Self-assess during NAPLAN
Seven Steps CEO and Founder, Jen McVeity, has put herself in the hot seat by sitting the NAPLAN writing test for the sixth time. As usual, Jen’s response was assessed by a NAPLAN marker.
Each time she sits the test, Jen learns valuable lessons to help teachers prepare their students for NAPLAN. This includes the challenges of self-assessment during a test. Jen’s ability to Plan for Success and Ban the Boring have earned her high scores in this year’s NAPLAN task.
So, how can teachers give students these skills to self-assess during a test?
What is self-assessment?
To become confident, independent writers, students need the skills to review their work. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses in their writing enables students to revise their work and ultimately improve it. This sounds difficult, but it can be taught!
80% of teachers said their students’ writing quality improves when they’re taught to self-assess.According to an online survey conducted by Seven Steps
Only 30% of teachers surveyed focus on the big picture: structure and expression.
Is editing spelling and grammar important? Yes, but first, you need to give positive and powerful feedback on the big picture things.
Ban the Boring!
Step 6: Ban the Boring, teaches students to leave out all the irrelevant parts of their story or text. We don’t need to read about waking up, brushing teeth or travelling in the car. Begin at the moment of action to engage your reader from the outset
This is an important skill for not only reviewing a written text, but also during the planning stage. Teach students to plan their writing based on the Story Graph. This will help them identify the key moments in their text, to ensure their writing follows this path.
Say the word ‘editing’ to students and they groan. Say it to authors and they smile.
Explore with students what an editor does. Explain that there are three kinds of editing and that the secret to great writing is to use all three!
Seven Steps Online Members
Step 6: Ban the Boring exemplars that demonstrate how to use the Seven Steps to identify areas of weakness, give focused feedback and improve a piece of writing.
Five short classroom activities to practise the technique Step 6: Ban the Boring and build students’ muscle memory.
How to self-assess during a test
Once your students have mastered the ability to self-assess their writing, it’s time to practise until they can review their plan and written text in a short amount of time.
NAPLAN allows 40 minutes for the writing task. This includes five minutes of planning and five minutes of editing. The best way to get students’ editing time down to five minutes, is to slowly decrease the time allowed in class, when students are confident reviewing their work.
You can follow the steps below as a guide.
Practise independent review within shorter timeframes
79% of teachers started their students off with peer-assessing before moving on to self-assessment.According to an online survey conducted by Seven Steps
Teachers also told us their students find it easiest to assess Sizzling Starts, so we recommend you start there!
A simple template for recording student outcomes in each area for a particular piece of writing. This can be used by both teachers and students.
Take a look at The 5 Secrets to Teaching Great Writing, as a basis for implementing chunking and repetition.
You can also read The complete NAPLAN writing guide for teachers, to help you prepare students for the test.
See other NAPLAN blogs here:
Two things we’ve learnt from NAPLAN
6 Tips to Reduce NAPLAN Nerves
NAPLAN Online – Top 10 Preparation Tips