Research tells us that we need to create opportunities in the classroom that offer students continuous and specific feedback to help students improve. Remember from Effective Teacher GPA Exercise 10 (Thursday, March 28, 2013) that when we receive feedback about our performance from others, it is both an educational and emotional experience. Likewise, when students receive information from a teacher about their performance, their self-worth is enhanced or challenged.
Participate in this today’s Exercise:
Learning makes more sense to students when they experience learning tasks that specifically connect to learning targets communicated by teachers. Likewise, feedback strategies coexist alongside student assignments and function as part of the instructional process. We naturally give students feedback as they complete learning tasks. Feedback strategies allow us to create formal ways to give students timely feedback. Also, students gain feedback from themselves and other students. What does it mean for planning lessons? Information we gather from the feedback strategies determines if we need to modify our instruction for the next day’s lesson or continue on.
We informally assess student progress each day. We look at body language and expressions, listen to the types of questions students ask, and analyze their frustration levels. These informal formative assessment/feedback strategies are important. However, they do not directly involve students in reflecting about their own performance, making learning connections, and taking ownership of their learning. Below are 6 ways for teachers to do just that.
- Provide feedback to recognize good performance.
- Very specifically describe how students can improve their performance.
- Focus on how well rather than how rapidly students accomplished the learning target.
- Focus on quality rather than quantity of student work accomplished.
- Focus on providing feedback about the learning task, not personalizing it to the student.
- Provide opportunities for students to express that they understand the feedback and what they need to do to improve.
As teachers we must constantly create ways to collect and analyze information to share with students. Feedback can be applied by the teacher, by student peers, or through assessment. We must choose feedback strategies that specifically create ways for students to receive descriptive feedback about their performance.
The Effective Teacher GPA is an exercise to help teachers reflect on their teaching practices. The content is from Who’s Engaged? Climb the Learning Ladder to See by Janet K. Pilcher (2012). For more information about this book or professional development opportunities for teachers associated with the book’s content see http://WhosEngaged.com or contact us at Questions@iTeacherSuite.com.
iTeacherSuite introduces teachers to practical and research-based tools, resources, and online learning communities for the purpose of helping teachers become highly effective and engaging students to learn and achieve. Check out our Facebook page to connect with teachers and to share teaching strategies (https://www.facebook.com/iTeacherSuite).