Assessment for Learning

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					Northern Ireland Revised Curriculum
 Professional Development Programme

      Course Handbook

            Year 5
    Assessment for Learning
Programme for day         ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                          2
Links between AfL and Personal Development & Mutual Understanding . . . . . . . . .            3
Links between AfL and Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities       ... ... ... ...            4
Constructivism ~ the work of Carol Dweck           ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                 5
The Learning Board               ...   ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                 ...     6
Range of adjectives        ...      ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                    7
A structured feedback system ~ ‘2 stars and a wish’     ... ... ... ... ... ...                8
Modelling Effective Questioning         ... ... ... ... ... ...... ... ...                     9
What’s involved?                  ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                     11
Examples of Learning Intentions                . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Self-Evaluation ~ ‘Big Questions’      ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                    13
Structured observation from DVD        ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... .                      14
Next steps for me in Assessment for Learning      ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                 15
Frequently Asked Questions       ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                      16
Back at School ~ Sharing ideas with colleagues          ... ... ... ... ... ...               17
Key issues to raise with colleagues    ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                    18
Learning Log ~ Session 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    20
Learning Log ~ Session 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    21
Learning Log ~ Session 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    22
Networking         ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...                    23
       Session 1    Assessment for Learning in the Revised Curriculum
 9.15am – 10.20am   Outline
                    Picking up from Day 2
                    Constructivism ~ the work of Carol Dweck
                    Mapping the AfL strategies

10.20am – 10.40am   BREAK

       Session 2    Practical experience of a range of AfL strategies
10.40am – 12.10pm   Sharing learning intentions and success criteria
                    Formative Feedback
                    Scaffolding reflection

12.10pm – 1.00pm    LUNCH

       Session 3    Impact of AfL in classrooms
1.00pm - 2.30pm     Range of practical examples
                    Benefits to the learning environment

       Session 4    Considering the next steps
  2.30pm – 3.00pm   What’s next for me?
                    Networking opportunities

Links to Personal Development and
       Mutual Understanding

        and self                          Cooperation

                                 Sharing the
Feelings                                         Dealing
  and                          AfL                with
emotions                                         conflict
                  Reflection     Questioning

   Attitudes to                          Communication


Links to Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

                           Asking questions
                            to deepen my
                                                Time to Think

                                       Sharing the
       Managing                        Learning
                                                       Learning is
       my own                        AfL               visible and
       learning                                          explicit
                        Reflection     Questioning

          Working with                        Using information
           Response                           to help me learn
                             other’s work

 Constructivism ~ the work of Carol Dweck
Key principles:
Children’s beliefs about the nature of ability strongly affect their success in learning.
Carol Dweck’s highly influential research suggests the presence of two distinct ‘mindsets’
in the pupils in our classrooms.

                                Ability is fixed.
                                Difficulty and failure is
                                the environment                      Ability is changeable.
                                telling me that I don’t              When I experience difficulty,
                                have enough ability to               it means that I’m learning.
                                do the task, or cope                 Failure tells me that I need
                                with the learning area.              to work harder, or use
                                                                     different strategies to

• These mindsets relate to children’s beliefs about the nature of ability, or intelligence.
  One mindset holds to the belief that ability is something that is fixed, the other that it
  is changeable.
• Where children believe that ability is fixed, then on experiencing difficulty they feel a
  sense of hopelessness ~ because there is nothing they can do about it.
• Where children believe that ability is changeable, then on experiencing difficulty they
  feel a sense of optimism. They also believe very strongly in the importance of effort.
We Are Learning To:

1.Use adjectives effectively
2.Work well in groups

Success Criteria:
• Choose words that best describe the friend you
  would like to have
• Include a wide range of qualities
• Use classroom rules for group work

The Learning Activity:
• As a group, design a ‘Wanted Poster’ advertising
  for a friend                                       6
                   A range of possible adjectives

truthful           reliable     kind          happy        considerate   humble

trustworthy        dedicated    giving        jolly        caring        meek

sincere            devoted      big hearted   cheery       selfless      unassuming

straight-forward   dependable   charitable    positive     attentive     reserved

frank              faithful     open-handed   jovial       helpful       unpretentious

open               steadfast    loving        lively       sympathetic   reticent

candid             constant     magnanimous   joyful       patient       discrete

direct             trusty       noble         smiling      tolerant      self-effacing

straight           stalwart     decent        optimistic   reflective    shy

honest             loyal        generous      cheerful     thoughtful    modest

     A structured feedback system
First … Find 2 successes with reference to
       the success criteria

      Second … Find the part of the work which
              provides most scope for a ‘jump’
              ~ not simply the worst part

            Third … Write a short prompt telling the
                   learner exactly what to do to this
                   part of their work, and …

