Archive for the 'formative feedback' Category

Healing Learning injuries: The Immediacy of Formative Feedback

If a student has hurt herself and is bleeding, we do not say, “Wait a few days and we will take care of your bleeding.” We help stop the bleeding immediately.  However, when a student bleeds academically by showing a serious learning gap, we often delay the necessary treatment.

When a student displays a learning gap such as  not being able to write a topic sentence in a composition, we  immediately apply the treatment of providing the student with different new strategies.  We do not simply re-give the student the  original strategy that was unsuccessful for the student.  We have a list of different strategies on the class website, blog, wiki, a handout, or a QR code.  We write these strategies in student-talk and provide examples.  For example, a topic sentence has a topic, like “the school baseball team”, and a strong position or viewpoint  about the team such as “will win this Friday”.  The complete topic sentence becomes “The school baseball team will win this Friday.”
We provide a  variety of differentiated ways for the students to learn the missing concept of a topic sentence such as  a written explanation.   We can ask students to put a box around the topic and put an arrow ( → ) over the position. Also, we can offer the student  a variety of other ways of learning this concept such as    Youtubemovie, a podcast, and  a visual.  The student selects which formative feedback she feels will help her the most. Then, she practices that new strategy so that she improves.

Through the  immediacy of formative assessment, we heal the student  in their learning.  The student does not become injured for the rest of her learning.

Tuttle’s formative assessment books:   http://is.gd/tbook

Healing the Wounded Student Through Formative Assessment

If a student has hurt herself and is bleeding, we do not say, “Wait a few days and we will take care of your bleeding.” We help stop the bleeding immediately.  However, when a student bleeds academically by showing a serious learning gap, we often delay the necessary treatment. When a student displays a learning gap such as  not being able to write a topic sentence in a composition, we  will want to immediately apply the treatment of providing the student with different new strategies.  We  have a list of different strategies on the class website, blog, wiki, a handout, or a QR code.  We write these strategies in student-talk and provide examples.  We provide a  variety of differentiated ways of learning the missing concept of a topic sentence such as  a written explanation, a  Youtubemovie, a podcast, and  a visual.  Through our using the immediacy of formative assessment, the student quickly heals.

Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Harry Grover Tuttle’s Three Formative Assessment Books

5 Formative Assessment and Technology Myths

Myth 1: The big computer assessment every three to five weeks is formative assessment. By three to five weeks, the students have learned and practiced the wrong way of thinking so that learning has become cement. When he assess on a daily or weekly basis, we catch learning gaps in the process and correct them.

Myth 2: The teacher uses technology to collect student work.  Yes, the teachers can use many web 2.0 tools such as wiki, voki, Google Forms, Glogster etc but the teacher has to move from collecting the evidence to recording  the  student data. If a teacher does not collect and make decisions based on the recorded data, then the teacher does not do formative assessment. Without recorded data, the teacher cannot measure progress over time.

Myth 3: The teacher can use technology such as voki, audacity, Word to talk to the students after seeing the students’ work. The teacher needs to do more than talk, he/she needs to give the student a new strategy to improve. If the student is stuck, he /she needs a precise way to get unstuck.

Myth 4: More practice on Quia, Google Forms, Blackboard, etc. will improve the students’ learning.  Only when the students learn why they got the answer wrong and learn how to think differently will they get the right answer (way  of thinking). A “you are right/you are wrong” quiz program  does not help students to grow.

Myth 5: Once the teachers see the students’ work through technology, the learning is done.  Formative assessment requires re-assessing and giving different strategies until the student shows improvement to the desired level. Often the students’ technology project is a draft and not the final version of his/her learning.  The student takes many assessments until he/she shows the desired mastery.

