It was felt that lessons are often so interactive there can be little evidence in children’s books. Children are focused and engaged.
Teachers had used the mid lesson learning stops at the visualiser to model success and improvement which has led to students being receptive to peer marking and had added pace and direction to lessons. Children enjoy their work being shared at the visualiser and being chosen randomly has helped to develop an environment where risk taking and critiquing work is OK.
Because there is time given for discussion as they go, improvements made are well thought out and not just tagged on the next day.
Children’s work had been assessed not only against the success criteria but also against the key features of writing, which has helped to consolidate key features.
Cooperative improvement improves accuracy and leads to continual review. One child said “It says ‘really nice work’ in my book. What’s wrong with that? It’s no use to me. It doesn’t tell me how to get better.”
Children were excited and motivated by mid lesson learning stops at the visualiser, wanting their work to be randomly selected. One teacher uses a set time for cooperative improvement (sharing time). Children instantly recognise what they are doing well and what they need to do now. Drawing a line after a mid-lesson learning stop helps everyone see how the work improves as it goes along.
Teaching takes longer because of the stops so lessons need more flexibility in timetabling.
Success criteria need to be referred to throughout and the focus of any improvements.
It was important that the author used the highlighter during cooperative improvement times.
At beginnings of lessons, teachers were using old pieces of pupil work to show what a good one looks like which has scaffolded children’s thinking. This had enabled children to see what is possible and what their next steps would be to improve.
Constant review was both powerful and challenging. The culture of the classroom was key.
All teachers were finding maths tricky.
Teachers had been helping children to see their writing as more than just ticking off the success criteria by analysing two comparative pieces of writing, both of which contain all the success criteria and asking why is one better than the other. This has led to improved writing with well-chosen adjectives, adverbs and so on.
One school had introduced writers’ journals to encourage self-assessment and to magpie ideas, given a bank of good examples. There was also a feedback workshop with ‘learning detectives’, looking for success and next steps during mid-lesson learning stops and improvement time within sessions. Children understand the role of feedback and are more actively involved in their assessment.
Cooperative improvement lends itself to skills based lessons where a meaningful improvement can be made.
Teachers were praising effort not mastery, which has encouraged higher achievers to want to continually improve rather than have a fear of failure.
Higher achievers were given an ‘author’s journal’ to magpie ideas in terms of their targets. The books were introduced at a writer’s workshop where I shared assessment information with them and discussed how we could improve great writing.
The children use the journals in literacy and topic and are able to use them ‘thesaurus’ style when producing a piece of work.
During ‘improvement time’ they are sharing ideas with the rest of the class.
Recently a 3c writer was involved in a discussion relating to the ‘sarcasm’ of Mr. Spinks in the book ‘Street Child’. The following day in PSHE with another teacher he was able to apply this understanding to his concept of friendship and kindness. He is now using a dictionary to develop his vocabulary.
Sarah Carlin Wade Primary School
Claire Hodgson | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tower Hamlets, London
Stella Smith | email@example.com
Stella Smith | firstname.lastname@example.org
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