                  Fourth … provide time to read, process
                          and respond to your prompt.
Prior notice
Tell children ~ in a few minutes I will be
asking a question about . . .
Ask fewer but better questions                  Examples of open ended questions include:
Asking fewer questions allows more time to      • What do you think?
invite more responses. Move away from quick     • How do you know?
fire questions and quick fire answers.          • How can you find out?
Thinking time                                   • Why do you think that?
Allow thinking time. This gives children the    • Do you have a reason? How can you be sure?
opportunity to improve their responses. Most    • Is this always so?
teachers wait about one second before they      • Can you think of different ways to . . . ?
expect a response and they often answer         • Is there another reason / idea / way?
their own questions.                            • What if . . . ?
No hands up                                     • Where is there another example of this?
Encourage all children to think about the       • What do you think happens next?
answer ~ not just the quick processors.         • What do you think of that answer?
Think / pair / share                            • Can you explain how you got to that answer?
This allows each child to think of an answer    • Which is the odd one out and why?
or an opinion. They must share with at least    A good question challenges our thinking. It makes
one other person so no one can coast along on   the mind buzz. It arouses interest, raises further
the back of others’ thinking. This is helpful   questions, new ideas, differing views and requires
for the less engaged child, the shy child and   some difficult thinking.
the child who needs time to think.
                                                           Encourage children to ask more questions
  Questioning                       (continued)            Value children’s questions as much as their answers ~ the
                                                           ability to question is one of the keys to effective learning.
                                                           Pausing, prompting, probing
                                                           Provide prompts and probes for fuller answers. Don’t just
When evaluating, they can ask themselves questions
                                                           accept the first response ~ the child may need a little help
                                                           and encouragement to give a fuller answer or to go deeper in
       How did I do it?                                    their thinking, e.g.
       What method/strategy worked?                                        Is that the same as…?
       What did I learn?                                                   Do you mean….?
       Did my plan work out?                                               Tell me more…?
       Can I learn from my mistakes?                                       Can you give me an example…?
       Can I do it differently/better next time?           Responding positively
                                                           Respond positively ~ prompts and scaffolds can help children
Important considerations:                                  amend their answers. Ask other children if they agree or
Do we ask too many questions?                              would like to add anything. Answers which seem a bit ‘off
Do we need to ask fewer, but better questions?             beam’ can provide great insights for the teacher ~ seek
Do we ask, then answer the question ourselves?             clarification and explanation.
Do we ask the same type of questions?                      Appropriate language and content level
Are we looking for an answer or an explanation?            Questions should be clearly worded ~ challenging but
Do we need to plan for more questions which provide        manageable so language and subject matter should be
opportunities to challenge thinking and get children       appropriate for the age and stage of the children.
discussing and debating?                                   Metacognition
Are some answers ignored?                                  Thinking about thinking ~ allow children the opportunity to
Do we take responses seriously?                            reflect on their thinking through questioning. Metacognition is
Do the same children provide the answers?                  the ability of the learner to plan, monitor, redirect and
Is answering questions a competition between children?     evaluate how they think and learn, e.g.
Are children comfortable with giving wrong answers?        When planning they can ask themselves questions like:
At the planning stage ~ What would be good questions to                    How am I going to do it?
ask?                                                                       Is it similar to anything I’ve done before?
How active are the children? Do they realise that their                    Is it one of those?
learning depends on their readiness to express ideas and   When adapting they can ask themselves questions like:
discuss? It’s not about spotting right answers!                            Do I understand it so far?
Are children encouraged to generate their own questions?                   Do I need to ask a question?
Do children value and respect the ideas/opinions of                        Am I on the right track?
others?                                                                    Am I still on task?
                                                                           Is there a better way?                            10
    What’s involved?                       and how?                 and the tricky bits?

Telling children what they’re   • Publish Learning Intentions   • Framing good LI’s for
about to learn and why                                            learning, rather than
                                      ~ perhaps using ‘WALT’      activity

Scaffolding successful activity • Agree and publish Success     •   Coming up with SC
towards learning by telling       Criteria                      •   Keeping SC succinct
them what to pay attention to                                   •   Keeping them few
~ explicitly                        ~ perhaps using ‘WALT’      •   Ensuring range

Giving feedback which is        • Structured, comment only      • Keeping within the SC!!!
focussed on improvement           feedback                      • Breaking old habits

Ensuring that students reflect • Peer/Self Assessment           • It probably won’t happen
on the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of • Structured plenaries             unless you make it happen
their learning                                                  • Training for objectivity
                               • eg 2 Stage MindMaps

Using questioning strategies    •   ‘No Hands Up’               • Initially ~ no hands up!!!
that extend participation and   •   Wait time
                                                                • Scaffolding the wait time
deepen learning                 •   Response Partners
                                •   Low risk closed questions   • Breaking old habits
        Activity Intentions                        Learning Intentions

                                            Sort by 2 criteria relating to properties
Sort 3D shapes in a Venn diagram
                                            of shapes

                                            Know that hieroglyphs are a form of
Write familiar words in hieroglyphs
                                            written communication

Make a plan of your bedroom

Investigate repeating patterns in a
variety of objects, pictures and textiles

    Self Evaluation – ‘Big Questions’
        Developing prompts that help children to
         evaluate the quality of their learning.

