Making Learning Visible for our Students - Mid-Pacific Institute

Kindergarten Matsumoto

Making Learning Visible for our Students

Posted on November 19, 2017

by Ms. Matsumoto on November 19, 2017

Several years ago, our elementary school faculty embarked on a journey to enhance our thinking and learning practices in order to make the children's THINKING more visible, not only for the teachers but also for the students. Together we implemented multiple strategies that we read about in this book:

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This week, we have been referencing our Learner Profile to make connections between the traits and the learning experiences we have in school, making the LEARNING visible for ourselves and our students. As teachers explained each trait to the class, we asked the children to give examples of when that occurs for them during school. Something interesting to note is that the children did not identify their learning by the subject areas we commonly refer to throughout the day - reading, writing, math, inquiry - rather, they described the actual learning experience - taking pictures, drawing, sharing, counting, making/building things, etc.

Here are the many examples the children were able to give us for all nine Learner Profile Traits. (Note: These notes are not easily readable for the students yet, but are posted as a reference for when teachers reflect on them with the children for their portfolios.)




Teachers were then able to identify nine different types of artifacts that the children can choose to put into their portfolios:
- Reflection or Free Choice journal writing
- Reading to the teacher or by themselves
- Counting, Learning numbers, Writing numbers, Finding objects in the room to measure
- Sharing ideas in small or large group discussions
- Camera work at Kamanele Park
- Work Spaces
- Senior Buddies (room 6)/Preschool Buddies (room 7)
- Interacting with others (All About Me)
- Drawing ideas for inquiry or in journals

You may notice that many of the artifacts overlap into several different traits, illustrating that learning cannot be compartmentalized. The children are now in the process of choosing artifacts of learning to put into their portfolios and describing how the Learner Profile Traits apply. In addition, teachers are trying to make the Learner Profile Traits more explicit for the children throughout the day, pointing out when they are taking a risk and accepting a challenge, being aware of what is happening around them, caring for their environment, or working respectfully with others. It is an exciting process for teachers, and hopefully for the children, as well. We look forward to sharing this with you in December.

** New Family Learning Activities are posted, but please feel free to go back to previously posted activities. These optional activities are provided 1) to inform families of classroom learning, 2) as an opportunity for students to reinforce learned concepts, and 3) as a means for families to share in their child's learning. As the children complete these activities, they may bring them in to the classroom at any time to share with the class. There is no due date, so families may complete the activities as they are able. **

Upcoming events:
Monday, 11/20 - 5th grade buddies
Wednesday, 11/22 - Conference Prep Day, no school for students
Thursday-Friday, 11/23-24 - Thanksgiving Day holiday, no school
Thursday-Friday, 12/7-12/8 - Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences (Please sign up for December Conferences. Remember that your child attends the conference, as well.)
Thursday, 12/21 - Christmas Program, 1/2 day of school
12/22-1/7 - Winter Break