SOLO experimenting

How could I experiment with SOLO and see how my Key Stage 3 pupils responded? Over the last two weeks I have introduced the pictorial depictions of pre-structural … with years 7 and 8 lessons. In some groups we have used a voting tally chart to indicate  pupils’ perceived lesson understanding. I have used this to link to my lesson self evaluations. In other groups I asked pupils to self evaluate their learning by drawing the appropriate symbol in the margin and then linking this to my comments about their work and involvement in the lesson.

This year our final Year 9 assessment  is to be an exam in the school hall. As part of the revision I used a version of SOLO stations to allow a range of revision styles (more detailed post to follow). It was too much of a change in approach and the groups did not use the time well so their next revsion lesson took a more traditional form, but hexagons were used on the IWB to demonstrate how to structure written answers in more detail.

Finally on Friday, group assessments over I experimented with two Year 8 classes. Again a more detailed post with pictures to come. The principle was to allow a democratic selection of topic so that new facts could be learnt. I made links to lifelong learning, how a democratic vote works and took the risk of suitable topics being proposed and selected.In both groups the Miami Zombie / cannibal story was selected. Pupil experts whose starter knowledge was the greatest spoke to their groups, additional knowledge was recorded on sheets and then groups used hexagons to identify links between facts and the best students had positive phone calls home made to start half term off well.


2 responses to “SOLO experimenting

  1. Andy, I think you have start by thinking about the outcomes you want to see. What will the results of deep thinking/understanding look like? Then, work backwards to plan your objectives considering how SOLO can provide effective differentiation.

    This approach has worked for me. Using hexagons & stations etc is great but doesn’t really change anything unless the underlying structure of your curriculum is changed. Does this make sense?

    Cheers, David

    • I agree. We have agreed to implement a pilot for years 7 and 8 after half term in geography. I am looking at how schemes of work and SOLO will help our pupils to be actively involved in tracking their progress or identifying obstacles. The school is considering mixed ability teaching from September when this individual awareness will be helpful.

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