Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life

#LearningFirst How can teachers become informed, expert and confident in all aspects of assessment?

Sarah Earle @PriSciEarle

After Dan Williams’s @FurtherEdagogy post earlier this week about the pyramids of doom, he may have had something to say about the one we were presented with; especially as the whole room began taking pictures.

The contents of the pyramid were fairly obvious to any educator when it comes to assessment but it helped to reiterate the priority areas when it comes to a focus on what aids LEARNING:

Active pupil involvement (self/peer assessment) and Responsive teaching (clear focus, Qs, feedback) should always be the priorities.

Then comes the monitoring (manageable records and moderation) and the reporting (based on a range of information).

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They’re creating what sounds as though it will become a fabulous bank of resources that practitioners can access and it will be accessible at:

Sarah stressed that although it references primary science, there’s relevance beyond primary and in other subjects too. The full pyramid is a little more detailed than the one shared at the conference and this PDF version is interactive.

She and Bath Spa will be the hosts of the next #LearningFirst conference:

Dr Wayne Tennent

Baboons can tell the difference between words and non-words 75% of the time. The current phonics test doesn’t even ask children to do that; it’s a test in decoding rather than meaning.

Walter Kintsch, in 1998, stated that there is ‘very little value to be putting a score to comprehension’. SATS puts a score to comprehension.

Comprehension is actually made up of a range of components and we need to focus on these and consider the relationship between them too: how can we be able to make inferences until we speculate?


Pete Sides @SYMathsHub

Love/hate- apparently maths is marmite and until very recently I would have said hate- with a passion.

But. Since taking on my new job, I’ve been exploring the beauty of maths and the kinds of useful and surprisingly interesting data it can give me. It’s still a huge challenge for me and there’s still a shiver of dread runs through me when I have to do any kind of maths but give me a bit of time and space and I’m learning to enjoy it. So, I’m actually not a lover or a hater so didn’t put my hand up to either. I also wouldn’t be too vocal about hating it ever since it occurred to me the effect that might have on the young people I work with who are required to resit it.

He says that we need to be more focused in our approach to assessment- identifying the key issues and concepts and addressing the learning of those. Having recently begun to explore the use of Citizen Maths in the organisation, I think that’s exactly what they’ve worked to do with their ‘powerful ideas’ approach.

Pete shared a beautiful analogy of comparing an algebraic solution with sheet music. When looking at sheet music, you don’t head straight for the last note and appraise that in isolation. You can also only really get a flavour of the music by listening to it. Translating this to a maths classroom seems straightforward: don’t just look at the final answer and get students to speak about how they got to the answer- what was their process and why did they take that route? This is how the strength of their learning and understanding can be assessed.

Listen to kids and their music! (a statement that could be applied to much more assessment in classrooms other than maths).

Read my full reflections on the day here

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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