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Implementing Learner Agency

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Started by Heike 13 Feb 2016 12:09pm () Replies (13)
Hi everyone
We are an ILE with approx 60 children ( NE-2) and 3 teachers. We would like to implement a learner licence system. Obviously, our learner licence system gives children privileges corresponding to their ability of displaying self-regulated learning behavior. We would like to have them wearing a visible tag/ card so we can easily identify what licence level they are. For the moment we are thinking of lanyards with a plastic pouch that is filled with a visual image for identifying their level eg we are Team Fantail and we have a green/ orange and yellow Fantail + some LI's for NZ Key comps and Values on the back side. My questions are
What system do other ILE's use to implement learner agency?
Do children physically wear something to easily recognise their self regulation ability?
Interested to hear your thoughts - Thank you


  • Vish (View all users posts) 13 Feb 2016 1:53pm ()

    I am in a Learning Studio with 3 teachers and 80 children, at year 3 and 4. For the past year we trialled Zones of Regulations as a socioemotional teaching resource with great success. The program teaches a way of viewing emotions without judging them, and is far more useful than using the key competencies to try to modify behaviour.

    As I follow Incredible Teachers I would not label children according to ability in key competencies. They are so often linked to values and citizenship and could easily start a situation where bullying, exclusion or parent comparison could occur. So often the children needing help in this area are desperate for praise and attention and try to get it in the most unlovable ways.

    Instead I have an experts wall (at my help centre- this means experts for all subjects) and I have break cards that other kids can take to a child having trouble, or that they can use themselves, or that a teacher can show to help them get back in the 'learning zone'. 

    As for privileges, I give everyone rights and responsibilities, so if they break the rules they would lose a privilege only as a consequence under certain circumstances. I also use class dojo to focus on the positive, meaning I give visible rewards for behaviour I want and I will link it to rights and responsibilities and the zones of regulation.

    I have created a Google Slide presentation on this that I presented to our school and selected a range of resources that I'm happy to share or point you to. I'm sure this probably sounds very different but I recommend Zones of Regulation and Incredible Teachers for any teachers moving into these studio learning environments.

  • alyson (View all users posts) 15 Sep 2016 2:26am ()

    Hi Vish, I would love to share your slide on how you manage this, sounds fab, many thanks, Alyson

  • terrywithers (View all users posts) 15 Sep 2016 8:14am ()

    kia ora Vish, this sounds great - I would be grateful if you could share this with me too It is always helpful trying something new.  I always seem to have a handful who just cannot seem to stay in the zone of learning and would love to see how you retrack them.  Cheers Terry (terryw@titirangi.school.nz)

  • RachelO (View all users posts) 13 Feb 2016 9:11pm ()

    Kia ora

    After reading your post, I am very interested in seeing your presentation.  Could you share it with me at rachel.ono@lyttelton.school.nz?

    Thank you in advance,


  • Claire Knight (View all users posts) 14 Feb 2016 8:14am ()

    Hello Vish

    Interested in your google slide as well.  Would you email to me as well. 






  • Dan Priest (View all users posts) 14 Feb 2016 8:37am ()

    Hey there, 

    I am in an ILE this year as well, with 86 Year 4s and two other teachers. We have three spaces - the 'Hub' (our main learning/gathering zone), the 'Cube' - a breakout space for specialist teaching programmes (a teacher is running a junior literacy programme in there and the other is running expert maths) and we have a QZ 'Quiet Zone', a classroom decked out with couches/cushions etc. 

    Eventually, we want to introduce trust licences etc and we are thinking that kids would earn their right to be able to work in the QZ independently (the QZ is an unmonitored space, although, our 'Cube' space attaches directly onto it). 

    Also want students to earn the right to be trusted in other spaces around the school, and even in the classroom at Morning Tea, independent of a teacher. We have gleaned a lot from Ngatea Primary School. 

    Vish, I'd also love to see your resources, if you wouldn't mind 

    My e-mail is danp@katikati.school.nz


  • Cas (View all users posts) 14 Feb 2016 5:29pm ()


    Early last year someone posted a tree system, where the students became different parts of the tree and this allowed them to learn in different areas etc.  I can't find it now.  We don't have different spaces but liked the idea so have come up with a modification of this.  We are in a modified space (wall knocked out between two existing rooms).  We have 44 Y1-2 children and two teachers.  We have a self directed board for literacy and maths.  The children choose their learning activity and put their name on the board to show what learning they have chosen.  There is a whole lot of things we do with the children to ensure they know what they are learning at each task and how to ensure that they are choosing something appropriate for their learning and next steps.  This year we have added a learner license system by adding a sticker to their name card if they are choosing appropriate activities, working at their own level, learning with a variety of peers etc.  We have some activities with these matching stickers.  Only the children with the stickers can do these activities.  The next step is to gain two stickers.  The boards are set up with similar learning activities in each row eg. writing/spelling foucs, reading focus, oral language focus, collaborative focus.  We tell them which row they can choose from to ensure they are covering all areas.  The children who gain two stickers will be able to select from any line as they have shown they can be responsible for their learning by ensuring they cover every learning area.  Like everything, this is just another trial/inquiry and we will evaluate and modify as we go.

  • Hayley Young (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2016 8:14pm ()

    Hi, I am interested in any learning intention lists that you all use to categorize your learners. Several of you mentioned that you have different levels of learning licences. Could anyone email me some through to hayley@mairehau.net? I would be eternally greatful!


  • Jace7 (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2016 10:00pm ()

    I'd like to see these resources as well as I like the zones set up to encourage individual initiatives.

    Can you send them to Jacinda@stbernards.school.nz

  • Karen Hughes (View all users posts) 15 Sep 2016 7:52am ()

    Hi there

    You may be interested in reading this thread too...on learner licences.


  • Helen H (View all users posts) 15 Sep 2016 10:12am ()

    Hi Vish

    I would really be interested in seeing your presentation as well please (helen.hogarth@springston.school.nz )

    I really like the idea of empowering all the students to make the right choice to be in a space that they choose because they can and they know what to do there. If we are making that choice for them because we have seen them doing something we believe as the 'right thing' to do, it seems very controlling and in a way it is limiting their choices based on our beliefs. An example, in the past I have used a 'caught doing the right thing chart' for modifying behaviour to target my 'behaviour' students, but then I was noticing students that got left off that chart as they were always doing the right things, flying under the radar - what incentive have they got to keep doing the right thing. If we don't give that opportunity to every student to shine (with the belief that they can) from the moment they step through the door in the morning, what message are they getting - that they will never get to the space or place in the room. An RTLB recently shared with me a poster for my space basically with the message, fair doesn't look the same thing for every person.

    One thing that I have used successfully is the good old filling up the jar with marbles - as soon as you see someone making that good choice - in goes a marble filling up the jar towards a reward for the whole class - they you are all moving together towards something positive. And for those lovely individuals who need it have an individual chart - it is so much easier when you have more than one teacher in the space as well.

  • Neill O'Reilly (View all users posts) 16 Sep 2016 6:51am ()

    Hi team,

    Great thoughts. So important we nurture self regulation rather than subversive control.

    I think it is worth looking at Alfie Kohn's book 'Punished by Rewards' and his blog

    Just as a bonus if your school / team still hand out homework other than reading (and having taught parents "To, by and with") and some basic facts children select and practice then this book is also a must!



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