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Perching in the HookED 2017 Pear Tree

2017 is proving to be a great year for progress in the classroom based use of SOLO Taxonomy.

Work has taken me to schools across New Zealand and Australia, and to Denmark and Tonga.

My efforts to create meaning with others has resulted in another iPad app, YouTube Instructional videos and many different print texts.

When I look at the list of publications to date I am genuinely startled – bewildered by how much has been achieved in this Partridge in a Pear Tree kind of a year.

an iPAd app – SOLO Hexagons
SOLO Hexagons is a strategy for enhancing higher order thinking and systems thinking. Generate content (ideas and images) on the hexagons. Make links between the hexagons, annotating any links with reasons. Extend your thinking by making generalisations about the BIG IDEA in the clusters of hexagons.Challenging others to extend their thinking is easy and fun! Simply share your hexagons, and challenge others to make connections and extend your ideas. Invite others to generate hexagons for you to connect and extend. Use SOLO hexagons as a strategy to determine prior knowledge, scaffold student writing, conduct formative assessment, revise and or extend student thinking


a chapter in a Crown House Publications Book – on Progress
Hook, P. (2017). On making progress visible with SOLO. In I. Wallace and L. Kirkman (Eds), Best of the Best. Progress. Crown House Publishing. UK.

four books for Essential Resources – in collaboration with 6 teachers in science, the social sciences and music.

Hook, P., and Tolhoek, W. (2017). Using SOLO Taxonomy to Think Like a Scientist. How to develop curious minds with the science capabilities. The Material World. Essential Resources Educational Publishers Limited. New Zealand.

Hook, P., Ipsen, S., and McCombe M. (in press). Using SOLO Taxonomy in Student Inquiry. Bk 1. How student inquiry can develop creative and critical thinking. Essential Resources Educational Publishers Limited. New Zealand.

Hook, P., Ipsen, S., and McCombe M. (in press). Using SOLO Taxonomy in Student Inquiry. Bk.2. Templates to make your own student inquiry book. Essential Resources Educational Publishers Limited. New Zealand.

Hook, P., Booth, N., Price, A., and Fobister, L. (in press). SOLO Taxonomy in Music Education: Developing high-quality musicians through a reflective learning environment. Essential Resources Educational Publishers Limited. New Zealand.

seven new YouTube SOLO Map and rubric videos
in the play list series “How to use … SOLO Maps”

a chapter in Dr HuiYong Tay’s new book – Designing Quality Authentic Assessments – Routledge
Hook, P. (in press) How do you design quality rubrics to accompany the authentic assessment (AA). In Tay, H.Y.(Ed), Designing Quality Authentic Assessments. Routledge

a set of online curriculum resources New Zealand Transport Agency – Keeping Safe Around Trucks. Curriculum resources for young people to contribute, connect and extend their ideas about keeping safe around trucks on New Zealand roads. These resources are designed to support deep learning. Learning activities are mapped against Levels 1-4 of the New Zealand Curriculum, which loosely align with Years 1-10 of school. This means teachers can use these resources to select suitable learning experiences for students in primary, intermediate or secondary (Years 9-10) classes.* Coverage includes:Science, Mathematics and Statistics, Social Studies, Health and Physical Education

I am doubly chuffed to report that the ever fabulous architect and designer Nick Denton has finished the last seven SOLO maps in the “How to … series” – of HookED SOLO Map animations. You can view the 14 SOLO Map animations playlist on my YouTube Channel .

This body of work matters – is going to make a real difference to learners who for a number of reasons arrive at school without experience of or access to the academic language used to demonstrate learning in schools – the map animations help make the academic language accessible to all.

Writing the script for the SOLO Map tutorials was not dissimilar to writing the script for “Fantastic Voyage” 1966 . A simple comparison shows the need for nuance, accurate detail and tight time frames in the narrative in both contexts. Experience with young learners using the SOLO process maps to scaffold their writing means we know that the raw excitement of finding success as a learner – completing a successful mission in deep learning – could not be any greater than exiting via a tear duct in the last few seconds before miniaturisation wears off.

