Mrs Humanities

teacher . blogger . friend


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ACE Questioning

Looking for a way to differentiate and challenge without any significant need for resources?

Try out ACE questioning. A simple idea which can  have big results.

I use it several ways dependent on the class and learners ability range.

Basic concept

A = accept
C = challenge
E = extend

image

Approach 1

The teacher asks a student if they would like to accept, challenge or extend the answer of another student. The student decides and does one of the above, ensuring that if they accept they explain why.

Approach 2

The teacher asks selected students certain questions related to A, C or E.

e.g. do you accept what child A said, why/why not?

Approach 3

During peer assessment students state whether they accept the work as it is and explain why, challenge the answers given by asking them a question such as why do you think… or I actually think this… can you explain why   you’re right? Or they ask a question to extend the answer given.

Try it out and let me know how it goes.


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Resource – Intervention Feedback Sheet

In need of a way to record intervention sessions?

Here’s a simple intervention feedback sheet to download. intervention feedback sheet

I needed something different to record interventions sessions on other than post-it notes, scraps of paper and verbal discussions so made this.

It’s quite self explanatory but here’s how I’ll be using it…

Students present – students that attended the intervention session

Notable moments – anything noteworthy, successes of individuals for example.

Points to Flag Up – any difficulties experienced by students, anything I will need to return to

Assessment of Progress – RAG rate the progress made by each student, their initials will be put in the corresponding box

Next steps – my plans for the following intervention session

Hope it can be of use.

Mrs Humanities


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Updated: Marking, Feedback and DIRT ideas

Marking, feedback and DIRT

After seeing a post on Friday about tip, think and challenge marking on TALK Bridgewater I was reminded of the resource I’d created with 15 ideas for Marking, Feedback and DIRT for a CPD session and was inspired to update it a bit.

So I’ve updated it with 3 new approaches and have included it here for you to download – 18 Ideas for Marking, Feedback and DIRT. A full presentation ready to go with links to the original source of any images.

Whilst I’m on the topic of marking, feedback and DIRT here are my top 5 tips

  1. Choose your assessment objectives – Remember you can’t mark everything so decide on what it is you want to assess before planning, that way then you know what it is you want to look for in your marking.
  2. Make it manageable – Yes stick to the school policy but find a way that limits how much you do outside of school and that puts onus on the students. It’s for their benefit after all. Peer and self assessment? Feedback grids? Marking stickers?
  3. Mark in class – Now I don’t mean sit at your desk and let the students get on with it, but when students are on task, read their work and have discussions with them about where they are at present and what they can do to improve what they’re working on. Feedback grids for extended pieces of work are marvelous for this, simply highlight achievements in one colour and areas to improve in another, simply tick off the improvements once complete.
  4. Make sure the students have time to respond – factor DIRT or reflection or whatever else you call it into you planning. It’s essential students have time to read, reflect and respond to all those hours of writing you’ve done. Make sure they spend longer responding to your feedback than you took giving it.
  5.  Experiment – you won’t find what works best for you and your students without experimenting a bit. I’ve done this hell of a lot of this over the past few years and have just about found what works for me and my classes. Although I will admit what works for one class doesn’t necessarily work for others; there’s certainly some mix and match going on.

Now I’m no guru when it comes to marking, feedback and DIRT but I spend a lot of time doing it, so these are just a few of my thoughts on the topic. What’s your approach to marking and feedback like?  Any other tips or ideas I should add?

Mrs Humanities


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Getting GCSE ready

Personally I believe and teach in a way that key stage 3 is simply setting the foundations for key stage 4. You could essentially say I’ve planned a 5 year scheme of learning, where students revisit knowledge and skills via a variety of topics, believe it’s linked to spiraling (I’ve not researched it but someone mentioned it recently).

After looking at recent assessments and discussions with students I’ve completely scrapped the scheme of work I had in place for year 9 for term 5 and 6. Instead I’ve set about creating a scheme of work that gap fills to ensure all of my year 9’s are prepared for the next stage of their learning.

The scheme of work will revisit a lot of what we’ve covered in year 7 and 8 as well as what we’ve covered in year 9 so far.

