Tip #6: Monitor, track and recognise progress
We all need to know where our students are at, and where they are going.
I personally keep a spreadsheet of all of my kids’ grades on end-of-unit tests. I use this spreadsheet to take action in the following ways:
- Notice any drop in performance at the earliest instance and intervene with one-to-one conversations. This tells the students that I’m ‘on their case’ and that I simply will not allow or accept negative performance (i.e. going down in grades).
- Praise and make a fuss out of achievements, such as when students go up a grade in subsequent tests
Most teachers collect data, but few teachers positively act on that data. When we are mindful of which students are rising and which students are falling, we can intervene quickly and literally change their lives.
I’ve seen many students over the years come into IBDP Chemistry having never learnt chemistry before, and then coming out with level 7s (the highest level possible) in end-of-unit tests. I had one student last year who came into IGCSE Chemistry year two having never learnt any chemistry before. After one year of my help, using the techniques I’ve mentioned today (and especially this idea of using data intelligence), she pushed herself to achieve a grade A*: a truly phenomenal achievement by any pedagogical measure.
It’s not a miracle when something like this happens – it’s been carefully engineered and crafted by a teacher who knows their students and who is relentless in taking massive action on a daily basis.
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