Using SOLO taxonomy with my Y10s

I came accross this interesting post from taitcoles last week. In the it he explained how he had used SOLO taxonomy with a Y9 group. As you will know from my 2 previous posts i am concerned at the moment about learning objectives and specifically differentiated learning objectives. When we met as a dept we came up with some good ideas on how to deliver and present these to classes. However I noticed that all the ideas that were proposed were examples of what teachers had tried in KS3 lessons. No one had attempted any differentiated learning objectives with KS4. I can see why; if you look at the syllabus and the mark scheme there is not much differentiation in there. Well there is but levels lend themselves far more easily to setting out differentiated learning objectives.

SOLO stands for Structured Observation of Learning Outcomes. But my theory is that if theses outcomes are understood by the pupils then i can show them as the lesson objectives and they will easily allow for differentiation.

Now I just copied TaitColes idea really. I havent added much more to it. So I really recommend you read his thoughts before you plough through my attempts.

What I did

 The work on the London docklands had already been set and handed in before I read about SOLO. This link shows you the instructions I gave to my pupils (it is on my pupil blog). I had orignally planned just to hand the work back as normal marked with my comments for improvement on them. I also wanted to show them how it fitted in with the syllabus and exam question they might get so I also handed them This document too.

From now I went into new territory with SOLO. I used this powerpoint Y10 SOLO intro lesson to help them become familiar with the whole idea. It worked REALLY WELL. they quickly categorised the XFactor statements. Interestingly most of the class thought that the 4th stage (relational)  was deeper thinking than the 5th (extended abstract) as the 4th was all fact and the 5th was more opinion.

When they read through each others work intheir groups they slowly but surely began to understand the task and by the end everyone had some feedback from another pupil to reflect on.

Finally I linked the SOLO taxonomy to exam grades and showed how it wasnt until you were starting on the relational stage that you could be certain of gaining a ‘C’ grade at GCSE. It was this fact that finally nailed the usefullness of SOLO to them!

From now on I plan to start setting KS4 differentiated learning objectives based on this taxonomy. I will let you know how it goes!!

In the meantime a big thank you to @Totallywired and @learningspy for all their ideas which I have simply stolen added nothing to and used (by God I love the internet and twitter especially)


4 thoughts on “Using SOLO taxonomy with my Y10s

  1. Well done, sir! Sounds terrific. Also, be aware that Tait and I merely stole in turn from Darren Mead (@DKMead) who in his turn stole from Hooked on Thinking. We all love Twitter too 😉

  2. Great post mate – sounds like SOLO worked a treat for that lesson, really like the way you linked the taxonomy to grades. Especially for Year 11 students want to know “what’s in it for them?” so linking it with their short term aspirations e.g. exams, grades is a good idea.

    I found this comment very poignant “Interestingly most of the class thought that the 4th stage (relational) was deeper thinking than the 5th (extended abstract) as the 4th was all fact and the 5th was more opinion.” We need to be doing more of this…encouraging our students to think rather than simply regurgitate facts.

    …and I agree with David – don’t worry about where the techniques come from, just as long as they work! We are all magpies……

  3. I love Twitter too – it’s how I found your blog and learned about SOLO! Thanks 😀

  4. […] on from two of previous posts on differentiated learning objectives and then one on SOLO taxonomy I am now trying to link the two together. All I have done is to turn SOLO from lesson outcomes to […]

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