Students as Lead Learners

Activating students as owners of their own learning will support students in understanding assessment criteria, areas of strength and areas for improvement. It provides an opportunity for students to take ownership of their learning and reflect on progress, processes and concerns.

Rubrics  Teacher has shared learning intentions with students, using a rubric for support, in pre-assessment. Students are then able to reflect on their achievement to improve their drafts. Changing rubrics into student friendly language (though maintaining curriculum standards) is helpful in supporting student understanding of the standards and levels.

“Self analysis” Teacher informs students to focus on factors that can be self-controlled and then has them respond to a question such as: “I would learn better if I …… “ Answers are then used by students to develop 2-3 learning goals.

“Traffic lights” Teacher begins the lesson by providing a sheet that shows the learning objectives and any success criteria to the students. At the end of the period each student places a coloured circle in the column to the right of the sheet beside each criteria. Red circle indicates the student has a problem, yellow indicates ambivalence, and green indicates confidence that learning has occurred. Reds are called over for teacher help, while greens help the yellows.

“Red-Green discs” Each student has a CD/coloured card/popstick, which is green on one side and red on the other placed on the corner of their desk. As the class proceeds students indicate their understanding by flipping the disc to green for yes OR red for no. Students who become frustrated can hold their disc up if the teacher fails to realize their concern.

“Coloured cups” Similar to the discs but each student is given three cups, one of each colour. All students start with the green cup on the top of the others. A yellow cup signifies that the teacher is going too fast, a red indicates that the student wants to ask a question. If a student shows a red cup the teacher then uses the pop-cycle randomizing method to call another student to the front of the class to answer the question.

“Learning portfolios” Unlike the performance portfolio in which the student replace lesser work with better work, the learning portfolio keeps all work so the student can compare current work with past work and see the incremental improvement.

“Learning logs” At the end of each lesson students are invited respond to no more than three of these questions:

  • Today I learned …..
  • I was surprised by …..
  • The most useful thing I will take form this lesson is …..
  • I was interested in …..
  • What I liked most about this lesson was …..
  • One thing I’m sure about is …..
  • The main thing I want to find out more about is …..
  • After this class I feel …..
  • I might have gotten more form this lesson if …..

Writing Checklist Use this Editing Checklist to have students check their own writing before they have a peer check it.


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