I have been thinking this year of how best I can track student's progress in lessons and throughout topics and have come up with an idea that I will try out with my top set Year 9 class. Having spoken to my HoD about the idea he suggested I try the tracker with one class to start with and then see how it works over the 1st half term. Then, I'll have a better idea of whether it works, what could be done to improve it, get some student feedback on the trackers or scrap the idea all together!
I have come up with this Student Topic Tracker Sheet...
(This one is for the first topic to be covered in the Year 9 SoW)
I am planning on getting students to stick one of these sheets (there is one for each topic up to the Oct half-term) at the start of each topic in their exercise books.
Each of the topic trackers have all of the learning objectives for the topic, all levelled with the corresponding KS3 NC Levels.
Next to each learning objective there are a series of boxes for the students to highlight their confidence with. There is a 'before lesson', 'after lesson' and 'after revision' scale from 1 to 4. The criteria for each of the numbers 1 to 4 is given at the top of the sheet.
I will therefore get students to circle their confidence on each learning objective prior to each lesson on that objective. I will then, at the end of the lesson/s on that objective, get the students to circle their confidence again. Hopefully this will provide one way of the students seeing the progress they have/haven't made on the objective. The 'after revision' confidence metre is then for the students to use for their own personal learning on the topic after they have been taught it in class. I have put this here as I know some students can forget what they have covered in class or get more confused when they read something online or in a revision guide that is worded differently to what they experienced in class.
At the end of the topic, with all the learning objectives having been covered and confidence against them being highlighted, I will get students to put a comment on the topic, self-assessing how they feel it has gone, what they liked/did well, what they didn't like/didn't go well and what they need to improve i.e. more help on... or more practise on... . This will give them a chance to let me know of anything they haven't already stated to me. I will also get them to give themselves a level/grade on the topic.
At the end of the topic it should be clear for the students to see the level they have been working at given the levelled learning objectives and their confidence on each. i.e. if a student is 'really confident' on each of the level 6 objectives but 'not sure' on the level 7/8 topics then they would say they were working at a level 6 for this topic.
I will then, using my WWW and EBI stamp, put a teacher comment in and I will also give them a level based on their sheet, the work they have done in class and class work/homework I have marked. I will also give the class a brief end of topic test to complete that I will use. I may even add a separate part to the sheet for this level/mark?! (thinking out loud here)
I will then sign, and get the student to sign the sheet after a 'feedback' session with the student on the topic and their work/level.
I will then try and photocopy/scan each of the student's topic trackers and store in their files for future reference (parent's evening, reports, faculty meetings etc).
I can see the sheets working really well in class, both for the students and for me. The students should be able to see the work they are doing, the level they are working at and where they need to focus their attention to improve. From my point of view it will mean that I will only have the end of the topic sheet to mark and level with my WWW and EBI stamp and the rest of the student's work/homework can be 'flicked and ticked' with an overall mark being given against it. I can also get students to peer-assess their partner's work in lessons to give an additional element of assessment to each student.
There will be a fair amount of explaining how the sheets work to students initially, which I will cover in our 1st lesson to get the class into the routine of doing them throughout the year. After this I am sure the sheets will become a natural part of our daily lessons/routine and students will get used to filling them in throughout each topic and referring back to them.
(thinking out loud again here...) I could even get students to, when constantly referring back to the tracker sheet throughout lessons, look to see if there are any 'gaps' they need to fulfil when finished other objectives. This could be a good way of introducing a more 'independant learning' element to my lessons by getting students to decide what it is they need to know, rather than me saying 'this lesson we will be doing this...' (a bit of differentiation here!).
If anyone has used anything similar to this before and have any suggestions/tips on what has worked for them and how I could improve my current version I'd love to hear your thoughts, just reply below or tweet me @mrprcollins, thanks.