What’s the Point of Feedback and/or Assesment?
I always try to be as upfront with my students as possible about the way that I am assessing them, how I give them feedback, and what I am looking for. Our lesson started with a brave student standing at the front of our class (thank you Bryce and doing a 10 second dance which I was then going to asses. Those were the only instructions he was given. After a dazzling display of dance moves, the student got a 2 which for us means, “I’m a bit confused”. The class did not agree with my assessment of the dance until I explained that I was looking for jumping and clapping moves. After those extra details our brave student (thank you again Bryce did another little dance full of the skills I was hoping to asses. He got a 4, which for us means, “I totally get it!” The students could easily see why it is important, and only fair, for their teacher to tell them what skills he/she is looking for in an assignment. *Cue teacher handing them a rubric for their next writing assignment *
We then watched an amazing video of some guys doing Parkour (thank you Megan Jakse for the great idea!).
We talked about how hard these athletes would have to work in order to get this good and thought about what kinds of skills they might have started with. We pushed the desks and chairs out of the way and practiced jumping onto a precise target. We tried a bunch of different techniques until the students felt like they had mastered the skill. Then they returned to their seats and it was the teacher’s turn. I asked them to give me feedback, as experts, on my attempts so that I could get as good as they were. The first piece of feedback was “24!”. I stopped and asked how “24″ was supposed to help me get any better at jumping and we had a great discussion about numbers and grades and whether they are helpful or not. Great teachable moment. Exactly what I had hoped for!
We ended the discussion with a “sticky blitz” (post it notes stuck to the wall) answering the question “What did Miss. deVries want you to remember from this activity?”
- Miss deVries wanted us to know that feedback is not meant to hurt your feelings.
- Feedback is not always a negative thing.
- We were supposed to understand feedback and other people’s opinions
- I need to get feedback to see if I get it.
- Miss deVries wanted to show how feedback helps us.
- When we get feedback we try to do better.
Thanks for all the excellent responses Delvers!
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