Tagged: Quick wins

‘Quick wins’ #12 – Quick & simple student voice.

little effort

Why? The class is quiet. Students are getting on with work. But how do they feel about the lesson? Are they learning? Are they enjoying their learning? School is an extremely busy place the opportunity to reflect on this sometimes passes us by. I needed a quick way to answer these questions as it’s not always obvious to see. Paper surveys collected the information but were to time consuming to analyse. I needed something that required almost no prior planning and yielded immediate results.

Possible solution. A simple scatter graph. Label the axis however you see fit and invite small groups of students to plot their response.

Resources. This can be easily adapted to measure almost anything.

Quick feedback from students. Simple to set up and easy to analyse.

Quick feedback from students. Simple to set up and easy to analyse.

Outcome. I was able to gage student responses quickly and use that as a basis to ask more probing questions. Obviously this is just a snap shot, but valuable none the less in future planning and empowering students through student voice.

Post submitted by:

@Artedu_KHeath & @MrOCallaghanEDU

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘Quick & simple student voice’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.

‘Quick wins’ #11 – Tracking progress over time.

Multiple assessment sheets seemed like a good idea... Image by @gapingvoid

Multiple assessment sheets seemed like a good idea… Image by @gapingvoid

Why? In Art & Design we mark students coursework & exam projects numerous times before the final marks are submit at the end of the course. I found that students would occasionally lose the odd feedback sheet & sometimes even the assessment booklets I provided.

Possible solution. To make certain we have a clear record of progression in sketchbooks,  I adapted an assessment worksheet I saw at Redland Green Art Department for our GCSE & A-Level classes. It is just one A3 assessment sheet which clearly shows the progression students make over time in each of the assessment objectives. Every time work is marked, I do it in a different colour pen and pupils can see their work gaining more marks as they redraft & build up their projects.

 Resources.

GCSE Marking Progress Sheet (editable) – Easily adapted for any subject!

Shrinking the change - removing clutter and focusing on what's really important.

Shrinking the change – removing clutter and focusing on what’s really important.

Outcome. Pupils & teachers can see clearly see on one page (which is stuck into sketchbooks) where they are making progress and the areas in which they need to improve.

Kate Heath

Art Teacher / Artist / Leader

@ArtEdu_KHeath

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘Tracking progress over time’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.

‘Quick wins’ #8 – Differentiated question cards

Differentiated question cards.

Differentiated question cards.

Why? To ensure that students are aware of the key questions that need to be asked and answered in a learning topic, and that pre-planned questions are appropriately pitched to the right students in a very mixed ability class (grades A through to E at A-level). Also, when questions are chosen carefully to have an appropriate level of challenge for each ability, this resource makes it easy to demonstrate the progress students make within the lesson.

Possible solution. As they walk into the lesson, provide each student with a slip of brightly coloured card with their key question on it and some space to write their answer on the card later on. Questions which are more open to interpretation can be repeated with different students. Students should keep their question card on their desk in front of them throughout the lesson as a visible reminder of the key question that they are seeking an answer for. Either use these questions punctuated throughout the lesson to draw students attention to what they have learnt so far after each activity, or use as a plenary at the end of the lesson.

Resources.
A set of pre-planned and differentiated questions, a couple of pieces of coloured card.

Outcome. The key questions keep students intently focused throughout the lesson seeking the answer to their question. Student responses to these questions, and further questioning that develops from their responses, enables the teacher to demonstrate the progress made within the lesson. Pre-planned questions which are more open to interpretation enable the teacher to ‘basketball’ the questioning to develop a depth of response from a range of students.

Post submitted by:

Domini Choudhury

Assistant Principal

@DominiChoudhury

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘differentiated question cards’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.

