Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Learning Detectives

Here's a really nice idea from Louise Brown, the deputy head and reception teacher at Amble First School in Northumberland.

At the start of each day Louise chooses two children to take the role of Learning Detectives. They then each put on some headwear (crown for the girls, a viking hat for the boys) to denote they are the Learning Detectives for that day. Their task is to record their classmates engaging in whatever the focus might be for that day/week.
At the beginning of the academic year, Louise tends to focus the children's attention on social language and social skills (for example, listening to each other, working together, agreeing and disagreeing). She then moves them on to thinking about the skills of learning (for example, asking questions, giving reasons, making links and decisions).

At the end of the lesson or day, Louise asks the 2 Learning Detectives to feed back to the other children when and where they witnessed the particular skill in action. This feedback comes in the form of written notes, digital pictures or diagrams that are drawn on the interactive whiteboard. All are used as part of the plenary session during which Louise encourages them to reflect on their thinking and learning throughout the day.
The idea has now spread across the school, with Learning Detectives appointed to spot good behaviour, friendly actions and sociable children (and adults!) in the playground and around the school.

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