The following collection of resources have been assembled by theTES Maths Panel. They can be downloaded for free by registering on the TES website.
John Hattie’s 2008 book, Visible Learning, is the largest ever collection of evidence-based research into what makes a difference to learning in schools. The book identified 136 classroom interventions and listed them in order of effectiveness, coming to the simple yet startling conclusion that the single most effective way to improve education is to raise the quality of the feedback pupils get and their interaction with teachers.
It is students’ ability to assess their own performance and to discuss how they can improve with the teacher that makes the most difference.
As Hattie indicates it is our everyday interactions with our students, our questions, our assessment and feedback and how we help them to assess themselves that are key to helping our students learn. This collection here includes an extensive collection of ideas for teachers of all subjects to do just that.
Top 10 resources:
This easy to navigate resource provides 70 different Assessment for Learning activities, the ideas are transferable across key stages and subjects. The variety of activities provides a reminder of many important AfL principles as well as many suggestions for practical ideas to try in the classroom.
We need feedback in both directions of course, student to teacher and teacher to student. This resource includes 25 different strategies for eliciting feedback from an entire class of students. All the strategies are generic and can be used across the key stages and the curriculum.
This resource contains 200 high quality, ready-to-use targets which are appropriate for all subjects and key stages. They can be used in formative assessment, report-writing and as oral feedback. The targets are divided into ten categories for ease of use; examples of categories include gaining mastery, thinking deeper and self-assessment.
Thinking about feedback, we want students to be able to ‘self-feedback’; if they become good at reflecting on their learning and understanding and what they need to do next then they will be better learners. Both of these resources will help students do just that. The activities could be used as a plenary or general AfL at any point during the lesson.
Questioning is a key element to ensuring success in learning and assessment. This resource will provide much food for thought as well as providing ideas to try with students.
Good lesson planning should include some well thought through questions which require higher order thinking skills from students; it is all too easy to ask too many simple recall type questions. The Bloom Buster is designed to help with planning lesson objectives, questioning and activities and provides definitions and question/task ideas for 90 key words related to Bloom’s Taxonomy of educational objectives. Suggested question stems are included.
More practical strategies for your classroom, the Challenge Toolkit provides 50 different activities to stretch and extend students’ thinking. As with the other resources in this collection, the activities are generic and can be used across key stages and in different subjects. Each activity is explained, often with examples. All can be used as extension within a lesson, or worked up into whole-class activities.
This clearly-illustrated resource includes a collection of ideas to try in the classroom which should promote a comfortable environment for questioning and get students thinking and reflecting. I particularly like the idea of writing down something learned today and passing it on to another student who must write an example and also something else learned in the lesson.
The PowerPoint and hand-out with 11 top-tips was created for a whole school workshop on questioning, like the rest of the resources in the collection there is much food for thought here. The resource would be useful for professional development sessions.
Colleen Young, TES Maths panel