What is important (and therefore worth spending time on) given where my students are at?
This year I have chosen to focus on an area of teaching that I have always thought to be a bit boring – using data to improve student learning. I have always worked on instinct and this has been okay. However, I would like to do more than okay! I want to raise the achievement levels in my classes and be the best teacher that I can be. To do this I am going to learn how to use the mark book in Kamar to record data and I am going to collect data mindfully.
What strategies (evidence based) are most likely to help my students?
I have read some articles on this subject and discovered that data can be more than just numbers. As well as grades it can be a show of hands, a quiz or survey. So today I finished my lesson by asking questions and getting a show of hands. This gave me valuable information about what I need to spend part of next lesson doing.
I plan to use the Kamar mark book to track results from assessments throughout the year. I noticed that last year some of my senior students started the year well but by the middle of term 3 their results were not as good. This year I plan to keep a close eye on this and if I see results starting a downward spiral I will take action.
Another strategy is to look at the behaviour records of challenging students to see if there is any evidence that can help me understand their behaviour. By doing this I can try different approaches to get the best out of them. In the past I have not done this as I want to give them a fresh start in my class and not have any preconceptions. I will still do this as I believe it is important to think positively and expect the best. However, if their behaviour becomes a problem, I will check out their records to see if there are problems at home or anything else that I should know about to help me help them.
What happened as a result of the teaching and what are the implications for future teaching?
Watch this space!