Better Learning, Better Teaching, Better Schools Using Formative Assessment and Feedback to Engage Students and Ensure Success! A collaboration between TCBOE & the Alabama Best Practices Center Cathy Gassenheimer and Julie Hannah, Facilitators April 12, 2011
Overarching Goal Students in Talladega County are engaged in learning at high levels so that all students are well-prepared for the next grade level, college, and/or career.
Overview of Year • August - Student engagement & introduction to formative assessment & feedback for both adults and students. • September - Formative Assessment in Action: Update progress and make connections to best practice. • November - Role of formative feedback for adults & students. Connection to Instructional Rounds.
Overview of Year, (cont’d) • December - “Speed bump”! Taking stock & making adjustments • February - How does formative assessment and feedback relate to high stakes testing? • April - Reflecting on the year. Committing to next steps. (Focus on FA/FF and EducateAlabama)
Learning Goals for Today • Share progress made in the understanding and use of formative assessment and feedback for students. • Practice descriptive observation and feedback for adults as it relates to EducateAlabamaand Instructional Rounds. 3. Begin thinking about how to move FA/FF forward during the 2011-2012 school year.
Our Group Norms • Listen Actively • Be open to ideas from others • Encourage balanced participation • Avoid side conversations • Cell phones on vibrate • Take care of your creature comforts! • Other?
Reflection and ReviewActivity #1: “BIG Step, NEXT Step” • With your school partner, review your handouts, “Take it Home” sheets, and notes on FA/FF from our previous sessions. • Reflect on use of FA/FF at your school. • Use Activity #1 handout to record your thoughts and ideas for sharing with the whole group. • After you discuss, please record your ONE SENTENCE on chart paper. Put your school’s name on the paper!
CELEBRATING!! Share Out! • Each school will share their “Big Step” and “Next Step” in ONE sentence! • Who will be our “Sentence Cop”…..Ola Mae? • Did you hear any commonalities within your feeder pattern?
Teacher does Self-Assessment (SA) • Administrator reviews SA • Teacher and Administrator dialogue and collaboratively develop PLP (2-5 indicators) • PLP becomes the focus for the observations • Descriptive feedback on specific focus areas follows observations • Other relevant data and evidence are provided during dialogue sessions after observations
STRETCH TALK! • Stand up and find someone in a similar role (principal to principal; teacher to teacher). • Talk about one of your recent observations and follow up dialogue: • What went well – specifically? • What do you need to learn more about?
WHAT does EducateAlabama have to do with our focus on formative assessment and feedback for students this year?WHY are we spending today practicing descriptive observation and dialogue?
Important Features of Formative Assessment for Adults in Schools • Reflective process that promotes self-awareness by highlighting strengths and identifying opportunities for professional growth • Describes multiple dimensions of one’s practice • Supported by descriptive observations such as those used in Instructional Rounds • Relies on a two-way communication process between the observer and the person whose practice is being assessed • Used to improve practice rather than to assign a performance level or grade from an outside evaluator
TODAY! • Review descriptive observation • Practice descriptive observation • Review dialogue • Practice dialogue
“Description asks for just the facts; that is, the evidence. . . .” • What do you see? • What are the students doing? • What is the teacher doing? • What kind of work is on the students’ desks? • What do you hear? • What are the students saying? • What is the teacher saying? • What kinds of questions do you hear? • Who is talking to whom?
Description asks you to forget about “the dog that didn’t bark.” Describe what you see—NOT what you don’t see. Record what you hear—NOT what you fail to hear.
What is Evidence? “By evidence, we mean descriptive statements of what you see … However, not all forms of evidence are equally valuable … So we speak of evidence as having large, medium, or small grain size – that is, being fuzzy or sharp.” Instructional Rounds, p. 92
Large-Grained & Fine-Grained Evidence Large-Grained • Lesson on the 4 causes of the Civil War. • Teacher questions students about the passage they just read. • Teacher checked frequently for comprehension. • Teacher made curriculum relevant to students’ lives. Fine-Grained • Teacher: “How are volcanoes and earthquakes similar and different?” • Prompt for student essays: “What role did symbolism play in foreshadowing the main character’s dilemma?” • Students made up questions about the book they’d just read. Instructional Rounds, p. 93
Activity #2: Let’s Practice Descriptive Observation! 1. Before visiting your assigned classroom, review the PLP for the teacher that will be observed. Note: • Specific indicators for focus • “Evidences for Implementation” • “Evidences of Impact on Student Learning” 2. Use the Continuum to review the standard(s) and indicator(s) that correspond with the PLP 3. You may use the observation template to take notes.
Organizing our Feeder Pattern Teams • Orientation to classrooms to be visited - Donna Hudson, Principal • Review the PLP of the teacher that you will be visiting • Review the related standard(s) and indicator(s) • Determine how you will take notes • Q & A
REMEMBER! • You are looking for evidence related to the indicators from the Continuum cited. • Be descriptive… try to be fine-grained, not large-grained. • FOCUS! You can’t capture everything. Focus on aspects of the instructional core (what are students doing?, what is the teacher doing?, what is the instructional task?). • RETURN AT ____________
Preparing for DialoguePQP (Praise, Question, Polish) • Review your notes, the teacher’s PLP, and related indicator(s) on Continuum • Use the appropriate PQP handout to record your observations. • Be descriptive. • Pay attention to question prompts. • Don’t try to record everything!
Learning from Each Other • Find someone within your feeder pattern group that holds the same role as you. • Share your PQPs. Listen for descriptive, evidence based language. • Discuss any differences or similarities in your observations.
