My interest in the idea of sharing pedagogical purposes comes directly with the contact I have had with the Project for Enhancing Effective Learning at Monash University in Australia. Now each of these teachers were very active in establishing learning agendas with their classes. The impact they were having was inspiring. Each classroom tool can have a purpose beyond delivering content, and this needs to be shared.
I suppose the purpose of this website is collate, crystalise and open dialogues about how to increase this within classrooms. As the quote from Carl Bereiter illustrates this classroom methodology can empower our students.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

This Years Teacher Record Sheet

Last year I was determined to make the most of the informal observations that I would make as a matter of course during teaching. I thought long and hard about what I would see in my class, part of this was to catch the students doing something right. So last year I redrafted this four times to get it right.

So, it is therefore obvious that I have started a fresh this year. Although I have definitely learned something. I am hopeful that this years model, is more focused on the learning my students are doing and will inform the next teaching/ learning step easily. This will be shared with my students at the very start of the year. Every student will have one that I will fill in during lessons and when I look at their work.

The first section is all about improving on task behaviour, students work better if they think you are watching them, hence my insistence in not solely recording if homework is completed, but class written work, learning tasks such as a card sort and their involvement in discussions. The final one is so important to record as all students should be involved in this, for many reasons some students will struggle to complete all written tasks. I also want to add value on task discussions.

The second section is all about the quality of their learning, and, again this will completed during and after lessons. It is based around my own interpretation of Biggs Solo Taxonomy. It is one of my key focuses of my learning agenda this year, so it should be helpful to centralise this. I must stress that this is not just for written work and sitting in and listening to conversations will be just as valid.

The next section is a relic from last year, which is the ANECDOTES section, a hugely powerful classroom management tool. Poor learning behaviours being recorded and then recited back to students changes behaviour. Take for example " This is the third time this half term that you have not had a pen, you did not have one on the 12th and 19th of June!" Students very quickly get embarrassed into doing something different. More importantly the recording of good learning behaviours turns out to be a reward in itself, all with the added benefit of basically writing your reports as you go along. The anecdotes will include significant events and notes taken form random classroom scans.

I have added my schools Five R'S of good learning characteristics. These being Reasoning, Reflectiveness, Responsible, Resourceful, and Resilience. To reflect upon afterwards, possibly through discussion with the students. I intend to classify them positive or negative for each characteristic. The motivation for this is that this makes up a big part of our student monitoring and reporting system. So I want at least some evidence to reflect upon rather than just a gut feeling.

Then finally comes the assessment section, the things I would normally record in my record book, exam scores and grades for individual tasks but also a grade based upon topic specific observations made per topic. (More on this too follow.) The other novelty included is a record of science specific thinking skills which I am currently developing in place of the new APP's.

So there you have it draft one of this years record keeping, hopefully learning focused, dialogue fueling, and evidenced based decision guiding. Any comments on improvements are gratefully accepted. I'm sure draft two is just around the corner.

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