Integrating Structured Peer Assessments into KS3 English units of work

Ruth Greener Guest post by Ruth Greener, Teaching, Learning and Assessment Coordinator and Teacher of English, St. Andrews School, Green Valley Campus, Thailand

I recently wrote two new Structured Peer Assessments to use in KS3 English.

  • Honeydukes: “Write 100 words to advertise a brand new product that will go on sale in Honeydukes in Hogsmeade.”
  • School Uniform: “Write 200 words to argue in favour of or against school uniform.”

Both SPA activities went well, but the Continue reading

What is Structured Peer Assessment?

Getting students to mark each others’ work has two huge advantage – it is brilliantly formative and it saves you a ton of time. But how accurate is it? And how do you validate that it really is helping students learn?

Structured Peer Assessment (SPA) is our patented system to deliver accurate, demonstrably-formative peer assessment. Here is what it looks like from the student perspective. Continue reading

Snow day? S’no problem!

cars in snow

Next snow day, you don’t have to lose continuity with your students. Here are 4 ways you can keep them focused on their learning objectives, using Yacapaca.

key

qa Quick Assignments

I have put this first because it’s one many teachers never experiment with. It is simply a way to set any assignment for your students and get it back without all the palaver of emails getting lost, blocked or mistakenly thrown in the spam. Video (requires Flash) | More information.

homework Homework

Select a topic from your syllabus, and Yacapaca will automatically choose questions at the right level for each individual student. Teacher review on the misschambersICT blog | How the monitoring works.

revision Revision

One step on from Homework, Revision mixes and matches from all the topics the student has so far covered and enables them to really take charge of their own learning. Video | How to manage Yacapaca Revision.

mastery Mastery quizzes

When you assign a quiz or group of quizzes, Mastery is one of the modes you can choose. Set a success threshold and students will be presented with each quiz once per day (no more!) until they have reached that threshold. It works especially well with short quizzes that draw randomly from large question banks. Even works for Snow Weeks or (Siberia only) Snow Months! Introduction | 5 tips for success.

Structured Peer Assessment reviewed by Adam Williams

adamThis guest post is by Adam Williams, Teacher of IT and Computer Science, City of Norwich School an Ormiston Academy.

I have trialled Structured Peer Assessment exercises over the last few weeks with my classes. When I first saw it pop up as a new way of getting structured written work out of students I jumped at the chance. They are focused both during their own responses and even more so when they are giving feedback on others.

Following the lesson, the structure of their writing for long mark questions has dramatically improved and the amount of waffle has reduced.

I had planned to block out one of my whole one hour sessions to trial this initially but due to time constraints of the lesson I ended up with about 40 minutes left . To start with I showed them the video provided on the website and set the question “People often want to buy the latest smartphone or other computing device, even though the devices they own still work. Discuss the impact of people wanting to upgrade to the latest smartphone. In your answer you might consider the impact on: * stakeholders * technology * ethical issues * environmental issues!”
and set them off with 30 minutes, leaving a little bit of time for feedback at the end of the session.

They took it very seriously (They are an optional GCSE class taking my subject as an extra option) They could see the benefits themselves. Responses to other students was purposeful and exceptionally useful for them to draw out misconceptions and I love that I can pick up their answers afterwards, display them on the board and dissect where and why they would be picking up/losing marks and how they compare with other answers. They also quite liked being high up on the leaderboards as ranked by their peers.

From their feedback they would have preferred a little bit less time on the feedback as they felt it was just too long to be reading through the same content worded slightly differently a number of times.

Following the lesson, the structure of their writing for long mark questions has dramatically improved and the amount of waffle has reduced. They are now more succinct and have learned over a few of these that sometimes quality over quantity in an exam question is good.