topics e.g. decimalFraction, sequenceArithmetic, area, factor, discreteGraph and secretADDsign
then splits these into
layers e.g. decimalFraction(2), sequenceArithmetic(8), area(6), factor(1), discreteGraph(3) and secretADDsign(11)
and finally each layer is made up of a number of
questions, which are similar to each other but slightly different.
scaffolding: internal and traditional
Whenever possible we prefer to learners to build chunks in long-term memory which provide the learner with “internal scaffolding” to learn harder layers.
Sometimes we use traditional scaffolding: often a representative, sometimes a partially complete question. Once the learner has mastered the layer with the scaffold, then the learner needs to be taught to answer questions without the scaffold. Sometimes this process happens naturally without feedback, sometimes the best feedback is “what diagram can you draw to help you answer this question?”
At the point of teaching. The learners practise “their skill”, which they learned earlier in the lesson and then self assess using the answers provided.
Usually a worksheet, with cut off (or occasionally fold over) answers.
Retrieval practice question
In the “retrieval practice” section of the learner's timely practice assignment.
The app spaces these to
post assess the lesson after teaching,
gradually stretch the duration of the recall-ability of the skill,
practise soon after feedback,
One question, within a number of mixed topic and difficulty questions.
(3) Introduction: the 3 tabs navigation and purpose
the learners and the scheme of learning is added (5 to 20 minutes) and
enough pre assess is completed (1 to 4 sessions) and
the first timely practice lesson has been taught then
the planning and preparation follows a similar format for all subsequent lessons. Jump down to (6) to read more about the planning and preparation of most lessons
Navigation: Each class has 3 tabs
Extra information will be found here.
Scheme of Learning Tab
Planning and Preparation Sessions Tab
Scheme of Learning Tab
Planning and Preparation Sessions Tab
Information about the learners within the class. Minimal information: the names of each learner.
Level for Learner - the approximate grade the learner would get if they took the GCSE exam tomorrow. (For primary pupils maybe grade 1 = close to “expected progress”, no grade is below this).
Pace for Practice can be adjusted so that all learners take about the same time to complete their timely practice assignments within the lesson. Most learners will complete their assignments within a minute or two of each other, their pace can be left at the default 100%, adjust the pace for learners who finish their assignments significantly quicker or significantly slower than their peers. The Pace from Practice can be adjusted as frequently as desired.
The Scheme of Learning for the class. Initially the teacher will add the SOL for the first spiral through the curriculum.
For subsequent spirals the teacher may want to add more topics to a topic theme. e.g. Once some learners have mastered equivalent fraction skills within fractionINTRO and sufficient skills within givenDIVsign skills and/or prime skills then the teacher may want to begin to teach simplestForm to some learners.
For efficient teaching (teaching which results in a high rate of embedded learning), learners should only learn new skills for which they have mastered the pre requisite skills. i.e. the teacher and SOL have gentle but relentlessly rising expectations.
The staircase symbol of the tab represents each learner making a little progress every lesson. The planning and preparation session’s symbol represent the 3 key activities
assess prior learning
plan and resource teaching
schedule retrieval practice
assess prior learning: within 4. Assess t.p. (timely practice) and assess new teaching and within 5. Edit Teaching.
plan and resource teaching: found in 1. Plan Teaching. FYI the teach-learn and practise-learn activities are found in Learning Resources within the CKB (customer knowledge base)
schedule retrieval practice: within 2. Create t.p and within 3. Download t.p. (timely practice). The pre assess section of the timely practice assignment finds what learners can already independently and accurately recall - for the learners this heading is called learned? The layers added within 5. Edit Teaching take priority over the layers found to be learned within the pre assess section. The retrieval practice section means that learning will be rarely be forgotten and (almost) all retrieval practice questions are worthy of feedback. (FYI Occasionally, a recently taught layer may judged as “requiring too much feedback”, and the assessment option best learned later (bell) will ensure the app removes the layer from all of the learner’s future retrieval practice assignments).
