Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Learn - Research - Professional Development

During the holidays - on my birthday - I went to the WTE National Writing Conference and the keynote in the morning alone was worth getting up early for.

I took all my notes on a Presentation, which is here for you to view below or view at this link.

I absolutely have used these sentence-types in class. With the juniors I ran whole lessons around casting sentence types, to try and improve their writing.

Here's one lesson I ran on precision writing in science - this presentation linked to this set of activities for students.

The other thing I was absolutely blown away by was the way that we present students their assessment tasks. We've been giving them THOUSANDS of words to decipher and try to work out what to do before they even begin writing the assessment.

At the writing conference we sat down in groups with a real 1800-word, Level 3 PE task and all tried to work out what it was asking us to do, and how to get Excellence, and which parts were important.

Then Ian presented us with a single A4-sized task. It had exact word limits and included clear instructions on what students must include to gain top grades. We didn't have to guess what was meant! Why does it have to be a mystery what we want students to do? When he took his single A4 sheet to an NZQA moderators meeting (there were 40 of them there) they were bamboozled - they thought that's what everyone was giving students! The TKI tasks are not meant for kids' eyes!

Ian said the best way to make these amazing tasks is to write your own Excellence exemplar, and then see how many words you have apportioned to each section of the task. Set students a word count (as they would have in University, anyway!), and provide headings for each section. Provide clearly worded prompts about what to include. You can see two examples of this that he provided, in the presentation above.

Here is one that I wrote myself for Year 13

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