•What did you find easy about learning to … ?
(add the learning intention)
•What really made you think while you were learning to … ?
•What helped you (eg a friend, the teacher, new resources, a book,
your own thinking) when something got tricky about learning to … ?
•What do you need more help with about learning to … ?
•What are you most pleased with about learning to … ?
•What have you learnt that is new about … ?
•How would you change this activity for another group/class who
were learning to … ?
•What new questions would you like to ask now about learning to … ?
            Structured Observation of DVD Clips
Clip1: Learning Intentions/Success Criteria   Clip 2: Questioning
First impressions?                            What have you learnt?

Clip 3: Formative Feedback                    Clip 4: Reflection
What could you take from this into your own   What are the benefits to these children’s
practice?                                     learning?

                          Next steps for me in Assessment for Learning

•Discuss with pupils what they must do when you ask a
•Extend wait time to 5 seconds after you have asked a
question.                                                         Remember to:
•Experiment with hands up at the end of five seconds or no        • Build on what you are already doing.
hands up at all so that anyone can be asked for a response.
•Have ‘talking partners’ or threes as a regular feature of        • Start slowly… Select an “easy” subject.
your lessons.                                                       Continue to move slowly and don’t be in a
•Say that if it’s making you think it means that you are            rush to explore all areas of learning.
learning something new - make this a good thing.                  • Talk to other teachers about what you are
•Dabble with self- evaluation: getting pupils to reflect on         doing - compare notes – plan together. Jot
what helps them learn.
                                                                    down notes about things you’ve tried out
•At the beginning of units of work, introduce the elements          and what happened.
to be covered in a visual form. Try to involve the pupils in
some way. Use this at the beginning and end of a lesson to        • Look for impact on children’s learning and
remind children of the connections of what has been learned         your own teaching.
and how it links to future learning.
•Share/write up learning intention. Explicitly separate from
                                                                  • Think of yourself as an action researcher-
the activity/ context.                                              these pieces of advice are only starting
•In short term plans separate the learning intention from           points or ‘ways in’. Experiment and
the activity/ context.                                              modify your ideas as you go along.
•Plan process success criteria (what they will need to do in      • Refer to the ‘Key Stages 1 & 2 Curriculum
order to achieve the learning intention) Start with one             Support and Implementation Box’.
subject only and plan with someone if possible.
•Ask pupils for success criteria just before they start to work
and write it up or put them up as you go during the teaching
part of the lesson.
•During lessons, remind pupils to focus on the success
              Frequently Asked Questions
Should I start every lesson with learning intentions?
No, only when you are introducing new learning.
What about the capital letters and full stops, if the learning intention is not focussed on
Have a lesson/s where the learning intentions are ‘writing using capital letters and full stops’
or develop a list to remind children what to do ‘during’ their activities, e.g. remember full
stops, capital letters.
What do we do about our schemes/planners?
Do not start rewriting these. Experiment with the strategies and even consider using post it
pads on your schemes to record any learning intentions or success criteria which you trial. Share
your feedback with other colleagues.
More work?
You are not going to do this all the time at first. Try a few lessons and see how it goes.
What about pupils who aren’t fluent readers accessing the learning intentions & success
Assist children to generate their own little icons to illustrate the meaning of text.
What about children who have satisfied all the success criteria?
Select a criterion which they can use to extend their work to make an improvement.
What if there are no successes in a child’s work?
Consider writing a range of success criteria so that they cater for different abilities. Ensure
that you do not have too many points in the criteria.
What about telling parents about the changes? They expect to see all the spelling mistakes
Consider a parents’ evening to inform parents. A booklet for parents is being produced which
will outline the strategies.
          Back at school ~ sharing ideas with colleagues
Assessment for Learning

It is recognised that after your development days you will not feel that you are experts in the areas
covered! However, it is important that the principal and staff are kept informed and involved. In order
to assist you in this process, the following steps are suggested.
Meet with your colleague/s

Share the programme/information from the day.
Discuss the learning log/summary sheets and personal learning.
Ask – What will this mean for us in our classrooms?
Meet with the principal

Share the programme / information from the day.
Discuss the learning log/summary sheets and personal learning.
Describe the activities you will be trying out in your classroom.
Plan how to disseminate to the rest of the staff.
Meet with the staff