The Planning and Preparation tab does the most work. It helps the teacher ensure they are teaching in a manner which most efficiently embeds learning in low attaining or underachieving learners (those who aren’t expected to gain a grade 5 or above at GCSE).
target teaching. When teaching new skills - a specific layer from a topic - the teacher can use the assessment for learning data: which learners have which pre requisite skills and which learners need to learn the skill the teacher is teaching. This knowledge encourages teachers to explain how to add the new learning on to the existing learning. Rather than use a “random - no hands up questioning” the teacher can target specific learners with “no hands up questioning” and carefully observe these specific learners' mini-whiteboard answers. As the teacher moves on to teach another specific layer the focus of the teachers questioning will change. The teacher can still keep all learners “on their toes” and ask questions to encourage generalisation in learners who have already mastered the skill and make use of test potentiated learning in learners who have not yet mastered the skill.
a “think aloud” asks the teacher to share “why they do what they do” and “how they were primed to do this” along with teaching what to do. Our experience is that teaching a number of smaller discrete skills - a number of layers - to groups within the class rather than a large skills to the whole class, means the teacher feels less time pressure. The teacher needn’t worry if the higher attaining learners “already get it” (the teacher knows they will get their turn at learning the layer they need to in a few minutes time) nor that the low attaining learners “don’t get” a layer that they are not scheduled to learn this lesson (the teacher knows they will be much more likely to be able to embed the layer in a term or two because of the work they will do in the current lesson and in subsequent lessons through retrieval practice).
metacognitive strategies (learners thinking about their thinking). Having to identify which skills to apply to each retrieval practice question develops learners triggers to their chunks/schema in their long term memory. When the learner can’t answer a retrieval practice question independently and accurately, the teacher will engage in personalised feedback-dialogue (and has time to do so). These feedback-dialogue conversations are often unexpectedly sophisticated - especially given the level of attainment of the learner - and usually lead to embedded learning.
mp4 for (3) Get started: create class, add learners, add SOL, create and download the first pre assess assignment
FYI only one (unimaginatively named) learner is added to the example class, usually there will be more learners.
(4) Get started assess an assignment containing only pre assess questions
mp4 for (4) assess a pre assess only assignment + what the app does with the assessment for learning data it collects
FYI topic themes e.g. algebra are broken down into topics e.g. sequenceArithmetic, which are broken down into layers, e.g. sequenceArithmetic (1). Each layer is made up of a number of questions.
The 3 pre assess assessment options
independent and accurate answer
not fully accurate
the learner seems to have ran out of time/not seen the question
FYI If some learners regularly finish their assignment more than a couple of minutes earlier or later than their peers, adjust their Pace for Practice
Key to colour coding used in Plan Teaching
in pre assess
in pre assess
in pre assess
in pre assess
(5) Get started: when can the teacher use Plan Teaching within the app?
Of course teacher’s don’t need to use timely practice to plan teaching, but if the teacher wants to use the power of the timely practice app to
ensure they only ever teach on firm learning foundations and
automatically schedule personalised retrieval practice on the learning of the lesson and
have the app adjust the schedule of retrieval practice when a learner has made an error and had feedback;
then the teacher must wait until the app has finished pre assessing the topic. (There is nothing stopping a teacher teaching a layer to a learner whose pre assess on the topic is incomplete, but the app won’t schedule retrieval practice and the teacher may not be teaching on firm learning foundations.)
first mp4 for (5) Get started: how pre assess works and deciding when a topic fully pre assessed
Key to the colour coding used in Plan Teaching
in pre assess
in pre assess
in pre assess
in pre assess
A learner’s column in the Plan Teaching topic dashboard
which has some mid grey and darker blue-grey squares - indicates that pre assess is not complete;
which only shows light grey squares - indicates that the app does not intend to pre assess the topic (judging all the layers either too easy or too hard);
which shows a mix of white and light grey squares - indicates the app thinks the learner could learn layers from the topic, but has not learned any yet;
the (often fuzzy) line between the shades of blue (perhaps mixed with light grey) in the lower part of the column and the white (usually mixed in with light grey) in the upper part of the column is the (often fuzzy) “goldilocks” point where teaching should begin.
second mp4 for (5) Get started: Plan Teaching + find the teach-learn and practise-learn resources
The preparation and planning time required is from 3-5 minutes (for 1 topic in a lesson) and 7-10 minutes (for 2 topics per lesson) plus 1 minute per learner.