Link to Tuttle’s Formative Assessment books

Harry Grover Tuttle's Three Formative Assessment Books

Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment, New Book

 

Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment

 

By Harry Grover Tuttle and Alan Robert Tuttle

Want a quick way to get your students conversing more in the target language? Want an easy way to help your students improve in their speaking on a daily basis? This practical book shows you how to use formative assessments to gain immediate and lasting improvement in your students’ fluency.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Help students climb the ACTFL proficiencies
  • Guide students as they develop in over sixteen language functions such as socializing and persuading
  • Embed the three-minute speaking formative assessment into every lesson with ease
  • Engage students successfully in peer formative assessment
  • Teach students to give each other formative feedback
  • Provide struggling students with over ten improvement strategies for each language function.
  • Engage students in over 170 speaking activities.
  • Use Web 2.0 tools to foster speaking
  • Move from summative assessment to daily or weekly formative evaluation of speaking

Each speaking assessment include instructions, the assessment form, extension activities, speaking topics, and at least ten strategies for improvement. There are ready-to-use checklists including the “I Can” log that helps students plot their own progress.

Research has confirmed that when teachers use formative assessment, students can learn in six to seven months what would normally take a school year to learn. You’ll find yourself using this book every day because of the gains your students will achieve in foreign language fluency.

These speaking assessment energize the class as the students have the opportunity to use a language function for a full minute. The students use language instead of practicing it.

Please share with your Modern Language teacher, Improving Foreign Language Speaking Through Formative Assessment

English Essays – Grade or Assess? Done or Keep on Improving?

Today I returned my English students first essay. In my formative assessment manner,  I carefully explained that I want them to improvement in their writing during the course and to do so, I had to identify what they have done well and what they need to improve. Í  reminded them that the rubric  checklist has a plus (+) for doing well, a question mark (?) for inconsistent  work, and negative (-) for needs improvement.  I marked 20+ items on their checklist.  I did not give them a grade like a B since the grade tells them nothing about what they did well or have to improve in.  I also explained that, for each student,  I have identified the three areas that will lead to the greatest improvement. I stressed that I expect to see improvement in those three areas on the next essay.  They copied these three improvement areas on an Essay Improvement sheet that they will hand in with their next essay.  I explained that I will provide new strategies for those  learning gaps demonstrated by the greatest number of students at the beginning of each class.   More ideas are in my Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

How do you help your students  to continually  improve?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Constant Peer Review on the Same Essay Improves Student Writing

I  teach a college composition course.  We spend much time in peer reviewing (probably 70% of class time) in a formative assessment process. Today the students had their 6th peer review on the same “essay” and we are just up to doing  three body paragraphs.  I asked my students to do a questionnaire on the process we use.  About 15% said that they did not peer review in their high school English classes.  Of those they did peer review, they stated that peer review  focused on grammar, spelling and punctuation. As one student said of our process,  “we  focus on changing idea.”  Most students (80%) had not had more than one peer  review their writing; so far we  have had 6 different peers react to their writing.  As one student mentioned “you get a different view and different aspects about your paper from other people ” and “You receive others’ opinions using the same format you used to write it.”  My goal is simple: for students  to constantly improve in their writing.  Formative assessment which focuses on monitoring and giving feedback continually through the process enables students to improve in each aspect of their writing, starting at the pre-writing phase.  A more thorough description of this process is found in my Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

How often do your students peer review  each other’s work?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Self-Assessment as Critical Skill: Formative Assessment as a Stepping Stone

I am painfully aware that helping students to be able to self-assess is a slow task. On the other hand, I realize how critical this skill is as a lifelong skill. Unless students can self-assess, they will not be able to improve on their own. I certainly do not want my students dependent on me for the rest of their lives to make sure that they are “correct”. I want them to be able to determine for themselves what they are doing and how well it helps them to get to their desired goal. They should be empowered to make their own decisions about the things they do. They do need our help in developing from very structured self-assessments  (Right or Wrong for lower level answers) to evaluating their decisions without any given criteria. Students need to transition through this process.

Formative assessment provides a wonderful stepping stone to self-assessment. As students learn to assess others, they learn what is important about the learning, how that learning can be demonstrated, and  how to identify and implement formative feedback.  They develop the skill to objectively look at their own work. They understand  that they have the techniques to improve.  As one of my English students said, ” I’m learning to look at my own paper as I do when I peer review another student’s paper.”

