Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Self Management - what does it LOOK like?

I have several students in my class that you would probably watch during a class visit and comment inwardly that these are not students who are strong self managers. Often found in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong people, away from their group, off-task, disorganised and seldom able to keep within a timeframe for completing work.

But I know these learners. I know how they are wired, and let me tell you, they are proficient self managers - in SOME things...

One of them gets the laptops out every day, puts them on charge, checks that they are set up for the day and then often heads to the ActivBoard to set me up for handwriting and reading, reading confidently off my group planning to ensure he has the correct tasks/day on the tumble.

Another one of them is quick to watch over my shoulder with anything I am teaching on the laptop or if I am working with another group on the web, and will follow my every move so that later in the day I see him upskilling himself by copying what he sees. His skills have been in remembering the order that he sees things in and then recalling them, yet he can't seem to follow a 2-step instruction given verbally.

The third of these children spends all day asking me 'how' and 'why' for everything. He wants to know how to do anything that I do on a laptop. He seeks out new knowledge and is a high level communicator yet writing is his least favourite activity, tantamount to torture, and he seldom completes things without me pushing.

Two of these boys spent the afternoon asking me about how the school website works, how do you create a website like that, how does design work and what is the coding like on that type of managed site? Since I have been busy reworking the Middle School page today in the breaks, I was able to show them firsthand the answers to their questions. We looked at how the design shows up on the page as I work but how I can also use the coding to add moving images/slide shows/movies by embedding. They already know this language from their work on the wiki and blogs, and they keenly enquired about the differences between each. We looked a split view of the page so that they could match what they read in the code to what they saw on the design page.

When I asked them if they would like to help me to create parts of the page their eyes lit up! They went away and collaborated on a plan of what they would need to learn and the steps to do so. Suddenly I had reluctant writers who want to record because this is their language - this is what they love.

We have decided that while the class are at music on Friday, they will work with me to create the next part of the page, and they have their plan ready.

Self management? I think so!

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