As you know, I have been committing to the gym. Of course, this is new learning for me. I thought I was working hard. I was sweating and tired. The instructor would shout praise. All of the signs I knew pointed to this fact. I recently got fitted for a heart rate monitor and it gave me new information.
At my place, everyone’s heart rate is up on the screen and it turns a color based on your heart rate percentage and on another screen it tells you the exercise and the color you should be at. On the first day, I thought I was pushing it really hard and I was not even close to where I should have been. I then stepped up my effort. The other awesome thing they add is an effort score and a goal for the end of the class. At different points, the instructor would tell how to up our effort if our score was below a certain point. During the end of the cool-down, several people were jumping rope to get the effort score needed.
I share this with you because the constant stream of feedback that tells where I am at and what my next step should be to accomplish the goal of the work. I have taken charge of my workout and make self-adjustments to accomplish my goal. This change moved in farther in physical health goals.
I also wonder how can we create classrooms where students know what is expected and how to achieve that goal. I also want in these classrooms to be a place where students can look at their work and plan next steps, daily. Teachers and students spend time giving feedback to each other. The goal of this is for the student to own the learning.
How can we do this?
- Create various forms of blended learning opportunities. I have watched my son fall in love with the desire to move to the next level in Lexia. It allows my son to learn skills that he is ready for. The feedback is fast and provides additional support. The result is my son reads bedtime stories to me now.
- Plan for high quality feedback. We need to think about what are the important questions and what are the possible answers to that question. Then knowing this make plans for how to give feedback for all of the answers.
- Lead students to give each other feedback. We are not born knowing how to give feedback. Spend time teaching students how to do with the language of your class. Analyze the feedback.
- Communicate clearly how a student will know if he/she reached the goal and teach them how to analyze their own work. Think about how this can happen. The world is full of great ideas about this one. This summer, I saw a great example of this when a first grader discussed where her writing fell on the rubric and what she needs to do next based on the rubric.
If we are not providing high quality feedback to all students, then we are not unleashing their full potential.