How do you help your students to be able to self-assess? Do you use formative assessment as a stepping stone?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Web 2.0 Use May Not Be Formative Assessment

As I look at articles, blogs, and conference sessions, I see titles like

Formative Assessment Through Clickers

Formative Assessment Through Cell phones

Formative Assessment Through the Class Blogs/Wikis

Formative Assessment Through Online Quizzes

Formative Assessment Through Twitter

Formative Assessment Through Flickr

These people are generally  using Web 2.0 tools to monitor students, the first stage of formative assessment.  They collect information about where the students are  academically.

However, formative assessment moves from the monitor stage to the diagnosis stage.  How does the students’ present status compare to the desired learning goal?  If there are learning gaps, what strategies will help the students overcome those gaps?

If teachers or Web 2.0 programs do not offer improvement strategies based on the students’ specific learning gaps, then formative assessment does not occur.  Formative Assessment is much more than just seeing how many questions the students can answer;  it helps students to improve through providing new strategies for learning.

For example, if students take an online quiz about a certain learning goal, what happens next? Do the teachers diagnosis the results to see how individuals do on each item? Do the teachers determine which minor goals the students have yet to learn? Do the teachers determine which strategies will best help each student? Do the teachers give formative feedback to each student? Do the teachers build in class time for the students to practice their new formative strategy?  Do the teachers re-assess the learning?

Tuttle's Stages of Formative Assessment

Do you use Web 2.0 tools to go beyond the monitoring of students to a full formative assessment?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Backward/inverted Teaching and Formative Assessment

The Journal Recently ran an article on backward or inverted teaching where the instructor has the students watch a teaching video as homework and then in class they go over problems and the teacher does more one-on-one work with students.

As the students watch the 30 minute  instructional video, who is checking to see if they are comprehending  the video? Are there self-checks built into the video? What happens if a student gets lost at the beginning?  What happens if a student does not understand a major concept?  The students  have to wait until the class for which they will have to do homework.

Such backward teaching seems to go against the current formative assessment approach of constantly monitoring students and helping them to overcome the learning gaps that appear as the lesson develops.  According to formative assessment, students should be helped with their  learning gap as soon as it appears; the students are immediately diagnosed and given appropriate feedback to overcome the gap. The longer the time between the gap and the feedback, the less effective the feedback.

I think that backward teaching can be done well  if appropriate formative assessments are built in just after new concepts or ways of thinking are introduced in the video. Probably a video teacher does not want to go more than ten minutes without doing a check-in on the students.  The teacher might want to go over commonly made mistakes as he/she presents the lesson.  When students know they are “right”, they feel more confident about their learning. When they begin to have doubts, they learn less.

How do you use teaching videos/clips in your class?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Check Lower Level Learning Immediately (Formative Assessment)

We all want our students to be learning at the higher levels of thinking.  However, they first have to learn  lower level information.  For example, Spanish students want to converse in the language but until they learn basic vocabulary and grammar such as the present tense; they cannot converse.  We can change the format of class so that after we have introduced the lower level learning and have them practice it enough to know whether they understand the concept, then we can have them practice the lower level learning at home.

If we have them use an online program that “drills” them, shows them the right answer, and shows them  how to get the right answer,  they can immediately know how well they are doing and be given the opportunity to improve.  They do not have to wait until the next day (or in terms of a college course five days or week) to find out if they can do this lower level thinking.  Since the teacher has put in the program   a full explanation of how to get the right answer, the students can overcome their learning gap (formative feedback aspect of formative assessment).  They can redo the program to verify that they can do this lower level activity well.  They feel successful.  They have practiced this learning in the safety of their homes.

Then, in class, the teacher  can move the students to higher levels from the lower level.  For example, the Spanish students can tell what activities they do that day, can describe the various activities of their family members, and ask others what they things they do during a day.

So how do you practice lower level learning so that students know immediately if they are right or wrong and if they wrong,  do they learn how to change their thinking to get right answers? How do you  use formative assessment to move your students forward in their learning?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

“Fake” Formative Asssessment by Companies

When I do formative assessment workshops, I always include a section on what formative assessment is not.

