You know that feeling you get when you rush, rush, rush to get to a conference after a long day of travel, compounded by months of trying to cram teaching, family, and personal care into an already too-fast-paced life? Perhaps you check into your hotel and unzip the suitcase you packed at home, wondering if you even packed the right clothing. You might ask yourself when you should get breakfast, who you will sit with, and how you will ever manage to relax and learn. You might begin to wonder if attending was more effort than it will be worth. Read more
This is the tenth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.
If you have incorporated the ideas from my past blog posts into your instructional practices and still find your students’ discussions lack substance, it may be due to the feedback they are receiving. After years of research, Hattie (2008) revealed that feedback was among the most powerful influences on achievement and states that students have a greater chance of achieving learning targets when teachers provide ongoing feedback about their progress. Read more
This is the ninth post in a series on student-led, small-group discussions. To read the other posts, see “Small Groups, Big Discussions.” The series explores the challenges to effective small-group discussions and how to address them. The content is connected to the book Deep Discourse.
Often, teachers wonder how they should grade students to hold them accountable during discussions. A conversation with one teacher illustrates the questions many teachers ask. She said, “I want to include more student-led discussions in my classroom, but I don’t know how I would grade their work to hold them accountable. They won’t speak up if they think they aren’t receiving points. How might I grade individual students for their work during discussions? What criteria should I use to grade them as they engage in discussions?” Read more
“Once you learn, you never forget.” We have all heard that statement as it relates to riding a bicycle, and any of us who has ever taught a child to ride a bike know that for most children, this learning process requires time, patience, and perseverance. Riding a bike isn’t easy. Children are required to transfer their learning of a number of different skills (pedaling, balancing, steering, turning, and stopping, for example) and eventually put these distinct skills together to be a successful bike rider. For those of us in a position to provide the support and guidance, we find ourselves constantly providing feedback, with the ultimate goal of helping the child learn how to ride a bike safely and successfully, recognizing that they had to start somewhere. Read more
In many classrooms, assessment is still an event. It might be an end-of-unit event, a benchmark event, or a “because it’s Friday” event. Whatever the assessment reason, inviting a more formative approach gives opportunities for frequent feedback in a couple of different ways.
- It shows the learner how well they are progressing toward a particular target, skill, or standard.
- It shows the learner which strategies work best for the learner to reach their targets.
In The Quest For Learning: How To Maximize Student Engagement (2017), we propose a simplified descriptive rubric to help teachers manage formative feedback, both at the beginning of a learning scenario and throughout it. Read more