|Posted by Granted Education on November 17, 2017 at 3:30 PM|
This year has been crazy busy. I’m sure every teacher feels that but seriously, I don’t think I’ve collected so much assessment in my whole life! Thankfully, this has not all been summative but I also feel like I’ve never had such a good idea of where my kids are sitting and how I can help them move forward.
As many of you know, I am working in a collaborative classroom and I am thankful every day for my teaching buddy Molly! We are mindful of working smarter, not harder, with our workload this year which has made a big difference when collecting formative info about our kids.
Some of the things we have utilised this year include:
Student feedback using Socrative.com - to survey the kids to find out what their personal learning goal will be for the term. This app/web (depending on the platform you’re using) lets you see answers in real-time and also collates the answers in a spreadsheet that can be copied and pasted into any other document. This saved us a whole heap of time this year and the kids love using it. I also used it to create a playlist of songs for the school disco and then just built the list on Spotify! That way I knew the kids would like the music (taking out any that were inappropriate for school of course!).
EdPuzzle interactive videos/flipped learning - create your own video or use an existing YouTube clip and embed your own questions, which include short answer or multichoice. The video stops where the question is and won’t let the student proceed until it’s answered correctly. You can track who has watched your assigned video, how many attempts they had at the questions and how far through they are with watching it. This would be primo for any topic. I used it in particular for working through Digital Citizenship. You can also import from Google Classroom which is quite handy!
Google Forms to survey kids about what workshops they would like us to run in maths. This helped hone their learning experiences during maths time and this strategy along with creating and utilising open ended maths problems have helped our kids accelerate in maths which is awesome! This is not the only way to use Google Forms, you can create your own online escape rooms where they need to crack codes in order to move to the next task. This helps gamify learning and is certainly food for thought when you’re talking about building collaborative skills and resilience. Here’s an example of one but you could also incorporate things like Scratch to get those coding skills honed!
Online university courses through Open2Study - yes, our Yr 7 & 8 kids were extending themselves by completing pre-university courses like: Basic Physics; Marine & Antarctic Science; Leadership: identity, influence & power; Water in a thirsty world and so many more! You should have seen the improvement in their vocab, summary skills and the level of conversations you could have with them! These courses (and many more through their platform) are free and the kids received certificates from universities including: Massey University, Griffith University, University of Tasmania, Swinburne University, just to name a few. Here’s more information about how we implemented this in our classroom.
Classroom discussions - in our reading groups I really had a good insight into who fully understood the main idea of the text and who could answer the questions fully. We used Here, Hidden and Head questions to check their level of understanding. Here’s an example from our class website. If you scroll down to the bottom (Week 3) it has a link to the text as well as questions we used.
Reviewing their books to ascertain their writing & maths stage. At the start of the unit, we gave them a ‘cheat sheet’ which outlined the skills we would be covering and what stage they were so that the kids could use it as a goal and where to work towards. They were constantly referenced by the kids and helped them create their own practice questions. Here’s our sheet for fractions, decimals and percentages:
Paper throw - where kids write down as many things they know about a topic on separate pieces of paper and then throwing them to another group. Sounds crazy but super effective
Creating a film clip for a story. We have subscribed our class to WeVideo which is pretty cheap for a 6 month subscription (I think it works out to be about $6.5/student for 6 mths). This allowed our kids to create collaborative video projects where all group members could upload the video clips into a shared media folder. This was awesome because it eliminated the issue of kids needing to have a certain device to continue their project, their videos being deleted from that device, someone being away and no one being able to work on it because they have all the footage … you get the point. This was probably one of the hardest things they did in their reading groups because they had to create most of the media that went into it and they needed to fully understand what the main idea of the song was. Here’s an example of what one of the collaborative groups completed.
Oh man, the list goes on! It’s funny that you don’t realise all the things you do until you write them down!
It’s always good to know what tools you can draw on to help you give specific and timely feedback so that your kids can move forward with their learning in a meaningful way. I know that spending time looking through all these resources can be exhausting. I have created a course that runs you through some of these assessment strategies and gives you a Professional Development Certificate that’s linked to the Australian as well as New Zealand teacher competencies.
Full disclosure: For each person who pays for the course, which is only $20, I get a percentage. I just wanted to be upfront about that. If you have found any of my posts and links useful and you were wanting to share the love as well as getting some professional development credit for your time, then I would love you to check the course out. It credits you for 2hrs of PD and can be done at your own pace. It’s called Providing Highly Valuable Assessment and Feedback. This course is pitched with a relief teacher in mind but is relevant to every teacher. The course steps through a lot of these strategies above as well as some others, it’s interactive and you get to hang out with me! Could it get any better? *insert awkward laugh!
Thanks so much for your support and just remember to breathe and look after yourself as you head towards the pointy end of the year.