Many school districts are buying into systems that supposedly do formative assessment.  Usually these systems test students every 4-6 weeks and often  provide a list of what skills the students have and do not have.  The programs may provide “remedial” work to help the students.    How many schools district would tell their athletic coach to wait until 4-6 weeks  to assess  the strengths and areas for growth for each player?  Coaches want their players to improve each practice.  How many school districts would tell their teachers not to assess students until every 4-6 weeks?   Classroom teachers need to be the ones to assess and help their students on a daily or weekly basis.

How many schools would want their coach to say generic statements like “work harder at passing  the ball” without giving the players better strategies for  passing the ball?  Unfortunately many systems provide just vague feedback such as “Organize  ideas”.   These systems do not offer students a choice of strategies; they simply provide one way of learning the material or do not even provide a strategy. Many systems just drill  the students.

Unfortunately, much of what “sells” for formative assessment is in fact just summative testing.

I define formative assessment as ” based on the students’ present learning condition, providing strategies so  the students can immediately begin to  achieve the desired goal”.  The classroom teacher is the heart and soul of formative assessment. Formative assessment takes place as part of the normal  classroom. It happens constantly in the classroom.  The teacher always  focuses on what the students are learning and how to help them better learn.

Here’s an article that gives some additional information.   http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2010/11/10/12assess.h30.html

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Formative Assessment Class Culture

Formative assessment requires a specific culture in the classroom.

For example, I tell my students that my job is to help them constantly improve.

I remind them that in this formative assessment class, I am a coach.  I will look for what they are doing well but, more importantly, I will look for how they can improve. An athletic coach constantly watches his/her players and constantly gives suggestions for improvement.

In addition, I will only ask then to improve when they can be given a  new strategy or approach that will enable them to overcome their learning gap.

I let them know that when I call on them, I will give them feedback.  If they want to become better in the class, they will offer their answer no matter how wrong  they think their answer is. Once I hear their answer, I can help them to become better.  If they keep quiet, I cannot help them. My feedback will focus not on what they did wrong but on how to do it correctly.

I remind them that they will be constantly assessed and be constantly  given strategies. For example, in the pre-writing phase of their essays, there will be seven assessments. Each formative assessment helps ensure they are on a success track.

I tell them that we build on successes.  We do something well, then we build on that successful learning  to reach the next learning goal.  Students feel very different in a class where they know that the teacher and their fellow students are there to help them improve in their learning.

Finally, I inform them that they are expected to do well in the course since we build on and reward successes.

What is your class culture?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Also, my  book,  Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

Baby Walking and Improving Student Learning

My grandson is beginning to walk. He takes about ten steps and then falls down. He crawls over to the nearest table/chair and gets up again. He does not get discouraged about failing to walk many steps. He walks some more and falls down again.

How do we help our students to not get discouraged about their failures?  Do we use the “fail forward” mentality that a failure is simply an indication that we tried something that did not work and now we can try something that can work?  A mistake is an opportunity to learn. When students see their answers and work  as work in progress, they are more willing to take chances and move forward. When we do not criticize them but help them to see how to improve, we encourage them to see failures as stepping stones as opposed to stop signs.

How do you show your students  that learning from  mistakes is a sign of growth?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Having Students Go from Proficient to Above Proficient Through Improvements

In my Oral presentations (speech) class, I’m grading their final speeches on how much they have improved from when they originally gave the speech. They have to show me their original speech, the rubric in which I indicated their strengths and gaps, and a sheet which explains how they are overcoming their gaps. Their final (two speeches that they select from those they have done) are graded on improvement.  If they show the three  improvements, they get an A. For each learning gap that is not changed into a strength, they loose ten points.  So far students have shown drastic improvements, their speeches have gone from being below proficient or being proficient to being above proficient. They have learned to support their speeches with image-based PowerPoints that drive home their messages. When we raise the bar and prove ways for students to improve, they go over the bar!