The 3 pre assess and 5 retrieval practice assessment options
feedback on attempt
feedback on blank
feedback on attempt
feedback on blank
independent and accurate answer
not fully accurate
the learner ran out of time or seems to have not seen the question.
Adjust some learners' Pace for Practice if some learners regularly finish early or run out of time.
question attempted, and feedback might work
question not answered, but feedback might work
feedback isn’t working
Frequently asked Questions
Not all topics are traditionally named e.g.
rounding is split between correctTOnearest (within integer) and correctDP (within FDPR)
substitute is called valueAlgebra - named because questions asks learners to “find/write down the value of” a variable - the word substitute isn’t mentioned
writeAlgebra is writing expressions and formulae
Please drop us an email if there are other topics you can’t find
base10add is skills for adding on 10 using place value e.g. continue the sequence 34, 44, 54
base10skills is using place value to multiply e.g work out 20 x 700
place100value9999 - standing for place value between 100 and 9999 - it covers completing/understanding the value of digits in a place value grid
There are plenty of topic themes to fill gaps in numeracy skills - which often aren’t included in many paid for SOL + text books - ignoring these gaps make learning new maths that much harder for “our cohort”, whereas finding and filling these learning gaps makes new maths learning more successful and feel more successful.
timely practice wants to find and fill these numeracy gaps - most of which are found within the topic theme integer.
Along with creating all the questions, we’ve created ladders to mastery, so we’ve tried to choose topic names which describe these paths.
10 bond e.g. 7 + … = 10 or 7 + … = 40
base10add e.g. count on in 10s e.g. complete the next number in the sequence 36, 46, 56
base10skills e.g. work out 2 x 80
orderInteger e.g. order mix of 2 and 3 digit numbers (or easier order list of 1 digit numbers)
place100value9999 e.g. write 567 in place value grid and state the value of 6
sequenceMultiple e.g. continue the sequence of multiples of 5 from 40
We also have
givenADDsign which starts with work out e.g. 5 + 7 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 34 + 49 (given 3 different scaffold options and then without scaffold)
givenSUBsign which starts with work out e.g. 7 - 5 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 74 - 46 and also 74 - 6 (given 3 different scaffold options and then without scaffold)
givenXsign which starts with work out e.g. 5 x 7 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 34 x 249 (with Gelosia or long multiplication scaffold and then without)
givenDIVsign which starts with work out e.g. 14 ÷ 2 (given pictures) and moves on to e.g. 581 ÷ 7 and 2132 ÷ 52 (with and without scaffold)
and their corresponding word problem versions
secretADDsign, secretSUBsign, secretXsign and secretDIVsign (each word problems - at different levels of difficulty which requires only addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, as their title implies)
In a class where there is a wide spread of attainment this is very likely. e.g. a low attaining learner may only “already know” fewer than 30 layers whereas a learner at about GCSE grade 4 is likely to “already know” well over 100 layers. The learner who knows more will need to answer questions on far more layers in order for the app to find the “goldilocks” place to begin teaching in each topic.
So once some learners no longer have pre assess questions to answer, the teacher should make good use of lesson time for the lowest attaining learners. Consider creating slightly longer timely practice assignments so that:
learners who haven’t finished pre assess yet, will finish more quickly;
there will be time to teach learners who have finished pre assess an extra topic.
