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Applying past knowledge to new situations

We introduced a new “Habit of Mind” to the children this week.  Habits of Mind are skills or attributes that successful learners show.  We talked about “applying past knowledge to new situations” … basically using what we already know. Learning is all about making and strengthening connections in our brains.  The more we over-learn, the stronger these connections become and the better we learn and remember things.  When we learn something new or solve a problem, it is useful to take a moment to stop and think to make connections with what we already know to see if that can help us.


Instead of stressing about a problem, how often do we, as adults, take that moment to stop and reflect to see whether a previous experience can help us.


We linked this new habit with one of our four blocks of learning – learning from mistakes.  When we challenge ourselves, we are likely to make mistakes.   Mistakes are proof that we’re trying !


We looked at a brilliant quote about mistakes: 

“When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it:

  • Admit it
  • Learn from it
  • Try not to repeat it” 

Paul Bear Bryant