Students will be issued with a learning ladder that clearly outlines what they need to be able to do for the different bands; Bronze, Silver and Gold. Students will have to demonstrate their understanding and mastery of the bronze before moving onto silver and/or gold.

Students will be guided as to which band they are aiming to master based upon targets, however as always I will encourage them all to aim for gold.

The learning ladder will look something like this….

learning ladder

The ladder starts with essential map and atlas skills which takes in some aspects of physical geography followed by essential human geography linked to skills such as description and explanation. The final part of the learning ladder focuses on the recall of key terminology; this section has been based upon my gap analysis of the work undertaken over time and is essentially the areas where misconceptions have arisen, challenges have been faced or just general forgetfulness has taken place over time.

I want to ensure that their prior learning is recapped and embedded before the summer holidays (and the 6-week brain drain takes place) to make it that little bit easier in September when they start the GCSE course.

It gives me the opportunity to fill any gaps in student knowledge, particularly as a number of new students have joined throughout the year and allows me to ensure students have a secure understanding of what I believe are the foundations needed for GCSE Geography.

My plan is to make it as independent as possible with the resources available for students to work through at their own pace, completing and revisiting as they feel fit.

I’d like to put all the resources such as helpful PowerPoints onto a website for students to access in class and at home but not entirely sure where to start seeing as WordPress is blocked on the school network. So any recommendations are greatly welcomed.

So there it is, my little gap filling idea.

Now onto the lesson planning….

If you do anything similar I’d love to hear about it.

 

 


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Updated (& new) DIRT Sheets

updated DIRT sheets

After sharing my DIRT through UKEd back in September, I had a few requests for other subjects.

Unfortunately time got the better of me and I’ve only just managed to sit down and make the additional subjects, but finally they are made.

In addition, following feedback I’ve updated the sheets to reflect the move towards grades in many school.

You can find the new and additional versions of my DIRT sheets here.

directed improvement and reflection time worksheets

Please feel free to use as you wish, feedback is always welcomed.

Any other suggestions for subjects I may have missed?

Mrs Humanities


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Marking, feedback and DIRT

Marking, feedback and DIRTThis week I had the experience of leading a marking and DIRT workshop as part of our Teacher Conference CPD day.

For me, this was the first time I’ve led and organised a CPD session by myself.  I really enjoyed it and had lots of positive feedback so I thought I’d share the resources from my session here.

The main aims of the session were

1. To introduce the marking policy to new staff

2. To improve and support current marking and feedback

3. To make marking and feedback more efficient and quicker whilst still providing high quality feedback

Everyone received a pack of ideas which included ways of providing marking and feedback whether it be teacher assessment or self or peer assessment. With each idea came an outline of the teacher’s role, the pupil’s role and then how Directed Improvement and Reflection Time (DIRT) could be incorporated.

I won’t bore you with the details of how the workshop was then carried out and instead I’ll share with you the resources I used. Some of these ideas I’ve developed myself, others I have picked up over the last 3 years of my career.

double tick DIRTannotation marking DIRTmarking codes DIRTfeedback grid DIRTlevel up marking DIRTdot marking DIRTWWW and EBI marking and  DIRTself assessment WWW and EBI marking and DIRTRAG123generic peer assessment DIRTpeer assessment mark my weakness DIRTpeer assessment kind helpful specific DIRTPeer critique marking DIRTmatch the techerexplain the mistake marking DIRTI use the majority of these regularly in my classroom as you can see by all the photos I’ve included, others I’ve trialled but didn’t feel were completely successful or that they suited my way of teaching. However they maybe useful to others so they were included. Some I’ve still left to try, I particularly like the ‘Match the Teacher‘ technique and think I will trial this with my GCSE group in the new year.

Self and peer assessment has taken time and effort, but it really is worth the investment. Now my pupil’s have the skill and can provide each other with high quality considerate yet constructive feedback it will set them in good stead for the future. I truly recommend developing right from September in year 7.

Hope these ideas provide you with some new ideas and some suggestions on how to incorporate directed improvement and reflection time.

