Mrs Humanities

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Guest Post from @TeachYesterday – Breaking down exam skills with ‘source windows’

Breaking down exam skills with ‘source windows’

Inference can be a tough skill to teach, particularly at KS3. The nuance and context that surrounds a source can be incredibly complex, but, like any other skill, improving a students’ inference can be achieved by the consistent repetition of good practice (easily said, I know).

During my training year, my SENCO emailed me a template of a ‘source viewer’ he had seen on Mrs. Humanities (a website which then became my professional life-raft), I decided to adapt the source viewer to make it suitable for my lower attainers (Figure 1).

Originally, I was trying to create a resource that would help them with the basic provenance of Time, Audience, Author and Place.

Figure 1


The students enjoyed using the laminated source viewers and asked to use them again. So following this mini success, I decided to adapt another version of the viewer (Figure 2) or ‘source window’, as the students had named it.

Figure 2

This one focused on the exam specific interpretation and source skills needed for the AQA GCSE History papers. This viewer had three sides which were colour coded; the purple panel included generic versions of all the source and interpretation questions found in the AQA papers. The orange and green panels featured questions that broke the required skills down, making the students’ answers more of a step by step process. The challenge for each student is then to attempt one question from the colour above at some point during the lesson.

Feeding Back

The students are directed to the colour panel of questions that is appropriate to them on feedback sheets I use to mark their books. I assess their source analysis using the AO skills sheets (Figure 3) and assign them one of the three colours.

I was then able to say to a class “Everyone answer questions 1-4 on the source window for Sources A, B and C” and the class would then be answering three versions of a GCSE question differentiated based on their level without me having to micro-manage three tasks to one group.

Figure 3

This was a big hit with that same SENCO as I was then able to differentiate by task on all my source work without any extra resources and at any point during the lesson.

Feeding Forward

After source analysis tasks students then consult their AO skills sheets (Figure 3) and assess their own answers and identify one skill from the next level of difficulty that they will work on in the future. I even make them write it in the ‘progress focus’ box to ensure each student is aware of their target. I then encourage them to refer back to this the next time we are doing source work.

Figure 4

I then stared to create other resources (Figure 4) that all use generic versions of KS4 questions which also break the required skills down into the same three levels. These resources allowed me to create ‘circuits of progress’ in students’ books that make the students’ progress clearer to the student themselves. This enables them to move up through the tiers refining their skills as they go, outlining a pathway so the students know exactly what they need to do to improve. I have shared my adapted source viewer on Twitter and other people, (some from around the world) have made their own versions adapting the questions to their own exam papers. Create your own and share it!

Thank you to @MrsHumanities for the inspiration

Mark Grantham – DCCA
Follow Mark on twitter @TeachYesterday

Newly created blog: http://mryesterday.com/

Download a copy here.


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Guest Post from @geographyhanna – Combining Approaches

guest post

A word from MrsHumanities

I’m really excited to be sharing the very first guest post on the site. When I saw how Hanna (@geographyhanna) had combined approaches @ploguey and I to develop a feedback-feedforward approach in order to close the gap on an activity I felt it was something that should be shared more widely.

If you have something worth sharing and would like to write a guest post, get in touch.

I hope you enjoy the first guest blog on MrsHumanities.com

combining approaches

Finding myself spending hours providing specific and personalised written feedback to students, I became increasingly frustrated at the value students place on this written feedback. I often found myself writing the same thing for the same student again and again, and whilst I would provide them with DIRT time, they didn’t all use this productively or show signs of using it to improve their work and make progress. I would often get asked by Year 12 ‘so what do I have to do to improve?’, having not even read what I had thoughtfully spent time writing. It was infuriating. Searching through twitter looking for inspiration I came across @mrshumanities SpACE feedback.

I trialled the SpACE feedback initially with my dreamy top Year 7 set.  They were engaged, it got them thinking, asking amazing questions and really reflecting on their work. From this they summarised their findings into a WWW and EBI, part of our departmental policy. Reading them, they were informative and useful. Not the old classic ” you need to write more” or “work on your handwriting”, they had really thought about it. I trialled it on my Year 12’s and was equally impressed by the learning conversation and outcomes.  It has completely challenged my feedback practice and the way I view peer assessment.

Being newly addicted to twitter I had previously come across @ploguey read-edit improve approach. I had used the idea successfully with exam classes. Students really liked the level of challenge it provided and spotting mistakes became good points of conversation and developed an element of competition. The structure had the added benefit of supporting reluctant writers and highlighting the use of AfL in their books. However, I found that students were not brilliant at articulating their feedback in the ‘edit’ section and needed quite a lot of guidance for the higher level skills.