The learners who have finished pre-assess can learn a layer from one topic with the class and an additional layer from one or even two other topics per lesson, whilst the learners who are still doing pre assess do longer assignments. The teacher should make good use of the time when the majority of learners are doing long pre-assess assignments, which don’t require feedback-dialogue, to spend time with the lowest attaining learners - this time, well spent - will increase the motivation of the lowest attaining learners and be a chance to fix some fundamental gaps, which will make it easier to teach the whole class in the future.
The topics the learners who have already finished pre-assess can be drawn from all topic theme, but the teachers would be advised
to teach 10bond, base10add and sequenceMultiple if necessary;
to avoid teaching extra layers on a topic within 4 weeks of when the topic is scheduled to be taught to the whole class (so that the extra layer will be well embedded, before the teacher comes to teach the topic to the whole class);
to begin to teach multiply by 10 etc and at least 3 of the 4 operations (multiply or divide may be missed out);
to fill in fundamental learning gaps such coordinate, fractionINTRO, sequenceArithmetic, orderFDP, fractionOF, scaleInterpret and proportionalGraph;
to teach some layers, such as simplifySD (sum/difference), simplifyPQ (product/quotient) and solvingReady, which may help learners to overcome any fear of algebra that they might have and also to enable the lowest attaining learners to shine when the whole class begins to learn the topic together (It can be a really good “sales technique” for retrieval practice, when the lowest attaining learners can do more than their peers because “we learned it last half term with timely practice”) - especially when it is clear that these learners can learn also easily learn the another slightly harder layer on their firm learning foundations).
If the teacher hasn’t tapped the floppy disc, then just tap the correct assessment outcome.
If the teacher has tapped the floppy disc (and the assessment has been saved), the teacher need not do anything, the app will self adjust the retrieval practice interval over time.
This helps the app decide on the urgency for adding questions on layers into the next retrieval practice section of the timely practice assignment. The option feedback-on-blank is considered more urgent than feedback-on-attempt. However feedback-on-blank may be an indication that the teacher should select best learn later - because the teacher and learner might be better off putting their limited feedback time to better use.
The teacher should not give feedback on pre assess questions because
we want pre assess to be fast and accurately find each learner's firm learning foundations;
each learner’s retrieval practice pool should only contain layers which the learner already knows or has recently be taught (adding almost correct layers into the retrieval practice pool will mean that the teacher needs to give feedback before they have taught the timely practice layer - this will usually be a poor use of the teacher’s time - so please don’t do this);
throughout the time when learners are only or mainly doing pre assess, the teacher can concentrate on getting this message across: the pre assess section, headed learned and remembered? is to help the teacher teach all learners in the class better in the future. Everybody will have some too easy and some too hard questions. Over time the timely practice app will get better at finding out what each learner can do - unlike a test - meaning that once the teacher begins teaching using timely practice, the learners will find learning and remembering learning easier.
Our experience is that low attaining learners don’t close the learning gap with their peers no matter
how high the quality of teaching is,
how high the teachers expectations are,
how hard the learners work,
how many questions the learners practise at the point of teaching
… unless we address forgetting. Of the two most effective ways to improve retention of learning, we have found that personalised retrieval practice is more effective and efficient than practice tests.
Our experience is that end of lesson assessment is a waste of time! What we need desperately to know is
Can the learner still remember (at least some of) what they learned in their previous lesson until the next lesson?
If the learner can remember how to answer questions on the layer they learned last lesson, then the retrieval practice scheduled by timely practice can begin to work at embedding this learning more and more deeply and accurately in the learners long term memory.
If the learner can only partially answer questions on the layer they learned last lesson, then feedback can be used to fix the missing or incorrect parts.
If the learner can’t remember anything from the last lesson, then reteaching or best learned later will be needed. However disappointing this is for the teacher, the teacher needs to know that the teaching and learning activities of the lesson “haven’t worked” for some/most learners. Perhaps it's due to poorly spaced lessons or a long weekend, perhaps it's due to teaching a too hard layer e.g. teaching layer 1 of correctDP before sufficient correctTOnearest has been mastered. If the teacher finds that teaching of the lesson can’t be remembered in the next lesson, the teacher has the possibility of doing something different. The teacher should congratulate themselves, they have found and have the opportunity to fix, learning which would otherwise have been forgotten. If the teacher doesn’t find out until the next end of unit/term/year test they won’t be able to do anything other than reteach the layer again.
