Year 5 launched full time into Self Directed Learning at the beginning of this term. They had already experienced this style of working in the previous term but not full time. This had prepared the children and they had learnt a lot from their successes and also from their failures!
The first thing to do in preparation was to rearrange the classroom to make it more suitable for this way of working. Year 5 knew that the room was going to look different so they came back after the holidays full of excitement and anticipation and were not disappointed. We now have different zones within the room which, after some discussion we named:
Collaboration Station 1
Collaboration Station 2
Light Bulb Street
With the class divided into 5 groups each chose a country to be named after: Brazil, Cuba, Seychelles, Fiji and Kyrgyzstan!
Our BIG question for the term is – What is a Journey? From that question come 6 more which are the basis of 6 modules. The groups needed to decide which modules to work on and how. These were just the first of many decisions that they will need to make over the course of the term.
So how did the class feel after the first week? They had the opportunity to write about this on the class blog and below are some extracts.
I think that they are enjoying it!!
Mrs Easton – Year 5 teacher
“Based on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday I think that this SDL way will be much more fun and we will learn a lot more than you just telling us what to do and how to do it. I have already learnt quite a lot about Fiji in just three days. That is why I think I will learn way more!”
“In the first week of summer term I have learnt a lot about Brazil. I have learnt a lot about Brazil because we have done most of the research. Our group work very well together. I thought I would not like it at first but when I first came in I knew I was going to like it. Some things went a bit wrong but we sorted it out. Now I know how to spell lots of words that I didn’t know how to spell like Kyrgyzstan and Seychelles.”
“I learnt on Monday that you can’t work on your own, you work with your group. On Thursday I learnt that SDL is very hard, you have to be self-motivated but I am trying hard and slowly getting it. I find that when I learn something myself I remember it better.”
“I can’t wait to carry on this SDL type of learning in the class room and have enjoyed it very much so far.”
“One of the best things will be choosing what you will be doing the next day. I think that will be good because you can plan your day which will be better than normal lessons. Now I look forward to coming to school a lot more because it is a lot more fun.”
“I’ve learnt so much! I think it has been an awesome experience for us all. I have also learnt that time goes by so quickly! I think we need to work hard this term it is going to be a learning experience for us all. I’m so excited to get into the ‘deep’ part of it. Roll on Tuesday!”
“It is very exciting!! I love SDL and the way it works! I reckon we will learn a lot more this way and we will get to know more people and not just be with are friends!!”
“What I thought went well was that the group got things done. The first week was different and harder. I really enjoyed the first week.”
“I think we will learn a lot more using SDL and it will help me concentrate. The modules are a very good idea and I can’t wait till our group do task 3.”
“I loved planning and preparing for launching this cool SDL idea. The best bit was coming up with questions to kick off SDL. Sorting out all the modules really enthused me about self-directing myself and helping each other as a group. The learning journal is helping us plan things properly which is useful.”
“I liked this week It was very good fun.when I came in on Monday I was amazed at how the new SDL way of working worked.”
“I loved it last week. Getting into it seemed to take a long time but once we started time flew.”
“It’s been great doing SDL. Its easer having deadlines to hand things in. I think our whole class likes SDL.”
“I have learnt a lot more doing it this way than what we used to. You said that we were doing 30% of the work and you were doing 70%. It has certainly changed. I have hit a few ‘brick walls’ and have managed to push through them (often with your help). I have enjoyed it and I hope you and everyone else has too.”
“I enjoyed setting up the new areas within the classroom. It was fun to name them. I enjoyed making the board game. I like working with my group. They are great fun to work with. I am looking forward to learning in this new way.”
“I think our new way of learning has helped me a lot to focus on the task I am working on! I have REALLY ENJOYED the first week.”
“I think that it is going to be good because you can plan your own day. It is good as well because you can decide what modules and what lessons you need. It is fun and an effective way to learn.”
“I feel that this SDL way of learning gives you time to work at learning new skills and remembering them. Also I found out that you start to use old skills that come in handy! I now seem to feel so much more positive about going to school!”