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The journey continues....Making learning visible

believe ‘making’ in the classroom makes learning visible and this can be assessed through observation and learning conversations with the student, their whanau and the teacher aide. These conversations offer everyone an opportunity to contribute their unique knowledge of the students with specific educational needs, and an opportunity to participate in planning for and responding to the students' learning pathways. Assessment of progress and achievement needs to encompass a wide range of contexts in which a student can demonstrate their capabilities and use their knowledge and skills.  As well as making learning visible, while 'making' many of the key competencies and their corresponding  behaviours and dispositions can also be demonstrated. 

What counts as learning while ‘making?”

Parker (cited in Kelly, n.d.) came up with three reasons that 'making' is meaningful for students:

  • Making promotes social and emotional learning. Students gain an increase in the willingness to try new things, to struggle, to collaborate. They seek out resources from one another or online and become more self-directed. 
  • The learning process itself of brainstorming, tinkering, exploring, iteration and building on ideas result in learning that is generative, not only for the students but also for the adults in the classroom. 
  • An increased opportunity for reflection. With ‘making’, ongoing reflection is embedded throughout the process. The students will gain some insights in to how they learn. 

This reinforces my belief that the process is more important than the product and the highlighting of the learning that happens during the process needs to be documented throughout the activity, through observation and learning conversations. Effective observation is underpinned by a strong understanding of what achievement looks like for that particular student. I need to notice what the student is doing and recognise the learning that is taking place so I can respond appropriately with further challenges to embed that learning. Learning conversations with students including specific descriptive feedback and feed-forward between myself, the student, their whanau and the teacher aide, help to clarify learning expectations, and can make visible the successes, small or large that are occurring. 

Kelly, R. (n.d.). What Counts as Learning While Making? -. Retrieved May 22, 2016, from

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