Science Correspondents


September 27, 2014 by Doug Napolitano-Cremin

A brief note about something new I have been trying in lessons this term…

Every lesson I have chosen one pupil to act as our ‘Science Correspondent’. This pupil is given a lovely (!) badge to wear, a postcard and a pen. It is their role by the end of the lesson to summarise the important learning points on to the postcard they are given. These postcards will be collected throughout the topic and used as a revision source for pupils before their end-of-topic test. Every pupil will be asked to be the correspondent at least once each term.

At times, the summary postcard and science correspondent will be used in other ways. I will occasionally ask pupils to feed back their summary points at the end of the lesson to the rest of the class. The class can make suggestions for any changes they feel need to be made to the summary points e.g. choice of words used etc.

The correspondent is sometimes used as an ‘expert’ at the end of the lesson. They are asked questions that their peers may have about the content of the lesson. If the correspondent can not answer any particular questions, these are used as learning points for the next lesson or are given to the class to research for homework.

I will occasionally not use this technique in a lesson so that I can have gaps in our postcard resource. As an extension task, every so often I will ask pupils to look through the postcards, edit any that they think need correcting or improving, and fill any knowledge gaps that they can identify.

I am hoping that this will prove to be a useful addition to my teaching toolkit to assess pupils knowledge during and after a lesson. I can’t claim the invention of this strategy. The idea came from Dylan Wiliam’s book, ‘Embedded Formative Assessment‘. It appears on page 140 and is titled, ‘Student Reporter‘.



One thought on “Science Correspondents

  1. Ray Penner says:

    I like the idea. Thanks for sharing. One thing I do that’s similar is after each unit I’ll have students fill out a “study card”, which is just a cue card that they fill with important notes, formulas, definitions, etc. We review the topic as a class and I find ways to cue them into realizing what will be important to know for an upcoming test. Thanks again, and feel free to check out my new blog dealing with teaching and relationships 🙂


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