Please note: RAG123 example by Mrs Griffiths was originally by B Yusuf. Sorry for error in original reference.
Mrs Humanities


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My Marking Saviour – The Feedback Grid

Marking and feedback gridsIn the last few months I have fallen in love with the humble marking grid. I first mentioned it in my post on reducing the marking workload and since then have found the time I spend giving feedback through marking has drastically reduced.

Marking grids take a little bit of time to set up – I’ve got it down to about 20 minutes now – but once they’re done you can use them every time you teach the topic.

I’ve made use of them in variety of ways from using them to assess a levelled piece of work…

levelled work feedback grid

… to mark assessments…Assessments marking grid

…as well as using them to make the GCSE mark schemes more student friendly to enable peer assessment.

GCSE graded work

I’ve also tried using them to mark work from several lessons. I simply identified the title of the lesson and used the levelled learning objectives from my PowerPoints/worksheets/lesson plans. Students were given 2-3 level up tasks to complete during a DIRT lesson.

Marking grid over several lessons

They been useful for providing success criteria as well as for peer and self assessment during and at the end of a piece of work.

They’ve also made giving feedback in lessons easier, I use a yellow highlighter when the criteria has been met, pink for improvements and orange if the criteria has been met after DIRT. In addition I highlight or circle in green if I’m giving verbal feedback on what to do next within the lesson.

After all that I’m now sharing my template for your marking pleasure, download it here or from TES.Marking grid template

Feel free to use it as you will, please leave a comment to let me know how it goes.

I hope it reduces your workload.

Mrs Humanities


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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. For instance after GCSE students completed an exam question, they were given feedback and re-wrote their answer to the same question – it was quite clear when marking it the second time around that the feedback had been beneficial and they’d progress. Another way I’ve used them has been after KS3 pupils have created a piece of extended writing, pupils were given feedback and then had the choice to either improve their SPaG, to level up or to quite simply improve their answer.

Since creating my original DIRT sheets which have been used across the school, as well as my departmental DIRT display I’ve become more and more interested in marking and feedback. I was recently invited to take part in the work scrutiny which I found really insightful and have since been researching additional techniques.

Whilst I was thinking about and researching marking and feedback, I decided to make a few subject specific DIRT sheets for other staff to use.
English directed improvement and reflection time geography directed improvement and reflection time history directed improvement and reflection time maths directed improvement and reflection time science directed improvement and reflection time tech directed improvement and reflection time
French directed improvement and reflection time tech directed improvement and reflection time




Can you work out the subjects?

How to use

The idea is that once learners have read and taken on board the feedback in which they are given, they then improve or level up their work on a DIRT sheet.

I’ve found they help to make the improvements stand out in their books and for some reason they help to improve presentation, which is never a bad thing.

If you’d like to use my DIRT sheets, you can find them here. 

Feedback is always appreciated.

Mrs Humanities


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Reducing the Workload – Marking and Feedback Ideas

marking and feedbackFor a while I had been considering how to reduce the workload when it came to marking and providing detailed feedback to students on their successes and areas for improvement. I’ve toyed with a variety of ideas over the past two years of teaching; some of which have been more time consuming than expected whilst others were such a flop (I won’t even share those ones).

Current Context

My usual approach to marking is that I identify spelling mistakes of topical key words throughout each piece of work. I use codes for simple things like underlining, adding titles etc. and dots to identify where punctuation and grammatical errors are within extended writing tasks.

I will add comments throughout and provide 1 to 2 questions where I would expect a response to be made during Directed Improvement and Reflection Time (DIRT) as directed through school policy. However to be honest I’ve recently changed this technique as I’ve been faced with two issues. Firstly because books are marked every 4 lessons students have found it difficult to go back and answer questions or improve work from 3-4 lessons ago meaning I’ve had to explain what the task was again in order for them to improve it. Secondly I found that responses were short and lacked detail. I want DIRT to reflect improvements to work and to show progress, so towards the end of last term I decided to try a different approach – I now write several questions/comments or provide a ‘Level Up’ task, pupils then choose one piece of feedback to respond to and work on during DIRT. Sometimes in their books other times in a DIRT sheet This has encouraged a focus on a developing and truly improving work.

