Tag Archives: Responsive teaching

Blog of the Week: 5 March 2021 – Focused feedback: why less is more

Feedback is meant to help students, but too often, it doesn’t. Students may not read it, may misunderstand it, or may not use it. If they clear each of these hurdles, they may still forget it by the next lesson. Meanwhile, giving feedback adds to our workload: it’s meant to be manageable, but too often, it isn’t.

Similarly, feedback is meant to help teachers. But too often, it doesn’t: too many issues are raised, goals are too vague, and there’s too little follow up. To make feedback useful, instructional coaching suggests we prioritise one small goal, practise it immediately, and return to it subsequently.

If teachers need focused feedback, surely students do too. Too often, my comments on students’ work were like an unhelpful observer’s to a teacher: I offered lots of …

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Blog of the Week: 25 May 2018 – My Teaching: Nine Things I’ve Changed

We’re well over a week into exam season, so I thought now would be a reasonable time to reflect on the things I’ve done differently this year.  Below is a list of some of the stuff I’ve focused on, along with a few resources.  A folder with everything in can be accessed here so you don’t have to click on the individual links.

1. I’ve got rid of lesson objectives

Typically, each of my lessons now open with a broad question.  How is Macbeth’s state of mind presented in A1S7? – that sort of thing.  Sometimes, the same question spans a number of different lessons.  Typically, towards the end of each unit of work and beyond, I review the key ones with the class.  Examples here.

2. I’ve used knowledge organisers

I’ve pinched quite a few and constructed a couple of my own.  I’ve also got students to…

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Blog of the Week: 3 January 2018 – Rethinking marking and feedback. It’s all about the response.

teacherhead

 

At HGS we’ve been thinking hard about how to make sure teacher feedback has maximum impact and, recently, I’ve been revisiting some blog posts that continue to inform my thoughts on this important area:

‘Close the Gap’ Marking:  a whole-school approach used at Saffron Walden High School, focusing all feedback on student response.

Marking in Perspective:  my suggestion that marking should only be done at the rate and level at which students can respond to it.

Feedback the Michaela Way:  Jo Facer’s description of this radical and rather brilliant approach.

This term, with a new Head of Department at the helm in Maths, we’ve introduced what I think is an excellent model for marking and feedback.  Essentially, instead of writing comments – or in fact writing anything – we assess students in class and then give them questions to do that help them practise in the areas…

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Blog of the Week: 6 December 2017 – What makes a good formative assessment?

The Wing to Heaven

This is part 5 of a series of blogs on my new book, Making Good Progress?: The future of Assessment for Learning. Click here to read the introduction to the series.

In the last two blog posts – here and here –  I’ve spoken about the importance of breaking down complex skills into smaller pieces. This has huge implications for formative assessments, where the aim is to improve a pupil’s performance, not just to measure it.

Although we typically speak of ‘formative assessment’ and ‘summative assessment’, actually, the same assessment can be used for both formative and summative purposes. What matters is how the information from an assessment is used. A test can be designed to give a pupil a grade, but a teacher can use the information from individual questions on the test paper to diagnose a pupil’s weaknesses and decide what work to give them next. In this…

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