I am a class teacher for Year Four and five students and a team leader for the middle school. My class and I are a part of the Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Visual Learning: Feedback

                During the Term break I read a lot about John Hattie’s influence and effect sizes on students achievement. I picked up Hattie because I wanted some accelerated progress in student achievement during the last Term.The articles that I went through were very interesting and motivating. Hattie has developed a way of ranking various influences according to their effect sizes. He ranked the influences from the positive to the negative effects on student achievement.
                John Hattie has laid emphasis on visible learning.
                 According to him Visible Learning for teachers is the role when they become evaluators of their own teaching. Visible Learning and Teaching occurs when teachers see learning through the eyes of students and help them become their own teachers. Click Here for John Hattie's effect sizes and influences on student learning. 
                As we went through the articles it was interesting to find out that things that seemed so important did not actually make much of a difference. For example homework has ‘zero’ size effect on student achievement.
                 I shared these articles with my team and we decided to focus on feedback because it features in the top most influences on Hattie’s graph of effect size. Though the most powerful feedbacks are verbal feedbacks from teachers but I think to make it visible it was important for peers to give feedback before they came to conference with the Teacher. To make this exciting for our students we drafted a feedback form for our students who would use it when giving feedback to their buddies for Writing and Reading. We explained and modeled how students would use the form and then asked them to give feedback to their buddies. To our surprise the whole process became very powerful. Suddenly students who could not learn what describing words were , were now highlighting the words with the help of their buddies. It was thrilling to hear “ You have not used too many ideas in your story” or
                    “ You have not elaborated your ideas”
                   and “ what do you think you need to work on?” or “ I     forgot to put my ideas into paragraphs”.
                We even noticed that the whole concept of writing had quickly become clear to the students. Students understood their goals well and could now articulate what they had done well and what they needed to work on.
                When students came to me for feedback after they had already discussed with their buddy, it was very rewarding to find that they already knew what their next steps were.
                We went home as very satisfied teachers.

Disclaimer: The above Writing Feedback form is an example. Please change the goals on the form according to the needs of your students.

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