Comments were made about poor quality visualisers stifling the modelling of children’s work.
One idea was to start a lesson with something typed which is boring and invite children to gradually improve it. This led to creative thinking. The teacher inputted some wow words like ‘exasperated’, which was then magpied by some of the children in their own writing.
A gallery approach is a good way of improving work in art lessons – children walk around critiquing each other’s art. Children are asked to describe how they had achieved something and children comment on why they like something.
Most people were having mid lesson stops to take one child’s work to identify successes and suggest improvement.
One teacher had started an instructions lesson by showing pictures of a character that had made biscuits correctly and another character who had not followed the instructions. Children could see the differences and used this to write correct instructions for making biscuits. The speaking and listening was excellent and they were able to pick out key features of instructions.
Teachers had given children verbal and marked feedback, focusing on success and improvement. Mid lesson stops had been introduced for children to self-edit or for cooperative improvement, which needed lots of training. Children had more immediate feedback and their work was of higher quality.
Teachers had also showed examples of excellence at beginnings of lessons, often using a character (e.g. Walter the Wizard). Success criteria and understanding of excellence had resulted.
Teachers had enabled children to generate success criteria by using excellent examples from other classes, Mainly in Literacy. Children like to magpie ideas and words from excellent examples. Some lower achievers were switched off when they saw the excellent example because they felt they couldn’t achieve. It works better when examples are shown across the range of levels.
Teachers felt that looking at a good example was an easy way of getting children to generate success criteria. One teacher now has a collection of excellent examples which children enjoy looking at, comparing their work to previous pupils.
One teacher showed a constructed wheel and axle and children discussed what they would need to do to make a good one. This saved teacher time.
Some teachers are developing learning stops in the classroom, enabling children to independently make improvements. Having success criteria and seeing good examples had led to one particular high achiever but lacking in focus really work hard to make improvements in his work. Children are now much more accurate and honest in their self assessment. One teacher asks children to go to the task if they are ready but to stay for more input if they feel they need more. Initially they would all go off, but now more and more are staying.
One teacher had a system for cooperative improvement where different pieces of work are passed around and talk partners work at a piece giving feedback. Children love this and give honest feedback.
Another teacher stoops children half way through a session and asks what they have done well and is there anything that could be improved. Children now have more awareness of their strengths and areas to develop.
Using coloured cups (red, green, amber) meant a teacher could see who needed help at any time in the room.
Brighton and Hove
One teacher had compared products at the start of a DT lesson which led to children identifying processes they would need to learn, such as joining skills. This led to greater success and quality in their subsequent building.
Showing different examples of writing had led to successful pupil generation of success criteria for a newspaper report. The detail of the success criteria makes the learning more accessible for all.
Some teachers had had problems stopping the children too often. It was also felt that cooperative feedback needed to be modelled as it had been difficult to integrate into an early years’ environment.
Year 2 children enjoy sharing their work but worry at first that you are writing on their work. Then they realise the point of it and enjoy the feedback. Confidence has grown as before they would have worried about getting things wrong, whereas now they know ity’s OK to improve and identify next steps. Children also understand that it is good to magpie ideas from each other as they realise they are learning from each other.
Showing children’s work at the start makes it achievable and credible. Mid lesson plenaries get children back on track and give them instant feedback.
Brighton & Hove
Suzanne Morgan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Anne Vickers | email@example.com
Paul Wilson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Amy Parry | email@example.com