It is likely, with poorly spaced lessons e.g. a lesson on Thursday and then not another until Tuesday that many learners will have forgotten enough of their learning of the Thursday lesson to warrant a whole class approach. The teacher may decide not to touch the Taught Edited button, found within Edit Teaching, after the Thursday lesson. Instead the teacher can start or end Tuesday’s lesson with a few recap questions or ask the learners to repeat their practise-learn worksheet on what they learned on Thursday, and only use Taught Edited (for the topic taught in the previous lesson as well as in the current lesson) after the Tuesday’s lesson.
For some very low attaining learners, where the school decides more input is required for them, the school can add in an extra 5 minute timely practice session between poorly spaced lessons in school time: e.g. additional time with a learning support teacher or in registration with the support of the form tutor or with family-buy-in for homework. Thereby increasing the likelihood that the learner can recall learning between one lesson.
The app will let the teacher know when the teacher assesses the next timely practice assignment, if the learner has retained the learning from the previous session.
However, what we expect teachers will find is that:
some learners who look like they aren’t learning - prove to have actually been learning,
some learners who do everything that is asked of them and appear to be learning - prove to not have learned, yet, the layer. However feedback-dialogue between the teacher and the learner will usually fix this. Sometimes enough learners will have forgotten the learning of the lesson, to warrant a whole class review. The teacher should congratulate themselves, they have found and have the opportunity to fix, learning which would otherwise have been forgotten.
Absolutely not. We have worked hard to reduce peer-to-peer copying, because copying is the enemy of pre assess and retrieval practice. Each learner begins with a randomly assigned question, which significantly reduces peer-to-peer copying. Most layers have 6 to 20 questions so the chance of two learners sitting adjacent to each other having the same question is very low. Once learners realise they have different questions, they rarely even try to copy.
Many teachers like to start their lesson with timely practice in lieu of a lesson warm up, and some teachers like to designate the first 5 minutes of each lesson with a “silent, do now”, meaning the teacher can focus on settling the class and not get side-tracked by feedback.
Of course in the future we would like to automate this - and auto prepare a “lesson plan page” for the teacher to print out, but for now
the Absent learners list helps the teacher not duplicate their effort within Edit Teaching and helps retrieval practice be done efficiently within Create t.p.
In Create t.p., the list helps ensure learners only ever have one timely practice assignment the app at a time, meaning the timely practice app can schedule retrieval practice most efficiently. If a learner returns from an absence and had several timely practice assignments “to catch up on”, then they are likely to feel overwhelmed and wish they hadn’t returned to school. Worse, if the learner doesn’t get retrieval practice on the learning of their first lesson back (because they were completing old assignments first) they would feel (accurately) that they are not learning well as they can.
In Edit Teaching, the list helps ensure that layers are not added into retrieval practice that we know the learner didn’t learn.
the list of learners who will learn each layer from a topic list, helps the teacher plan efficiently without overloading the teachers working memory;
the order of teaching of the layers list, helps the teacher plan efficient teaching of the lesson in the planning and preparation session - and recall their plan within the lesson.
We would emphasise that this is a might, timely practice works well without and teachers have enough to do - so this is a personal preference option.
Traditionally the teacher only teaches each topic once per year, so in the subsequent year it will be a waste of time for the teacher to wonder “why doesn’t this learner know this layer already?” The reasons: absent, forgot, was taught too much etc, won’t help the teacher teach better in the future.
With timely practice, the teacher might want to look back at their teaching within the first/previous curriculum spiral of the year and find “pride in a job well done”.
