Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Planning Assessment for Learning (AfL) questions and activities is an important part of good teachingHowever, AfL type questions need not be complex - a focus on learning and depth of understanding is the focus. A basic question structure that can be used for any maths topic can be very helpful and 'Give me a pair...' is a versatile start for questions to ask.
Formative assessment should be used to inform the next steps in learning, and may influence changes in planning. It is a cycle, finding out what learners know, moving learning forward, finding out how that learning has changed and planning next steps.

Give me a pair of numbers with a difference of 2

This same question can be used from KS1 (using single digit numbers) up to Y6 (using large or negative numbers) and can provide a teacher with so much information about a child's understanding, particularly if question prompts are included: 'How do you know?' or 'How can you show me that it's true?'

• Ask children to fill their page with pairs of numbers with a difference of 2, this will give them the opportunity to extend themselves.

Give me a calculation with the answer 7

Once again this can be used with any age child. It will show those who are confident to use large numbers and which of the four operations they prefer to choose - or if they can use them together in one calculation.

• Ask children to write one easy calculation and one difficult calculation.

Again it will be interesting what they see as an easy and a difficult calculation, for some it will be large numbers, maybe decimals or fraction. For others it may be subtraction or division.
Give me a pair... is useful for any maths topic.

• Give me a pair of numbers with a product of 24.
Now give another pair - how do you know if you have them all?

• Give me a pair of triangles that are different.
What makes them different?
Fill a page with triangles, make each different.

• Give me a pair of units of measure for length.
Do they measure short lengths or long distances? What is their equivalent value?

Remember that AfL questions need to have a close match to the 'Expected Outcomes' for a lesson or teaching sequence.

It is useful to have these questions planned - take a look at these examples from my Planning Menu. A set of AfL questions are provided for each maths focus that will be taught over a 2 week period.

Expected outcomes are in green. Click to enlarge each image.

Medium term plans  Year 1 Unit 13