Reflecting On Our Learning Process

This morning, our journal activity was a focus on our learning process.

1) How do I know when I have learned something new (without an adult to confirm for me)?

2) How do I react when I don’t understand?

One of the things we do well in our inquiry-based school is to think often about how we learn. Our struggle in that is we often fall back into old habits of how we react when things become difficult or we are not sure where to begin a project or activity.

This morning after our journal writing, we had a class discussion about these topics. Our responses:

How do I know when I’ve learned something new?

  • I say, “Oh! I get it!”
  • My face looks confused and then shows me understanding, like an “a-ha!”
  • I just feel it. It’s a good feeling.
  • I start working faster because I want to see that I know it.
  • I just DO it.

How do I react when I don’t understand?

  • Sometimes, I just give up.
  • I distract myself by talking with others.
  • I say, “I need help” without first trying myself.
  • I get overwhelmed and I don’t do anything.
  • I think, “this is too hard.”
  • I start to complain.

We discussed together that it’s important to recognize the signs we have when we learn and understand. We want to be sure we acknowledge those times, so we feel successful. It’s also important to recognize when we are frustrated.

Together, we problem-solved how to react differently when we don’t understand:

  • Don’t give up – persevere!
  • Try to focus on what I already know and then apply it to what I don’t understand.
  • Look at parts of the problem instead of the whole problem. Focus on starting with a small piece, one at a time.
  • Have faith in myself.
  • Ask Mrs. Baldwin for help ONLY after I’ve tried to help myself first.
  • It’s ok if I make mistakes when I’m first learning something new. If I already knew how to do it, I wouldn’t be learning.

This was a great class discussion! We thought a lot about how the learning process, and we remember that our brains might start out “confused.” That’s okay! Our brains don’t like to stay confused, and any discomfort we feel helps us to try to move past that and do our best to understand.

We really liked the ideas of starting with the small pieces and seeing how much we can accomplish. One example is when we struggle with a writing activity. Sometimes, we’re not sure where to start! Some suggestions were to begin writing down ideas, even if they aren’t complete sentences. Once we have a list of ideas, we can start forming sentences, putting the sentences into order and paragraphs that make sense. Voila! Before we know it, we have some good writing started!

How do you think about your learning? What are some suggestions you might add to our list?