Saturday, 10 September 2016

Apps for Your Primary Classroom - Sixteen

Another post about apps we've made use of (our 15th), that others may like to try too. The other posts can be found here. Again, the links below are to Apple's App Store. This is because we use iOS devices in school. Many of these apps are available on Android too. 

 Image credit:





Monster Heart Medic

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Extended Exit Polls

We make extensive use of exit polls in the classroom to support our formative assessment. They are a great tool for assessing where children are at the end of a lesson, are generally easy to mark and allow you to quickly make a judgement about the next lesson to teach.

Increasingly, we have also started adding some extra information on them so that they can be used for a further purpose. We have always been interested in how children's viewing habits have changed especially around online sites such as YouTube and have, with increasing frequency, been using online videos such as those provided by Khan Academy, to support home learning. If it is appropriate, we have started to add a shortened link and a QR code to an exit poll. This links to a video explaining some content from the exit poll.

Now, after marking, we can give the exit poll back to the child with their errors on and we encourage them to take it home and have a look at the video. At the moment, this is optional and some children do not bother. However, there have been occasions where, because they have watched the video or done some further work, the misconceptions have been corrected by the next lesson.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Marking: No Writing, Stamps and Stick Figures

September 2015 we revised our marking policy. We've shared how successful it's been in various Tweets over the past twelve months. We've written posts about marking in the past. This supersedes all of those! Here's a bit more about it...
Firstly, it was not something us or our school developed, so we can't say too much here. If you like what you read, contact Shaw Primary Academy to find out more

Previously, we had a requirement to mark every piece of work, provide feedback about what the child had done well and what thy needed to improve in the future. In addition, we had a number of codes and coloured pens we used to make the process 'quicker'. 

In July 2015, we looked at what we'd been doing and after reading the NAHT article linked to in the Tweet above, we knew something had to change. We had a visit from Shaw Primary Academy who met with our SLT, asked us about what our current practice was, what they thought of it, told us what they did and it was then delivered to all staff.

We've taken on the practices that were shown to us: we don't write any comments in books, all work is marked, all children get vocal feedback as needed, spelling is checked, grammar is corrected, calculations are marked and we know how much support a child had in a lesson. 

Impact? Marking takes less time. Only necessary feedback is given. Children actually act upon the advice given. Marking is less painful. There is more time to plan and adapt future lessons based upon what's been understood. 

Fed up with your current policy? It's not working? Feel like you're wasting your time? Well, you know what to do about it. Join the revolution...