I’m hoping that Seager (my HOD) doesn’t read this as I’ve had some new posters done for my classroom (Seager – its not loads!! I promise!!) for an idea that has been developing for a while where I have an area of the room which provides a focus for the students to feedback to me about what they think they have done well, and also what they have issues with. Through my Masters research I have been looking at ways to open dialogues with students, and whilst most of my target students are happy to communicate to me through the written dialogues (that’s another blog post!!) in their books, I want to try other more instant ways of assessing their progress. And before anyone suggests whiteboards, questioning etc etc – this is just one thing I am trying.
The other and possibly the main driving force, (if I’m being brutally honest) is that I’m hoping it will prompt me to think about getting the students to be a bit more reflective about where they think they are in terms of their understanding of a specific topic. I know for a fact that I don’t do this enough, and am conscious that being in my fourth year of teaching it would be easy for me to slip into doing the “same old” things all the time (don’t get me wrong, if it works there is nothing wrong with “same old”) but I genuinely believe that I can be a better teacher, and whilst I think that (and hopefully I always will) I want to keep trying new things.
To make the whole thing a bit more interactive I have some coloured card (yes! its red, orange and green) that is cut so that it interlocks, a bit like sticklebricks and I aim to get students to write on these cards (the colour they use will obviously be dependent upon the type of comment), and I can then use either “red/not a clue” and “orange/sort of got it” cards to inform my teaching for future lessons. I’m also hoping that where a student thinks that they are a Samurai that I can use them as “Experts” to support others if I have to do further teaching by way of additional lessons, or can provide them with some stretching extension work (I’m not sure yet!). The fact that the student may have to demonstrate their knowledge will hopefully ensure that they aren’t completing green cards just because they think they should … they will know that they have to be able to walk the walk.
And here’s a close up of my card sticklebricks .. I’m not convinced that will last, as the students will probably see it as a suggestion box “thing” but I’m going to give it a try and only time will tell…. but hopefully it won’t tell Seager!!