Teacher pathway, Level 4
Outcome: Planning becomes more effective using information held in Classroom Monitor
Why it matters: By now, you will know that Classroom Monitor provides you with an effective way of collating assessment information and extracting it for various purposes. In this learning guide we look at how you can close that assessment loop and use the intelligence within the system to directly impact what happens in your classroom. This helps you to effectively use your time in the classroom; focussing on the learning that’s required to make progress.
Time to complete: 30 minutes
Making the most of your time and effort
"Formative assessment is intended to inform teaching and learning. There is no intrinsic value in recording formative assessment; what matters is that it is acted on." Primary Assessment Commission Report, Sept 2015
There is no point in recording assessment information in your markbooks for the sake of recording assessment information and just to generate data for SLT. Every piece of information that you record takes time and you should make sure that you and your pupils get maximum benefit from your efforts. As noted in earlier learning guides, our recommendation is that assessment information in entered into the markbooks ‘little and often’. The main reason for this is to ensure that it can be acted upon quickly; bringing the biggest impact back into the classroom.
In previous learning guides, we looked at how to get information into your markbooks. Here we are going to look at how to get information out in a way that is useful to inform your short, medium and longer-term planning.
Focusing your markbooks
There is a wealth of previously recorded assessment information in your markbooks that can be used to inform your short-term planning. To help you access this in a digestible format, there are a number of features of the markbook menu that you can use to focus in on what you need.
When using the markbooks for planning, you should start by loading the specific objectives that you are about to teach. In the example below, you can see that the relevant Group, Curriculum, Subject and Ability have been selected for doing some planning in Maths for a year 3 class. However, rather than loading all objectives for Maths, the strand ‘Multiplication and Division’ has been selected as the focus. This will make it easier for you to identify the particular objectives that you are going to work on with the class.
When the markbook is loaded, only the relevant objectives are shown; three in this case. This makes it easier to identify strengths, weaknesses and gaps in the area that you are about to teach.
Tip: For the objective(s) that you are planning to work on, remeber that you can click the icon on an objective to view guidance to inform your expectations (not available in all frameworks)
Using previous assessment to inform planning
In the example above, we see that some pupils have assessment that has been previously been recorded for two of these objectives. This can help you to identify who may need extra support, who may need further challenge, and pupils that you might want to group together as a focus group. Moving into evidence mode, can give you access to any evidence that has previously been recorded. This can be really useful to highlight specific issues, for example, the particular issue that is holding Sophia back from being secure in the objective, which might be different to Alex.
Tip: Remember that evidence can be saved on any tile in evidence mode. A number of formats are supported- a text note only, photos, video clips and audio clips. Don’t just store evidence of success but also information that will help inform future planning.
It is also possible to access useful assessment information from a previous ability stage, which may have been recorded by a previous class teacher. This can help inform planning without having to engage in extensive pre-assessment.
To access assessments in previous ability stages, you should select your curriculum, group and subject as usual. Then, alongside the ability level that the pupils are currently working at, you can add in one or more further ability levels.
This gives you access to objectives in each of the selected ability levels along with any recorded assessment; whether this was recorded by you or another teacher.
To view which ability tag an objective has, you can click the circled arrow. So here you can see 4 objectives for Year 2 at the top followed by 3 objectives for Year 3.
Re-ordering the markbook for longer term planning
There are two dropdown menus at the bottom of the markbook selection screen so that you can reorder your markbooks for use in longer term planning. You can access these by clicking on ‘Show ordering options’.
There is a menu for ordering pupils and one for ordering objectives.
You can order your pupils by:
Attainment: uses each pupil’s attainment of displayed objectives, good for identifying pupils with similar needs
You can order the objectives by
Ability: group objectives from the same ability level together
Strand: group objectives from the same strand together
Subject: group objectives from the same subject together
Attainment: order objectives in terms of how well they have been achieved by the selected pupils.
You can change one or both, and whichever option you select, you can choose to order Ascending or Descending. Ordering both pupils and objectives by attainment can be particularly useful for planning purposes as it helps you to identify things such as:
Areas where the whole class are doing well
Areas which need focus for the whole class
Individuals who need focused attention in particular areas
Groups of pupils with similar needs