This is one of a series of short blogs to hopefully help you thinking about teaching, assessment and learning. Below are some Assessment “Thinks”.
Whilst all the “thinks”, on a particular page, are connected and inter-related the idea is simply to focus on whichever one or two capture your imagination. Following reflection it’s worth pondering how you might apply it in your class room.
The most useful data (bits of information) are rarely, if ever, grades or levels. In fact, these often hide the critical information about what each pupil does and doesn’t know or can and can’t do. These little pieces of data are crucial to the process of helping pupils make progress. Once you know what data you are looking for the obvious question is, “How best to get hold of it?” This could be with respect to assessment of prior learning, you don’t want to teach pupils what they already know or can do; you haven’t the time. Tracking the learning during a topic as well as at the end is the bread and butter of teachers’ daily work. But how can this best be done in a manageable but meaningful way?
Finding out what pupils don’t know and can’t do despite the fact you’ve taught them it could be seen as crushing. Alternatively, it’s a great opportunity to identify an aspect of your practice you could improve as you’ve got to reteach these things. Pupils mustn’t be allowed to leave your class with huge gaps in their learning. One of the biggest challenges is how to cope with a class room of pupils who all have different gaps?
If you prefer to scribble as you think feel free to download a copy of the “Think” page:
The other “Thinks for Teachers are: