Tips for improving practice and how leaders can help facilitate this

In the video below Dylan Wiliam gives his tips for changing practice. For the most part not new or earth shattering but a good reminder of how we should approach our professional learning.

Teacher tips for changing practice

  • Accept the need to get better.
  • Change is slow. Focus on 1-2 things at a time. Make them second nature.
  • If you have to remember to do it it is not second nature. 

Tips for leaders to help teachers to improve

  • Create a culture where every teacher  expects to improve.
  • Keep the focus on the things that make a difference to students.
  • Give teachers the time to innovate and try new ideas.
  • Create a culture of risk taking amongst teachers.

Technology, PE and Assessment for Learning

Dylan Wiliam presents 5 Key Strategies as part of Assessment for Learning.

  1. Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions & success criteria.
  2. Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievements.
  3. Providing feedback that moves the learning forward.
  4. Activating students as instructional resources for one and other.
  5. Activating students as owners of their own learning.

These key strategies underpin a wide range of techniques that can be explored in Dylan Wiliam’s book, Embedded Formative Assessment.

For the past 2 years I have continued to develop and trial the use of technology in my PE classes. During term 1 this year I tried to incorporate the use of iPads and an app called Easytag to create an process that allowed Assessment for Learning to occur.

During my 7/8 volleyball and 9/10 badminton classes in term 1 this year I decided to use the iPad app Easytag to allow students to record data relating to their performance. The app allowed the class to record statistics relating to student performance. My 7/8 volleyball class collected data on successful digs, sets, serves and unsuccessful shots with the purpose of creating ratios of successful to unsuccessful shots. This occurred at various points throughout the unit to analyse if performance was improving and in what area. My 9/10 badminton class recorded where their badminton shuttle was landing in their opponents court during a game (front L/R, middle L/R and rear L/R). The purpose was to improve the spread of shots played i.e. not hitting all shots into the mid court. Both groups had to use this data to try and demonstrate improvement over the course of the unit.

9/10 Badminton – The Easytag panel was used by a partner to record a students shuttle placement during a competitive game. The example below is one of four panels recorded during the unit. This data was transferred to a proforma in the student’s PE book allowing for easy comparison. The data shows the student was able to improve their spread of shots to the front and rear of the court during the course of the unit.

Note: The data from the Easytag panels and student proforma below are not from the same student.

Panel (ignore the numbers in the far right column)

Seb set 1

Data from the Easytag app was collated on a single sheet. The aim was for students to improve the spread of shots, not having all shots in one area of the court.

Tiana badminton7/8 Volleyball – Students created panels in the Easytag app that displayed the information seen below on the recording proforma. Data was transferred from the app to this proforma so students could see improvement (or not) over time. The student below could see significant improvement from a ratio of approximately 1 successful to 1 unsuccessful shot at the beginning of the unit to a ratio of 4 successful shots to every unsuccessful shot near the end of the unit.

Cooper Volleyball

 

How has this use of technology helped me to address Dylan Wiliam’s Assessment for Learning Strategies?

Strategy – Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievement

The data was accessible to me on student iPads or in their HPE books for me to view. This information gave me starting points to have discussions with students about what could occur next at a lesson by lesson level. The data provided me with evidence of student learning at three different points during the term.

Reflection – I would have students complete at least one more set of data (most collected 3 data sets) to provide a more constant flow of evidence giving me a better picture of student learning and progress.

Strategy – Provide feedback that moves learning forward

The data was taken at varying points during the unit. The first set of data was taken at the beginning of the unit giving students a starting point to improve on. The second set of data gave students a further reference point indicating if they were heading in the right direction. Explicit teaching, lesson by lesson feedback about how to improve, student commitment and collaboration with peers was required to enable students to successfully use the data.

Reflection – As I have already mentioned I would try to include at least one more set of data during the unit. This would allow students (and me) to access more feedback about their progress at more regular intervals.

Strategy – Helps activate students as instructional resources for one and other

Students showed the data to their partner at the end of each game and quickly discussed strengths and weaknesses. There is no way that I could have assisted all students to collate and receive this amount of data over the course of the unit. Students became resources for each other providing data to move learning forward.

Reflection – I would strengthen these discussions. I did not monitor them closely and suspect that these were not as effective as they could have been. In the future I would include a more formal process of analysis to help students focus on the data more effectively.

Strategy – Activate students as owners of their own learning

Students had concrete data to work with. They could see areas of weakness i.e. I have no successful serves (7/8 volleyball) or I have not been able to hit any shots into the rear court (9/10 badminton). Students were encouraged to use this information to focus on how they could improve (own the learning).  It was entirely up to them to demonstrate through the data their learning over the course of the unit.

Reflection – While students were required to take ultimate responsibility to use the data to try and improve I needed to get around to students more regularly and have conversations about their data to help them direct there own learning.

QUESTION NUMBER 1 – How do you address the following key strategies of assessment for learning?

  1. Clarifying, sharing and understanding learning intentions & success criteria.
  2. Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievements.
  3. Providing feedback that moves the learning forward.
  4. Activating students as instructional resources for one and other.
  5. Activating students as owners of their own learning.

QUESTION NUMBER 2 – What techniques do you have at your disposal to address the 5 key strategies of Assessment for Learning?

1. Click HERE to read more about Assessment for Learning and access a range of techniques to help improve your ability to formatively assess your students.

Professional Reading from Twitter Part 8

Reading number 1

Blog: Educate1-to-1

Blog post: Should learning be evermore digital?

Posted on Twitter by @josepicardoSHS

Reading number 2

Blog: SCHOOLS WEEK

Blog post: Carol Dweck says is not ‘a tool to make children feel good’

Posted on Twitter by @ImpiriEducator

Reading number 3

Blog: The AGE National

Blog post: Smaller class sizes, performance pay and school choice keep parents happy

Posted on Twitter by @dzyngier

Social media in my classroom

The use of tools like Facebook and Edmodo (a closed social network) have helped me to improve the way that I interact and communicate with students and their parents. I have been using Facebook since 2013 and Edmodo from the start of this year in my classroom. Both have been valuable inclusions to the way I work and while Facebook and Edmodo have some striking similarities both play very different roles in my classes.

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I use Edmodo to:

  1. provide a central location for uploading and downloading assessment tasks.
  2. provide a central location for resources (sorted into folders) including documents, weblinks and videos (there is no storage limit in Edmodo).
  3. provide a place for students to submit completed assessment tasks and for me to provide feedback.

Edmodo – Create folders to store unlimited resources for students and teacher to access

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 5.34.32 pm

Edmodo – Store, assess and feedback comments and grades to students

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 5.01.19 pm

Edmodo – Create posts, assignments, quizzes and polls

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 5.37.36 pm

 

 

facebook+button-logo

I use Facebook to :

  1. create closed groups for my students and parents – Yr 12 PE (student group), Yr 11 PE (student group) and Year 7-10 HPE (parent and student group).
  2. provide parents with programs, assignments & content term by term (7-10 HPE group).
  3. provide parents with text, images or video of what is happening in lessons (7-10 HPE group).
  4. to remind students of upcoming class events and due dates (i.e. We are doing the beep test today don’t forget to bring a change of clothes).

Facebook – Sharing information with parents about what is happening in the classroom

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.16.54 pm

Facebook – Communication with Year 12 students

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.34.22 pm

 

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Teacher Sharing – Formative Assessment

After attending Dylan Wiliam’s conference at the beginning of 2014 teaching staff decided that formative assessment would be a focus area for improving teaching practice at Port Broughton Area School.

As all teaching staff have now had the opportunity to see Dylan Wiliam in person (Joelene, Tyler, Beth and Margaret this term) it is a good opportunity to reflect of our formative assessment practices in the classroom and share with each other what we are doing in this area.

social-sharing

If you have not already read them or you are unsure about a particular strategy here are a series of posts that remind us about the 5 Key Strategies required for formative assessment. Each post in itself is quite short (5-8 minutes will be enough time to read them all). There are links within each post that take you to more detailed information.

  1. Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success
  2. Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  3. Activating students as owners of their own learning
  4. Activating students as instructional resources for one another
  5. Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning

By the end of the term it would be great to have all teaching staff contribute to this sharing/discussion through the comments section of this post. Select one strategy below and share your practice in this area with others.

Suggestion – Write your comment in a Word document and save your writing. Then copy and paste from the Word document into the comments section of this post.

Select 1 of the following and discuss how you address this strategy in your classroom. Your discussion could focus on processes you use to address this strategy as well as successes and deficiencies in this area.

  • Clarifying, sharing, and understanding learning intentions and criteria for success
  • Providing feedback that moves learners forward
  • Activating students as owners of their own learning
  • Activating students as instructional resources for one another
  • Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning

What can you do in the classroom to assess were your students are at?

Dylan Wiliam presents 5 Key Strategies for Assessment for Learning. Engineering effective classroom discussions, questions, and learning tasks that elicit evidence of learning is one of these.

What techniques do we employ in our classrooms to understand where our students are at and therefore how to move them forward?

The following information is from an article titled Planning for classroom activities that tell you what your students know.

  1. The teacher needs to see what all the students are doing.
  2. Check part way through lessons so you can still fix things.
  3. Check at a glance for what you will teach next.

To be able to do these things teachers need to have a variety of go to tools they can use to help them assess were students are at. Click HERE to find out about a wide range of tools that can be used to find out about where your students are at.

A short article titled Formative Assessment – the Minute by Minute, Day-by-Day Kind.