by G Gohil
I wanted to improve my lessons and get more engagement in class and had heard of a new technique around called Solo taxonomy. Tom Boddington arranged a session with Rebecca to explain it to us and I liked it but needed help in actually applying it to my subject. So Rebecca made some time for me and showed me how she’d applied it to Art and I knew this would be a simple tool to add to my already greatly used Level Ladders. I’ve been successful using other strategies endorsed by the TLC such as Level Ladders, Mini Whiteboards, Visible Thinking Routes so I thought I’d try Solo Taxonomy and see how it went. I like to think of myself as an Early Adopter!
I was sceptical of the language at first but having made it part of how I now teach writing and structuring Essays, it’s just become something I do but more importantly language students use and their essays are improving (slowly but surely). I heard one student reading someone else’s work saying how it was just ‘multi structural’ but how he would apply theory related to another topic to make it more ‘extended abstract’. I showed Parents during the Year 13 parents evening my level ladder with Solo Taxonomy language and symbols and they too said it was good.
I think we are constantly bombarded with initiatives but until you try them you won’t know if they work for you. I adapted the concept to something I already use (developed it in a way that would work for me), I produced it for the students, explained it once and now wonder what all the fuss was about. I wonder why I was so sceptical? The hardest part was thinking where and how I could use it, but once that was sorted (with the help of Rebecca) the rest was easy!
My subject is essay based, to get the top marks students need to think outside of the core content i.e. ‘Extended Abstract’. I just needed to do the same with my lessons. It’s not perfect and I want to roll it out within my department and with time I will.