How do you have your students improve and become above proficient?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Color Coded Rubrics For Formative Assessment

If your rubric has a limited number of concepts, you might consider using  color coding. As you assess student work, you use a certain color highlighter for each major concept in the rubric (for example, for writing, red for  thesis and topic sentences, yellow for evidence, green for details,  etc.)  When you see a strength, you use that color marker to put in a Plus(+) sign next to where you  highlight the actual strength  Likewise, you can put a minus (-) sign next to a learning gap such a sentence that is missing a  transition and indicate where the transition should be.  Since each color corresponds to your rubric, you do not have to write out the type of learning strength or gap.  You indicate the category by its color and then you can write a formative feedback comment more quickly.

A variation is to use a certain colored highlighter for above proficient (green), proficient (blue), developing yellow), and beginning (red)  levels in the student work. For example, if students write an introduction at the proficient level, you highlight it in blue. If their conclusion lacks a restatement of the thesis, does not include the categories of proof, , and does not have an extender, you highlight it in red.  Students can do a color scan of their papers to see their levels of proficiency.

Help your students to improve by adding  color to their work

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

How Lost Are Your Students?

I heard from a college student who happened to read parts of my next manuscript (Formative Assessment Improves Writing) after his mother told him that she was reviewing the book. He mentioned that the smart kids “get it” but the other kids often struggle. They get lost in one part and then they get more lost  in the next and more lost in the next until they cannot find their way out. Unfortunately, their teachers usually do not help them.

He was interested in how I made sure no student could get lost since I assess each student on each minor part of his/her writing  journey.

I wonder how often teachers assess their students and then give formative feedback immediately?  How many minutes go by before the students are assessed and formative feedback is used to help students get back on the learning path if they have wondered off? How many days? How many weeks? The more time between formative assessments, they more time to get lost, to get so lost that there is almost no hope of ever finding the path again.

learninggoalfaffmap1

How lost are your students? How do you know? What do you do to help them when they get lost?

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Don’t Leave Improvement to Chance

I offered my college writing students the opportunity for a one-on-one so that I could help them with their papers.

About three students in each class wanted a one-on-one. I was trying to give them a choice. I realize that I should have made their  improvement a requirement. A mandatory one-on-one would have allowed me one last chance to see their graphic organizers before they began to write; I could have helped them improve.  Although the students  had peer reviewed the graphic organizers, many students at the early stages of writing (and other learning) need the most feedback.

How often do you allow students choices when, in fact, their continual improvement, should be a requirement?  How often do you build “mandatory”  formative assessment into  their learning?  Do you just hope they will get it right or do you carefully monitor them and redirect them so that they will be successful?

Responding to students: Our Real Emotional Message

In a previous post, I emphasized that students need an abundance of positive comments before they really believe that what they have done is good.

Likewise, when we examine our comments to students in the margins and at the end of their papers, we may discover that  the messages that we think are positive or neutral appear to the students as negative ones.     For example, in “Good topic sentence. Follow it up with more evidence”   the message seems to us to be a positive; however, the second sentence deflats the praise. The previous examples strikes students as a “set up and slap down” comment.

Students may see our statements or questions as direct commands rather than suggestions. “Can you think of other possibilities?” can easily be translated as “You dummy, why can’t you get a good answer?”

When we write on students’ papers, we have to promote a positive tone since many students will read any non-positive statement as a negative one.

If you are interested in implementing  formative assessment in the classroom, my book,
Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

Be more positive than negative

Do you use a positive or negative mentality in your class? Do you focus on pointing out the positives of students’ learning or do you concentrate more on the negatives?

Tom Connellan, “Inside the Magic Kingdom”, pgs 91-95 asserts that

If students see…………………………….they perceive it as

1 compliment, 1 negative………………negative

2 compliments, 1 negative…………….neutral

3 compliments, 1 negative……………positive

I almost agree.  I think that students need an abundance of compliments before they really believe the comments are positive. I think that 3 to 1 is borderline positive. I would argue that a 5:1 ratio is needed for students to feel that they are doing positive work. If they feel that positive about their work, then they are willing to make formative changes.  If they do not feel very positive, they will not attempt the changes.

Try the 5:1 rule and see the change in your students.

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book,
Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Reponding to Your Students

School Awards For Teachers

I recently  attended a college’s award ceremony for faculty and staff.  I was impressed with all the categories of awards.

