Again, my posting the powerpoint wouldn't be much good without the spiel so I've decided to reproduce as best I can everything I talked about in that session.
Teaching my dog to whistle
Tips and ideas for giving feedback and promoting independence
The title for this session comes from a joke made by an Ofsted inspector, Geoff Hancock.
A child brags to a friend,
"I just taught my dog to whistle."
"Wow!" says the other, "Let's hear!"
"Oh, he can't whistle," replies the first.
"Why not? I thought you said you taught him!"
"I did! He just didn't learn it."
OK, I never said it was funny...
So then I asked a series of questions:
- How can you really tell if students understand?
- How can you tell they are ready to move on?
- Is it worth persevering?
- Do we need to stick to the Scheme of Work?
- Is it personal?*
This is the red pen, lots of crossing out, strange codes in the margin, type of feedback so favoured by teachers when I was at school (and still favoured by many School Managers!)
It confuses students and can demotivate them, too. (The ones who bother to read it, that is.)
PRAISE - the student's strengths
ERROR - point out areas to be developed
NEXT STEPS - suggest a way to improve
I love this one (and so does Chris Harte. Read his rainbow assessment blog post.) It involves highlighting where a child has achieved the set objectives and allows them to see clearly which are the good bits in their work, so they can use them again and again.
4) Medal and Mission
This is all a bit "Jim Phelps" for me. It involves identifying were objectives were met by giving "medals" in the form of stamps, stickers, etc and suggesting a "mission" to be accepted by the student to improve. Works well with demotivated boys, apparently.
5) Smile and a Star
Identical to medals and missions only for the less FBI-minded students. Smiles for achievement and a star to reach for.
6) PIE method
PRAISE where objectives are met
ENCOURAGE students to try new ideas
7) The Praise Sandwich
This is mainly used in industry during staff appraisals. It involves placing a development point between 2 slices of praise. (You need to be careful with this one and make sure that the layers of the sandwich are in equal proportion. I found a great article about this called "why the sandwich feedback technique is ineffective" but some of my colleagues love it.)
8) 2 Stars and a Wish
For this method, indicate 2 areas where learning objectives have been met, and use the wish to suggest an area for improvement. (Again, I don't like this, maybe because I don't feel it relevant to modern languages, or maybe it just seems a bit "too girly".)
9) A Bubble and a Box
This technique involves identifying and drawing a box around evidence of where objectives have been met and putting a recommendation for developments or improvements in a bubble.
10) Comment only marking
This involves writing comments based on success criteria having been met, and questions to consider for future improvements.