A huge thanks to Colette Gleeson for contributing to the blog! Colette Gleeson is a primary school teacher with an interest in pupil well wellbeing and resilience. She strives to look after the most vulnerable children and to make school a happy and safe place for them whilst giving them the tools to carve out their own unique path in life. Colette believes that teachers are the greatest resource any school has and that we can learn a huge amount from working together and sharing ideas. Colette works as part of the Summer Course Team on our Assessment for Learning EPV Course.
4 Easy Ways for Teachers to “Do” Assessment for Learning:
Here are a few of my favourite ways to incorporate AFL into my classroom on a daily basis.
Increasing my knowledge of Assessment for Learning (AFL) has been of huge benefit to me in my day to day teaching. One of the biggest benefits for me as a classroom teacher is that AFL techniques and strategies allow me to gain an on the spot insight into how the children are doing with the topic at hand without any additional paperwork.
I use AFL throughout the day and across all the curricular areas.
No hands up policy
This turns the traditional classroom ‘hands up’ rule on its head. The children don’t put their hands up to answer questions and instead are picked at random. I find that this keeps everyone on their toes a little more as they never know who will be chosen to answer and there is no place to hide. When I first introduced this idea the children adapted to it more readily than I did and I was frequently left at the top of the room wondering why nobody was volunteering to answer my questions! After a couple of days it becomes second nature and the children’s feedback is positive as they feel it gives the quieter children an equal opportunity.
Increased Wait Time
As with the No Hands Up Policy I found this one needed me to re-wire my teaching brain slightly. When I ask a question now I take a step back and just wait a little while (7-10 seconds usually) before I ask for an answer. Once the children realise you haven’t taken leave of your senses they begin to appreciate the time and space that this technique affords them to process questions fully and think on a deeper level. This technique is so easy to implement and its effects are immediately evident.
This is similar to a mini brainstorming session that can happen in pairs or small groups. The children take a question or a topic and share their thoughts and answers with the group before sharing with the whole class. I use this approach a lot when for SESE and Maths topics and I find that the increased collaboration between the children helps them to come up with better thought out answers. This approach is very popular with the shy children in my class as they find it less stressful than answering a question in front of the entire class.
The children in my class have 3 paper cups (green, orange, red) sitting on their tables and they use these throughout the day to communicate with me how they are finding a topic or an assignment. This allows me to see at a quick glance what children may need a little extra support and it also means the children are engaged with their learning at a meaningful level as they are constantly engaged in self-assessment.
The AFL methods I have mentioned above are all quick and easy to implement and become part of the daily routine very quickly and are very useful tools for making assessment a more meaningful exercise in the classroom.
Learn more about our Assessment for Learning EPV Summer Course HERE.