What is AfL? How do you incorporate it into your lessons? Below is an overview of what AfL is and some practical ways to implement it into your classroom.
Assessment for learning (AFL) is an approach to teaching and learning that creates feedback which is then used to improve students’ performance. Students become more involved in the learning process and from this gain confidence in what they are expected to learn and to what standard.
One way of thinking about AFL is that it aims to ‘close the gap’ between a learner’s current situation and where they want to be in their learning and achievement. Skilled teachers plan tasks which help learners to do this.
AFL involves students becoming more active in their learning and starting to ‘think like a teacher’. They think more actively about where they are now, where they are going and how to get there.
Effective teachers integrate AFL in their lessons as a natural part of what they do, choosing how much or how little to use the method. AFL can be adapted to suit the age and ability of the learners involved.
Assessment for Learning can be organised to 5 Key areas
Watch Michael Rystad’s informative YouTube Video on Afl.
Below are some of the many strategies you can use relating to AfL
Progression Traffic Lights
- Use traffic lights as a visual means of showing understanding. Laminate for display.
RED, AMBER, GREEN
- Either give students red, amber, green cards which they show on their desks or ask for raised hands.
- At the beginning of the lesson ask for prior knowledge.
- Review in the plenary session.
Instant feedback to inform your planning.
- Pose an opened ended question or problem to which there may be a variety of answers.
Think Pair Share
- THINK: Allow ‘thinking time’ and direct them to think about the question.
- PAIR: Students then work in pairs to share ideas, discuss, clarify and challenge.
- SHARE: Share ideas with another pair or with whole class
- It is important that students need to be able to share their own partner’s ideas as well as their own.
- Peer interaction and thinking time are powerful factors in improving responses to questions.
Numbered Heads Together
- Divide students into groups of 4, students each given a number 1-4
- Teacher poses a question or problem.
- Each individual in the group has to contribute an idea, answer or solution.
- The group then have to agree on which idea will be their group answer.
- Teacher calls out a number randomly 1-4.
Students with that number raise their hands, and when called on, the student answers for his or her team.
ABCD T/F Y/N cards
- Laminate lettered cards A, B, C, D, or T, F, Y, N,
- Ask Multiple choice questions: A, B, C, D.
- Even better when there is more than one correct answer to spark a discussion, or when the answers depend on the assumptions the student makes.
- Ask True/False or Yes/No questions.
- Students hold lettered cards up in response.
Find the Fib
- Write two correct statements about the lesson and one fib
- Ask students to tell you which one is the fib and why?
One, Two, Review, Review
- ONE: ‘I’ – ‘I learned this…’
- TWO: ‘you’ – ‘You thought/added…’
- REVIEW– ‘I now know…’ – what they have learned from paired conversation
- REVIEW – ‘I didn’t know/think this because…’ – allows reflection on thought processes.
- Starts with the individual’s contribution and then moves onto the paired learning experience.
Until next time…
Stress Free Teacher