Category Archives: Objectives

Going ‘SOLO’ with an intro to Gothic Horror

This is going to be messy – but it’s time to make a start.

Today, with huge thanks to The Learning Spy, I tried to get my meagre think-tank around something I had seen bandied about Twitter for some time: SOLO Taxonomy.

Here are the basics of what I’ve read:

PRESTRUCTURAL

solo1 

The student knows nothing about the subject.

STUDENT: I don’t know anything

UNISTRUCTURAL

solo2 

The student knows one thing about the subject. Many students may share their knowledge which will move the group on.

STUDENT: I know one thing.

VERBS: define, label, match, select

FEEDBACK: How could you demonstate ‘multistructural’ knowledge?

MULTISTRUCTURAL

solo3

The student knows several things about the subject

STUDENT: I know several things.

VERBS: list, describe, complete,

FEEDBACK: How have you demonstrated ‘multistructural’ knowledge? How could you demonstrate ‘relational’ knowledge?

RELATIONAL

solo4

The student can link knowledge to make new ideas

STUDENT: I can find links and connections between the things I know to come up with new ideas.

VERBS: sequence, classify, explain (provide hexagons/triangles), question, analyse, apply, predict

FEEDBACK: How have you demonstrated ‘relational’ knowledge? How could you demonstrate ‘extended abstract’ concepts?

EXTENDED ABSTRACT

solo5

The student can apply knowledge in hypothetical ways.

Student: I can go beyond the subject and link my knowledge to other concepts to come up with new ideas (depends on BIG multistructural base of knowledge). I can suggest reasons why…

VERBS: evaluate, justify, generalise, argue, design, construct, perform

FEEDBACK: How have you demonstrated ‘extended abstract’ concepts?

(Images from http://www.amazon.co.uk/SOLO-Taxonomy-Guide-Schools-Bk/dp/192714356X )

EXAMPLES:

  • UNISTRUCTURAL – Who is Shakespeare?
  • MULTISTRUCTURAL – What did he do and why?
  • RELATIONAL – What things did he write about?
  • EXTENDED ABSTRACT – Does he influence modern writers?
  • UNISTRUCTURAL -What is Macbeth?
  • MULTISTRUCTURAL – What do I know about power in Macbeth?
  • RELATIONAL – What were the consequences of seeking power?
  • EXTENDED ABSTRACT – What can we learn about misguided ambition from this play?
  • UNISTRUCTURAL -What is a sentence?
  • MULTISTRUCTURAL – What are the different elements of a sentence?
  • RELATIONAL – What are the effects of varying the order of those elements?
  • EXTENDED ABSTRACT – How can writers use sentence structures to make their work more interesting?

And here is my attempt at the EXTENDED ABSTRACT:

The Thrill of Gothic Horror

A lesson introducing Victorian reactions to the genre

(Fighting back against the annual plethora of ‘Zombie Killer’ stories)

Starter

  • The answer: Bats, gravestones, ghosts, arched windows.
  • What is the question?

Share objective

  • To explore the context of the gothic horror genre

Share outcomes

  • I know some features of the gothic horror genre
  • I can link the features to events in history and society
  • I can generalise on the popularity of the genre at that time.

Multistructural

Relational

  • T models the ‘making links’ game on IWB
  • Sts play in groups (weaker sts play in teams, directed by T, on IWB)

1213 L1 links

Extended Abstract

  • Sts create a poster ‘Why the Victorians liked Gothic Horror’.

Sts RAG outcomes and discuss learning.

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APP Assessing Pupil Progress

APP – love it or hate it? I know people who fall into both camps and I change my mind daily.

Having been washed up in the English department, from MFL,  just before the publication of the grids, I was at a loss to understand just what I was trying to achieve each day in the classroom.  Then one enlightening day the APP grids arrived in the department and all became clear – ‘so that is the difference between a level 5 and a level 6 reader’. And for that, mostly, I love them.

Once the learning objective has been set using the strands, I use versions (student friendly where necessary) of the APP descriptors to let the students set their lesson outcome. Deciding what target to set themselves often gives an opportunity for valuable discussion on achievement. They can set on or above their target grades depending how confident they feel and lesson by lesson, it gives them a sense of either success or understanding what they need to do to progress. Using short term goals in an all boy’s school is a powerful motivator.

As per the norm, .gov.uk posted them as PDF files and as PDF files, they are a nightmare to manipulate. Using the tabs at the top of this page (AFL/Assessment), I can easily access, copy and paste these descriptors to the IWB for classroom activities.

The APP grids, do you love them or hate them?

Learning Objectives and the English Strands of Progression

Knowing what the students should be achieving and by when is, more than ever, nationally prescriptive. Although some people grumble about this, rather than seeing the framework as constraining, I use the strands (see under ‘AFL’ tab on this site) as a kickboard to spring from and for regular reality checks to make sure, with all these new tools where the technology could take over the lesson, that I am teaching English and not applied IT.

Alongside the APP assessment descriptors, the strands are shared with the students so they discover and apply these skills. In the last couple of years, I have started using the strands to set a learning objective at the beginning of each lesson which, along with differentiated lesson outcomes drawn from the APP grids, have generated some good student discussions about progress and achievement.

Getting these objectives and outcome targets onto the IWB and worksheets is always a faff because mostly, .gov.uk like to use Adobe to post their information. This might be convenient to them, but not for the classroom teacher as I find PDF files are fiddly to manipulate. Using the ‘AFL‘ tab at the top of this page to access a ‘copy and paste’ friendly version of the strands, I can now easily use these descriptors on worksheets and the IWB in my lessons.

Tweet me, Facebook me, comment on this post – let me know if and how you set learning objectives for your lessons.