Posts Tagged 'learning gap'

Opening Students’ Minds in Formative Assessment

I had the good fortune to present a full day  formative assessment workshop to a great group of teachers on Friday. They listened, asked questions and created their own formative assessment materials.

During the workshop, I stressed that after we have presented the information and students demonstrate that they do not “get it”, we need to either drastically paraphrase the information or give an entirely different strategy for learning it.  During the workshop, I used several metaphors

Students have a one channel TV.  Although they have the option of many different stations, they stick to one only. When they do not get any reception on that one channel, they do not switch to another way. We have the responsibility to show them how to use the other stations so that they can move forward in their formative assessment.

Students get stuck in a rut when they cannot understand what we present. That rut prevents them from moving forward. We have to help them get out of the rut by providing them with a new strategy for understanding the learning goal. That formative assessment strategy enables them to start back on their learning.

Some quotes about a closed mind or looking at a problem in only one way.

“If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”

“Our first problem is not to learn but to unlearn, to clear out some of the old assumptions (ways of thinking and doing).” G. Steinem

“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”  V Hill

“Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at.”

“It is not a disgrace to start over, it is usually an opportunity.”

“A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.” F Zappa

“A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood”  Chinese Proverb

“A closed mind is a good thing to lose.”

How do you open your students’ minds so that they can learn the critical learning goals in your subject?

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

Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment

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

Reponding to Your Students

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Spoiling our Students Through Formative Assessment

My wife and I spent the week taking care of our 15 month old grandson, Rowan. We now understand what it means to spoil a grandchild.  Like other grandparents, we did not buy special toys or clothing; we did not keep him up past his bedtime; and we did not take him to special places.  We did spoil him by devoting our complete attention to him. We did not focus on working, taking care of the house, etc; we only focused on him.

Every teacher should spoil the students in their classroom.  The teachers should be so prepared for class that when class starts the teachers can focus their complete attention on the students. How are the students responding to the instruction? Which students are “getting it” and which are not?  What learning problems are emerging?  What instant strategy can be implemented right now to help the students overcome their learning gap? We need to change our perspective from what we teach to what the students are learning. We need to  become  attentive parents/guardians who constantly look for clues of learning strengths and learning gaps.  We need to be nurturing parents/guardians who can treat  any “illness” as soon as we see it.  We do not want any student to bleed out while they wait overnight for us to figure out a solution to their illness.

Let’s spoil our students so that they achieve more in-depth learning!

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

Reponding to Your Students

Changing Formative Ideas into Formative Practice

My oral presentation students do a pre- and post -assessment of themselves for each speech. I agree with their self-assessments. However, once they know their learning gaps, they do not know how to improve.  They may self analysis that  “I need to have more eye contact.” but they do not improve in it.

I have found that if I can give them some “hands-on” hints to improve then they do improve. I used to tell them to look up after each period but I found that many  students just kept on reading.  Now I have them put a large slash at the end of each sentence and, furthermore, I suggest that the slash is in a bold color like red and that it is a big slash. I want them to see that slash and then look up. Now my students do have eye contact as they read their speech. The physical reminder causes them to demonstrate a good speaking technique.

Many students need physical reminders of how to do well.  Words do not suffice.  What physical techniques do you give your students so they can improve?

Self-Assessment, Teacher Assessment and Improvement

This semester I have my students in Speech class do a self-assessment (what do they think they will do well on and what do they think are their areas for improvement)  before they give a speech.  Then they give the speech and do a post-assessment (what do they think they did well on and what do they think were their areas for improvement) . After they give me their pre-post sheet, I give them my assessment.  Then I return their pre-post to them so that they can compare their statements and mine.  In the next step they pick two areas and write out specifically what they are going to do improve (Not “look up more” but “look up more by (indicating the specific action). During their next speech I look for their indicated improvement.

How do you help your students to improve?

Celebrate Student Successes and Move Forward

This semester I am trying to celebrate student successes more frequently. I let students know when they have successfully demonstrated a task, a goal or even the standard. I emphasize what they are doing well. So far, students have had a very favorable response. Many seemed shocked that I point out some many successes. I am trying to build in them a feeling that they are successful learners. Also, when I do give them formative feedback on a learning gap, I focus on how they can improve. They see that they can transform this into a success based on their past successes.

Do you build on students’ successes or failures?

Situational Groupings and a Spreadsheet

I’ve switched from standard grouping to situational groupings. In situational group, the students are regrouped based on the frequent formative assessments done in the classroom. Therefore, the students in each group and the purpose of each small group differs. These groupings change frequently. This week’s “lack of transitions”group disappears based on the next formative assessment but a new grouping of “run on sentence” students appears based on the assessment of their papers and may last several classes.

The situational grouping is facilitated by the use of a spreadsheet in which I score/rate student’s performance and specific skills so that I can have the computer sort for those who scored in the low 2 and 1 range in the 4 point scale (4 = above proficient). A quick sort and I know the students in my next grouping. The harder part is to find focused instructional materials that help those students overcome that learning gap.

Feed Forward From Student Learning Gaps to Student Success

Student Present Learning Status to Success in Standard Fishbone

How do you identify the student’s present standard condition (strengths and areas for improvement /”learning gaps”)  through the use of technology?
How do you help provide scaffolding so that the student moves forward in the standard through the use of technology?
How do you assess that the student has been successful in the standard through technology?


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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