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signposting progress in lessons ... your best ideas?

Discussion in 'English' started by lisa5750, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Hi,
    I'm just doing a bit of research on the best ways to signpost progress in lessons. I'm a HoD and want to deliver some training to my staff... it's an area we're all interested in. I've got my own ideas and have been able to give them some pointers. So, as well ask asking for help I thought I'd share a recent top tip:
    Instead of allowing classes to passively copy ideas from the board, make sure they all listen by telling them they are not allowed to write anything. Once the ideas are written on the board - wipe them off and tell students they must summarise the key ideas they have 'learnt ' independently. It's shocking how little they remember (they really don't learn anything from copying and they don't even listen - !) - but once they are trained and they expect to have to listen rather than mindlessly copy - then miraculously more seems to go in... It's working for us anyway. And it's a great plenary at any stage of the lesson - certainly easy to tell how well students have learnt. Sometimes my starter is to ask students to summarise key points from the previous lesson - at the very least it helps them make links between learning. Similarly, ask at the end of the lesson how the current lesson linked with the last one - or where they think the next lesson is leading..
    I've just had a horrible thought that many of you might be laughing " oh, we've been doing that for years.....and she thinks it's a new idea!!..." in which case I am a mere mortal and bow to your superior knowledge .. and I just ask that you share it... :0)

  2. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    No thought required. Nice for some quiet time, but educationally useless.
    2 plenaries off the top of my head - post-its, stuck on the whiteboard as they leave: I thing I have learned today - you may be very surprised.
    Similarly - post box and bit of paper. Post the most interesting thing about the lesson.

  3. RAG rated LOs. So, for example:
    LO: To understand how the writer
    structures the writing and makes language choices in order to affect the
    audience in particular ways.
    In red:

    Some understanding of how techniques
    contribute to presentation of ideas, themes or settings. (C-ish) In yellow:
    Generally sound understanding of how
    techniques contribute to presentation of ideas, themes or settings. (B-ish)

    In Green:

    Sound understanding of how techniques
    contribute to presentation of ideas, themes or settings. (A-ish)

    Discuss these when they are displayed, students make a note of whihc grade they should be aiming for, then discuss (or use post-its as an exit pass as Gruoch suggests) at the end. I have the over-arching LO at the bottom of every slide of my PP too - no need for them to copy if it's there and visible throughout.
  4. Apologies for awful formatting - tried to C&P from PowerPoint.
  5. Thanks for the idea - I tried it with my top set Y7 last week and it worked really well. Thank you. [​IMG]
    I've used post it notes to show what they've learnt as well. But I've also had classes write themselves 3 targets for their assessment prior to writing it, based on APPs & previous feedback. The first lesson after they've finished the draft for homework I have 3 sheets of paper on the wall:
    1. I met all my targets.
    2. I met 1 / 2 of my targets.
    3. I met none of my targets.
    They write their name on a post-it and then stick it on the relevant piece of paper at the start of the lesson. Then they peer assess. I then given them a chance to re-evaluate their choice of poster. (it's surprising how many then move their post-its down), The rest of the lesson is spent editing their draft, I usually have them write their targets on a seperate piece of paper so they can always see them. For the plenary they write a short evaluation of how they improved their work to meet their targets (permanent evidence of their learning) and finish the lesson by moving their post-its again.
    I try to keep all the names stuck on the relevant posters so that when I give back assessments I know which students over estimate their ability & which ones are underestimating. It's a good way to focus verbal feedback and know which ones to keep an eye on.
    Hope that makes sense and is some help.
  6. Elphaba

    Elphaba New commenter

    I would say using mini-plenaries throughout the lesson. Make sure that your lesson is broken down into about 3/4 chunks of learning and that after each task you complete an embedded plenary. An embedded plenary is where you don't stop the lesson to check progress and understanding, it is part of the reflection at the end of the task. It may be done through higher-order questioning, sharing with a partner what they have learned, what they need to improve etc. Try to avoid students stating whether or not they have achieved something; make them prove it.
  7. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    I did an INSET on this in a previous existence. Would you like a copy of the powerpoint, if I can dig it out tomorrow, or do you have enough ideas do be going on with? x
  8. Please could I have a copy of your lovely powerpoint? cosmic_girl1600@yahoo.co.uk

    Thanks so much.

    Orange x
  9. Some staff at my school use the following to signpost progress:

    A piece of paper divided in three - column 1 ALREADY KNOW column 2 THE OBJECTIVE column 3 HAVE LEARNT basically as the students are introduced to the LO in column 2 they make a note of what they already know in column 1 at the end of the lesson they add their new knowledge to column 3 (hope that makes sense?)

    I like to use a continuum which students revisit during the lesson or Success Criteria Grids which we use throughout the lesson

    Also can i have a copy of the PPT to please: mscfoxford@gmail.com (Thanks)
  10. Love the sound of the columns - might try to embed that into a few schemes of work next year. Might even be good for a first lesson (what we already know about the topic) then revisit at the end with what we've learnt. Thanks for putting that idea up.
    I'd also love a copy of the powerpoint too, please. Thanks:

  11. One thing I do quite regularly is have a mindmap about the previous lesson (if the lessons are linked) and as they progress through the lesson get them to add to it in different coloured pencils so they are showing progress. Also, a good way is having a thermometer with milestones at the side ranging in higher order skills and as pupils gain knowledge they colour in the thermometer, you can also differentiate these for each child with the top skills being their target grade or level.
    I would also love a copy of the powerpoint if possible!
  12. Could I please scrounge a copy too? We have regular departmental reviews and this comes up time and time again. I like the idea of mind-mapping!
  13. You need to think of the big picture.
    You're not really trying to teach lots of little facts in English. You're teaching the ability to use the native language.

  14. I'd also really appreciate a copy of that PowerPoint.Thank you!

  15. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    Hi - are all these for my powerpoint! Wow! I shall dig it out! x
  16. Please could I if i'm not too late?


    Also- love your 'wipe off the board' idea- thank you!
  17. Hey folks - thanks soooo much for all these tips - I really appreciate it - and I'm delighted to see that my tip worked for a couple of you as well. Hurrah - i must be doing something right :0)
    Could I just make a plea ... I'm all for not reinventing the wheel - but could people who want to benefit from someone else's ideas at least have the decency to reciprocate and leave a tip of your own. I probably sound like a grump but it's sooooooo annoying when a post seems to have stimulated some debate - only to find half the posts asking for copies of resources :0(

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