Thinking out of the Box! What is Learning?


During  a recent 45 minute webinar session with James Nottingham and Graham Watts I made notes and took photographs of their slideshow as it was happening using Evernote on my iPad. I really like the easy way Evernote works. The notes and photographs became a great support to my lessons. I also use Evernote to record my students when reflecting on their learning.

James Nottingham talked about challenging students thinking and teaching them how to think. He talked briefly about taking them down into the pit of confusion.  I think I will need to buy his book to learn more about his ideas.  I felt a bit of relief hearing about the pit of confusion because I am often wondering around that pit. Surely that is evidence of my great ability to think extensively! J

Graham talked about a set of tools he has developed combining literacy and thinking. On the webinar he demonstrated a box model of thinking. I really liked this so I used it today in class to brainstorm ‘what is learning’.  It was a great way to start the term.

Learning is combining with others.

Madison, Maddy, Lilly, Lani and WaiWai

Learning is using your senses.

Sam, Harding, Reihana, Matthew and Ben

Learning is thinking with other people or by yourself to get more knowledge.

Cody, Caitlin, Kole, Stephan and John

Learning is using your brain and things you know and combining your ideas with other person’s ideas. Learning is finding out more facts.

Abby, Corien, Honey, Kelsey and Anahira

Learning is perseverance.

Hannah, Emily, Tessa, Renee and Sophie.

Learning is combining lots of ideas to learn something new.

Dylan, Taelyn, Jayde, Amy and Sarah.

This is the result of our brainstorming. As I reflect on their ideas and what James Nottingham said I am wondering if the final idea I got from each group isn’t enough.  I think I might challenge them with the exercise again to see if we can explore our ideas further.


2 thoughts on “Thinking out of the Box! What is Learning?

  1. I love this kind of thinking. I’m wondering what year level you are teaching. We did a similar thing this week reflecting about what worked well with the changes made in the way we were learning.See us at http://www.themiddlematters.blogspot.comI am finding that the more you model, practise and do…the deeper the students think and the more easily they articulate their thinking. And the engagement comes with it, doesn’t it?Well done to all your thinkers!Marg Yore@maggiewi

  2. I teach year 5/6, level 3. I agree with you.I recently had a comment, from a teacher who works with lots of schools, on how well my students can connect their ideas and thinking collaboratively. I believe that to be down to modeing, practicing and doing of thinking in cooperative and collaborative learning spaces.

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