‘Quick wins’ #7 – Differentiated SMART objectives

Why?To raise achievement in my Year 12 and Year 13 classes, I knew that this year I needed to have an embedded exam focus in all my lessons and not just at the end of topics. At the same time, I also felt that the trend for differentiated learning objectives that are leveled or graded in every lesson was becoming meaningless for my students who knew full well that the learning that we were going to cover in a singular lesson would not mean that they were going to achieve a ‘C’ or ‘B’ grade by the end of that lesson. My objectives needed to become SMART: measurable and achievable steps to success with a focus on practicing exam skills and demonstrating exam knowledge in every lesson.

Possible solution. SMART objectives: differentiated objectives that are set within an achievable context of progress towards full marks in a specific exam question by the end of the lesson.

Differentiated SMART objective with achievable outcomes.

Differentiated SMART objective with achievable outcomes.

Resources.

I adapted a lesson objectives template to refer to marks towards a specific exam question rather than overall grades as outcomes, using the mark scheme for that question to guide my wording, which allowed students to very clearly see the success criteria needed to achieve each progressive band of marks.

Outcome.
Students felt a real sense of success as suddenly they could very specifically measure their progress in the lesson and in real, achievable terms for that lesson, work steadily towards gaining increasingly more marks. The objectives were the launch pad for regular AfL opportunities – I kept returning to them and asking students how many marks they thought they had gained so far after the last activity and then saying to them ‘prove it’. This then led into lots of self and peer assessment opportunities where students used different coloured highlighters to highlight evidence of where they were picking up the marks for different skills or knowledge in their work, and we could then discuss what the colour patterns of their highlighted work revealed about where they were not picking up the marks. By the end of the lesson, students were very confident about how to gain full marks for that question and able to reflect well on what had held them back from gaining full marks. The next lesson then looks at a different exam question but covering the same topic so students have the opportunity to repeat this pattern of learning over again and secure higher marks after reflection from the first time around.

Post submitted by:

Domini Choudhury
Assistant Principal

#neverstoplearning

‘Quick wins’ #5 – Clear homework deadlines

maths homework 2

Why? – My students were always asking when their homework was due in and I had to keep looking it up or couldn’t even remember when I set it.

Possible solution – Stick a mini white board to the wall.  Every time you set homework, write it up on the mini white board so the class can see you writing it. When you are next asked when the homework is due in, just point to the board. The students will get used to coming into the room and reading it.

maths homework boards

Resources. A mini white board per class, attached to the wall.

Outcome.  Students no longer ask when homework is due in and there are no arguments about when homework is due.

Post submitted by:

#neverstoplearning

‘Quick wins’ #1 – Question tokens.

First in a series of posts about quick wins in the classroom. The aim of these posts is to provide teachers with ideas that can be tried in their classroom with minimal preparation time.

photo-11

Question tokens used to force students to think about what they are asking and consider whether their problem can be solved independent of the teacher.

Why? I wanted students to become more independent and rely less on me for help. Quite often I see students giving up too easily and going to the teacher for help rather than persevering with a problem. I’ve also noticed that students ask a lot of lazy questions (when they can ask an unlimited amount of questions) without any real thought behind them.

Possible solution? Question tokens. I gave each student three question tokens and set 2 rules for the entirety of the lesson:

1. You can only ask the teacher 3 questions throughout today’s lesson.

2. You can ask each other as many questions as you like.

Resources.

Question tokens (Download for free – please share with colleagues)

Outcome. I tried this with a year 11 GCSE Computing class who were working through some programming challenges. The question tokens encouraged students to seek advice from their peers and if this led to a dead end, they had to research a possible answer using the Internet or come up with a well thought out question to ask me. I witnessed the students demonstrating more GRIT then in previous lessons as they appeared to be quite precious of the question tokens – they would rather struggle through a problem and find a solution themselves then ask me for help. Quite remarkable!

Post submitted by:

@mrocallaghanedu

Mr O’Callaghan’s blog

#neverstoplearning

Feedback. Please let us know how ‘question tokens’ worked for you. Leave a comment on this post or tweet us at @nslhub.