Silent modelling of new skills had been used in calculation lessons, in writing for sentence structure and language choice. Repetition was important and linking the steps to the success criteria. This strategy has raised self-efficacy, with children taking more responsibility. It eases the cognitive load and helps them develop explanation skills.
Teachers were now only displaying key information on working walls, co-created and acting as a knowledge organiser. Children have a cognitive attachment to the displays.
Knowledge organisers and dual coding maps (see anecdote) are used as a table resource and children are constructing their own cloze procedures as another form of retrieval for knowledge and vocabulary.
Jotters and Plicker App quizzes were supporting retrieval practice
Children retrieve key learning for every lesson or concept. They are made using basic black and white icons and children annotate their language and understanding around them. At the start or end of each session (sometimes both) children will visit and retrieve learning using these maps.
Sarah le Templier – Clearwater C of E Academy
Use of spider diagrams, highlighting what has been learnt helped children be able to access their knowledge.
Repetition of key vocabulary helped long term memory. Silent modelling of a skill, with errors deliberately placed, meant that children could articulate when they saw them, or when a correct point is reached eg. ‘This is an acute angle. Tell me when it becomes a right angle’. Children are able to repeat and use these methods in independent or paired tasks.
Low stakes quizzes had made children more confident in approaching high stakes tests.
Minimal displays and working walls had been used well by children and enabled them to retrieve prior knowledge. One school had started writing on the windows with chalk as ‘working windows’. Children think this is cool!
Most teachers had used silent modelling for maths and English lessons. Children were more focused. Children could pick out deliberate mistakes made during the modelling and pinpoint their own misconceptions more easily.
Prior knowledge questions and retrieval quizzes for maths had helped extend children’s knowledge by providing more practise. These are another opportunity to pick up misconceptions. Last week, last lesson, last unit was used for maths retrieval practice. Children love this and have retained their knowledge more successfully. Maths Shed/Quick Maths was not as successful for lower achievers, but good for others.
Knowledge organisers with pictures had helped access and embedding. Using these had led to higher level of engagement from all children, including SEND. IN one school they were kept in drawers under tables. They work better higher up in school because of accessibility issues. Less wordy is better.
Children are referring to things on the working walls during their learning.
When showing children the good example, they instantly know it’s a ‘learning from the back of the classroom’ lesson, where our working wall is. This excites them to new extremes!
Abbie Shaw – West Monkton Primary
Silent modelling had been used mainly in maths. It was more challenging in literacy. It places more onus on the children to engage and build the success criteria. Children were highly engaged. It also improved the quality of the talk between talk partners. One child said ‘We felt like detectives solving clues.’
Silent modelling had been shared with support staff during INSET training, which they can use with small groups. They said ‘We were surprised how quiet the children were and will definitely use this in our groups.’
One teacher talked to children about brains and synapses firing and the working memory. They were excited to learn that they were growing their brain when they learned something new.
One teacher had working walls and washing lines for White Rose maths. Videos and PowerPoints were shared with the children. These strategies increased independence. Children access the walls at their level and these things become key resources for them.
Three teachers had working walls for maths, literacy and Welsh. Children are less pressured because they have resources to refer to.
One teacher tried getting children to take notes, giving them the freedom to record as they wanted. Children even months later were able to retrieve notes and recall key facts.
Three people used songs for times tables which made retrieval much easier. Teachers were also using flashback slides to go over maths concepts, but this needed to be a daily habit.