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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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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