As part of their self-evaluation and school improvement, teachers at California Primary school have made various changes to their teaching practice over session 2016-17. They are exploring the use of floor books as tools for enhancing pupil understanding of their own learning. They began using A2 size sketch books and reflective activities in April 2017 to help their pupils talk about their learning and identify progress and next steps. Each teacher is doing this in a way which suits their class and their own preference. The picture above documents how Jill Walkinshaw asked her new class-to-be to set their goals for their next year together. She plans to refer to the pages in the floor book at relevant points during next session, and the book will be available to pupils so that they can look whenever they want a reminder of where they were in their learning at this point.
Jill was inspired by seeing the floor books used by nurseries. She has been working with her Primary 3/4 shared class of pupils to capture evidence of learning and progress – photos, learning intentions, notes about how children met their success criteria, how they feel about their learning, etc. Jill is now looking at exactly which areas of learning the floor book could be impacting on before considering how best to develop it as a reflective tool for her, and her pupils.
Lauren Peebles, primary 2 teacher, used her floor book as a focus tool for whole class reflection (along with circle time talk) on a Friday. Her class are getting used to having a slot on “Feedback Friday” to talk together about their learning, then do an individual reflective task about specific progress made. In the jotter extract below, you can see how pupils rate their learning/progress, then capture some details of what the learning was, how they got better, and what their next steps should be. So far, the children are responding well to these activities, and staff hope that these help pupils be more confident and articulate when talking about their learning.
On June 28th, Yvonne McBlain, curriculum support teacher, conducted interviews of a sample of children from each class to ascertain impact from the work done by staff over the session. She asked questions linked to the quality indicators from HGIOS 4 (1.1 Self-evaluation for self-improvement, & 1.2 Leadership of Learning). In response to questions, children enthusiastically spoke about their learning in general, and were easily able to highlight specific progress in at least one curricular area unprompted. At this stage, the children were not yet able to articulate how their floor books were helping their learning – it’s still early days though, so watch this space!