Assessment 1 – MindLab – Can you help me G.R.O.W?

Hey friends, teachers, countrymen…can you help me with some ideas for my first assessment for my Mindlab course?

It is due in 1 week, so I’m a little stressed. These past 3 weeks have been intensely busy for me personally and professionally, so while I’ve been mulling things over, I am in no way near being organised with what I want to do for this assessment.

So, what  have to do is:

Identify, justify and plan a digital and collaborative learning innovation applied to a specific area of your practice. 

I have to create a 10 – 12 minute video about this!

I have decided to start with a simple GROW model to organise my thoughts first up –

G = My goal

R = My reality at the moment

O = My options

W = What happened with the options

I’m hoping you can help me with my options part!

Goal: My goal has three parts to it –

  1. To have less mat time for my learners – particularly for the times when I am giving instructions.
  2. To be more efficient with the giving of instructions. As we move towards personalised learning my instructions are no longer all the same for everyone. Why should all my class have to sit through me giving out instructions for 5 or 6 or more different things!
  3. To have my students become more self-managing learners, in control of their own learning.



I hate it when I have to get everyone’s attention – which, to be honest, with 30 students is a hard task. And I hate that often/usually when you are giving the instructions for lots of different activities for different people depending on what they’ve chosen or you have planned for them, you gradually lose the attention of many.

This happens with adults too – we focus on the bit we need to concentrate on, then switch off. I don’t feel that I should stress about the kids not paying attention for the whole time. Unless it is something that applies to all, why should they? Yes, they need to listen to instructions, but just those that apply to them surely? And yes, there will be times that all students have to listen to what I am saying and that does happen too.

People will probably say use a task board – but this is getting increasingly difficult as learning becomes more personalised in my classroom. It is happening slowly, but it is happening. And I really don’t want a task-board for everything. I don’t have room for one for every area for a start!

I also have a bunch of students who are ready to self-manage themselves. They are ready to get on with it rather than waste the 5 or 10 minutes having me explain what is needed to be done. And it can be longer – I know I should stop talking more and give shorter instruction times, but to be honest again, it is difficult. I have a lot of students who are still learning to control their impulse to call out.

I developed a Circle of Trust earlier in the year – I have 3 levels of students in my class who have differing levels of where they can sit and how often they need to check in with me. I haven’t used it very well yet though. It was made on the suggestion of my students in actual fact, which is possibly why I’m not using it optimally. I have Free Rangers, Happy Mediums and Close Buddies. As the names suggest, Free Rangers are those who are more able to take control of their own learning and Close Buddies need to be supported by me a lot more. I don’t know if it is a perfect system, but it came from them and with tweeking could be the basis of something workable.

Circle of Trust

I think I could trial something with my Free Rangers (to begin with) where they could organise their own timetables or at the very least get their work sent to them via a google doc (or similar) and continue with it without me giving instructions all the time. This sounds simple, but I figure it is an innovation as I do not currently do this and it would improve teaching and learning for us all.


I think I could trial something with my Free Rangers (to begin with) where they could organise their own timetables or at the very least get their work sent to them via a google doc (or similar) and continue with it without me giving instructions all the time. There are 9 of these at the moment, but I could even extend it to 15, half the class. This sounds simple, but I figure it is an innovation as I do not currently do this and it would improve teaching and learning for us all.

We have Hapara at our school and I know that there is potential with this too, but I don’t know much about it. I use it to share a few docs with all my students occasionally. Does anyone use the workspace and how???

Also wondering if Trello could be an option. Very simple to use and I could create a task list for a week and then share it with all the students in that group and we could add things and collaborate together on tasks.


Those are my ideas for options – do you have any more ideas? I’d really appreciate any thoughts on what I could plan for my intervention. Please comment if you have anything to add.

This may all sound a bit jumbly, but I just have blerghed it all out!!

Assessment 1 – MindLab – Can you help me G.R.O.W?

8 thoughts on “Assessment 1 – MindLab – Can you help me G.R.O.W?

  1. Caro Katu says:

    Don’t forget that if you are doing it by yourself, then your movie is 6 – 10 minutes long. 10 – 12 minutes is for a group presentation.


  2. Dion Paxie says:

    I like the Google docs idea for your able learners to start with then progress to all of your learners? Especially when using it for commenting on each others work and feedback. You are then putting them at higher levels on the SAMR model. Try this link it has 34 interesting ways to use Google Docs in the classroom. Some of the later slides look good.
    I’m not an expert but I liked what you started with. Just think the google docs is a digital innovation you are making so that is a positive change.


    1. Thanks Dion,
      The Google Docs would be a good idea as well as it can involve so much, but is in essence so simple. Plus, we already use google docs quite a lot, so it wouldn’t be too big a stretch for my students to use it more effectively to plan and recieve their learning tasks.
      The presentation is great too, thank you!


  3. Megan Nelson-Latu says:

    Sounds great! This assignment is stressing us out too!!! I love google docs for sharing, collaborating and getting students started. I use Hapara, but have not yet ventured in to Workspace – it is on my to do list as I have seen it in use and it is fantastic. You can use Hapara to group students and share work with groups etc. In terms of a starting point – we decided on the 21st century skill/s we wanted to focus on and then thought about why. We are now gathering the data and our evidence for why we want to do what we want to do. I love the circles of trust idea!


    1. Thanks Megan!
      I think I need to speak to my person at work who uses workspace. Seeing as we have it, it seems like we should use it to it’s full potential! I can at the moment see myself pulling all this assignment together out of thin air sometime in the weekend!


  4. Karyn Gray says:

    Trello is definitely good for setting up work lists with learners. With instructions try a mini and extended instruction time. All you need to know in 45 seconds or 60 seconds- makes you think about the really important points, then kids have option to go and start or stay for more extended version if they are unsure. use a visual reminder like an egg timer to stay to the agreed time… Just suggestions!


  5. Belinda do you use Google Classroom? I find that I can open numerous classes if I need to … sort of like ‘groups’ … and add tasks into there too. For example I have 3 Google Classes for Maths and certain kids in each class where they will find learning tasks I have added in there for them. An idea:)


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