Action Research Summaries

During this year one of our CPD options has been to join an action research group. Each one was run by a member of the Teaching and Learning Team and were focused on:

  • Monitoring and Motivating ‘middle’ ability learners at KS4
  • Preparing Learners for Linear Examinations at KS5
  • Getting the Best out of Boys

On Monday, all of our teaching staff came together to share what had been covered in each of the groups and to discuss the action research they had taken part in.

The resources below come from each of the group leaders.

  1. Monitoring and Motivating ‘middle’ ability learners at KS4 – Alex McLean

Teaching the Middle

Motivating students handout

Further reading on motivation

2. Preparing Learners for Linear Examinations at KS5 – Caoimhe Coyle

Preparing Learners for Linear Examinations at KS5 Handout

Preparing Learners for Linear Examinations at KS5 Presentation

3. Getting the Best out of Boys – Michael Tatham

MTa SUMMARY Action Research Getting the best out of boys

MTA Getting the Best out of Boys

At the end of the INSET these sources were highlighted for extra reading and information:

 

 

 

 

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Magpie Number 4 – Dot Marking for KS5

magpie-clipart-cartoon-1This series of blog posts are going to bring you a range of new T&L ideas from a range of different sources.

In the front of our ‘Essentials’ book you will find a range of different strategies you can use to reduce the time of marking but still ensuring effective feedback to students. It can be rare to see some of these strategies being used consistently which is why I was excited to see the example below. It was posted by Heather Mary James (@LDNHumsTeacher) using an ideas from @MrsHumanities. Dot feedback

The success of a strategy like this depends on making the dots subject or/and assessment criteria specific and using it consistently so students come to fully understand feedback and expect feedback to be delivered in this way. The strategy offers the opportunity to save hours writing the same feedback on KS5/ KS4 extended written answers.

dot marking 1

 

Magpie Number 3 – Retrieval Practice Challenge Grids

magpie-clipart-cartoon-1This series of blog posts are going to bring you a range of new T&L ideas from a range of different sources.

Over recent months we have been highlighting different techniques which encourage students to retrieve knowledge they have learnt in the past.

I saw this idea on Twitter and it has been created by Kate Jones (@87History). The Retrieval Practice Challenge Grids can be used as a starter activity. If students pick a question which is linked to knowledge covered a week ago they get one point, if they pick a question covered two weeks ago they get two points etc. I would give them a set amount of time, maybe 5 minutes, to complete as many as they can and achieve as many points as they can.

This example is based on recapping and revising a History topic (Source: @87History).

Retrieval Practice Challenge Grids

Magpie Number 2 – Home Learning Ideas for KS4

magpie-clipart-cartoon-1This series of blog posts are going to bring you a range of new T&L ideas from a range of different sources.

The demands of the new KS4 specifications and the linear nature of these qualifications made me look for effective home learning tasks for my students. In particular, I was looking for tasks which supported their retention of knowledge and key terms. In my regular scan of Twitter I came across the profile of a Geography HoD called Jenn (@Jennnnnn_x) and these wonderful ideas.

  1. This key term reviewKey Word Focus sheet has a range of ideas for students to remember and use new terminology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. “Geog your Memory” The title of this task is very Geography centred and is quite detailed for one home learning task but it is one example of how you can get students to revisit past topics/ units. Geog Your Memory

3. Self – testing is a very effective way for students to revise and remember key content. This example shows a template for a Knowledge Test and the expectation is that the students fold over the answers and they re-test themselves over time. Knowledge Test Example

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magpie Number 1 – Structure Strips

magpie-clipart-cartoon-1This series of blog posts are going to bring you a range of new T&L ideas from a range of different sources.

Number 1 – Structure Strips

These are an excellent way to offer help in structuring longer mark questions or responses. The strip is stuck into the margin of an exercise book page and has the exam question or task at the top.

The rest of the strip is used to guide the writing of the answer. This guidance can be bullet points taking the students through the content expected or a series of questions to help student thinking. The student then writes their response next to the structure strip so they can refer to it.

An example can be seen below and this document is an outline I used and can be edited Editable Structure Strip

 

 

More New Ideas for Everyday Learning

Following on from Nat Moody’s post about one of the ideas she has been trying out over the last few months, here are some more tried-and-tested activities from members of Nat’s focus group.


by Sue Lutz

Planning aheadI am using some ideas from “Teaching Backwards”.  I always plan my lessons with the end goal in sight.  However, this book suggested getting students to audit where they are, as well as thinking about any previous knowledge they have, transferable skills etc.  I made the attached sheet for my Year 9 class and will read their responses when I mark their books later this week. I am hoping that I will be able to provide some independent activities that support some of the areas that they have highlighted.

 


by Kyl Messios

I have been using Beaumont School resources to explore questioning across the key stages.  I’ve been working from the Black Box and the Teaching and Learning blog.  It has been brilliant to go through the wealth of ideas that other teachers suggested in the Questioning Quail inset activity, and I’ve tried out quite a few.

If this is the answer, what is the question?

This has been really useful, wherever I’ve applied it.  I’ve tried it with Year 7, 10, and 13, and found that the result is consistent, regardless of year group of topic – the students are compelled to look at the answer from different angles and think much more deeply about it than they would with a straightforward ‘key question’ to start the lesson.  This can be applied as a starter, but is just as effective as a plenary.  Year 7s used it to identify and define subject specific vocabulary, while I used it with Year 10s as a way into a new scheme of work.  Looking ahead, I plan to use it with Year 13s to get them identifying and creating exam questions based upon answers given.

Percentage correct 

Quick and easy way of getting students to build upon, and add to, their own and others’ answers. This was put to good use in Year 9 and 10 evaluations.

I’m planning on trying out What’s in the Bag?, but just haven’t yet worked out what to put in the bag! I’ll keep you updated!