e-asTTle data interpretation

e-asTTle is somewhat of a mystery for many high school teachers as we do not get the time or opportunity to delve deep into understand how to best use this tool, and how to interpret it. I decided to use the time after seniors had left to teach myself how to analyse our junior e-asTTle data. Our RTLB and our head of the mathematics department were very helpful in this process. I hoped to test my hunch that my Year 9 students had made very small or no gains in their literacy skills over the course of the year, and I also wanted to create documents that would help my colleagues to use their data sets effectively. Conversely I was confident that my Year 10 students had make significant gains in the literacy skills over the course of the year.

When broken down by class my data did reflect these trends. The table below shows that this trend was across both cohorts. The Year 9 cohort median results show that we can only be happy with our work in the areas of ‘deep’ thinking and ‘ideas’. The ‘language features’ result is of particular concern. If I were not going on maternity leave I would have looked at putting these results to work and using them to guide my teaching of juniors in 2016.

A comparison of data between 2014 and 2015

A guide to interpreting e-asTTle data, compiled from a range of online sources

Having completed this analysis I feel much more confident about the purpose of e-asTTle in the classroom and how to use it to guide next steps in learning. I would aim to use this testing more frequently, and not in a high stakes context which is what we currently do. I would also like to put aside time for students to interpret and understand their own results so they too can use it to guide their learning. This is an incredibly value tool that is not currently being maximised in our school.

In terms of my RTCs I feel that this leads to my own next steps in learning. Developing my confidence in terms of the use of e-asTTle will further my confidence in using assessment information When I return to teaching I think that I still need to focus on RTC11, specifically:

11. analyse and appropriately use assessment information, which has been gathered formally and informally i. analyse assessment information to identify progress and ongoing learning needs of ākonga

iii. analyse assessment information to reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching


Using Google Forms as a means of gathering student voice

I love using Google Forms in the class in a range of ways, but they have been most useful to me as a way of getting students to communicate their opinions and feelings about their learning experience.

Throughout the course of the year I have asked my students to complete surveys, sometimes anonymous, sometimes not, and interpreted the feedback with them and made changes to how we learn as a result.

A sample of results from the surveys:

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These forms helped to gather honest and true feedback so that I could take a step back and see the big picture and reflect on what was working and what wasn’t.

I have pulled some feedback below from my Year 10 students. It demonstrates to me that I have been successful in supporting their learning through the use of written feedback. While some students were doubtful at first, I can see that this method of communicating feedback has been an excellent use of time and effective in progressing my students’ learning.

11. analyse and appropriately use assessment information, which has been gathered formally and informally ii. use assessment information to give regular and ongoing feedback to guide and support further learning: survey results show that 50% of my Y10 students thought that written feedback was one of two best ways I supported their learning. They made comments such as: because it helps u to improve on ur work, They usually show you what need to be done to improve your project, Comments allow us as students to improve our work to exactly how Ms wants it to be, to help me improve my work and make it better and fixing my mistakes, so we dont have to be with her all the time to be able to do our work, They are good feedback and allow us to have independence for our own learning, Because it is in the same place as the work you are doing. It was the one strategy students requested I continue using the most.

Keeping records of student feedback

Recording student feedback for practice essays

Here is an example of how I am working towards my goal around using assessment data to inform my teaching practices. Previously my methods of giving feedback and feed forward were haphazard for myself, students, parents and collagues. I would arrive at summative assessment and have to examine students’ work closely to know what grade to award. I would arrive at report writing time and feel unfamiliar with where individual students achievement sat. Now I can review the records of my own comments and feel immediately confident about how students’ learning and achievement is progressing.

I am finding this method of recording feedback and feed forward to be very valuable. I post the written feedback on the students’ Google Docs, or I write it on their work. I am able to clearly see their progress, and use this language to write their reports.

11. analyse and appropriately use assessment information, which has been gathered formally and informally i. analyse assessment information to identify progress and ongoing learning needs of ākonga: recording information in this way enables me to easily compare subsequent essay attempts 

ii. use assessment information to give regular and ongoing feedback to guide and support further learning: the written feedback is directly connected to the students’ work, progress, and to the requirements of NZQA

iii. analyse assessment information to reflect on and evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching: I am able to see directly how my teaching and feed forward has impacted on student progress by looking at trends across the class

iv. communicate assessment and achievement information to relevant members of the learning community: this feed forward is then used to write reports which means that parents and colleagues have access to this information in a suitable format and I am confident that it connects directly to individual students’ progress

v. foster involvement of whānau in the collection and use of information about the learning of ākonga: students have access to their feed forward from past assessments and are encouraged to put the advice given into practice

A reminder of my goal around this RTC

Core Knowledge – Education or GroupThink?

This is so incredibly disturbing.

Save Our Schools NZ

learning by roteAn English charter school chain, Inspiration Trust, went to visit Core Knowledge in the USA and are very clearly thrilled with what they see.

What I see is kids taught by “drill and kill” methods – GroupThink at its worst.

Detailed academic research into the methods employed by Core Knowledge concluded:

Our analyses did show that students in Core Knowledge schools perform significantly better than their comparison school counterparts on the Core Knowledge Achievement subtests.

This is not surprising, as the students in Core Knowledge schools were taught the Core Knowledge content, whereas students in comparison schools were not.

In other words, the method teaches the children to pass tests – and specifically Core Knowledge’s own tests. Is that learning? Are these students getting real-world transferable skills?

Watch from 5 mins 45 seconds  onwards and tell me:

Is this the kind of school you want for your child?

Not in my worst Kafkaesque or…

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Hattie’s research: Is wrong Part 2

Interesting (and reassuring?) to read some dissenting views about Hattie.


This posting is the second in the series about the Hattie’s research being wrong.

But how to get at that research?

Hattie’s claims for it are so gigantic and, I believe, so wrong as to represent a wrongness so overwhelming as to provide a defence in itself of near apparent impregnability. This posting argues that Hattie, right from initial design, gets his meta-meta analysis research terribly wrong.

The variables within Hattie’s meta-meta analysis are so fantastically out of control and so resistant to valid combination as to make the extremely dodgy and biased nature of the 800 meta-analyses, on which the meta-meta analysis is based, of comparatively minor significance. The trick in popping Hattie’s bubble I believe is starting at the beginning and mainly staying there – any movement to what follows should only be to give backing to the analysis of what went wrong at the beginning.

[Explanation: when…

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Co-Teaching in Action

Awesome to see such a practical resource being shared. Something I am really interested in learning more about as I’ve never seen it in action.

Steve Mouldey

Secondary teachers primarily spend their time teaching their class, in their room, in their own personal way. One of our biggest concerns when starting to teach at Hobsonville Point Secondary School was around how the co-teaching (team teaching, whatever you want to call it) was going to operate. The major positive working in our favour was that while holding concerns, we were all keen to try it out.

This mindset held us well over the first year. We tried things out, worked on our teaching relationships, gave feedback and planned for how to improve our co-teaching.

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#BFC630NZ Chat #46

Talk about collaboration… While we collaborate! Kickstart the day!


Wednesday 22nd April

Collaborative learning is not a new idea…but HOW we collaborate LOOKS different in today’s classrooms.

Share how it looks in your classroom.

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