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Flexible Learning

Mentor’s Guide

Flexible Learning

Thank you for offering your invaluable help to the students on today‟s programme. The Flexible Learning programme aims to help students experience and understand different ways of learning and recalling information. We all have different preferences for how we like to learn. Having a choice of techniques can help make learning fun, engaging and more effective. Today is an opportunity for the students to consider key elements that will help them to develop new methods of learning:     

Build a Brain Walk the Stress Curve Human Synapse Making Information Stick Flexible Approach

Your support will help the students to recognise, understand and implement new ways of learning that suit their preferences.

Using this Mentor’s Guide This guide is designed to support you in mentoring the students through their day. During the day you will be working with different groups, on different activities. This program will help students to understand how information is stored in the brain, how to recall the right information at the right time, how to be flexible in approach and how use „stress‟ to maximise performance. Each group of students will have approximately 20 minutes in each area so, needless to say, it will be fast and furious! The five learning zones will each present the students with a challenge. To introduce the challenge to the students, simply read out the challenge description on the left hand page under each zone. The right hand page is there to help you with ideas that will support the students through their challenges. You will not be “on your own!” MoCo support staff will be on hand at all times to help facilitate the challenges and school staff will be on hand should there be any behavioural issues. Have a great day!

Learning Zone: Build a Brain! Introduction: “This zone provides the opportunity to design your own brain. “As a team you will need to solve the brain puzzle, recreating a model of the brain and understanding that different parts of the brain perform different functions. “Once you have completed the puzzle, you will be given your own “blank brain”. Use the pens provided to design your own brain, deciding where information, relevant to you, will be stored. “In this brain you must include:     

your academic subjects hobbies sports / physical activity leisure activities any other areas you choose “Be as creative as you like –


Learning Zone: Build a Brain! Supporting Information: Being able to „physically place‟ information in a certain area can help with recalling that information at a later date. There are several memory strategies that include visualisation in order to aid the recall process. Making associations between facts, figures and locations can be a fun way of learning. This exercise is a fun, active introduction to this concept. We have introduced a competitive element to start with. Students will need to build the “accurate” model brain as quickly as they can in order to allow as much time as possible to design their own brains. This activity mixes fact (how the brain really works) with a little imagination (how would you like your brain to work?). The key support questions in this activity are likely to be:  What types of things do you need to remember?  Where will you store this information in your „designer brain‟? The bold topics on the opposite page can be used as a prompt.

Learning Zone: Walk the Stress Curve Introduction: “This zone will challenge your response to different situations. Some of the situations may be more „stressful‟ than others. “It is interesting to know that „stress‟, or „pressure‟, has a direct impact on our performance .... and it‟s not always bad! A little bit of the right kind of stress will actually help us to perform better. “No stress at all can be very boring and this can lead to poor performance; too much stress can be overwhelming and can also lead to poor performance. “The right levels of stress can add excitement and variety into our lives, making a challenge worth taking on. “You will be provided with a set of numbered „scenarios‟ which you will discuss in teams of three and decide how this level of „stress‟ would affect your performance. Once decided you will each place a post-it note, with the corresponding scenario number on the „stress curve‟ “Notice similarities and differences between your individual choices”

Learning Zone: Walk the Stress Curve Supporting Information: This activity is all about embracing the pressures and stresses that face us in life, particularly in times such as exams or in times of uncertainty. There are no right or wrong answers in this activity, simply the opportunity to decide how the situation described would impact the individualâ€&#x;s performance. This activity is not a race. The important part is for the students to understand that different scenarios will have a different effect on different people. Recognising these differences, whilst understanding our own preferences, is an important factor in dealing with stress. Discussion around the scenarios will support the learning. Fear and excitement are essentially the same feeling but with different interpretations – fear tends to impede performance whereas excitement can enhance it.

