Updated: Feb 7, 2020
This Forget-Me-Not was originally devised for use in the Wonder stage of
QWERTY®. It can be used in other areas, too, but primarily as a reminder to the Learner to use strategic planning in whatever they do.
Remember, as far as we are concerned, Thinking should be key in whatever the Learner is doing. QWERTY® itself can be used in multiple variants in every single area of their learning to help the Learners select strategies and techniques to fulfill a task more quickly and more effectively. MORE is just one element of that.
MORE is an acronym for some key areas the Learner can investigate to come up with ideas. It stands for Memory, Observation, Research and Enquiry.
The Wonder stage is similar to brainstorming. The Learner is just trying to come up with as many ideas as possible, without worrying about the practicalities. They might find generating them easier, though, if they have somewhere to start. Ideas can bounce higher if they have something to bounce off; ricochets can make a project richer! MORE gives the Learner a range of starting points.
Let's start with the 'M'. The Learners can cast their mind back to any similar situations or objects they have come across before. Is there anything in their Memory that could inspire or kick-start some ideas? Remember, at this stage they are not looking for the final solution, just possibilities. They should be looking for things with potential rather than anything concrete. Can they recall anything that would get them thinking?
If we go back to the Playground example that we looked at in detail in the
QWERTY® blogs, this is where the Learner would try to remember playgrounds they’ve visited in the past and use that to suggest good things they might want to include in their own version or provide stepping stones to 'bigger' ideas. What can they recall that was particularly fun, exciting or unusual that could provide a springboard for their own deliberations?
Note: negative memories are less relevant at this point as we encourage the Learners not to judge items at the Wonder stage. That’s something they’ll do at the Explore or Rank stages of QWERTY® when they have to decide which possibilities they want to use. When they do get to those stages, Memory could provide a useful way to rank or even discard items, putting to one side (or lower in the list of priorities) any items that they found less fun, boring or too scary. However, they could still use them if they added an 'if only' element, thinking how they would have improved that thing.
Observation is there to remind the Learners that they could look for ideas in the world around them. Is there anything in their current environment that could generate some possibilities? We were doing the Playground sessions in our garden - so was there anything around them that could kick-start some ideas? For example, the trees/plants/flowers could inspire the materials for a playground or a preferred colour range; the climbing frame they could see might make them wonder what kind of climbing activity they could include in their playground; the wind chimes might make them want to add a musical or interactive music-making feature to their playground; the decorative butterflies or crow bracket might inspire ideas for a theme or 'flying' activities. The answer won't necessarily be within sight, but what they can see could provide inspiration. Of course, Observation could remind them of a Memory (e.g. seeing the trees could remind them of reading The Faraway Tree and the slide that featured prominently in that story).
Research is a crucial element in a lot that Got-A-Head®? does. In this context, it is there to remind the Learner to look for stimuli in a range of places. This could be to look in books, on the internet or to visit playgrounds. How much research they do, and where, will depend on how long they have available for the Wonder stage in total (e.g. is it a holiday project, where they have time to explore lots of different areas to do their research, or is it a bit of homework where they only have time for a quick dip into what material they have to hand, or can find in a few minutes surfing using some well-chosen keywords?).
Never underestimate the power of Enquiry at any stage, not just for Wonder. This is all about asking other people for help in the task. The Learner could be asking them for information, suggestions, expert knowledge or just a personal preference. Not, we hasten to add, as the final solution to anything, but to inspire the Learner to come up with ideas, the more novel and interesting the better. In the playground example, they could have asked the others about any playgrounds they remembered - what made them memorable? - or what their favourite playground activity is.
So, you can see how MORE can help generate ideas in the Wonder stage of
QWERTY®, while also helping at the Explore and Rank ones, to a lesser extent.
Whatever they are trying to do, the Learners should consider whether there is anything they remember that could help them in their task. Is there anything they can see around them that could aid their attempts? What research could they do that will make their task easier or more effective? Can anyone give them useful information? MORE Inspiration should act as a reminder to consider those four areas in everything they do. Use them as a springboard to techniques or to spark ideas.