Mastery Learning Folders
Posted on June 18, 2015.
One of our latest products at Teacher Superstore is the Mastery Learning Folder from the Mastery Learning Group range. Simple, yet effective, these products are designed to assist teachers to differentiate the curriculum and help classroom practitioners obtain accurate and comprehensive records of student achievement.
Nicola Carr-White, an experienced primary school teacher, has designed these vibrant bee-themed folders as a tool to enable teachers to support student progress through remediation, consolidation or extension of the learning occurring in the classroom.
During her time spent teaching Year 1, Nicola spent a lot of time preparing hand-made folders for addressing learning needs and tracking her students’ progress in phonics and reading and she wondered how this rather laborious task could be made simpler. Thus ‘Mastery Learning Folders’ was born – a ready-made folder that uses teacher assessments to provide individualised learning content in the form of flashcard content or tasks. The flashcards circulate through the folder pockets, moving forward and eventually out of the folder when correct or back when needing further consolidation.
Teachers can track individual student progress, gaining an accurate record of which sounds and words have been mastered and which ones need continued remediation.
The Mastery Learning Folder is a simple tool that allows the teacher to differentiate student learning in three ways:
- Content (based on teacher assessments)
- Learning load (the amount of learning material placed in the folder)
- Time (the content remains in the folder until mastered)
Although the folders have traditionally been used for phonics and sight word recognition, the advantage of this product is that it can be used for remediation, consolidation or extension across different subject areas. The learning process can be facilitated by parents (as homework), education assistants with small groups, or by older peer tutors.
How It Works
A Year 1 teacher has identified the students needing consolidation of sight words.
- The relevant sight word flashcards are placed in the first clear plastic pocket of the folder, which is labelled “1. Store”.
- The first five (or more) target words are moved into the adjacent pocket labelled “2. Hive”.
- Each day, the student is first tested on each target word and then given time to practise the word. Every time the student is successful at reading a word at the initial test, the flashcard moves forward along the numbered pockets, until it reaches the “7. Test” pocket where it awaits teacher testing.
- If the child is successful in this final test, the flashcard is moved to the “Mastered” pocket, where it can be re-tested at the end of the term or removed from the folder.
- As each flashcard reaches the “Test” pocket, another flashcard can be transferred from the “Store” into the “Hive”.
A Year 5 class teacher has identified a small group of children within his class who need support learning the 7, 8 and 9 multiplication and division facts.
- After testing students, he places the relevant flashcards in the “Store” pocket of each student’s folder.
- Five (or more) target flashcards are then moved into the “Hive”.
- Throughout the week, a small group assistant first tests each student with each flashcard moving forward if correct or back to the Hive if incorrect. She then spends a small amount of time practising these basic facts.
- Additionally, the folder is sent home each day to repeat the process with an adult as homework.
- As each flashcard reaches the “Test” pocket another flashcard is transferred from the “Store” into the “Hive”.
- At the end of the week the class teacher or assistant tests each student on the content that has reached the “Test” pocket and moves the successful flashcards into the “Mastered” pocket where they can be later re-tested or removed.
An Italian teacher wants to carry out some assessments in order to write accurate and personal report comments regarding her students’ reading and understanding capabilities.
- She focuses on the vocabulary that has been covered in the first semester and creates flashcards containing some target vocabulary.
- The teacher asks each student to read the word in Italian and then translate it into English.
- She records the data and as well as using it to write individualised reports, she uses it to plan what vocabulary needs to be included in student Mastery Learning Folders during the following term.
The versatility of Mastery Learning Folders makes them an invaluable resource for teaching staff in an age where teachers are held accountable for meeting individual learning needs. The bright layout, ‘bee’ theme and simple ‘test and learn’ process of the products allows children to be actively involved in their own learning. They receive immediate feedback and a sense of achievement as they master an increasing amount of relevant learning content. Clear instructions are provided on the folders enabling further remediation, consolidation or extension of classroom learning in the home environment.
The Mastery Learning Group has the following items available in their series: