What helps you learn?

As we explore our new learning space, the materials and resources we use, the interactions we have with each other, we wonder how this helps us learn. We spent some time thinking about how ‘we’ learn, as individuals and as a group. We wondered what helps and hinders our learning.

The students reflected, noted their thoughts on post-it paper and then shared their ideas with the class. As we discussed each idea, we noted key behaviours or strategies that help us learn:

  • good feelings
  • thinking
  • finding ways to solve problems
  • talking and questioning
  • thinking about spelling
  • finding good spaces for learning
  • listening (to friends and teachers)
  • reading
  • maintaining a calm brain
  • breathing slowly and staying calm
  • being in school
  • looking at problems
  • having clear instructions

We noticed how each person was different, they had different needs. We documented these ideas to help us honour and be mindful of how we learn as a community.

Next, we read the book ‘On Monday When It Rained’ by Cherryl Kachenmeister. The students reflected on their own feelings and emotions and recalled instances when they too might have felt sad, happy, worried, embarrassed or frustrated.

Then, we discussed what we can do with these feelings and how we can regulate our own body and mind, to help us maintain a positive and supportive space for learning.

The 4 different coloured cars prompted a great discussion on self-regulation.

The red car travels very fast, students highlighted and drew pictures of when they might feel like they are in the ‘red zone’. We continued with the blue, yellow and green cars, discussing ways we can get back to the green zone if we felt like we were not ‘ready to learn’. We acknowledged that these feelings were not ‘BAD’ but that they may be appropriate at different times or in specific situations. The students agreed that thinking about how we manage these feelings and behaviours help us as a community.

Approaches to Learning (ATL’s)

Social Skills

Social and emotional intelligence

  • be self and socially aware
  • be aware of own and others’ impact as a member of a learning group

Self -management Skills

  • Mindfulness: be aware of body–mind connections
  • Perseverance: take responsibility for one’s own actions
  • Self-motivation: practice positive thinking and language that reinforces self-motivation
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