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The Rookie Teacher



New Teachers: We want your feedback… 1

Posted on December 22, 2011 by Natasha

Dear Rookie Teacher Team,

As a new teacher, I am most interested in a website that will…

  1. give me fresh ideas about classroom management, organization, & student success
  2. provide lesson plans
  3. be a forum to ask questions and get help about being a new teacher
  4. be a forum to express my interests about education
  5. other (please leave a comment below)

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We want to be your helpful new teacher resource!

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Giving Feedback Part 2 0

Posted on December 18, 2011 by Andrew Blake

photo by: Generationbass.com, flickrcc.net

As a teacher who is focused on giving effective feedback to my students, I find the biggest obstacle is time, and I use organization to help maintain levels of feedback in my class.  Here are some strategies I have gathered to help with time/organization:

Treasure Books: Each student maintains a small workbook/notebook  of the feedback when we conference. We use the same 3 part feedback, and both the student and I write in the book. I also staple/glue conferencing assessment sheets we might do together (to essentially create an anecdotal notebook for each kid).

Daily Conferences: I have assigned students to each day of the week, in the same order, so I can ensure I either meet with all four of them as a group for guided instruction, or have a student-lead conference on a individual basis.

Blastoff

photo by: jurvetson, flickrcc.net

Success Criteria: Students help create checklists and visuals for their own work and then we use them. Each checklist is interactive based on the criteria of the assignment. For example in an assignment on re-telling a fiction story, you could have the student circle their setting in yellow, underline the resolution of the conflict in purple, etc.

What do you do to organize your time so that is most productive for you and your students?  Leave a comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

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Giving Feedback Part 1 0

Posted on November 20, 2011 by Andrew Blake

Giving feedback, and in particular specific and actionable feedback, is the big push as a goal for teachers in my school as well as our Board. As an opener to the topic at our most recent PD Day, one of the principals shared this analogy made by the comedian Jerry Seinfeld…

“I always did well on essay tests. Just put everything you know on there, maybe you’ll hit it. And then you get the paper back from the teacher and she’s written just one word across the entire page, ‘vague.’ I thought vague was kind of vague. I’d write underneath it ‘unclear’ and send it back. She’s return it to me, ‘ambiguous’. I’d send it back to her, ‘cloudy’. We’re still corresponding to this day…. hazy…. muddy…” Jerry Seinfeld

As a Primary Teacher, our Grade team created a framework that we shared with our students to make sure they understood our feedback and could use it to help inform and improve their learning. We made it with a visual diagram and used common language in the hope that students would be able to use it on their own.

Our analogy breaks our feedback into three parts, on the theme of Pirates and Treasure.

secret by MistoAcrilico

Secret by MistoAcrilico (flickr)

First, we look for “Treasure” in what they have done: the things really stand out as amazing aspects of a student’s written work.

Second, we look for the “X Marks the Spot”: where could students find their next treasure (one thing they could improve on).

Finally (and what I would say is the most important aspect) is the “Map”: we as teachers have to give them advice and direction on how to get to the next set of “Treasures”.

We are currently in the process of gradually releasing that idea to the students to see if they can self or peer assess using that framework. I’ll let you know how it works over the next few weeks in my classroom.

In my next post I’ll list other acronyms, mnemonic devices and strategies for feedback that were presented at the PD Day.

Looking forward to your feedback!
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