Professional Learning Team (PLT) meeting and cycle:
1. What is the student ready to learn, and what is the evidence for this in terms of what the student can do, say, make or write?
2. What are the possible evidence-based intervention and the associated scaffolding processes for each?
3. What is the preferred intervention, and how will it be resourced and implemented?
4. What is the expected impact on learning, and how will this be evaluated?
5. What was the outcome, and how can this be interpreted?
Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic, Timebound, Agreed
This paragraph strikes a chord with me:
“In most school settings, educators have focused more on the completion of work and assignments than on a true development of understanding. Although this work can, if designed well, help foster understanding, more often than not its focus is on the replication of skills and knowledge, some new and some old. Classroom are too often places of “tell and practice.” The teacher tells the students what is important to know or do and then has them practice that skill or knowledge. In such classrooms, little thinking is happening. Teachers in such classrooms are rightly stumped when asked to identify the kinds of thinking they want to do because there is ‘t any to be found in much of the work they give students. Retention of information through rote practice isn’t learning; it is training.”
The opposite is also a problem, that is when the class is full of activity, but the students don’t really understand the point of the activities.
In order to understand thinking requires:
1. Observing closely and describing what’s there
2. Building explanations and interpretations
3. Reasoning with evidence
4. Making connections
5. Considering different viewpoints and perspectives
6. Capturing the heart and forming conclusions
And two additional thinking moves;
7. Wondering and asking questions
8. Uncovering complexity and going below the surface of things.
Additional types of thinking that are useful in the areas of problem solving, decision making, and forming judgments include:
1. Identifying patterns and making generalisations
2. Generating possibilities and alternatives
3. Evaluating evidence, arguments, and actions
4. Formulating plans and monitoring actions
5. Identifying claims, assumptions, and bias
6. Clarifying priorities, conditions, and what is known
Interesting that through his research Wiliam has found that students respond more positively to feedback when comments are given rather than grades or grades and comments.
Teacher praise is far more effective if it is infrequent, credible,contingent, specific and genuine (Brophy, 1981).
“…feedback is rather like the scene in the rear view mirror rather than through the windshield.” Feedback functions formatively only if the information fed back to the learner is used by the learner in improving performance.
Comparison with sports coaching is illuminating and something I relate strongly with. Feedback on the “how” is important.
“The secret of effective feedback is that saying what’s wrong isn’t enough; to be effective, feedback must provide a recipe for future action.”
“The skill of being able to break down a long learning journey – from where the student is rit now to where she needs to be – into a series of small steps takes years for even the most capable coaches to develop.”
Alfie Kohn (1994): “Never grade students while they are still learning”. As soon as students get a grade the learning stops.
“We need classroom assessment systems that are designed primarily to support learning and deal in data that are recorded at a level that is useful for teachers, students, and parents in determining where students are in their learning. Such fine-scale evidence can always be aggregated for summative reporting. It is not possible to go the other way: from aggregate reports of achievement to learning needs.”
“Feedback should cause thinking.”
…don’t provide feedback unless you allow time, in class, to work on using the feedback to improve their work.
… Feedback should be more work for the recipient than the donor.
Needs to cause thinking rather than an emotional response.
Should relate to learning goals that have been shared with the students .
Should increase the extent to which students are owners of their own learning.