I have recently been using SOLO taxonomy to raise resilience in the students in my lessons. I have found that with some careful training using strategies based on SOLO taxonomy my students have been able to take responsibility for their
learning and also make sensible decisions about their own learning process. They have become active rather than passive and in lots of cases I have noticed an increase in independence. Along with a considerable decrease in pupils chasing me around the classroom claiming the they “don’t get it” or “don’t know what to do next” – result! The initial “training” I have given my pupils is through the use of SOLO HOTmaps.
SOLO Describe HOTmap – A framework to help pupils to structure a description
Solo hotmaps are frameworks to help students to break down their understanding of different activities. Each framework acts as a writing frame but more than this, it acts as a rubric, or set of rules, for how to complete the activity to different levels of understanding. Through using the rubrics pupils are able to constantly assess their depth of knowledge about the topic they are studying.
SOLO Rubric showing different solo levels for a DESCRIBE HOTmap
There is a HOTmap for almost everything we do in lessons and the maps which already exist can be tweaked and reinterpreted to suit your subject. It is important to realise that the hotmaps are the first step in a journey which should help to roll out SOLO taxonomy throughout teaching practice; however it also makes for an easy way of helping students to think about their learning in a more detailed way. As they progressed, I asked students to explain their level of
understanding using their hot map and rubric. They were able to tell me what they had achieved and how they could prove it and they were able to tell me what they wanted to achieve next and how to do it.
“A lot of people never use their
initiative because no-one told them to.”
The Confidence and Independence TLC will look to build student autonomy and encourage students to use their
initiative. All students have some responsibility for their own development in
school; we will be building upon this and trying to encourage students to take
responsibility for devising their own learning strategies and evaluating and
assessing their own progress. This will include students planning the next
stage of their development and determining a pace and level of challenge which
is appropriate to their ability.
OFSTED criteria - Learning to
“[Outstanding] Teaching promotes pupils’ high level
of resilience, confidence and independence when they tackle challenging
“Learning to learn” requires students to consider the
strengths and weaknesses of their own thinking before making decisions about
their next step. SOLO taxonomy provides a framework to help students to address
the following questions: what am I learning? How well am I doing? What do I
need to do to move onto the next level?
This TLC will start by looking at the use of SOLO hotmaps (see video) as a classroom
strategy, -which can help both learners and teachers to become comfortable with
the language of SOLO. The TLC will then look at using SOLO stations to develop
classroom/learner autonomy. Finally we will look at the potential of students
setting and managing their own learning goals based on a common language of
learning shared between teachers and learners.
For a long time I have viewed Twitter as a source of “portable CPD”; somewhere to go
for instant inspiration and ideas and also a quick link to online resource
centres. Alongside different teaching strategies my TLC will look to support
teachers to build their own confidence and independence by sharing and
exploring these online teacher resource centres, providing a forum in which we
can evaluate new resources along the way.
Plenaries have always been a topic of conversation in the teaching world. There
have been many ideas and strategies to encourage students to show what they have
been learning. An initiative in PE has been post it note plenaries to encourage
students to share what they have learnt in the
1. Write and share: Students share what they have learnt in the lesson by
writing on a post it note one thing they have learnt from the lesson, the impact
that has and what they would like to know in the future regarding that topic.
Once they have stuck this on the wall, they then read someone else's in their
group so they can then share. I then went on to ask the following questions to
2. Red, Amber and Green: This was a strategy that Jack Elston used in a recent GCSE lesson to track what students could remember from the course so far. This could also be implemented into a end of lesson plenary as you can ask similar questions. Each colour represents a different question that the students have to ask themselves:
3. The Learning Line: The last post it note plenary up for discussion is the learning line. This is a strategy where students track their own progress within a lesson using a continuum.
Students begin by writing their name on a post it note and sticking it anywhere on the learning line. Throughout the lesson, students are stopped and asked if they would like to change where their post it note is. This can also be done as
a peer assessment where there partner changes it for them after a discussion. This strategy has proven to be a fantastic piece of evidence for tracking student progress within a lesson.