An example of learning construction may be ‘sandpit time’ where learners are allowed a period of time to simply play and build using the software they are learning.
In order to make their learning explicit, we should provide all learners with the opportunity to participate in a learning demo where they demonstrate their understanding of the knowledge set we determined in the learning outcomes. This is important not only for the learner to have the opportunity to share what they know, but also for you as a teacher to gather data on progress and make decisions about the next steps in learning.
Ask students to reflect on their learning from this lesson. Provide some time for students to fill in the ‘learning’ section of the chart, listing as many things that they have learnt throughout this learning sequence as possible. Encourage students to make comment onthe accuracy of their predictions.
If time permits, you may like to enable students to share some of their learnings with the whole class.
Collect KWHL chart as a record of their learning.