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How many levels should you display on your Bump It Up Wall?

how many levels should you display on your bump it up wall?

How many levels should you include on your bump-it-up wall? Three? Five? Ten?

Bump It Up Wall using Teachie Tings Crane Clipart and Construction Printables

Evidence on how many levels to include on your bump-it-up wall is scarce. We know that a single worked example has an effect size of 0.58 according to John Hattie. This is valuable evidence that even one worked example helps students to reach their goals.

Educators have taken the worked example/modeled text/ WAGOLL (what a good one looks like) and expanded that into examples of different levels ( a Bump It Up Wall), so that students at any level can ‘bump up’ their work.

Lyn Sharrat takes this one step further (or too far?) and suggests that there should be a sample to represent every student in your classroom. This could be ten or more samples. For teacher sanity – I disagree with this notion. No teacher has time to write or co-construct a sample for this many levels, and there’s no guarantee that a range of samples is available to use.

I believe that an effective Bump It Up Wall should ONLY include samples to represent each level on your marking rubric – taking into account the ability range of your class. For example, if your marking rubric includes A-E, but all your students are working at or above a D level, then there is no need to display the D. 

Students need to be assessment-literate learners who have aspirational examples of what the next step on the staircase looks like for them.

This means they need to work within the parameters of the A-E assessment model, with the next aspirational step being the next achievement level. So, a student who has achieved C on a pre-test will be looking at the success criteria to ‘bump up’ their learning to a B level (within one feedback cycle).

When teachers use formative assessment alongside a self and peer feedback cycle, students have multiple opportunities to ‘bump up’ their learning. 

I can recall an assessment piece completed by one of my primary classes, where 18/26 students achieved an A grade. Eighteen A students! Each week, we completed a formative assessment with self, peer, and teacher feedback and student goal-setting. Students understood exactly what they needed to do to reach the next level, and were given plenty of opportunities to gauge their progress. The results were unbelievable phenomenal, and therefore moderated and confirmed by my teaching team. 

These students were shown examples A-C to match both the marking rubric and their ability levels. Their success was due to the aspirational A-C examples provided, clear success criteria, high expectations (I ‘teach to the A’), and a sufficient number of feedback cycles to ‘bump up’ from their initial level of achievement.

The number of levels that you display on your bump-it-up wall is essentially up to you and the needs of your class but it can have a huge impact on your students’ achievement levels.

Here are my top tips for an effective bump-it-up wall display:

  • Display an example to match each level of your marking rubric, aligned with the abilities of your classroom.
  • Don’t display work that is lower than the ability of your classroom
  • Try to show every child an aspirational example, HOWEVER, ensure that your A sample is aligned with your marking rubric and not a level above.
  • Use clear and explicit success criteria. Success criteria MUST match your marking guide. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • Ensure that you embed enough formative assessment and feedback (weekly/fortnightly) so that students have time to improve to the highest level.
  • Teach to the ‘A’. Always model the highest level of achievement. Your students will meet you there.

Need some done-for-you bump-it-up wall samples?

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Teaching the power of precise verbs with procedures

I love teaching procedural texts. Not only do we get to focus on text structure and language features, but we get to play with common sense and detail! These two important factors can be considered in our writing when we choose precise verbs.

A classic engagement lesson for introducing procedures is showing your students how to make a jam sandwich. BUT getting your students to tell you what to do. This leads to hilarious moments such as a whole tub of butter being put on top of a slice of bread, and a great conversation about verbs.

One of the first things we can notice when co-constructing a procedure with our students is the overuse of the words PUT and GET. Quite simply, this can be from a lack of topic-specific vocabulary.

GET the bread, PUT the butter on, PUT the jam on, GET a knife, PUT the sandwich on a plate, etc.

Our procedures can end up being BORING and lacking in detail when we forget to use precise verbs.

Instead of GET, we can use gather, collect, find, buy, purchase, borrow, etc

Instead of PUT, we can use words like place, position, and lay.

Of course, in this instance, we have used PUT instead of more topic-specific verbs, such as SPREAD.

SPREAD the butter on the bread is much more specific than PUT the butter on the bread (although PUT can lead to the hilarity mentioned above).

It is through learning how easily our readers can become confused, and learning more about their topic and its vocabulary, that our students learn to become more precise and detailed in their writing.

It’s also why making precise verb choices should be one of the success criteria that you teach explicitly and include as a learning goal for students.

How can we encourage students to use precise verbs?

Here’s one of my favourite lessons for improving our verb choices and topic-specific vocabulary within a procedural text. BONUS – it also makes a great addition to your learning wall.

This activity works best when students have chosen their own topic for their pre-test, as you will get a range of verbs.