Additionally where the teacher will use a SOL in which the teacher spirals through the curriculum and teaches many topics a few times a year, then the question “why doesn’t this learner know this layer already?” may help the teacher teach the current class better:
e.g. the teacher could focus on a learner in the lesson (particularly with questioning within the teach-learn part of the lesson) because they have been taught, but not learned the layer already.
e.g. the teacher needn’t give particular focus to learners who were absent last time the topic was taught. However the teacher might ensure that the topic gets priority when there is only time to teach the learner one topic in a lesson (when 2 have been planned) or the class the topic when there is not time to spiral through all the topics in the last curriculum spiral of the year.
Measuring learning progress within a trial
Extension for the teacher/manager who will supervise a comparative trial
Whether the school/department/teacher is using timely practice to find out
how effective their current SOL with one class and how effective a timely practice SOL is with another class
or to compare a year where some teaching is done using the current SOL and some using a timely practice SOL
they will need to decide what the lead time needs to be - when sufficient pre assess is likely to have been done - so they can measure embedded learning at the start of a trial. We are happy to give advice about this.
With most traditional schemes of learning, a block or unit is made up of only part of a topic theme e.g. algebraic tinkering in kangaroomaths.com
So only pre assess the topics which are within the SOL e.g. in algebraic tinkering select simplify +/-, simplify x/÷, expandLinear, factorise and valueAlgebra but not algebraGraphs, inequality, sequenceArithmetic, sequenceOther, solvingReady, solve and writeAlgebra
So pre assess all the topics that any learner may already know, or may be taught.
It will take up to 4 create + do PDF assignment + assess (but give no dialogue-feedback) sessions, to pre assess a topic. However several topics will be pre assessed in parallel.
Low attaining learners (e.g. <grade 2) will need to pre assess up to 15 integer, 7 FDPR, 4 word problem, 9 algebra, 11 G+M and 8 P+S topics
Higher attaining learners (e.g. ≥ grade 4) will need to pre assess 14 integer, 14 FDPR, 9 word problem, 12 algebra, 14 G+M and 10 P+S topics
How long the pre assess takes will depend on the attainment of the class and the intensity at which the school wants to do the pre assess process.
Here are some suggestions for the way pre assess can be done
The school could allocate 10 to 15 minutes of lessons for pre assess (replacing lesson warm up) and the rest of each lesson used for teaching as normal.
The school could allocate the majority of 4 lessons for pre assess (with longer assignments). Part of the first lesson could be allocated to explaining the pre assess process + for the other 3 lessons - adjust the Pace for Practice and have filler activities for learners to do if they finish early.
The school could allocate 1 complete lesson for doing 2. (see above), and then 10 to 15 minutes of subsequent lessons for pre assess, replacing lesson warm up, (as in 1. above).
A small group preparing for intervention tutoring could be pre assessed in 1 lesson: with the first 8 question assignment created prior to the lesson, and then 3 episodes of assess + but no feedback+ create next + do next PDF assignment, within the lesson. Provided the group is small e.g. 3 learners and the teacher/tutor has access to a tablet device and printing facilities, the teacher should be able to assess, create, print and supervise the learners.
Pre assess will feel less threatening than traditional tests as the learners will become aware of
questions they can do returning, and
questions they couldn’t do being dropped.
When trying to calculate how much time pre assess will require in advance of teaching
For option 1. and 3. allow at least 1 week + 4 maths lessons in advance of the trial (to allow for some learners being absent on occasional days).
Option 4. will only take 1 lesson - if one of the tutees is absent, they can do the pre assess the next lesson whilst the tutor is teaching the other tutees.
Option 2. will feel the most traumatic, but if it is replacing a block of revision + 3 GCSE practice papers it will be less traumatic than the GCSE papers (and the data collected will be far more useful for future teaching).
Carefully add the SOL into the app, making sure it is not pre assessing
what has been taught within the last 4 weeks - as this would otherwise be post assess of recent teaching - rather than what we want: pre assess to find embedded learning,
what will be taught during the pre assess process.