To encourage students to be more involved with their learning, understand what they are learning and the purpose of learning, Flagstone State School has incorporated the characters WALT, WILF and TIB to the classroom.
We Are Learning To: is a prompter for both teacher and student to explicitly identify the aim of the lesson.
The aim is to encourage students to be more actively involved in their learning (School rule: I am an Active Learner). Research shows that they are more motivated if they understand not just the task (I can…) but also the learning objective (We Are Learning To …) of the task. It is essential that students understand what they are being asked to do and will learn in order to help them to make better decisions about how to tackle the task set. The main benefit for the student is that by focusing on the learning intention, they begin to fully understand what they are learning rather than doing.
How can you help?
When visiting your child’s class – look around the classroom for the WALT of the lesson – it could be displayed in any number of ways for example:
- On the interactive whiteboard at the beginning of the lesson
- Activity cards in rotations
- On worksheets
- In your child’s book
Ask your child to describe what they were learning today rather than what activity/ies they did at school today. In this way you can assist to further reinforce their learning, as they are encouraged to “teach” or “explain” the learning concept to you.
What am I looking for...is a prompter and the character used by the teacher and the student to identify the success criteria.
- When success criteria are used:
- The learning becomes more explicit
- Students can confirm, consolidate and integrate new knowledge
- Future learning is scaffolded
- Students can see what quality looks like
When success criteria is implemented (WILF) students then can be clear about how their work will be judged and what the teacher wants to see in the finished task.
By inviting students to help create the success criteria, we are:
- involving them in their own learning and
- encouraging them to evaluate their performance
How can you help?
When looking at student work,
- take note of the WILF, as this is the criterion on which students have been judged
For example a student’s piece of writing may have spelling errors and these errors may not be corrected by the teacher at the time. The WILF stated that the student needed to create a piece of writing that included noun and verb groups. It is important that the teacher and student stay focused on the success criteria statements, so the work will be judged on the transference of noun and verb groups not the spelling. The spelling will be noted by the teacher and addressed at a later date, when the spelling is focus or WILF.
- Ask your child to explain the criteria expected and how they addressed these requirements
- Encourage your child to explicitly aware of the criterion in assessment tasks, what they need to do to gain the desired academic rating
- Encourage your child to take ownership of their learning
This is because.... is the third and final prompter used to identify the purpose for the learning. The student is able to connect their learning to the world, community and themselves. It is important that students see a connection to their learning and understand why they are learning the lesson.
When the students understand this assist the student by:
- connecting with a real world context
- makes links to their future careers, plans and aspirations
- raises expectations and gives them reasons to succeed
How can you help?
Discuss with your child how mathematics and literacy are vital skills when becoming a active member of society and contirbuting to the community, as they are used daily in such routines as purchasing goods to writing an email.
Talk to your child about any aspirations they may have and continue to reinforce or strengthen the links between their education and future careers.