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Classroom examples: representing success (secondary)

How do these activities sharing success criteria help the students understand what makes a good quality answer?
LAURA: I’ve given you one of these. It’s one between two. So you’re going to be working with the person next to you for this. And you’re given one statement here.
So what I’d like you to do, so for example, the first one, you’re given that x plus five equals seven. You’re also given the next bit, like given the answer here. You’re told that if x plus five equals seven, we know that x plus 10 equals 12. What I want you to do is the explanation bit here. How do we know that the second statement is true from that first statement? So have a go and pass. See if you can explain how those equations are related to each other.
STUDENT: So vx plus two for a start. [INAUDIBLE] for this equation.
STUDENTS: Well, x equals two. Yes.
TEACHER: Basically, what we’re going to do is we’re going to design, in small groups, we’re going to design– just pass them down– a habitat to live on Mars. So I’ve gone to the effort of designing one. What I want you to do is I want you to spend a couple of minutes looking at these designs, and we’re going to come up with a list of what we think is essential to have for a Mars habitat. So you need to have a read over what things I’ve included, what you think is good, what you think is not good.
And then we’re going to put a list of our goals for our habitat that we’re all going to try and meet when we design our own ones. Does that makes sense? Yes? Off you go.
STUDENTS: Well, the housing. And if we’ve got enough power, then we’ll be going to be able to do everything we’ll be able to do. And even if the Mars will be dead, we’re OK. But they need power to run.
STUDENTS: You didn’t seek this.
STUDENTS: Yes, I know. But if someone gets some storms then,
STUDENTS: Exactly.
TEACHER: What must our shelter have?
STUDENT: A greenhouse.
TEACHER: A greenhouse. Why do we need a greenhouse?
STUDENT: To grow food.
TEACHER: So we need something along the lines of a green house to grow food, so a source of food. Josh.
STUDENT: And we need solar panels.
TEACHER: Solar panels. What are the solar panels for, Josh?
STUDENT: So you can get electricity and energy.
TEACHER: Do we specifically need solar panels, or do we just need a source of…
STUDENT: An energy source.
TEACHER: Source of wind.
STUDENT: A wind turbine.
TEACHER: We could have a wind turbine. So there’s different ways we could create our electricity. Excellent. Great. So we’ve got those. What we’re going to do is, I’ve got some big pieces of paper. There’s some pens in the drawers at the side. I’ll move them into the middle of the desk.
WILL: Originally, I just wanted to check that the learning or they understood the key concepts of finding and being able to calculate the mean, median, and the mode and then actually understand what it is about the numbers that give these answers. So if we want a group of numbers that have a mean of six, what has to be true about those numbers. I’d written out some groups of numbers that have the answer there, so five numbers with a mean of four. But unfortunately, I’d spilt some coffee on that the night before, and they had to work out what number I must have spilt my coffee over in each of the questions.
Had discussions like, well, if the mean has to be four, what needs to be true about these numbers, and then we’ll soon get into the fact that, well, if it’s five numbers, what do they need to add up to? So that was nice to know that they’re using the fact that they need to add up to a certain number and recognising the links and coming back to the fact that they can multiply the mean by how many numbers there are to find out the total. And that really showed me a bit of understanding about what the mean is, that it’s adding up those numbers to divide by how many numbers you’ve got.
ASHLEY: Number three is what we call a spy, an industrial spy. An industrial spy is not going to stay with his main group. He’s going to go around to the other groups and spy on what the other groups are doing. That is an important role because the two in the group are going to learn all about this resource, but the spy is going to learn about four other ones. They are going to fill in, like all good spies do, because all spies record everything that they hear and everything that they see. You’re going to record the other four types of energy, so the ones that you’re not doing.
You’re going to have to spend your time going around to each group, listening, not talking– because spies don’t talk– listening to what the other two in the other groups of discussion when they’re writing their– or filling in their sheet. And you need to record what they’re saying and what their poster says whilst they’re doing it. Does that make sense? And the spy doesn’t actually stay with his group. He spends that 12 minutes walking around, checking upon the others. And then at the end, they’re going to feed back to the rest of the group what those four different types of energies involve. [INTERPOSING VOICES]
STUDENT: A cloudy night.
In this video we see Laura, Jack, Will and Ashley using a range of different planned approaches to exemplify success and support their students in being able to understand how to produce good quality work.
  • 0m10s – Here’s the answer, how did I get it? Maths. Year 7 (age 11-12).
  • 1m15s – Co-construction of success criteria. Science. Year 7 (age 11-12).
  • 3m25s – Hack attacked work. Maths. Year 8 (age 12-13).
  • 4m40s – Comparing and contrasting different work. Science. Year 7 (age 11-12).
What is important for the teachers is supporting students to understand the process and reasoning of how to achieve success, rather than the outcome itself. Although these examples are from secondary classrooms it is important to realise that they could be also be applied in any context.


Having watched the video consider:
  • How do these activities help the students understand what makes a good quality answer?
Consider your answers to these questions and post your thoughts in the comments on this page.
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