Tag Archives: assessment is for learning

St Patrick’s RC PS enjoys the benefits of student exchange

WP_20160620_006[1]Pupils and staff at St Patrick’s RC PS in Denny have enjoyed hosting student teacher Marjorie Brewer from Chicago, USA. Marjorie arrived in Scotland in early May, and has been working with  Victoria Daly’s primary 1 class, and Antoinette Irwin’s primary 5 class.

She feels she has benefitted a great deal from getting to know the Scottish school system, and from experiencing both primary stages, and being part of the wider life of the school.

Marjorie’s student teacher exchange placement at St Patrick’s RC PS was arranged between head teacher Anne O’Donnell, Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support officer, Falkirk Children’s Services, and Laura Stachowski, Director, Global Gateway for Teachers, Indiana University Bloomington. When Yvonne popped into school for a quick visit, primary 5 were enjoying a writing lesson led by Marjorie. She used a power point about her home city as a stimulus for the lesson, and adapted elements of Antionette’s practice to give pupils sufficient structure, but also room for personal freedom and creativity within their writing task. Pupils were responding well, by creating a diary of their imaginary visit to that city.

WP_20160620_001[1]Finlay in primary 5 feels that having a student teacher from another country has been “A new experience – a bit more fun.”. Emma B enjoyed learning about schooling in Chicago – “Miss Brewer did a big powerpoint to show us what it was like and gave us tasks to do…we learned about Will’s Tower and the schools she was in before here…they have different desks,… where they put their school bags,… they don’t wear uniforms…” and Sophie T said that Marjorie has taught them “strategies like Venn diagrams … when she needs quiet, she says “To infinity” and we shout “and BEYOND!”

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Antionette said “It’s been a super experience. Listening and hearing about other methodologies and the ways that things are structured in America has had the kids fascinated. It’s not that different, but it’s nice for them to hear how children of the same age learn.”

Marjorie has been made very welcome by her ” homestay mom” Morag Duff, learning support teacher at St Patrick’s. Morag took Marjorie to see some of our local sights, and Marjorie will continue her travels once her placement at St Patrick’s RC PS ends. Marjorie has been keeping her own blog about her experience – click here to view.

 

Deanburn Nursery Jack Frost Storyline

Yvonne McBlain from Falkirk Education Services curriculum support team is working with the nursery team at Deanburn Primary School on a Jack Frost storyline. Caroline McKay, principal teacher, and Karen Stewart, Senior Early Year’s Officer wanted to explore how the storyline approach could help their children learn about winter in a creative way. The whole nursery team were keen to explore new ways to fit in all of the essentials of planning, assessment, observation and recording of pupil progress.  For the last two weeks Yvonne has supported the team in the nursery for one half day per week. The team have then developed, observed and responded to the children’s interests over the rest of the week in order to evaluate impact on learning and develop next steps. For more information about what has been done so far, click on the documents below.

Click here to see the planned learning for 20.1.14

Click here to see the planned learning for 27.1.14

Click here to see the planned learning for 3.2.14

These simple plans are put into the large-scale floor books where the team are recording how the children use the Jack Frost character to develop their understanding of winter. This story  started the storyline off, and the team intend to use Twitter as one of their ways  to involve parents in the learning.

Assessment Guidance 2013- 2016 goes live!

Assessment guidance 2013 -2016 Carol Paton Curriculum Support Officer in the Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support Team has produced guidance to support Early Years Practitioners, Teachers and Headteachers as they develop approaches to assessment in the broad,general education.  The guidance has been produced in collaboration with staff from a range of establishments. The guidance contains links to a range of support materials for staff.

Smart Response tools to support Assessment for Learning

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team, organised and supported a hands-on continuing professional development session presented by Anne Forrest of Steljes for staff from a variety of primary and secondary schools in Falkirk on the use of Smart Response tools to support Assessment for Learning.

Anne Forrest took participants through the use of Smart Response handsets to respond to a series of questions, then showed how that information could be used by the teacher to support learning and teaching in the classroom. Then she guided everyone through the steps to set up their own teacher profile and their class lists, so that when pupils use the handsets the responses could be analysed by the teacher to provide support as required. Anne Forrest made her resources available to all participants, which can be accessed by clicking here (note that a Glow username and password is required to access these resources).

