Starting with Hexagons

The week has been a productive one regarding my professional development. Recently, I’ve been reading Tait Cole’s book on Punk Learning which led me to SOLO Taxonomy and hexagons. This led me to Pam Hook’s site which has a tremendous number of resources. Thanks! My toes are wet and my interest is sparked. I plan to embark on a SOLO journey (this year?) and will post as I do. This week, I used hexagons. Tait Cole has a nice video on his students using them. As I see it, hexagons fit together in many ways and as students piece together ideas they explain concepts.


My students are wrapping up a unit on plate tectonics and I brought out the hexagons as a way to judge the current level of my students’ understanding and for them to talk about terms and concepts. Talk they did! I was impressed by the conversations that ensued.

Each touching section requires an explanation and students had to convince each other and work together to place the hexagons. Through multiple classes, I saw a wide variety of arrangements. As students talked, I realized that the majority are still at the level of explaining a word at a time. The connections that they were making between terms were shallow. Key ideas such as density and convection were often regulated to outliers – making me realize that my students do not have a strong grasp on these ideas. I need to focus much more on deliberately building these connections (hopes in using SOLO!).

Nice resources

I’m sure there are many others out there making learning more visible and I’m looking forward to having my students engage more in their thought processes.