Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Should W.A.L.T's retire?

The joys of looking in your drafts. I started this post last year and I have simply tidied it up a bit. Clearly, I had other thoughts I wanted to express but alas the day to day pressures meant this slipt out of my priorities. And am I still using WALTs? Yes, but this post are refuelled my thoughts in this area.

Just as I was finishing teachers college, two new sets of 'it' words became all the rage, W.A.L.Ts and success criteria. But in this time of student-directed learning is there still a place for telling children what they are learning or would it be better to change tact?

I had an example in maths today where I was teaching children a strategy to use addition and subtraction to work out fractions of sets. A couple of questions in, a child who I least expected said to me when working out 1/3 of a set, "oh that's just using your 3 times tables, can I just do that instead?"
Part of this argument relates back to the importance of assessment but are using W.A.L.Ts setting restrictions for our learners? Would a focus for the lesson or a question be better suited, for example, 'our focus is working out fractions of sets', or 'what is the fastest strategy I can use to work out fractions of sets?'

A couple of years ago I attended a workshop run by an Australian lady Kath Murdoch who first implanted this idea about moving away from W.A.L.Ts and using questions instead. I remember telling a colleague about it but he couldn't quite get his head around it. I think now might be the time to investigate this idea further and getting away from telling my children what they are learning and opening up possibilities instead.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kate,

    A very interesting thought that I myself have been having lately...
    I have moulded this Terms Cybersmart lessons around a question and it has been pretty powerful so far. I think this is a much more engaging idea. By using a question students are challenged to think, to critically analyse and to use their creativity.
    I look forward to hearing how this goes in other subject areas!
    Keep up the great work!

    - Kelsey


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