Sunday, 8 February 2015

Ready... Steady... Go! What then?

Last month I posted about a method I was introducing to ensure that the hard work put into Controlled Assessments (which I hate - much-logged in my blogs over the last year or two) by the students was not forgotten on the completion of their work. Usually what happens is you begrudgingly lose hours to the students working in exam conditions on the preparation of their CAs, during which time there is nothing you can to support the students.

Your work, by that time, is done.

And once the students have written the coursework up in neat, or sat their speaking exam, you then move on to the next unit, because time is so precious and binding. The CAs are  locked away safely, ready for moderation and the posting off to the exam board.

The chance for feedback is lost. Which is why I have decided to trial the traffic light system of feedback, to develop the next steps of challenge and AfL for the students.

Once the CAs are locked away and no longer accessible by the students, I read through their work (or listen to it), and give them their feedback on a form, as shown below.

My trial is with our Year 10 French group (I see them once a week, it is a shared group).

They receive an A5 copy to stick in their books, and I have a copy in the class profile folder.

I then collated the information in a very simple spreadsheet, so that I have a record which I can add to my tracking file. Just by looking at this it is clear that everyone in the class has a different combination of strengths and weaknesses, and therefore a brilliant and simple starting point for differentiation and challenge. is created 

Straight away the delivery of the next unit sort of starts shaping itself, as far as grammar focus and challenge is considered. It is evident in pretty colours which students need to focus on which skills.

For the CA feedback lesson, I booked the library, so that students could work and learn on the computers while I spoke to students individually. Before the lesson, I created learning zones on Memrise, which the group has loved from the start, and hunted for other Memrise learning games for specific skills. Below is a snippit of my homepage, so some pages are not relevant to this post):

Each student was given the hand-out below,(only because my request of putting it on the Shared Drive hadn't quite happened, rather uncharacteristically!), so they could find the appropriate link, guidance and practice.

By using Memrise, it is possible to track students' learning time, as long as you have set up the 'games' yourself. It is also a fantastic tool to encourage home learning. Students love that it is available on an app as well.

When students sit their next CA, intervention should have happened through focused differentiation during the delivery of the topic to ensure that the students are in a position to improve.

By doing this, there should be improvement throughout the CAs, and, therefore, students are more than likely to reach their potential, if not more.

I have liked doing this, for a number of reasons:
  • It offers the students direct feedback
  • It makes differentiation so much easier to plan
  • It makes sure students are challenged where they need to be challenged. Why make someone brilliant at using the past tense do tasks to reinforce the past tense over and over, especially when their use of the future is wobbly?
I hope you see value in the exercise, and that you will be able to give me tips on improving the process!