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What did you Learn Today?

June 7, 2016

What did you learn today?


As a parent I ask this without thinking. I often expect a mundane response. I wonder how many parents get a ‘nothing’  or ‘not much’ as a response. My guess is a few. If so, we are asking the wrong questions. Why haven’t we been asking ‘What have you been learning’? That opens up a conduit to dialogue. It empowers us to talk about their learning, even if they haven’t learned it yet, they are in the process and that what we want to talk about.


But enough of the overthinking, the lexis. In the end we want to see evidence OF learning right? Why not do this and use this as a discussion point. We want to see kids…

  • show process- (messy drawings, scribblings)
  • uncut video clips/photos
  • notes that aren’t ‘presentable’. make no sense without the author
  • verbal ideas with wonderings, confusions
  • conclusions that are flawed
  • value mistakes as a learning point
  • see the thinking


But how can learners document this?:

  • video/audio
  • written journals
  • scratch books
  • a designer notebook

What I’ve started to really value isn’t the packaging of kids thoughts and products but trying to unpack their ideas. The raw stuff. ‘Schooling’ has done an excellent job of valuing the packaged, that it has become hard for educators to unpack the product to uncover the deeper meaning of the learning. Notebooks, note-taking. Raw thinking, scribblings.

And so when we ask our kids what did you learn today…and they say nothing, well they  can at least show what ‘nothing’ looks like. 

Its been a fantastic first year of doing nothing.



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