Assessment for Learning is an integral part of teaching and learning and in particular, formative assessment within a classroom setting focuses on teachers making professional judgements on the progress of individual learners (Learning and Skills Development Agency, 2005). This can be done consciously or subconsciously and as a result, over the years many methods of formative assessment have evolved and become embedded into teaching and learning in order to meet the needs of all learners.
In particular, it has been argued that one of the most effective, as well as utilised methods of formative assessment adopted within the classroom setting to support pupils and their learning, is the use of questioning (Black, Harrison, Lee, Marshall and Wiliam, 2004). According to research, questioning is the key to good teacher assessment as it helps learners develop higher order thinking skills. It has been identified that questioning is an effective assessment tool as it allows children ‘thinking time’ to help encourage learners to process thoughts and come up with a response (Arthur, Grainger and Wray, 2006). Therefore, it is believed by many that effective questioning improves pupil participation as it motivates and encourages learners (Mclean, 2010).
A particular resource used by many educators to support the use of questioning in the classroom on a day-to-day basis is the use of “show-me” boards. They allow learning to become visible so that pupil performance can be observed and evaluated at any given time. They also improve pupil engagement and understanding as they help teachers to determine if a learner has fully understood a concept or if any additional support is required. They are believed to be a quick, simple and an informative means of assessing pupils understanding which is why they will be the focus of this research study.
This enquiry aims to investigate the effective use of “show-me” boards and how these can be used within a classroom setting to support teaching and learning.