Do you know what progress each of your students is making? Do they?
Here are some ideas to demonstrate and measure progress in your classroom.
Look very closely at your learning outcomes and make sure they are bite-sized and achievable. You want to try to make sure the students can start making progress from the beginning of the lesson - not wait until the end!
This diagram from Sarah Findlater expresses quite well the areas you should consider:
The progress 'egg' can be used at the start and end of the lesson:
The Plenary Pyramid is a good way to finish the lesson and requires some thought from the students. This is only useful if you read their answers and respond to their needs!
There are plenty of these to try... here is an example (more ideas can be found online - just search 'Exit tickets for teaching')
Another idea for lolly sticks is for the students to work in pairs discussing a certain topic or question. You can draw a name from the pot and then ask them what their partner's opinion was. This is also good for those who are more wary of joining in in-case their answer is wrong.
There are many ways you can use these. Here are two:
1. Put three statements on the board regarding understanding or confidence -
2. Place large posters around the room, with different attainment levels defined -
Students put their post-it note with their name on at the point where they are at the beginning of the lesson or topic. At strategic points throughout the lesson (or unit) they move their post-it note according to the progress they have made.
Both of these allow the teacher to see at a glance the progress individuals have made. Don’t forget to challenge them occasionally to ensure progress is genuine!
Ask students to do a mind map for the unit. Each lesson they add information about what they have just learnt – writing the lesson number next to the information they have added. This shows immediate coverage of topics for each lesson as well as a plan for each lesson of the course.
If you want it to show progress, devise a manner in which students can express their confidence level, which they can write or draw against each topic. Here are a couple you might find useful.
Try to make this process a regular part of your teaching.
Tasks for you to try, to provide evidence for the standards
Thanks to my colleagues Debbie Dunn and Amy Hagan for their contributions to these tips!
How can we demonstrate rapid progress in our lessons?
We are constantly being told that all of the students in our classes need to make progress – in fact the ideal is for them to make ‘rapid’ progress.
Of course, there does need to be a clear way to make sure we know whether they have learnt something, and our AfL strategies and plenaries should make this learning – progress – very obvious.
We would expect progress to be made in every lesson – otherwise what a waste of an hour! And it makes sense that progress can be made from the beginning of the lesson rather than waiting until the end before any learning can take place.
The measure of progress needs to be clear
Lesson observations are now more focused on evidence of progress. The information below will also touch, therefore. on how we can demonstrate the progress that is being made.
During an observation, the observer must be confident that students have made good or exceptional progress during that time in order to rate the lesson as better than satisfactory.
Why do we measure progress?
Students should be part of the process (it's amazing how many teachers forget to share this information with students!) They should know and understand what success will look like each lesson, and they obviously need to know if they have achieved this success!
The benefits of effective progress checks
When we are being observed – either as a trainee, an NQT, or an established teacher – the worst thing we can hear in our feedback is that the students did not appear to make progress. It can be frustrating – particularly if we worked hard to plan for this. It is even more annoying if the progress was made in the part of the lesson the observer didn’t see!
Let’s look at some of the reasons why this progress may not have been demonstrated clearly enough.
An observer might not recognise the progress the students have made because...
What does progress look like?
How do we know progress has been made?
Progress within a lesson does not always have to be measured in terms of data. It can be as simple as
The key to good progress being made has to come from the partnership between the students and the teacher. Teaching and learning happen together – and progress is the outcome of good teaching and learning!
This means an awareness from both parties as to what is expected for success to be possible, and pertinent, individual feedback throughout the lesson to keep the students on track to make that progress.
The teacher and student should continuously reflect on progress together, through marking and dialogue, through identifying the next steps in learning and through establishing what particular support or extension work might be required to ensure the student’s individual needs are met.
Pupils learn well and show rapid progress when:
Key ingredients to promote rapid progress
In Friday’s blog post I will share some specific tasks and activities to help demonstrate and measure progress – and make it more visible.
Dr Sharon Williams