Wednesday, 7 August 2013

LAWS for Independent Learning

In one of my previous posts, Bank of Mr Bilton, I described how I use the acronym VOTE in my teaching. The "V" stands for Video, something that I have been making increasing use of through my 60SecondMindMeld project.

An additional acronym I will be using from September is LAWS:

L Listen Listen carefully to the teacher's demonstration.

A Attempt Attempt what the teacher has demonstrated

W Watch Watch the short video if difficulties are encountered

S Succeed    Fully complete the task that is set

The LAWS for independent learning are designed to encourage students to develop skills to learn more independently from the teacher. Let's say that we have a Computer Science coding activity using Scratch 2.0. Here is how LAWS would work:

Listen - It is important that the teacher is an Computer Science/ICT specialist as s/he starts by demonstrating the coding activity to the class.

Attempt - Students work independently on the task. If they are struggling they should turn to the video.

Watch - There are many videos that describe in detail how students can create their own games using Scratch. Most of these, however, are broken into multiple parts each lasting approximately 5 minutes. Some students find it difficult to quickly access the information they need and consequently opt not to watch these long format videos. For this reason I have experimented with this new 60 second video format where students can quickly find the information they need, pausing the video as they develop their Scratch game. Take a look at this format and let me know what you think.

Succeed - Students work on the task through to completion. Important principles of Succeed are that the task is fully completed and that students attempt independent extension activities