All year 11 learners have just completed a gruelling challenge of Mocks in ten days. This has challenged them to be ultra organised and plan timely revision to ensure they are as prepared as they can be. As a year group they have done brilliantly and even on the final Friday last week the middle Geography exam preparation was really well attended. We put a tannoy message out and every learner came down immediately for additional preparation.
The challenge for staff is ensuring that the learning experiences we create now and really sharply targeted on specific areas of development for each individual learner. In previous years I would mark the mock and then bash through the 28 questions with all the kids listening and having to put on some form of comedy routine to keep their interest when I got to question 20! This year I decided to record myself going through each question using Screencast O Matic and upload them onto youtube. Learners were given their marked papers back and first score given in green highlighter. I emailed them the website link and asked them to improve. I observed them for five minutes and was amazed at the different responses, some just started watching the videos without looking in their paper, others watched question talkthroughs that they had got correct and some started writing corrections in green pen working through each question they had got wrong. Do we as teachers sometimes presume that learners know how to learn? Are we explicit enough with our expectations? Should we be?
After five or so minutes I then had a discussion with them and asked them – “What makes effective learning here?”. It created a great discussion and we then agreed that we would all stream the questions we didn’t understand and make corrections in green pen. Then put new scores at the end of the lesson to show progress. Learners then worked superbly for around 45 minutes unaided in most cases in the photo above.
Did it have impact? The green highlighter was the initial score and the dark green pen was the new one in the pictures below. Learners definitely felt satisfied with the progress they had made and many spoke to me about how annoyed they were because they did not read the question properly – i’m going to do a separate blog post on problem solving questions in Maths soon. My aim this term is about building them as learners and I showed them that with the correct support/scaffolds they all can make great progress. Then four learners stopped after school tonight for additional support (available each Monday and Thursday! 🙂 ) and turned up expecting to be taught a bespoke lesson. I gave them the ipads and asked them to continue which they were keen to do as it was personalised to them. Then one learner (sorry about his shirt in the video!) who had finished reviewing moved onto Hegarty maths to research independently a key area that they have struggled with – they were becoming a Maths learner in front of my eyes! Just look at this perseverance and collaboration between the two of them to solve a complex question – what a day. 🙂