Marking is extremely time consuming and want to ensure it has impact on student progress, as I’m sure we all do.

Ideas

Here are a few examples of my efforts to reduce marking whilst retaining effective feedback.

1 // Simple method. Before marking, I’d write a general statement with options for the skills developed in the lesson. After reading the work, I’d simply cross-out the skills that were not applicable and any of the statement that did not apply to some individuals. I’d then write in their target level and highlight the statement/s the student needed to do to progress.

skills based feedback

2 // Another relatively a simple method, but slightly more time consuming.  Before marking I would look at what we covered and write a series of comments usually linked to the learning objectives of the lesson/s. After having read the work I’d use the traffic light system to demonstrate how well they achieved the objective/s i.e. green = met fully, amber = almost there,  red = not achieved. I’d then highlight the statement on how they could improve and progress.

marking and feedback

When I used approaches 1 and 2 it was in my previous school, I’d never even heard of DIRT at that point.  As a department we’d give pupils time to read feedback but if I’m honest little was done to act upon the advice and feedback given. Once a term I would get pupils to read through their feedback and write themselves 2-3 targets on how they could improve over the rest of the term but I felt marking had little impact. The SOW were very intensive and left little time for going back to previous classwork without it impacting upon assessments – if content wasn’t covered, they would have been unable to complete assessments in full. No fault of my previous HoD, she inherited them when she was flung into the role. However this time since I have control over the schemes of work, I’ve ensured that DIRT has been incorporated throughout each term.

3// My third attempt has been more recent was mainly created to support non-specialist staff in my department. However since they both teach split groups with me as the other teacher – I have been left to do the marking.

As you can see I suggested two approaches to my non-specialists. First approach involved the teacher writing the letter and number in the pupil’s book, then during DIRT or as a starter the relevant comments were displayed on the board. Pupils then wrote down the associated comments . The other option was that the teacher simply wrote the comments themselves which was more time consuming for them, but meant pupils could immediately act upon feedback when the time was given.

When I trialled the first approach it worked to some degree, however I felt it took up valuable time when pupils could have been responding to comments and improving their work.

marking code

4 //  My final and most recent approach was inspired by this twitter post from @fiona_616. 

Some kind of marking grid feedback-esk idea had crossed my mind in the past, I’ve used similar for self or peer assessment but I felt it would be too time consuming to create for teacher feedback plus I didn’t know where to start. After see this tweet I felt inspired to give it a go and guess what it was easy. Since I was often writing the same or very similar comments, it has worked out much easier to mark and provide feedback using marking grids.

Already I’ve used them to provide feedback on a variety of pieces of work.

I started with using the feedback grid to provide group feedback for a group project and presentations. Here I highlighted two stars and then one wish.

presentation feedback

Then I used the grid to provide feedback on a levelled task. Again I used the two stars and a wish technique.

Levelled Task feedback

And more recently I used them to provide detailed feedback on end of topic assessments. Here I simply highlighted all that applied in the successes and 2-3 areas for improvement.

assessment feedback LA assessment feedback

In the last week of term 3 my students received their assessments and feedback grids. We spent an entire lesson learning how to peer assess effectively and how to take on board the feedback that was given. It proved to be a very effective lesson.

Initially students started by reading their feedback, the successes highlighted in one colour and the areas for improvement highlighted in another. I highlighted the level they achieved overall, but for some omitted the non-applicable details of the criteria. I provided kind comments for most in the general comments box and for some gave them a question or task to level up on – not needed for the majority though.

Next students passed their assessment and feedback to a friend who then read it and in green pen they made comments on the skills achieved. They then read the feedback I’ve provided and we discussed it. Most felt the feedback was relevant, phew. They then spent time providing kind, specific and helpful comments in the students book.