I’ve made up some awards that I would like schools to give. These awards will not be given to just one teacher but to any teacher who does any of the following:

Focus their students’ learning on the standards

Spend more working with students than lecturing

Diagnose students’  learning problems instead of just giving grades

Give specific feedback that actually help the students to move forward in their learning

Keep cumulative records of students’ strengths and learning gaps in a specific learning goal

Celebrate their students’ standards-based learning successes

Transform academic learning  into real world learning

Invite parents and other experts in the classroom (physically or virtually)  to share their wisdom about a learning goal

Involve the students in meaningful community or global projects that truly make a difference in other students’ lives.

Empower students to feel that they are capable of being successful

Share the learning goal, assessments, and success strategies with other teachers

What other awards would you like to schools to give?

Improving Students’ Self-Assessments Skills for Increased Learning

Part of the handout for the conference session:

Reasons for student self- assessment

Closed- ended assessment

Some examples:

Check answers against a paper or digital “answer” key.

Take online quiz.

Transitional assessment

Some examples:

Take online tests until ready for “real” test

Learn the quality in an assignment

Open -ended assessment

Some examples:

Self-assess and change strategy if necessary

Digital portfolio updates

Students' Self Assessment Growth Chart

Students

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book,
Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

A Tight Formative Feedback Fit for Students

Today I put plastic insulation on the windows in my 1910 house. The insulation will keep the cold air from blowing in. The tricky part is to put the plastic on tightly. If it is not tight, then the air can blow it off.

I wonder how tightly our formative feedback fits our students? Do we give them general feedback such as “You need to improve your topic sentence. Remember to restate the thesis and then identify the category of this paragraph”. Or do we give specific feedback to one of our students who is a football player “Think of a topic sentence like a sports game. The goal is always to win the game. Each play is to win the game through doing (this play). A topic sentence has the same format of the essay thesis (the game purpose) and the particular paragraph game play.”

Do your students understand your formative feedback? Unless they understand it, they cannot move forward. Does your formative feedback tightly fit them or will they blow it off.

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Teach or Observe Students

I am the photographer for my church. I am supposed to record the events of the church. However, I often get involved in the events so I forget to take pictures such as last week when we baked 200 pies to raise money.

I realize that the same thing happens in the classroom. I am so busy “teaching” that I forget to observe the students. I do not do frequent check-ins so see where they are in the process. I do not build into my lesson plan student-self or peer assessments. I need to lessen my presenting and increase my student learning focus.

How do you change your focus to become the photographer of your students’ learning instead of th event main participant? Once you have a picture of their present learning, what formative actions do you take?

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

My Formative Assessment Book Published

My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, was published by Eye on Education. I just got my copy. http://tinyurl.com/FormAssess

I’m proud of the book since I included so many practical suggestions. I’ve read too many articles and books that talk about formative assessment. In fact, I just finished a book about feedback that was very general. It took a very long time to say very little. Very few writings take it to the classroom level with specifics. So my book has many examples for the sections of building in student responses, monitoring, diagnosing, formative feedback, time for growth, reporting and celebrating. It is meant to be a bank of easy to implement ideas.

I reread it last night. I begin thinking more about some of the activities and realized that I can modify some of my present activities to be even more formative, helping my students to begin to walk on the path to success.

New Windows, New Visions: Insights into Class Learning

Our church is having its stain glass windows cleaned. As the window company took out the stain glass windows for cleaning, they put in clear windows. The sanctuary is covered with light now. Things that we did not notice, we know notice.

I wonder how much light we have in our classrooms. Do we see which students are struggling? Do we see how they are struggling? Do we see which resources we can use to help these struggling students? Do we see how we can lecture less and spend more time helping students? Or do we teach our lessons so we only see darkness (our teaching) and not students’ responses?

Turn on your lights by noticing how students respond to your higher level questions through their hand signals or personal response systems. Brighten the classroom by observing students doing in class exercises to determine where their strengths and learning gaps are. Enlighten your classroom by having numerous formative feedback activities to help students who struggle.

Let student learning shine brightly in your classroom.

