Our learning intention setting process has been the backbone of our learning and development this year in Kindergarten. We have been rooting our learning intentions in our district’s Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement. For more information on our journey this year, please see my previous blog posts.
The more we set daily learning intentions, the more clear we are becoming about how we learn best. The more we set specific activity intentions, which are aligned with specific criteria, our learning and work becomes more precise and well-rounded. The more conversations we have about setting, shifting and re-setting our learning intentions to be best aligned with what we need as learners, the closer to becoming self-regulated learners we are. This has been an exciting process and an empowering journey. As term two came to a end, I wanted to align our learning intention setting process with our Curriculum’s Core Competencies. My goal was to have my learners reflect, but also to celebrate in their learning. I was happy with how nicely the Core Competencies and the Spirit of Alliance teachings align, and decided to create a general reflection for my learners to partake in. The reflection is rooted in the teachings of the Aboriginal Spirit of Alliances and the language is taken directly from our Core Competency profiles.
Here is the reflection tool I created and used with each learner. The first section is filled with core competency I-statements which are aligned with the Spirit of Alliance teachings of Bear. The second section are statements connected with the teachings of Raven, the third with the Wolf and the fourth with the Salmon. Each learner and I sat down and filled this out using their answers. This reflection was part of their Term 2 report card and shared with families.
The process of sitting down with each learner and going through the reflection tool was powerful and a great process for both myself and the learner. Discussions spontaneously came up with almost each child, without prompting. They wanted to share the reasoning behind their answers. My learners’ ability to articulate their reasoning as to why they are still working on something, for example why they feel they are still working on keeping their body safe at school, was on point. I believe this is thanks to our ongoing focus on setting learning intentions, reflection and adjusting them. Our learning is future-focused and reflections are ongoing. For the learners in our environment, discussions and reflections are the norm. Reflecting out loud in front of each other happens on a daily basis, they are a close knit group who are able to act as constructive critiques, but also truth mirrors and each others’ biggest supporters. They are working towards becoming learners who understand how they learn best, who can recognize what they are still working on and what tools help them to learn best. This group of five year old learners amaze me!
We have also been working on reflecting on specific activities, and larger projects. created reflection tools, which align with the core competencies, for our recent Weather Inquiry project. The learners worked in small interest based groups to research about a weather topic. They chose art projects, science experiments and constructed museum exhibits to celebrate their learning with their families. Here is quick capture of our Weather Museum, if you’re interested!
Here are some of the reflection tools we used. I paired a Core Competency I-statement with a teaching from the Spirit of Alliances. We brainstormed all the steps it took us to create our museum: research, working as a group, art projects, experiments, using non-fiction texts, printing, writing, illustrating facts, building exhibits, practicing our sharing, etc. I then presented the four reflection tools, and asked the learners to choose the one that best fit the learning they had been working on throughout our Museum Inquiry project.
These reflection tools were used as an assessment piece but also displayed throughout our museum. Families sat and looked at their child’s reflection and had a prompted conversation about their chosen statement and animal which they were like throughout our project. The reflections were a crucial and powerful tool to use as a family prompt. They were meaningful, connected and a snapshot into each learners’ perspective of themselves as a learner and a part of our Museum.
I am excited about our progress this year with learning intention and am feeling empowered to further our connections with the Core Competencies. I would love to hear how you are incorporating the Core Competencies into your teaching and involving your learners. Let’s connect!