Finally the work was returned to the student and they created a mind map on the skills they needed to develop or what they felt they needed to do to reach their target levels. I must admit that after the lesson I was humbled and impressed by their comments to one another, not only had they been specific and helpful, they were kind and respectful taking into consideration each others needs, abilities and feelings. They were demonstrating ownership of their progress and when some questioned what the level equates to in terms of GCSE grade they showed a desire to improve.

Here’s an example of a marking grid I have on display in the window (sorry for photo quality). The green pen are the students comments on the skills achieved in this piece of work by their peer.

Example

I’d definitely recommend using marking grids. Although it may appear like more work initially, once you fly through the sets of books it’s totally worth it.

Tomorrow my students are using them to peer assess homework. A winner if you ask me. homework feedback

Thanks for the inspiration Fiona Old.

Hope these ideas are of use.

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – Exploration and Adventure

assessment resourcesThis term year 8 have been studying the world of exploration and adventurer. I found this great scheme of work and resources on the TES and have used it as the basis for this terms work.

Whilst I did a lot to make the lessons suitable for my students, the resources were brilliant informative and engaging.

I liked the homework idea of the adventurer profiles and kept with them but made 3 templates for the students to choose from. I wanted them to investigate the types of adventure others have had and to understand their motivations and challenges. This worked well for the higher sets but some of the lower set struggled with the research, my fault really. Next year I will give some ‘fact-sheets’ to the lower ability students with key information and they just need to decide what information is relevant for their profile.

My favourite part of the topic has to be the assessment. I want my students to want to explore the world, we’ve looked at an array of explorers and adventures throughout the past 100 years or so and now it’s their turn to design their own adventure. For homework the week prior to the assessment I have set them the task of coming up with their ideas and bringing in some research to aid their decision making.

The homework set for each ability group was slightly different.

Set 1 had the task of researching 3-5 locations they would like to visit on their journey, which had to include 2 different environments. This wasn’t limited to the destination but could also include the journey. I wanted them to also bring in some key information about their chosen locations such as daily/night-time temperatures, annual rainfall, hours of daylight etc to help them consider the challenges they might face.

Set 2 were similar except the key information was suggested as a stretch and challenge task within the homework set.

Set 3 were told to research just 1-2 locations they’d like to visit. I will be providing them with fact sheets on 3 different locations which they will choose from in addition to their own choices. In addition they were provided with a sheet of possible choices to support their research.

The Assessment

Yes the National Curriculum underlies the basic ideas of the assessment but my main purpose of THIS assessment is to develop their interest in the wider world and their locational knowledge. I’ve noticed over the last few years that learners have a limited general knowledge of the world, often influenced through media and the likes. I want this to change which I why I was eager to develop a topic on adventure and exploration this year to inspire that interest and intrigue to the rest of the amazing features of our planet…. hopefully it might encourage some  of them to take a higher role in conserving it.

The assessment scenario is that the Royal Geographical Society* are running a competition to fund an expedition with a prize of £10,000. The pupils have to plan their adventure and complete one of two tasks based upon ability. The higher task will be letter to the RGS outlining the adventure idea whilst the other task is to complete an application form about the adventure.

higher ability assessment task assessment task

This assessment is to be covered over two lessons. The first lesson is the so-called planning stage – pupils will be given an A3 sheet with a series of questions to enable them plan their adventure. I’ve two versions of the sheet, one with a few more hints than the other to direct thinking. The second lesson students will be completing the extended writing task.

higher ability assessment plan lower ability assessment plan

In order to scaffold students the application form features questions and sentence starters to focus their answers on the details required. Here’s an example –

Application Template

In addition I created a feedback grid to go with the application sheet to make marking less time consuming whilst giving success criteria for the levels.

AFL feedback sheet

Last week after introducing the homework I had a number of students tell me there wonderful ideas, hopefully the rest will be as excited about this assessment next week.

For a download of each resource click the icons below

assessment taskassessment task sheetplanning sheetplanning sheet with scaffoldapplication template

Thanks for visiting. Feedback welcomed.

Mrs Humanities

* please note the RGS are not running such a competition and have no affiliation with the resources produced here.

Creative Commons License

These resources are created by Mrs Humanities and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Based on a work at https://mrshumanities.wordpress.com.