Reminders: Practices Associated with Dialogue • Listen Actively • Question to Expand Understanding • Respect Divergent Views • Suspend Judgment • Voice Your Personal View
Listening “Learning to listen begins with recognizing how you are listening now. Generally, we are not all that conscious of how we listen.” (William Isaacs, Dialogue, p. 92) “Taking into account not only what things look like from one’s own perspective, but how they look and feel from the perspective of the whole web of relationships among the people concerned.”(William Issacs, Dialogue, p. 103)
Three Levels of Listening • Listening to ourselves, to our own internal conversation and to our own voice as we speak • Listening to others to identify what we see as important and to expand our own understandings • Listening for collective themes, for shared meaning and streams of meaning that emerge Ellinor & Gerard, Dialogue: Rediscover the Transforming Power of Conversation, p. 100.
QUESTIONING Do I understand the speaker’s thinking, or do I need to ask questions to get behind his/her thinking? What are we leaving out of this conversation? What am I personally curious about? What kinds of wonderings do I have?
Evaluator as Questioner • Clarifying—to build common understanding of the “What is?” • Reflective—to engage the reflector in thinking about the “whys?”, the “what ifs?”, etc.
Purposes of Probing Questions or Comments • To clarify, e.g., “What do you mean when you say. . . ?”OR“Help me get behind your thinking. . .” • To seek greater specificity, e.g. “Can you give me an example of. . .?”OR “Talk about a time when you were able to . . .” • To encourage completeness, e.g. “Say more about . .”OR “You’ve told me about your vision for the future. Now help me understand how you are helping others across your district and community understand and buy into this vision. How are you using the vision to mobilize others?
Examples of Questions that Stimulate Reflection • “What data or evidence support this conclusion. . .?”OR “How did you reach this conclusion?” • “What if . . .?” • “Why do you think . . .?” • “Talk to me about what success might look like.” • “Imagine that you. . .” • “Call to mind a time when. . .” • “Let’s assume for a minute that. . .” • “Recall a time when. . .” • “What might be the relationship between ________ and ___________?”
Respecting means— • Accepting that another has something to teach us • Seeing the potential that another carries within • Honoring people’s boundaries to the point of protecting them
Suspension “Suspension asks us to put on hold the temptation to fix, correct or problem-solve what we see so that we can begin to inquire into what we observe.”--Isaacs, p. 147
SUSPENDING JUDGMENT “Suspension means that we neither suppress what we think nor advocate it with unilateral conviction.” --Isaacs, p. 134
How do we go about suspending judgment? • Stop, step back, see things with new eyes; loosen one’s grip; try to gain new perspectives.
Voicing “Finding your voice in dialogue means learning to ask a simple question: What needs to be expressed now?”–Isaacs, p. 159
Activity #3: Practicing Dialogue • Within your feeder pattern, form triads. • Each person will assume the role of either administrator, teacher, or process observer. • Remember “rules” for dialogue.
Activity #3, (cont’d) Role of Administrator and Teacher • Using the PQP Process, “Administrator” asks “Teacher” what he/she thought went well. “Administrator” listens, taking notes, asking clarifying questions as appropriate. • Then, “Administrator” provides feedback on what went well … (continue through PQP). Allotted Time: 15 minutes
Activity #3, (cont’d) Role of Process Observer • Not involved in dialogue. • Pretend you are viewing through a “smoky glass” window. • Watch for both verbal and non-verbal cues that promote deep reflection. • Look for evidence of deep reflective thought. What facilitated this reflection? • Be prepared to give feedback at the end of dialogue. Allotted Time: 5 minutes
Thinking about the Dialogue Session In “job alike” groups within your feeder pattern, discuss these questions: • What did you notice about the dialogue session? • What insights did you have as you engaged in the P-Q-P Conference? • What questions do you have? • In what ways might you use the P-Q-P as you seek to advance formative assessment?
What Did We Learn? Insights • Spend a minute or two reflecting on what you learned during reflective questioning. Do you have any questions or lingering concerns? • Grab a marker (teachers – blue; principals – green; central office – black) and go to one of the two sheets of butcher paper on the wall. • Silently, record your thoughts. When finished, move to the other sheet of butcher paper.
1. Highly interactive—consider using the 20/80 rule. 2.“The Sound of Silence” because it involves a lot of active listening and thinking. 3. Questions that invite reflection. 4.Feedback that is specific, relevant, and grounded in evidence.
Reveals, Responds, Advances Elevates and Promotes Practice Describes, Discusses, and Develops Enhances, Enriches, and Expands Rates, Ranks, and Assigns Evaluates and Pigeonholes Practice Tallies, Totals, and Tells Complies, Conforms, and Categorizes
Activity #4: Aha’s & Wonderings • Briefly review “Evaluations That Help Teachers Learn,” by Charlotte Danielson, identifying at least two “aha’s” and two “wonderings.” • Round 1: Sharing “Aha’s” • Round 2: Sharing “Wonderings” • Table Processing: Identify top “Aha” and “Wondering.”
School Team Time • Reflect on your learning experiences today. • Share with your school partner. • Consider “Now What?”
Reflection and Feedback • Please complete the session feedback form as completely as possible. • Your suggestions are welcomed!
Check out our Facebook page, and leave your insights/finds: http://sn.im/abpcfacebook Contact Information: Cathy Gassenheimercathy@aplusala.org Julie Hannah email@example.com Magan Merritt firstname.lastname@example.org