Adventures in Assessments: Life After Levels. During the holiday, I came across Alex Ford’s advice to a new HoD whose school is introducing GCSE criteria to grade KS3 students.
I think I have mentioned before that I am also in that boat; it was comforting to see that Alex had mentioned many of the arguments I presented to SLT when they ran the consultation on this. Unfortunately, I was the lone voice of dissent among the middle leaders, and so the model was adopted. I can understand why: as a data manager it is important to know exactly where students are and if staff can forecast how they will do at GCSE even better. I’m pretty grumpy, love getting my own way and mostly think I know everything so I did not take this well and had to go away to think about it for a great deal of time before I was able to come to terms with it. Here’s my advice, then: 1. The Teaching History from December 2014, all about assessment, is also a must-read. 2. Mobile Site Preview. Teaching better. My pedagogical to-do list. Plenty to work on!
I’ve been a teacher for 27 years and two terms and this much I know….. What do you mean that’s been done?! 27 years though! Scary number. I’m on a path to being a life-long teacher, never having had any other kind of job. I wrote a basic Teaching To-Do list at the start of the year but, recently, as ever, I’ve been absorbing more ideas from all around me. Here’s my current pedagogical to-do list. 1. This is an area I’m exploring but need to go much further with. 2. Following the work I’ve been doing with my Physics colleagues Ossama and Tim – as featured in Ossama’s presentation here – I’m convinced that I should be making reading texts a routine feature of my lessons. 3. I find that science books and sources of questions are not good at drilling similar questions. 4. A presentation about progression at our TeachMeet by Sean, a PE teacher, got me thinking. Belmont Teach. The Questioning Learning Hub page and resources are managed by Hub Leader, Andi Clarke Hub members: ACL (Hub Leader, Maths)REM (Maths)SCR (English)LRI (English)PGO (Science)JBO (Humanities)SBR (Humanities)JCO (Performing Arts)MBL (Humanities) Objectives To develop deep and probing questioning for teaching/memory that elicits students to think hard, supporting a culture of ‘growth mindset’To develop questioning for assessment that informs teaching, e.g. hinge questions etc.
Initial research I decided initially to focus on some of the common issues that people face with questioning. Calling on high achievers disproportionatelyThe same students always volunteering answers (hands up)Depth of questioning (too simple / complex?) Calling on high achievers / the same students always volunteering answers Dylan Wiliam is an advocate of using ‘no hands up’ techniques in the classroom. Instead, Cold Call involves asking a question, giving wait time and then randomly calling on any student. Wait Time. Directed Improvement and Reflection Time Sheets. I’ve always felt marking to be an important yet time consuming aspect of the job.
Throughout my NQT year I felt that my marking went unnoticed by the students most of the time; they just wanted to know what grade they got and didn’t take notice of the advice they were given. A lot has changed since then and I’ve realised the power of meaningful feedback. This year I’ve worked on engaging learners in the feedback process by developing meaningful self and peer assessment as well as incorporating Directed Improvement and Reflection Time into the planning of my schemes of work. I feel if we spend the time marking, it might as well be beneficial and productive for the students; it should have an impact and encourage development of their work. Therefore a few months ago I set about creating some DIRT sheets, which I’ve used with my classes in a number of ways. Can you work out the subjects? How to use If you’d like to use my DIRT sheets, you can find them here.
Feedback is always appreciated.