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Gathering evidence for assessors is important.  It’s also important to know what to do with that evidence.  Edufolios gives you the space to store your evidence but, more importantly, it gives you a place to reflect on it.  In order to progress along the career stages of the APST (and grab that subsequent pay rise) you need to do more than store examples of practice, you need to be able to explain and justify what it shows about your practice.  This is commonly called “annotation”. In this post, we’re going to explore what annotating your evidence might actually look like and give you some examples to explore.

Be a S.T.A.R

The STAR model is a way of focusing your reflection so that it demonstrates, clearly, how the evidence you provide demonstrates the capability being asked for in the standards.  It’s actually a handy acronym for:

Situation: What is the evidence? Is it a story of practice, an anecdote, an photograph of some work you or your students have completed? What ever it is, make sure that you contextualise it. For example, In Term 1 my Year 9 English class have been working on ….

Task: What were you hoping to achieve? Sometimes this “T” is interchangeable with Target. What was your reasons for completing this task or meeting this target?

Action: What did you do? What steps did you have to take to achieve the outcomes you wanted?

Result: What was the outcome? Was it what you expected? Anything unexpected? What did you learn from that? How are you planning to use that learning in the future?

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Edufolios subscribers get exclusive access to tips and questions to help guide their evidencing process.  Each month, we ask a question.  7 questions, answered over 7 months and you’ll have all the evidence you’ll need to proceed.     Find out more…

Making your Evidence Shine

Let’s place this method into our context as teachers working with the Australian Professional Standards.  Let’s work on standard 1, Focus Area 2 at the proficient level (Prof 1.2). We’re going to demonstrate how well we understand how students learn by exploring how we’re implementing something we’ve recently learnt to affect change.  Perhaps we’re exploring Jolly Phonics, for example, to help students learn to read? Know, that this is a completely made up example, so I am able to fill up my paragraphs with an ideal scenario – hopefully that will make it easier to see the model in action?

Our first paragraph will be the Situation or Context of our evidence:

“I am currently working with a reception class who are coming to grips with basic phonics.  Having explored the learning framework of Jolly Phonics I have identified several factors which were delaying progress for some students.  When dealing with SATPIN (the first level of Jolly Phonics) I noticed that some students were able to sound out the phonics but were unable to group them to make whole words.”

Now let’s focus on our Task or Target:

“My intention is to ensure that all students are able to move forward and connect the phonetic sounds together.  My hope is that students will feel confident to sound out individual sounds and comprehend how they combine to form a word. This will enable me to ensure that all students are able to successfully meet content descriptor ACELA1819.”

Let’s explain how we know how children learn and what we’re going to do to meet their needs:

“Having explored the learning theory surrounding phonics as a methodology I noted that we needed to focus less on the individual sounds and more on how they fit together, how they blended to make words. I recently attended a Jolly Phonics professional development course in which we explored strategies for phonological awareness.  Having watched my students carefully I have decided that most of them will benefit from  simple strategies such as sounding out key words instead of saying them.  For example, asking students to get their “H.A.Ts” and letting them work out what the word is.   I also decided to add some phonetic games and treasure hunts as well as the interactive dice on my IWB.  This will be used with the SATPIN sounds on it to see how many words we can create.”

Now let’s explore the result.

“I have been implementing these new strategies for 4 weeks now.  The improvement has been great.  Most students have responded really well to the strategies I mentioned above with 80% of them achieving 2 and 3 letter words fairly quickly.  I realised that some students were unable to connect with all of the sounds through just hearing them alone and added further strategies such as segmenting words with physical movement across the body (one sound at the head, one at the waist, one at our feet etc).  I also spotted that my visual learners were relying on the alphabet posters I had around my classroom walls and were getting confused between letter names and sounds as a result.  Having spoken to a colleague, I removed these and replaced them with digraphs.  This has made a significant difference to those learners.”

Summing Up

Using the S.T.A.R method enables you to focus your reflection really tightly.  You can see here that I haven’t included any images or physical evidence of my success. It might be good to show photographs or a video of my students (if you have permission to use them) to supplement your reflection.  Give it a go and let me know what you think!

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