The Stage 4 self-evaluation process will be on-going throughout 2006-07. It is anticipated that at Stage
5, dissemination from Primary 1 and Primary 5 teachers from their Personal Development & Mutual
Understanding, Thinking Skills & Personal Capabilities and Assessment for Learning days will inform
whole-staff discussion. It will be at the discretion of each school how this is progressed.
This may be through:
The sharing of the programme and key learning points.
The P1 and P5 powerpoint presentations will be available on the PMB web site:
Using the briefing sheets and critical questions from the Stage 4 self-evaluation pack and the CCEA DVD.
                                           Briefing Sheet:
                                       Assessment for Learning
                Assessment for learning is built on the constructivist theory of learning.
   Key          Learning is seen as an activity, not just a product.
                Pupils are actively involved in their own learning?
                Pupils construct their own understanding.
   and          Learners take responsibility for their own learning, and eventually for their own assessment too.
 Messages       Make learning and assessment transparent. Learning intentions and success criteria are shared with learners.
                Make learning transferable
                ‘Big Picture’ strategies – enabling learners to see the breadth, depth and connections in their learning.
                Sharing learning intentions and success criteria.
    Key         Using questioning strategies that enhance participation and deepen learning.
 Classroom      Formative feedback – telling learners where they have been successful, where they should focus and providing
 Strategies      them with the time and support to make improvements.
                Self-evaluation, as well as peer and self-assessment, where emphasis is not just on what they have learnt, but
               Research indicates key outcomes of assessment for learning practice to be:
                Enhanced performance, especially those in lower ability groups.
                Enhanced self-esteem and self-confidence leading to more risk-taking behaviour especially with new l earning
   Key           opportunities.
 Outcomes       Greater resilience displayed by learners when they meet difficulties.
                Increased independence for learners.
                Greater teacher awareness of the needs of learners and the learning they are meant to gain from activities.
                A community of learners, built through positive changes in the classroom climate.
                A need to revisit and challenge the school’s vision statements – what does the school seek to achieve for its
Implications     learners?
    for         A need for discussion on beliefs about learning and how this affects the organisation of teaching and learning
 Leadership     To ensure that pupils’ learning experiences are consistent with the school’s aims.
    and         To balance summative and formative assessment and understand the role of both, separately and relatively.
Management      To help parents understand the developments in assessment, especially in relation to the feedback we
                 provide to learners.

                                   Prompts for Staff Discussion:
                                       Critical Questions

   Key         1.   What do we believe about the ways in which pupils learn?
 Concepts      2.   In what ways can assessment best serve pupils’ learning?
   and         3.   What are the benefits and problems of pupils taking increased responsibility for their learning?
 Messages      4.   What exactly do we mean by ‘transferable’ learning?

               1. How important is it for pupils to get a big picture view of new learning?
    Key        2. What strategies do we currently use to help set pupils up for new learning?
               3. To what extent do we use these strategies in our current practice? What are the benefits and practical
 Classroom        issues relating to the practice?
 Strategies    4. Of the strategies listed, which ones do we need to focus on for development, and what immediate steps
                  do we need to take?

               1. What are the most pressing needs of our pupils?
 Outcomes      How do these compare with the outcomes cited for Assessment for Learning practice?

               1. What is our school seeking to achieve for its learners?
Implications   2. Do we seek a core of similar outcomes?
     for       3. How does our present assessment practice help fulfil these aims?
                   To what extent does it need to change to realise them more fully?
 Leadership    4. Do we need to review our summative assessment procedures? How can our summative data be used
    and           formatively?
Management     5. How can parents be informed to aid their understanding of our assessment practices?

Learning Log                                 Session Title: AfL in the Revised Curriculum

Issues raised in this session:                       The impact that these issues could have on
                                                     children's learning:

Things I could do differently as a result of these

                                                     Issues I need to research/reflect on further:

Learning Log                         Session Title: Practical experiences of AfL strategies

Issues raised in this session:                       The impact that these issues could have on
                                                     children's learning:

Things I could do differently as a result of these

                                                     Issues I need to research/reflect on further:

Learning Log                                  Session Title: Impact of AfL in the classroom

Issues raised in this session:                       The impact that these issues could have on
                                                     children's learning:

Things I could do differently as a result of these

                                                     Issues I need to research/reflect on further:

         Schools involved in AfL action research

   Cohort 1           Cohort 2
Millington,        Hart Memorial,
Portadown          Portadown
Saints &           Kilkeel
Scholars, Armegh
                                    Insert the names of
St Malachy’s       St Joseph’s
Camlough           Meigh, Newry
                                    schools ~ or teachers &
                                    schools as appropriate!
St Patrick’s       St Patrick’s
Aghacommon,        Newry            This is SELB ~ maybe
Lurgan                              using own ELB’s
St Patrick’s       The Armstrong,   cohorts!!
Mayobridge,        Armagh


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