This got me thinking. How does formative practice impact my teaching? Am I even using it well? Can I change how I assess my kids in an ongoing way that is impactful to my teaching and consequently my students progress/ development?
I realised by the end of last year I was starting to feel pretty stressed before my kids sat their end of year assessments. All I could think of was, "HAVE THEY IMPROVED??" This was a scary thought because of all the hard work I had put in to gain accelerated progress from my class. But that was only the start of it. What if I found out that a student hadn't understood a key concept or hadn't in-fact progressed? It was now too late to do anything about it. My window of change had gone! What about those kids who I hadn't moved on quick enough? Had it been too easy for them, meaning that an opportunity to extend them had been missed?
My 2016 enquiry focus had been birthed.
This year I am wanting to enquire into what exactly is creating accelerated progress in my kids. I want to find out what I am doing that is making a difference, and do that more often and throw away the ineffective, time wasting teaching/tasks/activities. I need to keep up to date with testing so that my teaching is always at the cutting edge, not relying on a gut feel.
I want to be more intentional in my tracking of progress throughout the year in the hope to fix a big problem. The problem I most want to solve is with my extension kids. I have realised that they are unable to think critically about a text. I have realised (through data analysis and extra testing) that they find it hard to evaluate a text. They also find it really hard to transfer knowledge from one context to another. This is what I want to fix!
My enquiry Focus for 2016:
Use formative assessment to track progress closely and determine what the next teaching and learning steps are in reading.