In “Fantastic Voyage”: The crew faces many obstacles during the mission. An arteriovenous fistula forces them to detour through the heart, where cardiac arrest must be induced to avoid turbulence. They must replenish their supply of oxygen in the lungs, and then pass through the inner ear (all outside personnel have to remain silent to prevent turbulence). When the surgical laser needed to destroy the clot is damaged, it becomes obvious there is a saboteur on the mission. They are forced to cannibalize their wireless telegraph to repair the device. By the time they finally reach the clot, they have only six minutes remaining to operate and then exit the body. Wikipedia

With “SOLO Maps and rubrics”:The learner faces many obstacles during the mission to master the use of those academic verbs (command verbs) to deep levels. Selecting the most suitable academic verb for the task and then following prompts to ensure the learning outcome shifts from unistructural to multistructural (surface) to relational (deep) and extended abstract (conceptual/transfer) when defining, comparing, or evaluating is nuanced work.

As any educator working with SOLO maps and rubrics will agree – without good detail the SOLO Map neophyte has the same potential for misadventure, misdirection and issues with lack of space as the submarine crew on the miniaturised and injected Proteus. Even the presence of a saboteur on board is familiar territory to anyone who has worked in a collaborative group.

Good projects take time.

SOLO Spidergrams and Holistic Measures of Progress

September 20, 2017

Embed from Getty Images Monitoring holistic AND itemised assessment matters, but to paraphrase Chesterton: “Monitoring both holistic and atomised assessment has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” It is easy to come up with contexts where atomised assessment gives an unrealistic picture of student progress in the […]

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Book Review: Using SOLO Taxonomy to Think Like a Scientist

September 19, 2017

The New Zealand Science Teacher has just published a fabulous review of Using SOLO Taxonomy to Think Like a Scientist: How to develop curious minds with the science capabilities. The modern learning environment is rich with information and opportunities for our students, but it is also a bewildering place of misinformation and pseudo-science. The greatest […]

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Feedback using Google Draw and SOLO Taxonomy

August 20, 2017

I am co-authoring a new book – on using SOLO Taxonomy in music with Nikki Booth (UK), Alison Price (NZ) and Lauren Fobister (AUS). The collaboration is focusing on the use of SOLO in formative assessment and self-regulation across primary and secondary settings using the curriculum expectations from three countries. No pressure then. I am […]

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Common discourse markers and SOLO Taxonomy

August 16, 2017

SOLO Text Highlighting is a simple and effective strategy to strengthen student self-assessment. Using SOLO coded discourse markers helps students build fluency when assessing the SOLO level of their learning outcome – and for that matter – next steps – how to strengthen their next piece of text. For more on SOLO text highlighting strategy […]

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The importance of WHY?

August 15, 2017

Embed from Getty Images Thinking about discourse analysis and the importance of “WHY” The secondary literacy community has been talking about “why” and where it might fit with SOLO Taxonomy. I’ve tried to play but it seems that my attempts to join in disappear in moderation and my passwords never let me pass. Is easier […]

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Swings and Roundabouts and SOLO Taxonomy

June 30, 2017

“Hook and Casse have nailed it!” Working with early childhood educators this week reminded me of the great review we got for SOLO Taxonomy in the Early Years -Making connections for belonging, being and becoming. The book was co-authored with that fabulous early years teacher Bridget Casse Using SOLO Taxonomy as a model, young learners […]

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New Ways of Thinking about the Science Capabilities

June 27, 2017

A new book is always a moment of celebration – a marking of a collaboration stuffed with many examples of how to think with the science capabilities in the context of the material world. Hook, P., and Tolhoek, W. (2017). Using SOLO Taxonomy to Think Like a Scientist. How to develop curious minds with the […]

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Making explanation visible with SOLO Taxonomy

June 25, 2017

I have recently enjoyed thinking with Derek Neve (Waimate High School) about the challenges in making “explanation” visible to senior secondary students (NCEA Levels 1 to 3). When visiting Waimate High School this term Derek challenged me to develop a visual SOLO map and rubric to support a deeper factorial and sequential explanation process than […]

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