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An AFL Email to Parents and Students

I recently received this email from one of my daughter's teachers. I thought it was worth sharing for a few reasons. It is an excellent example of:

1. Productive/proactive communication between the school and the home.
2. A teacher educating students and parents about the reasons behind classroom decisions.
3. A teacher training her students to use AFL strategies to take ownership of their academic progress.
4. A teacher realizing that using AFL doesn't require a teacher to change everything. Instead AFL is often a good way to describe the BEST of the TRIED and TRUE. AFL increases our focus to make sure we increase our use of TRIED and TRUE methods.

(By the way - I underline the word "and" in TRIED and TRUE for extra emphasis. Sometimes after years of teaching we think we're using TRIED and TRUE methods when we're actually only using TRIED methods.)

So here's the email - (the underlining/bolding was added by me):
Hello Parents and Students!

We are wrapping up our last major unit of the year!! Time flies when you're having fun!

We will be having our end of the 5th six weeks test this Thursday and Friday. The test will cover chapters 8, 9 and a small piece of chapter 10. Students are to look over their old tests and quizzes to gain an understanding of what they have struggled with in the past. Salem High School (students, faculty, and administration) has really been working together on the idea of Assessments FOR learning. If students can recognize what they don't know, they can spend their maximum amount of time and effort reviewing and practicing that specific material instead of practicing material that they have already mastered. This is nothing new, but instead, it is a classic tried-and-true method of studying.

To prepare for this cumulative test, I have uploaded several practice quizzes on our class website as well as notes. Please feel free to access all of this material as needed.

If you have any questions I will be available before school by 7:15 each morning.

Good luck studying!

Beth Denton

So what do you think? Nice communication. Nice attempt to train students and parents in the ways of AFL. Give some thought to how you could let your students know about how/why you use AFL in your classroom and how you want them to use it in their studies.

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