For any one who is interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

How Many Academic Firsts Do You Celebrate?

My wife and I went to see our son, daughter-in-law and our grandson. These parents proudly talked about each first success of the baby- the first time he rolled over, the first time he had cereal, the first time he made something move…

I wonder how proudly we talk with our students about their successes. Do you acknowledge each of the students’ firsts? Do you let your students know on a daily or weekly basis their successes? Do you break your curriculum down so that they can celebrate small successes instead of waiting until the end unit test to be able to show a success? Do you celebrate each success to motivate them in their learning? Do you celebrate each success to show them that they are moving forward? Do you celebrate each success so that when they find a task especially difficult they can look back to their previous successes and know that they can achieve this task? Do you scaffold the curriculum so that they can easily move from success to success or do you have a sink-or-swim approach to student learning? Do your students look forward to the next challenge so that they can show how well they are doing or do they dread the exercise that they know they will fail at?

How do you make your curriculum a success one for students so that they constantly have new learning firsts?

If you are interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Faking Personal Response Systems

I do realize how important it is to get feedback from students during the class. The more feedback I get the more I can modify instruction so that they can be successful learners. However, my institution does not have an electronic personal response systems.

Here are some ways I or others fake a personal response system:

Have students vote using their hands. I have my vote A, B, C, D starting with their index finger for A They hold their hands in front of their chest so that no one else can see their answer.

Give students a 3 x5 card, have them fold it horizontal and then write a big A on the left side and B on the right; they turn over the card and write C and D. They hold up their response to their chest.

Have students write on small white boards and hold their answer up to you. The whiteboards work well for short answers or drawings. By the way, often “dollar store” type of stores often carry whiteboards. You can also have students draw on their own paper.

Have students point such as when a Spanish teacher says “la puerta”, the students point to the door.

Have students do an action. When a science teacher says “endothermic”, students can pretend to be cold.

Use whatever form of personal response system you want to learn where your students are in their learning journey and make appropriate changes to help them successful navigate their journey.

If you are interested in implementing formative assessment in the classroom, my book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students is available through Eye-on-Education.

Public Performance and Students’ Learning

I watched a seven year who played his violin at a Farmers’ Market. About 100 people listened as he did two songs. When I asked his father about this performance, he stated that his son’s violin teacher insisted that all of his students play in public. These students are to watch the audience as they play to determine what moves the audience. So the son plays out once a week.

I wonder how often we have our students play outside the school to demonstrate their skills to the public and to listen to their response. How do our social studies students demonstrate their skills to the community? What do our math students do to showcase their learning and get reactions from the people in their town?

Teaching or Learning Focus

I recently talked with several  teachers. They had wonderful techniques to present a concept. However, after they taught the concept, they did not know how to monitor, diagnose, and give feedback.They did not record what they observed about the students’ learning. They did not think about what possible learning problems the students might display in order to begin to think of where the learners were and what was needed to help move the students forward. They did not have already prepared materials to help the students as part of the scaffolding feedback of moving the students forward.

Do you focus more on teaching a concept or more on helping the students to move forward in their learning after your initial teaching?

Creating Formative Feedback “I can” sheets

One way to help students and to help ourselves is to create “I Can” sheets which also list the formative feedback strategies so that we do not have to list them each time. We can use a student’s “I can” sheet and circle which formative feedback we feel will be most appropriate or have the student select. We have to verify that each activity will lead to improved learning.

For example, this partial “I can” list can be expanded to include formative feedback

___I can identify items in a topic/situation.

–I can make statements about a topic/situation.

___I can ask questions about a topic/situation

For a Spanish student who has trouble with talking and particularly talking about a topic with a visual, the “I can” statement can be expanded:

–I can make statements about a topic/situation from a visual
by describing
each person by clothing (shirt, shoes) and/or by personal description (tall, thin…),
each object by its description (color- red, shape-round) and what it is used for (There is water in the glass).
what actions are in the picture (shop, buy, sell, walk)
the nature (tree, bird) and the weather (sunny)
by saying as much as I can about any object or person before I go to the next person or object.
by listening to other students as they describe a visual and them imitating them or listening to sample speaking podcast.
by watching the “Spanish speaking” YouTube video where the instructor shows how to speak about a visual as you “read” it

By creating formative assessment “I can” sheets, we already have numerous possible formative feedback from which to select.

