Archive for September, 2012

Sunday, 23rd September, 2012

180 Blog

Amongst the stream of things that passed through my google reader last year was a blog from a Physics teacher showing a picture a day. I would ignore this sometimes but occasionally take an idea or thought. The idea that it was mostly based around an image appeals to me and the take it or leave it nature is nice, so I thought I would try something similar this year. I have still called it a 180 blog, even though I am very slow of the mark and we are down to about 155 by now. I hope no-one is really counting.

I think the point is to have something to put out and get comment from a wider community. I think there should be a week or so of pictures, the I will try and see if this can be shared.

I have used posterous, since that was the original I am copying. I have managed to test post from email and from my ipod, so this should not be too onerous.

I wonder how wide or narrow to make this – maybe it should be about anything in school, maybe about the teaching of science, maybe even just the experimental ideas. I think I will start with a week on something that is happening or happened in class, and see how that goes. I will stick and annoying calendar reminder in for each afternoon.

In case the link was too hidden – here it is again:

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Monday, 17th September, 2012

Recording and reporting assessments

We have a couple of systems in school that are (somewhat) new regarding recording and reporting assessments. Here the question is how to leverage these systems to help communication about assessed tasks with parents and students in a way that makes efficient use of every-bodies time.

The first is the task specific clarification. Not really new, but since this has been given a systematic format for all the classes, there is at least a makeover.

The second is veracross, which is the system for reporting and other school database functions.

Eventually it would be good to use veracross to find a way to manage and collate assessments and communicate these to parents and students. This is something that will be introduced later, so an interim system would be good.

Googledocs provides a way of creating things where the sharing can be controlled and the students seem pretty familiar and comfortable with this. This is also the format that most of our ms assessment documents are in. The students already have handing folders that they put work in for me to mark and they have all managed this well.

So the idea would be to create a single assessment document for each student, that would be shared between me and them. I would then ask them to share this (the whole folder or the document?) with their parents. Collating the assessments in this way should make them more useful to the students to look at before starting subsequent tasks.

On this document could go:

The TSC – this should be a simple cut and paste and should be a format that everyone will become quickly familiar with.

Highlights from me of the statements relevant to the assignment.

Comments on particular aspects

General teacher comment.

Student comments – these might come before or after my assessment – does it need to be the same way each time? This may be better on the blog if I am going to expect the student to showcase work. Maybe if this is the case then I could expect the students to put a link to a blog post.

Parent comments – I think the blog would be to public for this, so either on the googledoc or put an invitation to email me on the sheet. Since there isn’t automatic notification update, this might save me having to search through documents in case of comments. To get over the notification thing the message function in veracross could be used to draw parents attention to updates.


How much time will this take? This is not being lazy, if a system is onerous then the feedback time can get longer and the feedback can be less useful.

The assessment does not include direct annotation of work as a matter of course. Especially for hand written tasks this may make the assessment less useful.

The security of documents – if write access is given, then things can be deleted. The (threat of the) revision history may prove adequate here.

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