This Forum Discussion was started for Salem High School's Staff Development Faculty Meeting held on 1/13/10.

For today's staff development activity, SHS faculty members will be analyzing an example of AFL and determining how the example could be applied to their classrooms. Teachers not from SHS are welcome to join in the discussion.

Step 1
Please read the following blog post and watch the video that goes with it:
An AFL review strategy that can be used by any teacher in any content area

Step 2
Discuss this activity with those sitting at your table:

1. Discuss the elements of this activity that would cause it to be considered an AFL-type activity.

2. Compare and contrast the use of the whiteboards in this manner with other review activities.

3. How could you (or how do you) apply these AFL elements or this type of activity in your class?

Step 3
Have one person from your group post the highlights of your discussion as a reply to this discussion.

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  • I made sets of Flip Cards consisting of A,B,C,D.T,F. (6 cards on a ring--one letter per card.) As we practice multiple choice and True/False questions, students hold up thier choice of letter.. I can see all answers at a glance. Great for SOL reviewing.--Moody
  • We loved Paola's AFL activity! Students were engaged and it appeared that she had 100% participation from her class. Paola got immediate feedback from her students and it also put the responsibility of creating the study guide on her students. We all use review activities and games in our classes and it is always good to revisit our methods and see if they need revamping to achieve a high level of student participation. Thanks for sharing Paola!
  • 1) Paula assesed each student informally by using the whiteboards. She was able to find their strengths and weaknesses in a quick and efficient way without using it as a grade. Also, the students were able to assess themselves because they knew what they got correct immediately and therefore they knew what to study for the following day's quiz.

    2) In this activity vs. other activities, each student was required to answer each question. This is great because no one is sitting around and relying on other students to answer. Also, the activity was not competitive which took some pressure off of students who are struggling with the material to perform for points to win a game with their group.

    3) We love to use the SmartPals in the math classes. These come with templates for graphing, organizing data, etc. You can also create your own materials to insert. The students love "coloring" and sharing their answers.
  • This activity becomes an AFL-type activity when the teacher gives feedback to the students' responses. Also, the student gets to create a personalized review of what they need to study.

    Allie has them have a personal response review where they write their answers on a piece of paper and then they say the answer aloud together, so then they know what they know. Becky has a three column review with do I know it (yes or no), what do I think it is, and what is the correct answer.

    Pop quizzes for reviewing reading is one activity Jane uses, and she said her students could instead write their answers on the white boards instead to get immediate feedback.

    Emily used white boards to identify parts of speech in a sentence. We discussed using them to identify themes that appear in quotes from pieces of literature or identify characters.
  • Our group consisted of R. Sailer, D. Stratton, B. Allman, and J. Paxton

    1 - AFL Elements:
    - instant feedback to the students
    - individualized assessment (each student knows what they need to work on to improve and for their upcoming test)
    - everyone is engaged!
    - everything Scott already said! :-)

    2 - Whiteboards
    - Everyone has to work all the time - cannot hide since you're using a whiteboard to convey answers
    - very low tech, inexpensive way to review.

    3 - Applying the Elements
    - could use for term review in Drama, band, choir; basically any type of review that involves terminology or words or short answer phrases.
  • 1. The teacher is monitoring and evaluating what the students know, yet in an environment that is not threatening or embarrassing to the student. The students are also not being graded on this assignment, yet are preparing for the graded assignment they will have on the content later.
    2. Using the white boards is an easy way to determine who is participating and to encourage all students to participate.
    3. In the special education dept., many teachers allow students to use white boards to answer questions so they don't feel intimidated; if they don't know the answer, the whole class doesn't have to know it. Many of our students are kinesthetic learners,as well, so the white boards appeal to that quality. They also make it easy for students to learn through repetition... they can write, erase, write, erase (without putting a hole in their paper.) :)
  • Good job Paola!! You inspire me...Gracias, eres mi heroina...
  • It would work with every class. You do not necessarily need a white board. It checks for understanding, if you are assessing the students are learning. All the students are engaged with the hands on activity.
  • The white boards would also be great for assisting the students in learning processes like the rock cycle and the formation of clastic sedimentary rocks.
  • 1) This activity is a great AFL activity because it gives the teacher and student immediate feedback of their comprehension.
    2) The whiteboards are very interactive, where as a review worksheet is more independent.
    3) I use the whiteboards when we are going over the material that tends to lose student interest. They like using the markers, which motivates them to participate.
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