Archive for the ‘evaluation’ tag
I’ve got a while pile of half finished blog posts I had hoped to finish during half term week, but with the failure of the school servers at county halls, it’s knocked out our access to Google Apps as well, so I can’t get to them!
Instead, I’ve spent a bit of time reflecting on how this whole ‘rebooting’ thing is going, halfway though the year.
In a tweet
Love it. More enthusiasm from me and students. Collaboration a big plus. Still need better Qs, more public outcomes plus investigate frameworks like KWL and SOLO
In more detail…
- I feel like my teaching is more focused, more relevant and more enthusiastic than it has been for a few years, and without driving myself into an early grave by making worksheets for everything.
- Having the class blog / edmodo have been great and have given the whole thing a backbone without which I suspect things wouldn’t have worked so well.
- Having the ‘logbook’ at the front of KS3 books isn’t working as I’d planned (we just don’t get the time to fill it in each lesson), but is making a great vehicle for recapping every few lessons and drawing out the main points again.
- My marking is more focussed
- Finally took the plunge and created a blank wiki for my sixth formers to turn into a revision guide. Probably one of the highlights of this last half term – Why didn’t I do it sooner?!?!?
Even Better If
- I want to find a way to put most of my assessment input mid way through a project where it can have most input. I need to redesign a few of the tasks with this in mind.
- Need to look into other frameworks (Eg SOLO and KWL)
- Need to make more little videos to support extended writing.
- I still need to turn my marking around faster – and contain to aim for the kind of ideas expressed here
- More work on questioning – especially moving to a completely no hands up rule for teacher led Q&A and aiming for more basketballs and less ping pong
The lessons introducing the ideas and concepts of History are pretty much sorted now, although I need to look again at the assessment task. I’d like to replace the one shot written test with some kind of assessment (maybe online) that gives students multiple goes until they get it right. And then maybe again a few months later to still if they’ve still got those building blocks.
The Battle of Hastings stuff seemed to go well. The walk through was good – my room is now big enough to do it in there which helps. The chronology exercise was hit and miss – I need to provide an extra source for students to remind them of the events (maybe this video), and I’d like to try and get some kind of self-marking drag and drop activity rather than one that they need to wait to be marked.
The Tudor life project had some real highlights. One group’s questions were excellent and I was pleased with the way they came back the following lesson having discovered that either they couldn’t find the answers, or they couldn’t make sense of what they found. The museum exhibits were great and there were some good and thoughtful evaluations. Next year I’d like to try and get them out to a museum if I can, even if it’s only on a Saturday.
The Tudor religion unit held together pretty well. The idea of starting with the gunpowder plot worked quite well, but as a guiding question (should be ban the celebration of the death of Guy Fawkes) it was too distant from the main focus of the lessons.
Jack the Ripper went pretty well. It’s still not very PBL, but I think the order and focus of lessons was better this year, with more problem based stuff as a focus. Some really good essays at the end.
Who Do You Think You Are produced some great stories. As a project it works better with a wider choice of questions for students to investigate. The resources for the immigration project are better than before, but it still doesn’t have as much punch as I’d like. Perhaps it needs a more controversial question?
The more project based stuff definitely seems to be working with Yr 13 – I was really pleased with the ‘In Our Time’ discussions and the presentations using Google Docs.
Find ways of making feedback as instant and meaningful as possible.
Now, with a little more distance, how do I think I’ve done?
The most ‘different’ units have gone down the best, and that’s pleasing. It was also interesting to see from the students evaluations that little of this is going on elsewhere in the curriculum (or at least, that they’re aware of). I think I was expecting to find more.
Log books are starting to work. They got largely ignored in the first half term, but I’m starting to find them a useful way of regularly recapping (and hopefully consolidating) students learning
Online – Blog and Edmodo have gone down well. Blog in particular for KS3 students. Put together a quick 3 minute video reminder of how to write a recent essay for Yr 7 and got a very positive response, so will try more of this if I can.
I wish I’d set myself some success criteria – how do I know how well I’ve been doing if I didn’t know exactly what I wanted? – Something to come back to perhaps.
Online – Blog needs a new theme to better show off student work. And I need to get better and putting it up there. I also need to make sure I don’t slip out of the habit of posting the homework during the lesson. Leaving it until afterwards is almost always a recipe for disaster!
Merits – I’ve never been a massive fan of an system that promotes extrinsic motivation, but one my year 7 classes did bang me to right on the last week of term for more awarding enough merits. One of my targets for this half term.
I’ve got a few good ideas for projects for next term, around the idea of infographics. I also want to explore the idea of the SOLO taxonomy, but that might be one thing too many at this point – maybe one to come back to in the third term.