Kettle Moraine School District, Wisconsin
Examples of excellent pupil work was found on the Teachers’ website which had given children visual examples of expectations. This had helped them organise their thought and be neat.
Students do self-assessment and meet with the teachers to discuss their learning. This helps them make fewer mistakes because these have been identified.
In Social Studies, teachers were finding that discussion with a partner was more beneficial than putting work under the document camera. By asking students to give feedback to each other students are becoming more aware of how they are doing and they are learning to work with others. Students find a partner who is not doing the same exact idea as them, then they look at their rubric and grade each other suggesting fixes. This has helped students get a good understanding of the rubric.
Modelling is needed for students to know how to give each other feedback.
Google docs has been used to give students an opportunity to give feedback on written papers. Then the groups work together to improve based on their feedback. Students now have a better understanding of how to give good feedback and improve their papers.
Kentucky (maths only)
Learning stops showing work at the document camera from randomly selected students meant they could all participate and the message was that mistakes are OK. One teacher gave an open response answer to the class and they discussed how to make it better.
Some teachers are not giving grades for everything. Students feel less pressure and are given a chance to redo and find out on their own what they did wrong.
I have been using feedback with my RTI class to help lower achievers be more successful on Constructed Response Questions. We start working independently then bring a student sample to the document camera and talk about what we can do to make our answers better and get ‘all’ points possible.
This class is a class that really struggles and several students feel this really helps. One student went to his history class and said ‘4th period math has been great! I know I’m going to do great on my unit test.’ And he did. This was one of those great moments as a teacher. A struggling student likes my class and is learning.
Christi Burnett, East Carter Middle School, Carter County, Kentucky
nstead of the teacher offering feedback, students generally now walk through their learning explaining the steps they performed and usually/sometimes can see in their explanations where they went wrong.
Kentucky (all subjects)
One teacher found that showing the students an excellent piece led to them realising what the key aspects of quality were.
By combining mid-lesson learning stops and making the invisible visible (marking pens, codes etc.) no student completed an entirely wrong piece of work. A lot of students, however, wanted to erase their entire piece and start again rather than improve one section.
The mid lesson stops helped students see that there are multiple ways of answering a problem and they get to see other students’ thinking.
When children are asked to explain their learning/thinking at the front they often self-correct as they see their errors. Students are analysing each other’s work and finding errors where in the past this would have been up to the teachers. They are taking more time to look more carefully at each other’s work.
A parent contacted me and shared that she did not appreciate me doing my job. She thought that students should not be correcting her daughter’s work, that that was the job of the teacher. Rather than trying to justify or explain myself, I invited her to sit in on the class the next day.
She saw the children collaborating, self-correcting and having those ‘aha!’ moments. She later emailed me thanking me for the chance to understand what was happening. She is actually one of my greatest allies now.
Ends of lessons
Exit slips for students to write the answer to ‘What did you learn?’ and ‘What do you feel ‘fuzzy’ on?’ helped teachers quickly assess student understanding, so that next lessons can be modified appropriately.
A ‘wind shield’ check had also been used – clear, buggy or muddy- asking kids to self-assess and explain how the teacher can better help.
By using exit slips and various reflection techniques, students have indicated that they are more comfortable discussing their learning, even their misconceptions. They feel more confident because the ‘safe to fail’ culture has been developed.
One teacher covering the family of graphs asked students to exchange papers and give each other feedback. This provided opportunities for revision thinking.
Students have also been asked ‘Where is the red line?’ They analyse their own prior knowledge and find out if they know the heart of the current lesson or if they are missing previous concepts. The problems are then targeted for homework. This has allowed students to create success criteria.
At our school we have GradeCam that gives immediate feedback. When my students take an assessment I put GradeCam on the projector and they compare how students did in the class and then compare different classes. This is a great way to find out if students really mastered the content. It also encourages classes to compete with other classes.
I have also had students take constructive responses and comment on their talk partner’s paper. This has helped develop their math communication skills.
Kayla Allen, Casey County High School, Kentucky
One teacher had children spend one minute to do something, then spend a minute with their talk partner to discuss, then the teacher calls on a student to explain. Those who struggle get help before being called on. You are not on your own when it comes to being called on.
Immediate feedback was given when students were paired together to redo work. This has increased student understanding.
One teacher had had a mid-lesson stop focusing on solving systems of equations, taking one at random and looking for success and improvement needs. The impact was higher level word the second time around and more receptive comments as the papers had no names on them. Seeing good and not so good examples let the students rework without negative connotations.
One teacher uses mid lesson stops to focus on the work, not the person. The impact has been that it is ok to be wrong, students can pout questions, there is no fear and students are now eager for feedback.
One teacher established a ‘gallery’ approach, where students walked around viewing each other’s work and giving fast feedback. Students were very engaged and involved in self and peer assessment.
During a construction project my students and I are always excited to jump right into cutting materials and brainstorming on the fly. During our Balloon Powered Rocket Car project, the students had to design and draw, to scale, a top, front and side view of their proposed vehicles. Students then swapped designs and commented on each other’s drawings, focusing on how they could improve them to meet the success criteria.
Chris Lacy, Morgan County High School
All teachers said that it had been hard to get students to focus on feedback. They just wanted to know their grade, showing that there has been too much of an emphasis on summative assessment. Some teachers had brainstormed ways to give feedback without the grade and were now using more verbal feedback via the mid lesson stops to focus on misconceptions. Verbal feedback benefits the whole class and anonymous feedback decreases anxiety.
During a mid-lesson stop I had talk partners complete a challenging Law of Cosines problem. I took up all the problems (no names) and redistributed the papers randomly. Partners then reviewed the work and provided feedback based on our success criteria. This showed them the value of feedback.
Jennifer Rottgering, Ballard Memorial High School, Barlow
Ends of lessons
A ‘paper tweet’ is used for students to reflect on the ehir learning target, using only 140 characters. This makes them focus on the big picture and come up with the main idea.
‘What stuck with you this week? Has been written on the whiteboard and students write on post its what stood out for them from the week’s lessons. This helped teachers see what students were interested in and what areas needed more work as well as seeing misconceptions.
Another techniques was ‘3,2,1’. 3: things we talked about, 2: questions, 1 something you understood. This helps to uncover any hidden micsocnceptions and gives shy students more of a voice.
Exit slips were used with the starter ‘Explain how the lesson connects to….’ This revealed whether students had understood the content and could see the big picture in their learning.
Reflecting on the group dynamic, or learning powers used, meant that students had to self-assess and peer assess in order to describe it.
Self-assessing against the success criteria allowed students to become more comfortable with success criteria and the reflective culture of the classroom.
As an immersion activity for ‘Lord of the Flies’, students had to work as a group to develop a survival plan: priorities, rules, punishments, leadership, daily responsibilities. After the group activity students reflected on the group: who contributed, who didn’t, how decisions were made, bitterness etc. The impact was their group assessment led to parallels with what happened in the book….
Kettle Moraine School District, Wisconsin, USA
Patricia Deklotz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Zeidler | email@example.com
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Mel Shackleton | firstname.lastname@example.org