I previously blogged about my discovery and creation of Challenge Grids. I experimented using them with a few classes but didn’t feel I was using them as effectively as I could.
Moving to my new school a few weeks ago, I now teach mixed ability junior classes. My initial query was how can I have a starter task that all in the class can do which supports the lower ability but also challenges the more able?
Numeracy grids – every Wednesday the class is given a Numeracy grid like this:
They are given 5 minutes to answer as many questions as they can. When the time is up we discuss the answers and the class work out their score. My hope is that by discussing all questions, some pupils might feel able to encourage some more difficult problems the following week.
Each week each pupil has to record their score and rate their progress in a table like this:
The rating is for the pupil to compare their score to their previous scores.
The aim is to maintain a score or try to improve it. I have spent time emphasising to the class that they are tracking their own progress and not comparing to each other.
I wasn’t sure how this would work but so far I have not heard anyone commenting on another score. Given that the scores rank from a score of 4 up to 21 I would not want any pupil feeling upset about their score.
I walk around the class to look at their scores and see their rating. Some use arrows for up/down or traffic lighting and most are happy to say they have been consistent or improved even if it is just by one point. I have been really pleased to see some even write additional comments beside their rating.
It may have only been a few weeks but I have seen a lot of success so far and look forward to continuing this throughout the year.