Teaching and Assessing Essential Skills

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Please download and share the attached file with any teacher who wishes to improve personalisation in their classroom. Please note that you need to sign in to this PiL network to leave comments or download the file.

The basic idea behind personalisation is to meet the varied needs of every student in every lesson. This is a simple idea in theory but the practice is harder because if you have classes of greater than 5 students, the research strongly suggests you will find it hard to do this effectively.

The answer is not to decrease class sizes but rather, increase the number of 'teachers' by building up the skills of the whole class so they can peer teach and peer assess more effectively.

The rubrics in the attached PPT have been used extensively and to good effect over a number of years by teachers who want to systematically build up the skills of their classes without changing what they teach.

Download it, spread it and use it for free, on the condition that you come back here and add a comment. Our aim is to continue to adapt it and make it more useful.

More information about what the file contains

The essential skills are defined as follows

  • Self Management
  • Engaged Participation
  • Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Reflective Learning
  • Enquiry
  • Team Work

The first letters of these spell SECRET and so students are encouraged to share their secrets and let people know their secrets etc. This makes the point that these are essential skills which we don't celebrate enough.

Levels 1-4 of each of these skills can be 'delivered' through normal lessons just by modifying the approach slightly. The PPT gives guidance for how to do this.

Students are assessed at their level and if they get up to 4 then you can either switch to the more detailed version of SECRET which breaks the skills up into their component parts or you can try setting students individual challenges. This approach is explained in the PPT.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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