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Simon Youd

Thinking outside the box

2 min read

Yesterday I was taking a relief lesson where students were learning how to do isometric drawings, which would then be used to design a money box, based on a wooden cube. This really made the students think outside the box on how they were going to design and personalise their money box. Some students started with a few ideas, but most really struggled to grasp what they would doI then brought in the idea of personalising it for them, repurposing the box, to make it theirs. If they were to show me or someone else their bedroom, what in is about them, what were they into. This got most to think some really good ideas, but others were really stuck. 

Change how you think and personlise the task

Some could not see past a 100 x 100 box. We brought out examples of previous work and this got more students to see possibilities and have ideas. The whole idea I was trying to put across was for them to personalise it, make it about them and what they are into. 

This got me to thinking about personalising tasks, whilst not strictly making them individualised. Everyone was working on the money box and had to design one based on the same shape, yet when given the creative freedom to add and change the finished product there was so much diversity and lateral thinking from almost every student. They started at wanting to be told what to do. Then using questioning I tried to lead them into thinking about what they like and how they would like to have it add to the ambience and environment in their bedroom. 

So here in action was a group task, make a money box, with individualised focus on how they produced a completed learning task. How we can create all learning tasks. Remove the standardised all hand in 20-30 of the same thing. Show me how you understand this learning objective through your choice of finished product. This is how I try to base assessment tasks, challenge students to move out of their comfort zones, don't just play school, put yourself into the finished product.