Smart Response tools work in tandem with Smart Board interactive whiteboard software and provide a means for teachers to get feedback from all of their pupils in their class. This can be before a class starts work on a new topic in any curricular area in order to guage the prior learning of pupils, or they can be used regularly during a teaching session to let the teacher keep ensuring pupils have understood each step before proceeding to the next step (or quickly pick up where different teaching strategies might be required), or as an assessment at the end of a teaching session.

Sometimes called classroom response systems, class voting tools or clickers, these Smart Response tools are just one type of the many tools now available specifically to help gather feedback from all pupils in a class. These let teachers get a quick response at the beginning, during or end of a teaching session. This way the teacher has a wider overview of the undertsanding at any time of the whole class and not just of a few individual pupils. Used as part of an Assessment for Learning strategy a teacher can change the pace or direction of teaching to take account of responses from pupils.

There are many free pre-created templates and question sets ready to be downloaded and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of their own pupils. Click here for the online Smart Exchange site where these can be downloaded.

Click here for more information about classroom response systems.

Responses from participants included:

“Very useful session – took us through the set up step by step which was fab – learned lots – thank you! What an amazing tool.” KD – Stenhousemuir PS

“An excellent course – very informative and great, easy to follow instructions. I can’t wait to try them out. Thank you.” LD – Langlees PS

“A super session and great explanation on how to use Smart response.” JM – Bantaskin PS

Supporting Assessment for Learning with Smart Response tools

Malcolm Wilson, ICT Curriculum Development Officer in Falkirk Council Education Services Curriculum Support team, provided a hands-on continuing professional development session for staff at St Bernadette’s Primary School on the use of Smart Response tools to support Assessment for Learning.

Smart Response tools work in tandem with Smart Board interactive whiteboard software and provide a means for teachers to get feedback from all of their pupils in their class. This can be before a class starts work on a new topic in any curricular area in order to guage the prior learning of pupils, or they can be used regularly during a teaching session to let the teacher keep ensuring pupils have understood each step before proceeding to the next step (or quickly pick up where different teaching strategies might be required), or as an assessment at the end of a teaching session.

Sometimes called classroom response systems, class voting tools or clickers, these Smart Response tools are just one type of the many tools now available specifically to help gather feedback from all pupils in a class. These let teachers get a quick response at the beginning, during or end of a teaching session. This way the teacher has a wider overview of the undertsanding at any time of the whole class and not just of a few individual pupils. Used as part of an Assessment for Learning strategy a teacher can change the pace or direction of teaching to take account of responses from pupils.

There are many free pre-created templates and question sets ready to be downloaded and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of their own pupils. Click here for the online Smart Exchange site where these can be downloaded.

Click here for more information about classroom response systems.

Using Active Approaches to Reading Using Moving Image as ‘Text’

Sharon Wallace, Effective Teaching and Learning Teacher, Curriculum Support Team, has been working with a number of schools on active approaches to reading.

Sharon has been working on the development of skills which address ENG 1/2-17a – ‘To show my understanding, I can respond to different kinds of questions and can create different kinds of questions of my own.’

Working with ‘Lost and Found’ moving image as a text, Sharon has been working alongside class teachers to use Blooms question fans to support generating, and indeed, answering their own higher order questions.

Using a ‘book detective’ approach, pupils have been given specific tasks to find evidence within the ‘text’ to support themes/ characterisation/ setting/ plot and structure.

Incorporating co-operative learning strategies such as ‘corners’ (literal, evaluative and inferential questions) and ‘two stay/ two stray’, pupils have generated their own questions and model answers for other pupils to solve.

In their co-operative learning roles of question master, clarifier, recorder and summariser, pupils initially answered prediction questions about the text, followed by generating their own questions to ask others.

Pupils were highly engaged and motivated during the whole of the sessions. These sessions culminated in pupils taking on the role of teacher (Reciprocal Teaching) where they devised their own lessons for younger pupils using the same moving image as ‘text’. Pupils incorporated Assessment is for Learning strategies into their own lessons and shared learning intentions and success criteria.