Do you do “I can” sheets with formative assessments so your students “Can”?


RSS Education with Technology

  • Tech Integration Teacher, What time is it? August 23, 2016
    When someone asks what time it is, that person wants to know the time, not the history of the clock, not how a clock works, and not what other types of clocks there are. Classroom teachers want to help their students improve their academic learning through technology. Sometimes they need help with technology so they go […]
    hgtuttle
  • Curriculum Focus, Not Technology Focus July 28, 2016
    In my public school career I have been a classroom teacher, a technology integration specialist and a technology administrator. In my technology role, I served under the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She had a simple mission: Improve students’ academic learning. My mission was equally simple: Improve students’ academic learning through technology […]
    hgtuttle
  • Students React to Digital Badges: Pros, Cons and Interesting June 22, 2016
      ISTE 2016 By Harry Grover Tuttle, Ed. D. College World Language Students’ Preferences Digital Badges – 52%        Paper Certificates – 48% World Language: Can-Do Digital Badges Digital Badges Pro- – Breaks down proficiency more – Shows all badges at once – Is more attractive – Is more appropriate since we use […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Naming the Badge October 29, 2015
    Once teachers have selected what learning and what digital badges (individual or category badges; see previous blog), the teachers encounter another decision. What will they name each badge? Will they use the full name of the Common Core Standard or the national proficiency? For English, under “Speaking and Listening,”will they write out SL.2 “Integrate and […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Better Than Grades? October 19, 2015
    Teachers understand that the grade in a course consists of many different factors such as homework, participation , projects, tests, etc. Blodget observes that sometimes grades reflect attitude, effort, ability and behavior (http://www.academia.edu/9074119/Grading_and_Whether_or_not_Grades_Accurately_Reflect_Student_Achievement). Equally important, a letter […]
    hgtuttle
  • World Language Students Use of Mobile Devices in the Classroom October 5, 2015
    Do world language students use technology n the classroom? Do their  teachers go beyond having their students use technology simply for the drill and practice in vocabulary and grammar? Students can use laptops and mobile devices to hear authentic language, read authentic texts, read tweets about famous performers, see up-to-the-moment culture,  watch video […]
    hgtuttle
  • Digital Badges: Individual or Categorized Learning Badges? September 12, 2015
    The idea of digital badges sounds appealing for the digital children in classes. As teachers start thinking about digital badges, they have to figure out what badges will be awarded. The teachers can award social or academic badges. If teachers decide to use academic badges, then the teachers may base their badges on the Common […]
    hgtuttle
  • English +Common Core +Mobile = Success (ISTE2014 Poster -details) June 30, 2014
    Here are the ten examples I showed at my English + Common Core  + Mobile ISTE 2014 Poster Session: Based on CCSS Anchor Statements: L.2 Take a Conventions Mobile Online Quiz  to pick the  incorrect sentence from four choices (capitalization) SL.2  Evaluate audio recording of a  book chapter on mobile and predict for next chapter. […]
    hgtuttle
  • Global Cultural Learning Using Mobile Devices (ISTE Mobile MegaShare Presentation) June 28, 2014
    Based on my presentation at ISTE 2014 Mobile Megashare Why teach about other countries? Location: Large view to small on maps. Culture or culture. Find six similarities in a  mobile picture from another culture (“Wars are caused by differences, not similarities.”-Tuttle.) Tell one piece of information from each different Internet visual from a place in that […]
    hgtuttle
  • English + Common Core + Mobile = Success in Learning Poster Session at ISTE 2014 June 25, 2014
    In my ISTE Sunday 8-10 am poster session, I demonstrate many diverse mobile activities to help students achieve the English Language Arts Common Core Anchor Statements through mobile devices. The mobile activities focus on free common tool apps that are available on both the Android and the iPad. The students use the apps as a seamless […]
    hgtuttle

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