We’re approaching the time of year when teachers of Year 2, Year 6, GCSE and A-level classes can feel like they are going into meltdown. Time for calm heads, clear thinking and the #5MinAchievementPlan.
The #5MinAchievementPlan can be used to greatly enhance the learning opportunities available as a consequence of most summative assessments. The key to this process is the forensic assessment of what students do and don’t know. Teach to the gap, teach students what they don’t know or can’t do. You can read about this approach in a bit more detail in @LeadingLearner’s post, Assessment: Teaching’s Hidden Gem. We hope the plan will help you maximise your classes’ progress over the coming weeks and lead to even greater student achievement.
When setting up an assessment for your class it is important to make sure you are clear about the actually examination paper, test or task to be done and have ways of standardising and moderating the marking of the students’ responses. The first job it to determine the actual assessment task. Approaching the SATs and examination season many teachers use full examination papers for their classes to practice on. If you are going to use the assessment to report a grade or levels remember to use: papers from the same year; all the different components of the final examination in your calculation of the grade or level and the SAT papers/examination board published grade boundaries.
Standardisation of the marking between teachers can be done with the aid of a published or self-generated marking scheme. If you have any examiners in the department or school they can help with this process.
Moderation of the marking can be achieved in different ways. Sometimes one teacher marks the whole of one paper or question. This removes inter-marker variability but class teachers miss the opportunity to see how their own students performed. If a number of teachers are marking the papers a sample needs to be moderated by all the teachers or a sample collected from each teacher and the marking moderated by the head of department or subject co-ordinator.
Before you finalise the assessment you are going to use think about how you will analyse the papers or task, to evidence what the students know and what they don’t know. Many schools are beginning to look at a forensic question by question analysis of summative assessments. Where your subject has fewer longer answers or multi-part questions it can help if the students’ responses are analysed at this level. Be clear, in your own mind and with other staff, how you will analyse the assessment task and the recording expected. If marks are entered into a spreadsheet determine a total for each student’s response and a mean for the response to each question.
Once the analysis has been completed look at which questions have a very low mean (average) score. It is likely that a lot of the children or student have not understood or can’t remember this particular aspect of knowledge. Note these down and reteach them to the whole class.
Review Methodology/Scheme of Learning
Where you consider there is a level of misunderstanding it is important to review how you intend to approach the re-teaching of the knowledge. It will probably be worth discussing this as a team or with another teacher whose class attained high marks on the particular question. Make a note of these different approaches and revise schemes of learning so they contain the most effective strategies for teaching the area of knowledge.
In Class Support
This requires some significant planning as members of the class may have different gaps in their knowledge. The challenge is to teach to each child or student’s gaps in knowledge.
One potential strategy is when marking the assessments to use the Yellow Box Marking Technique (Power from the Floor by @TeacherToolkit) to identify areas of the examination paper which must be improved to a higher standard. The In Class Support then consists of DIRT or MAD Time with each student working on their identified areas for improvement.
Another approach is to group students by which questions they got wrong and need to revisit. Differentiated tasks or being directed to the appropriate section of an on-line resource (there are some very good ones beginning to appear) can be used with the class teacher circulating and supporting as necessary. This could include short inputs, from the teacher, for each group. The groupings are quite dynamic as they reform once the student has acquired the missing knowledge. If classes are blocked on the timetable, it may be possible to rearrange these classes for a lesson or two with each new class focussing on a particular area or set of questions from the examination paper.
Make sure you determine how you are going to reassess whether the students have acquired the knowledge that was previously missing.
Note down the names of any students who are going to require additional more extensive support. This might be in extra after school sessions or through a planned intervention programme, with withdrawal from lessons,
If you continually use the #5MinAchievementPlan the need for additional support outside of the class room will hopefully become increasingly rare. Identify gaps in learning early and address them
Sub-Group Underachievement – PP Group (by HML Ability)
We’ve decided to focus on the Pupil Premium group as these are the students who are statistically most likely to be underachieving. If this is not appropriate for your class you should amend the table to look at the sub-group which requires greatest attention. Looking at Pupil Premium students through the lens of higher, middle and lower ability can sometimes yield an interesting pattern. Note down who, how and when intervention or support could take place.
We hope the #5MinAchievementPlan will help you scribble your way to greater student achievement.
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More #5MinPlans co-authored with @TeacherToolkit are available here: