When I go into a Year 6 class, most often, I do not know exactly what awaits me.
I have been part of the planning, but I am not in every class in every lesson, so I am not sure what I will find the learners immersed in or what assistance they might require.
Today, I was lucky enough to walk in to Rachel’s class as they are beginning their new unit.
She starts off using philosophy for children that Sam Sherrat has shared with us. Children are thinking about whether they would prefer to be doing certain things and moving around the room to show their preferences. Then she shows them some pictures of Nathan Sawaya’s creations and asks the children to connect to the images and say what they think the messages are. Their thoughts are fascinating. Rachel and I walk around, prompting a few children with some questions, but mostly, we are in awe oh how the children are honestly connecting and sharing their insights.
I start taking photos and when I see Zoe’s response, I know that I need to share her thoughts with her Mum. Zoe’s Mum has been concerned about Zoe and her ‘ability to learn’. I send the photo and I can see from her response that she “gets it”. Zoe can think, connect and reflect.
I also notice that Jared’s responses are very “tip of the iceberg” . He probably needs to explore the concepts presented in more depth. I go back to Rachel’s class after I have left to photograph more of his responses so that I am able to share them with his Mum and ask her to talk to him more about the big ideas in the unit. The fact that the thinking was visible allowed the learners, Rachel and I to know what each child was thinking.
I’m no longer feeling bogged down by compliance – I am invigorated and inspired by what I am learning in my attempt to be a part of the revolution in Unleashing Learning.