Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More thoughts on feedback.....

Let the dialogue on feedback continue.....

The article on giving feedback was a great reminder about the importance of feedback in the entire learning process from beginning to end.  Activating prior knowledge and connecting what we are about to do to what we’ve done and what we will do later is critical.  As we cover the material, giving feedback on the types of errors they are making helps to keep them from making them again.  The feedback we give them after the instruction and assessment is also important to help to hone in on indicators that were missed and try to find opportunities to reteach.  Unfortunately, since we are so short on time, the last piece is what we usually shortchange.
The second article on peer critiques was interesting to read.  I could most easily apply it to writing BCRs and ECRs and having the students critique the quality of them.  Although it’s not done in “critique” format, I sometimes have students pair up and solve similar problems and then “teach” their problem to the other student.  The students have to ask for clarification if they don’t understand the teaching.


The article that resonated the most with me was “Why every student needs critical friends”. The title was an eye catcher for me because the term when you here the term ”critical” and middle school students you tend to think negatively.  I found the article interesting and made me think about how I can apply this technique of feedback for my students (probably next year).  I think that it would take some time to build the classroom atmosphere where this kind of critique can work. 

This process could only work if was used multiple times in a classroom (not just once or twice) or students would see it as another “fad” idea that they can do then ignore later. It would take a real time commitment for me to implement it and only if it was coordinated with the other grade level teachers of the subject. I think that this process would actually lessen my burden of feedback by allowing my students to take an active part. I know that this goes against a teachers grain (feels like losing control), but it would give students  more responsibility and maybe remove some of the questioning about how a student’s project was evaluated if their peers were part of the process. 

The part I feel that is essential for this process to work is the constructive critique by their peers and how it is presented. If all the students see it a way to improve what their product is, I think it can be successful.

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