I continued on with my RISE Goal of providing meaningful feedback. Knowing that effective feedback is a top indicator of student growth, especially in low-achieving students, mastering the correct type of feedback is essential in my role as an intervention teacher.
When I filmed my lesson last term I noticed that most of my comments focused on 'How am I going' (Hattie and Timperley, 2007) feedback. While this this type of feedback was effective in that it highlighted what students had done well and reinforced positive reading behaviours, I wanted to extend my feedback to be more constructive to focus on addressing their learning goals more explicitly and changing their reading behaviour. Over the past term I have practiced this type of feedback by using comments such as;
" I like how you stopped at that word because you knew that it didn't sound right. Let's read the rest of the sentence and see what word would make sense there."
" I liked how you looked at that first sound and had a guess at what the word could be. Let's look more closely at the whole word. Can you see any other sounds or smaller words that you know inside that word? "
When reviewing my filmed lesson this term I noticed that the feedback I used focused more on the process of learning, that is, how the students could improve their learning processes to understand and perform the task better. In this case, what reading strategies had been implemented in order to decode unknown words and improve their understanding of the text. This is in contrast to what was filmed last term where positive feedback outweighed the constructive feedback. Admittedly the feedback may have naturally leant this way as the text was a little more difficult than last time, meaning that there were plenty of teaching opportunities for reading strategies to be explored. By using more constructive feedback the students were guided towards what they needed to improve on to perform the task more successfully.
Using constructive feedback consistently over the term has led to an improvement in self-awareness of the type of reading strategy that the students are applying. When students successful decode a difficult unknown word they are now able to identify what strategy they have used and justify their choice.
My next step in improving my feedback is to find ways to reinforce the self-regulation of reading strategies. What prompts could I use to encourage to think about what strategy they should use, before telling them what strategy would be best? Should I have provide more ‘thinking time?’ If some strategies are more suited to some students over others, should I tell them what strategies are most effective for them or let them determine this themselves?
In addition to improving my feedback, a second goal was to improve my presentation of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria. In the video I outlined the learning intentions at the beginning of the lesson, and the success criteria was communicated so that students understood it ( well so I thought). Peta provided some great feedback as she noticed in the video that the group lost interest when larger words were used when discussing the success criteria. To ensure that this doesn’t happen in future lessons I will simplify my words and demonstrate the strategies that I hope to see in the reading session. This could be further reinforced by beginning the lesson with a brief Shared Reading activity to demonstrate exactly what is expected.
In addition to simplifying the language used in the learning intention and success criteria I also need to refer back to them more regularly during the feedback of the lesson to ensure that the students remain focused on achieving the intended goals.
1. Simplify learning intentions to maintain motivation. Model the success criteria clearly before commencing the reading group. 2. Allow students time to apply to identify their errors and apply their own strategies to encourage metacognition and self-regulation when reading.