Four weeks have passed since the start of the year so it’s a good time for me to reflect and evaluate my SOLO journey. This year my focus is on implementing SOLO (Structured Observed Learning Outcomes) in my science classes. The purpose of this journey is to explore how I can allow my students to become better self-regulated learners, to become better at assessing their own performance. Over the Christmas holidays, I used a book called Using SOLO as a Framework for Teaching to re-design the units of work in Term 1 so each unit is framed around learning intentions and success criteria for SOLO.
Here is an example.
I decide to use ‘levels’ rather than the proper terms for SOLO to make it more student-friendly.
Level 1 = unistructural and multistructural
Level 2 = relational
Level 3 = extended abstract
The poster below has been made for students to see in the classroom. The ‘levels’ were also explained to students at the start of the year and briefly in each lesson.
All my lessons now start with an explanation of the learning intentions and success criteria. At the end of the lesson, each student looks back at their work and tick off which level they have achieved.
Through informal conversations with students, they say they like it as they know what they are expected to be able to do right from the start and they like ticking what they can do; it lets them explicitly see what they have learnt.
Over the next few months I’m going to embed the SOLO levels to self evaluation and peer evaluation tasks. Eg. Students marking their own and each other’s writing based on SOLO levels.
However, I need new ideas on how to better implement this. At the moment my students copy the learning intentions and success criteria in their books. One positive about this is that it acts as the settling down activity. It also makes the context of the activities they complete in their books clearer when they revise. Now they have a lesson title, learning intentions and success criteria right before the glued in worksheets, writing tasks, etc. What I don’t like about it is that copying learning intentions and success criteria is not a ‘minds on’ activity. I used to do quick quizzes, which are short questions that revise the previous lesson. While they are not the highest order questions, they do require students to use their brains more than copying text from the board.
So here’s my dilemma: Should I continue with my current routine of having students copy learning intentions and success criteria or replace this copying with quick quizzes and have the learning intentions and success criteria printed on slips of paper for students to glue into their books? Note that half of my classes require strict routines and do not cope well with changes. I’m concerned that it if I change things now, it might throw out the work I’ve done so far to get them into this routine.
What do you think I should do? How do you set up learning intentions and success criteria in your classroom?