Feedback on Year 7 books, TL 5
Term 2 2012
Thanks very much to everyone for handing in your books on time, and for taking time to sit with me to discuss them; I found it very useful and interesting.
We have 91 pupils in year 7 that have a TL of 5. These are our level 7s in year 9, and I wanted to focus on them for several reasons. One being the aforementioned year 9 target, another being the knowledge that these are the pupils who may coast through year 8 after the initial burst of enthusiasm in year 7. This is perhaps one of the reasons we have so few level 7s by the end of KS3.
By focusing on them recently, I hope it will help to keep them more in the front of your minds.
HHa: looked again at her seating plan. She feels that the weaker pupils are taking up much of her time, and by rejigging them, the level 5s can work together on similar targets.
LMu: has found that incorporating ‘housekeeping’ lessons has improved the pupils’ pride in their books. She builds in time for feedback reflection, action on targets and tidying books, even rewriting or finishing some tasks.
CMa: looking through their work has confirmed to me that the level 5s are very much ‘working within themselves’, and technical accuracy – especially in the boys – is weak.
CSl: writes questions as part of her feedback, that they are expected to answer (the beginnings of Triple Impact Marking!), and peer assessment often gets read more than our comments.
The level 5s need pushing to expand their vocabulary, and to work on more technical areas such as varying sentences for effect. Our marking needs to count.
By incorporating ‘housekeeping’ or REFLECTION lessons every few weeks, we can set appropriate and personalised tasks that match their levels. However, these lessons need to be structured. Some ideas on how to effectively use feedback and reflection in these lessons:
- Use register time to engage them with their targets (set by us or them!) – even answer the register with their target. This helps you build a general picture of the class’s weaknesses also.
- Group pupils together according to weaknesses and strengths, or by skills for a lesson e.g. one group using thesauruses to expand vocabulary, another finishing unfinished tasks, or concentrating on handwriting etc.
- Choosing a piece of writing to redo. Use peer assessment alongside your marking. Make the piece short, or choose an opening paragraph only. Focus on the finer details. Use slow writing to help.
- http://www.triptico.co.uk/ Go and have a look, download the APP
- Showcase and display these redrafts – section off a space in your room to place a few pieces each week, or try to revamp your displays more often in general.
- Try using the critique of ‘be kind, be specific, be helpful’ instead of ‘2 stars and a wish’, and take time to get their language useful for improvement. As an example, one of my pupils went from “I really like your story, but you need more detail” to “I really like your story, but your character should be in different surroundings like a park and maybe introduce another character, and you could describe the places in more detail” after 2 attempts at this type of critique.
Overall, we need to remove the habit pupils have of completing a task and not checking through, never revisiting it and never improving by taking on board your feedback. It may mean we slow down and they may occasionally be writing less, but if it’s better quality…..
I don’t expect you to race through every scheme of learning, or complete all the tasks. Remember, every SOL has more than you need! The APP task is the end goal, but how you get there shouldn’t be a treadmill of getting through activities.