Learning Zone: Human Synapse! Introduction: “However we take in information, it needs to get to our brain. Like-wise, whenever we need a piece of information, we have to get it out again! “Information is stored in different places within the brain and recalling the right bit at the right time can sometimes be a challenge – the paths seem to get a bit cluttered! “This activity challenges you to form a „human synapse‟, carrying information into and out of the brain. Your challenge is to store all incoming information in the right place and to be able to recall the right information at the right, time whilst still taking on new information. “The different coloured hoops represent different types of information, each needing to be stored in its own area. Once the hoops are stored they may be recalled at any time, at which point they must be returned to their starting place as quickly as possible. “As a team, you will be chained together, the chain must not be broken as you move information from one area to the next “Enjoy!”

Learning Zone: Human Synapse! Supporting Information: This activity illustrates how recalling information can sometimes be a smooth process – but it can also be challenging. The students will recreate a chain that splits four ways, with coloured hoops placed at the „single endâ€&#x; (X on the diagram). The hoops must be passed up the chain and deposited in the correct area (Y = Yellow, B = Blue, R = Red, G = Green)





X The students will be connected by chain and the chain must not be broken. Students at the joins may change the person that they are connected to, in order to ensure that the hoop (information) goes the right way. Any colour hoop may be recalled at any time and must be returned to the X once recalled.

Learning Zone: Sticky Information Introduction: “We all have different preferences relating to how we learn. Some of us like to see things and create visual images of the learning. Some of us prefer to listen to information and some of us would rather get stuck in and do something. “These predominant learning styles have been identified as Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic. Often getting the right balance of styles helps us to retain and recall information. There is no „best way‟, just „different ways‟. “On the wall you will see examples of 30 different learning activities that you could use in your studies and beyond. Beneath each of these examples are three colours: “Green represents „Visual Learning‟ White represents „Auditory Learning‟ Black represents „Kinaesthetic Learning‟ “Working as a team you need to identify which of the learning styles best represents the activity. How does the information „stick‟? “You will be presented with a gun that fires sticky darts. You must stay behind the firing line and hit the colour that represents the learning style. You have ten darts each”.

Learning Zone: Sticky Information Supporting Information: This zone is to help the students to identify different ways of learning and revising. They will understand that different methods suit different people but that there is LOTS of choice. There are enough darts for each student to have ten shots at the targets. They must choose ten different learning activities. Each team of three students should then have reviewed all 30 different activities. Once all the students have fired all of their darts, we can count up how many darts have stuck to the correct colour for each activity. The activity is scored as a WHOLE TEAM.  One point is awarded for a correct colour  One point is deducted for an incorrect colour  No points are awarded if the dart comes unstuck Some of the darts may hit the right colour but not stick – these will not count but will give opportunity for the discussion that NONE of these methods are 100% reliable; a mixture is important. This zone shows that learning can be varied and fun.

Learning Zone: Flexible Approach Introduction: “Each team has a copy of a map of the London Underground. You will be asked to plan and discuss a specific journey, thinking about at least three different choices of route that you can take. “Once you have agreed your preferred route you can use the pens and paper provided to draw your route. “Be aware that, at any time, as in life, circumstances may change. Despite these changes in circumstance, your goal will remain the same. “Your job, as a team, is to ensure that whatever happens, you can find a way to get from your starting point to your end point “Each time the circumstances change, you will be asked to update your route-map. “Good luck!”

Learning Zone: Flexible Approach Supporting Information: This activity illustrates the importance of flexible behaviour in ensuring that you can always get to your end goal. The students will be provided with a start and finish point and asked to find different routes and then choose and draw their preferred route. Every so often, you will throw in a change of circumstance which may or may not mean that the students need to change their route. Each time the circumstances change the students will need to re-plan. Sometimes these changes can be frustrating – we will support the students in recognising this frustration and identifying what they can do to get back in control.

Finally. Thank you for your involvement and support during the day. Having a mentor with „life experienceâ€&#x; is a great benefit to the students when putting this theory into practice. During the day you have encouraged the students to think about the different ways in which they learn and how this can be applied to their studies and far beyond. All of the skills and behaviours explored in MoCo programs reach far beyond the school environment and into the world of work Without your time, energy an experience today would not have been possible.

Thank you.

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Flexible Learning Mentors Guide  

Mentors Guide for Flexible Learning Day