As with most teaching ideas for the classroom, this one has been adapted from an idea by another teacher. I have no idea who that teacher was or how I came by acquiring this, but thank you!
I have used the percentage board as an English teacher, but it can be adapted for all subjects. It is simply a print out of:
0%; 25%; 50%; 75%; and 100%
These are stuck on the wall as a straight line which the students can then use to stick post-it notes (or other item if needs be) to indicate a percentage. This can be used as:
- Students' agreement of a character's decision
- Students' certainty of their argument
- How hard they have worked this lesson
- What percentage of the learning objectives they achieved
And countless other uses. I have adapted it slightly to get the student using the post-it notes to record information which I can then use for future lessons.
For example, the picture above shows my class' responses to the question 'How confident am I with structuring an analysis on Shakespeare's language?' The overview quickly shows me that the majority of the class are between 40% and 80% confident. Although students' understanding of where they are is not always accurate, it lets me know how confident they are to how confident they should be.
I can then look at the post-it notes afterwards to see each individual's response to not only the question above, but more importantly 'Why am I this confident when structuring an analysis on Shakespeare's language?'
For instance, this student suggests that they are 70% confident because they cannot explain the effect the language has on the reader.
Whereas this student has a different reason, but is still at 70% confidence.
This allows you to see the students' thinking behind their responses. With this information I was able to give support to the first student around the effect the language has on the reader, whilst to the second student I supported only the start of their analysis.
I also used the percentage board when meeting a new character in a novel. On the board, there were five facts about a new character that they hadn't met; the students had to make deductions about what they could predict about the character and how certain they could be.
e.g. Information on board:
- Former boxer
- Wife doesn't care about him
- His dad is the boss of the ranch
- Small in height
- Likes to fight big people
With this information, my year 9 class were able to deduce that the character might get into a fight with another character who flirts with this wife. The student was only 20% sure of this.
Another deduction was that the character was aggressive - the student was 80% of this.
The percentage board is a very simple visual tool which can be adapted to all subjects for different uses.