Friday, 13 March 2015

Formative Assessment notes with Dylan Wiliam

Embedding Formative Assessment with Teacher Learning Communities
Dylan Wiliam - 6.3.15

Why we need to raise achievement and why it's not working
improving student achievement requires improving teachers
Changing learning styles is hard work but it results in better, more retained learning
Resilience is the best form of learning.
A need to take children out of their comfort zone (or preferred learning style) 
Good teachers benefit children for 3 years because of the foundations they have laid. You need 30 observations by different observers to attain how good a teacher is.
KS2 -Narrowing of curriculum=better results yet PISA scores have stayed the same for 20years.
Forcing chn to make decisions about their learning increase levels of dopamine and they are more interested in the answer when they commit to one. More likely to learn from a wrong answer.
Skills for work are increasing faster than education can keep up with. Eg. Insurance claims now calculated by computers not people.
Learners today are required to: know what to do, when they don't know what to do
Livingstone 1941- the best school master is known by the number of valuable subjects that they decline to teach.
UK curriculum is a mile wide and an inch deep.
Deeper, embedded learning in a range of styles.
Teaching: what do you want them to learn? What activities will you do? How will technology help you structure your teaching?
Evidence of work is usually seen as writing - no writing = no work? Not true, learning has many forms.
Employ TAs effectively- not with the lowest achievers? A qualified teacher is far more effective. TAs could mark and teachers could make diagnostic plans.
BEST teachers should teach weaker students, good students will learn from any teacher.

Formative Assessment
children need to know where they are in their learning and what their next step is - not which level they are at! They don't need to know.
Mable children will look after themselves, we need to focus on the children at the lower end because this will improve the level education within society. It is more important for primary leavers to access secondary school and achieve 5GCSEs so they can go on in life.
Long term- across units, terms, four weeks to one year, impact- student monitoring, curriculum alignment.
Medium cycle-within, between teaching units, one to four weeks, Impact- improved, student involved assessment, teacher cognition about learning.
Short cycle- within, between lessons, day-by-day, 24 to 48 hours, minute by minute. Impact-classroom practice, student involvement and engagement.
Give children no place to hide- they must answer. 
Feedback from marking is too late, expensive and is the last resort
Learning should be put back on track at the time, orally and when needed. You can put all learners back on track in one go not after writing the same thing 20 times in a book.
Unpacking Formative Assessment
where the learner is going- clarifying, sharing and understanding learning objectives. You don't need it at the beginning of a lesson, is it motivating? Get the students motivated-teacher needs to know where they are going but children should be curious.
Scottish Education has learning experiences without set objectives, it's a good thing for the children to do but the learning could look very different.
Where the learner is? Engineering effective discussions, tasks and activities that elicit evidence of learning.
How to get there? Providing feedback that moves learners forward don't reflect on a piece of work, what they should do next, not a postmortem.
Activating students as learning resources for one another.
Activating students as owners of their learning.
Teachers are often the hardest workers in a classroom. Children should be exhausted from learning.
"Memory is the residue of thought" so you need to control what the children are thinking about.
Interaction with teachers and students has assessment at its heart.
Using evidence of achievement to adapt what happens in classrooms to meet learner needs.
A good teacher: Establishes where students are in their learning, identifies learning destination, carefully plans a route, makes regular adjustments. 
Why progress the learning if the children aren't ready? Is progression between year groups valid? Children need to learn and apply before moving on. 
Wait time is most important after a child's response.
Reflecting upon own learning- teachers need to listen to children's ideas not synthesise, teacher makes statements for children to respond to not questions. Eg. You said this ... Children then respond without trying to aim for a 'correct' answer.
Differences of opinion create learning opportunities with children responding to each other-teacher says very little, doesn't question or synthesise.
Contextual response versus functional responses- as teachers we focus on functional-right or wrong? True learning comes from the contextual response. Reasoning, questioning etc. -BLP
High achieving pupils arrive in school knowing the formula for success, correct behaviour, answers etc. we need to teach all children what the route to success is.
Skills in isolation aren't valid, children must be able to generalise skills to any situation in the future. Is it important to correct a sum that was wrong? Will they be presented with that sum in the same context again? 
Learning is tied to the context of the learning
Explain learning intention
All children should have the same learning objective but can be differentiated by success criteria and how far from the context their knowledge can be applied.
Use posters of key words to talk about learning- describe, explain, evaluate BLP
Use planning and writing frames carefully, are they a support or a constraint? We need to let children have freedom to innovate and be creative.
Use annotated examples of different standards-WAGOLLS but with mistakes.
Children design their own tests with questions and answers, higher level learning.
Choosing questions carefully, don't ask questions that set children up to fail but instead give you evidence.
Ask random children and then ask the rest of the class.
A correct answer may indicate sound understanding but it does not evidence a correct or valid strategy.
Improving Questioning-
Move away from hands up (only to ask a question), class is driven by who is the fastest not the best examples of learning.
All student response systems-no opt out
Class polls, start debate through differences
Don't make up a multiple choice question on the spot, they need to be carefully planned.
Review responses quickly, do I need to revisit with whole class? Or just a select few? 
Get children to answer questions-leave cliff hangers..
Challenge 'Don't know' don't let children get out of it. 
Loving to be right-gets in the way of learning. Children are relieved when they are right but they shouldn't be because they should be confident that they are correct.
multiple choice questions- one answer that all children could get and another more subtle answer that will challenge higher thinkers. 
If children with the right thinking and the wrong thinking are able to give you the correct answer then it is not a useful question.
Lesson planning- follow a flow diagram format 
Using a hinge question based on the important concept that is critical for children to understand before you move the learning on.
Question should fall midway during the lesson
It must be diagnostic not a discussion
Every student must respond to the question 2 minutes, you must collect and interpret responses within 30seconds.
By using multiple choice questions you can decide which areas need more focus for the rest of the lesson. You can test, mark and feedback in 30seconds. Without marking and keeping evidence.
Distributed learning is much more effective. Short lessons focussed on a key skill. Review previous, last week's learning in short sections. Lots of revisiting, practises retrieval of information-this does not need to be marked. 
Marking your own test and seeing why you were wrong. The score isn't important, low stake testing that focuses on misconceptions.
Teach and test 3 times each piece
After testing questions, children could write about the feedback just given to them to move them forward. My Feedback
Israel study- grades resulted in no gain, comments resulted 30% gain.
Grades result in fight or flight mode, which means children don't look at their comments-is this the same for Housepoints?
Grades and praise marking increase ego-involvement but not learning.
Competition is good for some but some children avoid competing and the following year the children will expect the stakes to be raised.
Kruger & DeNisi (1996) review of 3000 research reports- on average feedback increases achievement however 38% resulted in negative results.
The important thing about feedback is what is done with it and the reaction of the child
You need to know your children, to know when to push and when to back off. 
Children need to trust you to accept your feedback and use it. The relationship is key
4 responses- change behaviour, change goal, abandon goal, reject feedback
Feedback should:
Cause thinking, provide guidance on how to improve
Comment only marking
Make time in class for valuing feedback-teacher shouldn't spend the most time working on this. If it is important to learning, then it will be important to do in class.
Make feedback a detective activity, this will help response to feedback- matching feedback to work.
Focused marking- don't mark everything, explicit reference to mark schemes, scoring guides.
 Don't tick every answer, ask children to find the mistakes- 5 are wrong, fix them!
Essential components- group goals working as a group, not just in a group.
Individual accountability- every contribution is important.
Cooperative Learning- 4 mechanisms- Motivation, social cohesion, personalisation, cognitive elaboration.
Peer Assessment- share comments, model feedback, choose-swap-choose- peer discussion- underline best thing, swap with partner they underline your best thing, discuss.
Training children to pose questions-tell children they are going to have to ask a question about a piece of learning. End of lesson review-children lead the plenary-captains log
Self-assessment- Red/green discs to indicate to teacher when to slow down. Red/green/yellow cups to indicate you need help or have a question.
Learning Portfolio- 
PMI-reflect upon their work something positive, minus and interesting.
Setting personal targets-give children the ability to talk about their learning, increases engagement.
A Model For Teacher Learning
content, then process, 
Content-what we want teachers to change Evidence, ideas.
Process- how to go about change-choice, flexibility, small steps, accountability, support
Teacher training- more productive to improve teacher strengths rather than develop areas that they are weaker in. We should allow different teachers to choose their own ways to develop rather than create cloned teachers who are teaching in a way that doesn't suit them.
Strategies vs Techniques - teachers are responsible for the choice of their techniques because strategies define formative assessment. Creates ownership and shares responsibility, they know their class the best.
Key requirements of techniques- they embody deep cognitive and affective principles that research shows are important. They are relevant, feasible and acceptable. 
Most powerful teacher knowledge is not explicit
Changing practice is about changing habits not knowledge
Not about new ideas but about getting the old ones out.
Changing your practice will enable you to see things you couldn't before.
stressful environments produce more cortisol in the brain which slows down learning so comparisons are ineffective between schools.
Making a commitment
Action planning, forces teachers to make ideas concrete, makes you accountable, requires focus, requires teachers to give things up or reduce.
a good action plan- don't change everything at once, spells out significant changes, relates to 5 key strategies of Afl, is achievable within a reasonable period of time, identifies something that the teacher will reduce.
Teacher learning communities-monthly workshops, time for personal development
A signature pedagogy Structure: introduction (aims) starter, feedback, new learning about formative assessment, personal action planning, review of learning.
Peer Observation- observed teacher; specifies focus, specifies what counts as evidence,  observed teacher owns all notes and process-not a form of appraisal.
Action Plan:
flow diagram of learning planning with hinge questions planned into sequence, these are the basis of AfL
Mix up the day, shorter focused lessons, revisit work lots, embed learning, not just one long period.

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