A lesson on finding precise verbs

You will need:

  • Student pre-test (a piece of procedural writing they completed before explicit teaching)
  • Paint colour swatches (the ones with 3-4 shades of the same colour) from your hardware store – you’ll need about 20!
  • Highlighters and black sharpies
  • Access to a dictionary (online or physical copy)

Lesson steps:

  1.  Students highlight the verbs in their texts
  2. As a whole class, collect a list of verbs used on a whiteboard
  3. Pair students up and assign them a verb to research (EG CUT)
  4. Cross out the verb on the whiteboard, so it is not used again.
  5. Students research precise verbs that are synonyms for their given word. For example CUT: slice, slit, chop, dice, trim
  6. Students write their given verb (eg CUT) on the top section of their card and their more precise verbs in the section underneath.
  7. Collect the color swatches and display them on your learning wall. If you wanted to, you could trim the top of the swatches and add craft sticks to make them look like ice creams –  students love this and some handy helpers could do this for you.
  8. Next lesson, practise writing a procedure and replacing boring verbs with precise verbs from your learning wall!

This is an effective and engaging activity that students love. You will find that they WILL return back to their words and they WILL improve their chosen verbs.

Other activities to improve verb choice and topic-specific vocabulary:

  • Watch a video of a cooking show and write down verbs you hear
  • Annotate a recipe, highlight verbs, and even research more specific verbs if needed

Use this freebie in your next procedural writing lesson!


Teachie Tings Procedural Writing Resources

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How to Convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

HowtoconvertPowerPointtoGoogleSlides

It’s easy to convert any PowerPoint presentation into Google Slides. To do this, you’ll need to make sure you have a free Google account.

As a teacher, this means you can create or purchase any PowerPoint slides and save them to your Google account easily – no need to purchase the ‘Google version’! Using Google slides is also a powerful way to share slides for home learning! Google Slides works great for most households because you can download Google Slides on a smartphone (no home computer required), and everyone can have a Google account for free! 

How to convert PowerPoint to Google Slides

  1. Open Google Drive.
  1. Select “New” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  1. Select “Upload File.”
  1. Open the PowerPoint file.
  1. After uploading, right-click and select “Open with,” then select “Google Slides.”. 
  1. Select “File.”
  1. Select “Save as Google Slides.”

That’s it! You’re done. You can use this to upload Powerpoint presentations to Google Slides for easy storage or sharing. It’s also effective if you don’t have a home copy of PowerPoint to play with.

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 Bump It Up Walls in Mathematics

Bump It Up Walls in Mathematics

I am frequently asked how to create a Bump It Up Walls in Mathematics. 

Although maths walls may appear to be trickier, the premise is the same. The awesome thing is that the benefits to your students will also be the same! Visible learning and teaching really matters and has a huge impact on student learning.

Let’s get into the steps we need to take to get started with Bump It Up Walls in maths!

A worked example of an ‘A’.

How to create a Bump It Up Wall for Mathematics

A mathematics BIUW needs a Learning Intention and leveled samples (worked examples). As with any Bump It Up Wall, you should be guided by your marking rubric. This will tell you how many levels you will need on your wall (generally A, B, C, and sometimes D standard).

  • Create your A using the marking rubric. Your ‘A’ sample should be 100% correct, align with the A on your marking guide (not working beyond), and demonstrate the most efficient/preferred method.
  • List the Success Criteria (‘I can’ statements) needed to achieve the A. and display below the sample.
  • Once your ‘A’ is created, create your B and C levels, etc.

Again, be guided by your marking rubric. Some differentiating factors in mathematics can include accuracy of calculations, application of an effective strategy, and inclusion of all elements/steps.

  • Look at the verbs in your marking guide to include skills within your success criteria. For example, ‘I can decode the question’; ‘I can decide on a strategy’; ‘I can defend my strategy/answer.’ 
  • Once you have your samples and success criteria for each sample, you are ready to display your wall. In the early days of your unit, your student can perform a pre-test and then identify where they currently sit on the Bump It Up Wall. They will then see how they can boost their own achievement by referring to the wall.

To turn your Mathematics Bump It Up Wall into a learning wall:

  • Add your marking rubric
  • Add vocabulary and definitions (re-written in student language)
  • A list of skills we already know that can help us
  • Can I complete this using a mental method? Can I use a mental method plus some notes? Do I need to use a written method? Do I need a calculator?
  • Can I explain this method to someone else?
  • Include easy access to manipulatives and learning wall ‘take-aways’ such as number lines, hundred squares,  MAB blocks, and protractors – whatever your students may need.
  • Ensure displays are large enough to see from a few meters away and that they are at the students’ level. 
  • Use abstract and real-life examples to demonstrate their concept.

Tip: Integrate STAR strategy for word problems and problem-solving: https://faculty.uca.edu/ronkb/bramlett/Star%20Strategy%20Math%20intervention.pdf

Want to connect with other teachers and use Bump It Up Walls effectively? Join our Facebook Group!