Example

This led to me combining the two ideas for my Year 11 revision session on explain the formation questions. Using the SpACE feedback provided them with some structure to their feedback and allowed them to edit and improve with a greater focus. In addition I also added an ‘apply’ section on the end, which lent itself well to the skills I was hoping to adapt. Whilst the students had not used used either approach previously and were a little saturated with revision, they engaged well and clearly showed development in their ability to structure this style of question. It is an approach I am excited about using more and will definitely be sharing and building in to schemes of learning.

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Thank you to @mrshumanities and @ploguey for the inspiration.

Hanna (@geographyhanna)

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Less is More – Marking with a Purpose

less-is-moreThis weekend I had the pleasure of presenting at #PedagooHampshire16.

What a delight it was.

I was completely blown away by the number of people present in the room when I presented on the topic of Less is More – Marking with a Purpose. Flabbergasted even.

Martyn even posted how it was standing room only…

For someone as introverted as I, this was a majorly proud moment. To be standing in front of so many people presenting on a topic I’m enthused by and be able to speak to a room full of my peers without the disco-leg going was triumphant.

The first time I spoke was at TMHistoryIcons, I loved it but nerves got the better of me that time. This time I felt confident, my confidence grew and grew as more and more people arrived. Marking is clearly a very topical topic.

Anyway I digress, the main emphasis of my presentation was that feedback should not equal marking. Marking should be used to inform planning, but feedback in whatever format is what’s important to help students to progress and reach ‘expected’ outcomes. Marking and providing written feedback should not take over our lives and that there are a range of ways we can assess learning, monitor progress and feedback to students to help them to achieve and still maintain a work-life balance.

I firstly talked through the rational behind the presentation which comes from the Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking from the Independent Teacher Workload Review Group. 

rationale

Next we discussed the issues surrounding marking were.

issues.png

Followed by the argument of quality vs. quantity.

quality vs quanity.png

I led participants into considering what can be done to mark less but make feedback more effective? A few ideas were discussed, particularly dot marking (see below) and school wide policy change. solutions.png

In order to give those that attended the sessions something to go away with I went through a number of ideas for marking, feedback and DIRT. Some you may have seen before, others are new additions to the selection.

dotgridsmatricmttwhole-class

My presentation finished with a look at the 3 pillars of effective marking – Meaningful, Manageable and Motivating. 3 pillars.png

There’s numerous bits I discussed that wasn’t on the slides, such departmental policies rather than whole school policies or the role of feedback in progress and marking in planning, so if you’d like to hear more feel free to get in touch.

Now for what you’re probably  looking for, here’s a copy of my presentation from the weekend. 

Please feel free to use it in CPD sessions and share with colleagues. Let’s promote a shift to #feedbackNOTmarking.

So in line with #pedagoohampshire, the one change I’m going to make is sharing my resources within my school community.

Mrs Humanities

 


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#Teacher5aday Digital Skill Share

Originally posted on Staffrm

#Teacher5aday

How often do you take time to learn something for yourself? For fun?

This November the #teacher5aday emphasis will be on learning, therefore the digital skill share encourages you to learn something new for yourself for your own enjoyment.

How does it work? 

In simple terms you sign up to a skill in a digital format and in return offer a skill.

Sign up to share

Firstly we need people to offer their skills. Skills can be anything you think somebody else would want to learn for their own enjoyment, this can include anything from crafts to musical instruments, from a jam recipe to the use of computer software. In the ‘Skills you’d like to share’ column outline the what you’re offering, see the examples below.

Once you’ve decided on a skill you wish to share, decide upon your sharing format. We recommend a video or step by step instructions posted on blog or shared as word document; other formats are possible dependent on what works for you. #teacher5aday #digiskillshare

If you have a preferred date in November that you wish to share your skill, pop it in the ‘Date to Share’ column. Otherwise leave it to us, we’ll nominate a date for you to share the skill and send you a reminder.

You can offer as many skills as you wish, feel free to share one or share more.

Sign up to a Skill

To sign up to a skill simply take a look at the ones on offer. You can sign up to just the one or all of them. Take your pick. Simply add your name and twitter username to the ‘Sign up for this skill’ column.

#teacher5aday #digiskillshare

Sharing the skill

In order to share the skills, each skill will be given a date to share.

The skill sharer will then send a link out to all those that have signed up to the skill via twitter on the relevant date; this could be a link to a video, blog post or cloud storage.

If you think you might have problems sharing on the stated date, send the link in advance to @MrsHumanities and it’ll be shared on your behalf.

Where do I sign up?

Join the #teacher5aday #digiskillshare here goo.gl/wEvl5Y or scan the QR code below.

twitter post qr code


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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