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This also converted wonderfully into some of the most focussed essay writing they have done for me.
In addition, what struck me after the fact was that, for the first time, they weren’t asking me to check what they had written was OK every couple of sentences.
As I mentioned in part one of these reflections, SOLO describes 5 stages in the development of understanding: .
These recognise the 5 stages of learning from knowing nothing through to being able to taking knowledge and hypothesising or creating in an abstract way based on what has been learned.
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I don’t know how well my overall approach to SOLO is going to go — it’s still too early to tell — but what I can say after my first week trying to apply some of the ideas in my classroom is that hexagons are amazing.As I have found, they are an incredibly powerful enabler for most learners. I then threw in a couple of single words (basically the theme[s] or some key concepts from the text) for them to write in a hexagon, then asked them to write 3 or 4 statements about the characters, and finally, to fill in the rest of the hexagons with interesting lines/quotations from the text.I had started by giving the class a sheet of A4 with blank hexagons (click the picture to the right to download the pdf for yourself) and simply asked them to write down a fact about the text they had been studying. In doing so, they were essentially moving from Unistructural (knowing one thing) to Multistructural (knowing lots of things). I provided a pile of scissors and asked the class to cut out the individual hexagons (Learning point: ask them to put their name/initials on the reverse of each hexagon! Once we had a delightful mess, I tasked them with putting the hexagons together, the only criteria being that they had to explain why they had them touching — in other words, what the relationship was between them. The class grasped what they had to do, and became thoroughly engaged.Despite having read two different texts in class, all the class were able to complete hexagons for their text.They were also able to add extra information, and more importantly, no matter which text it was, they were all demonstrating really deep learning as they justified the hexagons they placed together. They responded so magnificently that it was impossible not to be proud of them.Before talking about my week, I do want to just take a second to reply to this tweet that I received: I will be honest that I make no claims to being expert in using it… That will require time and repetition (and how often do we say that to our classes? As I interpret it, SOLO is a means of giving learners the tools by which they can ask their own questions, and drive their own learning.If this sounds like the Holy Grail of education, then you already appreciate that the fundamentals of teaching learners how to actually learn is one of the most important skills they will need as they grow and develop.For tips on Section 2 of the GAMSAT Essay consists of two different essays (usually called Task A and Task B), each in response to their own set of stimuli.These prompts are presented as a set of quotes (usually 5), with each set centred around a common theme.Suddenly, and quite unintentionally, I heard them explaining to each other why they had written what they had, and in a totally natural and organic way, they were merging their knowledge.They also began to ask for some blank hexagons so they could add more to their creations — for me, evidence that they were learning and looking for deeper answers.