A bit of a cheat this one, as I’ve not strictly finished reading it… but I’ve been finding it so useful that I’ve actually returned the library copy and bought Formative Assessment in Action: Weaving the Elements Together, by Shirley Clarke, for myself.It’s a wonderful book, demonstrating how to go about personalising learning for children (i.e. tailoring the meat of your lessons to their interests and needs) whilst still meeting the curriculum. The book covers a whole plethora of strategies to use, from talk partners to questioning styles, through how to set “decontextualised” (ugh!) learning objectives (which, from my perspective as an ex-computer programmer, means “abstracted” – so the LO for the lesson isn’t tied directly into the current topic in the children’s minds) and success criteria, to self-assessment and even peer-assessment where the children learn, are able and profit from marking their own and others’ work.
Funnily enough, it’s not straightforward – but it is worthwhile. We’ve been using elements of it at my school, especially in literacy, this year (helped largely by the interests and leanings of the new head – an educational consultant in literacy in his previous role) – and the results have been excellent! The children are all thoroughly enjoying literacy, with some excellent work coming out of (very nearly) all the children – even the ones who, traditionally, haven’t given their all to the subject.
All in all, thoroughly recommended.