Better Learning, Better Teaching, Better Schools Using Formative Assessment and Feedback to Fngage Students and Ensure Success! A collaboration between TCBOE & the Alabama Best Practices Center Cathy Gassenheimer and Julie Hannah, Facilitators February 23, 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.) • 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.
Learning Goals for Today • Share progress made in the understanding and use of formative assessment and feedback for students. 2. Deepen knowledge and understanding of learning targets and criteria for success. 3. Provide concrete examples of classroom applications of formative assessment and feedback for students. 4. Practice descriptive observation and feedback for adults as it relates to EducateAlabama and Instructional Rounds.
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: “3 – 2 – 1” • With your school partner, review your handouts, “Take it Home” sheets, and notes on FA/FF from our previous sessions. • Reflect on your 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 responses on chart paper. Put your school’s name on the paper!
Share Out! • Choose a spokesperson and a “Vanna.” • Each school will have 90 seconds to share their ideas and thoughts from the “3-2-1” chart. • Listen to your colleagues. Use Activity #1 handout to jot down ideas and questions. • Visit during break or lunch for further information!
Activity #2: Snowball Review! • Review your notes from our last session: • How would you explain/define learning targets and criteria for success? • Describe one or two examples of how you or your teachers are helping students understand the learning targets and criteria for success. • Record your responses on the Activity #2 handout. • When directed, make a snowball of your handout and toss across the room! Continue to toss snowballs until you hear the chime. • Pick up a snowball and “uncrumple!”
Activity #2: Snowball, cont’d • Select a facilitator, recorder, and volunteer. • Silently, read the snowball you selected. • When directed, share the definition of learning targets and criteria for success on your snowball, beginning with the volunteer. • Listen for common phrases, words, and explanations. • After sharing, reach consensus on definitions/ explanations, and record on the easel paper provided. • Repeat the process, identifying and discussing ways teachers have helped students understand learning targets and the criteria for success. Record ideas on the easel paper.
Elements of Formative Assessment • Clear learning targets that are shared • Criteria for success • Feedback that informs • Student goal setting • Student self-assessment • Ongoing data analysis • Strategic teacher questioning • Student engagement in asking effective questions Moss and Brookhart, 2009
Seven Keys to Effective Feedback 1. Descriptive; specific 2. Linked to criteria that students understand 3. Usable amount 4. Timely 5. Involves students 6. Carefully worded; helpful, positive tone 7. Includes advice on how to improve
Synopsis of Black and Wiliam study • Black & Wiliam’s “Inside the Black Box” led to renewed understanding of the potential of formative feedback for improved teaching and learning. • Black & Wiliam led a team that worked with 6 schools and 48 teachers of English, mathematics and science in Great Britain to put these ideas into practice. • Coordinated with Stanford University researchers who worked with 25 science teachers attempting to improve their assessment practices.
Focus • All teachers worked to help students understand learning targets & criteria for success • Individual teachers chose 1 of 4 approaches to improving formative assessment and feedback practices: • Classroom Questioning • Using Summative Assessments Formatively • Balancing Formative Feedback and Grading • Student Self-Assessment
Clear Learning Targets‘Where am I going?’ • Incremental goals lead to learning the specific standard • Teacher has clear understanding of expected learning progression • Learning target is translated into student friendly terms • The target is clear to teacher and students
Learning Targets “There is no more foundational activity for a school leader than making sure that there are clear learning targets aligned to whatever standards are in place in the school or district, that teachers understand them and teach to them, and that students understand them and reach for them.” Moss and Brookhart (2009) p. 42-43
Criteria for Success ‘What does success look like?’ • The indicators that the teacher and students will use to determine progress toward learning target • May be developed by teacher, group of teachers, or co-developed by teacher and students • Examples include checklists, rubrics, planning charts, etc. • Clearly understood by students prior to instruction
“…backwards design calls for us to operationalize our goals or standards in terms of assessment evidence as we begin to plan a unit or course. It reminds us to begin with the question, ‘What would we accept as evidence that students have attained the desired understandings and proficiencies – before proceeding to plan teaching and learning experiences?” Wiggins and McTighe (1998) p.8
Formative Assessment and High Stakes Testing 3 Elements of FA/FF improve testing results: • Use of “intellectually ambitious” performance assessments with clear learning targets and learning progressions • Clear criteria for success in the form of assessment guidelines and rubrics. • Frequent use of formative assessment to inform both students and teachers decisions about next steps. Linda Darling-Hammond, Powerful Learning (2008)
It Pays Off! “A number of studies have found an increase in performance on both traditional standardized tests and performance measures for students in classrooms that offer a problem-oriented curriculum and regularly features performance assessment.” Darling-Hammond, Powerful Learning, p. 65
Breakout Sessions • Stack and pack all of your materials for a move. • Take a 10 minute break and reconvene in your assigned room.
Lesson Study Overview • Colleague shares a lesson which uses FA/FF. Table debriefs. • Each school shares a lesson with table group. • One lesson is studied more deeply for learning targets and criteria for success.
Activity #3A: Lesson Sharing • Use page 1 of Activity #3 handout to review the elements of FA/FF. • As your colleague shares the lesson, listen for elements of FA/FF. • Use page 1 of Activity #3 handout to record your thoughts.
Activity #3A: Table Discussion • Choose a facilitator and timekeeper. • Review your notes on page 1 of the Activity #3 handout. • Take turns sharing your observations and what you learned about planning for formative assessment. • When everyone has shared, compile your questions for the presenting teacher.
Activity #3B: Lesson Sharing – Your Turn! Round 1 Volunteer begins by sharing lesson plan – (up to 8 mins.) 2. Other members of the group listen and take notes, using the listening guide. After the lesson is shared, the other group members may ask clarifying questions and share what they’ve learned/noticed from the presentation of the lesson (up to 3 min. each for a total of 9 min.) 4. Round 2: Repeat steps 1-3
Activity #4: Practicing! - Teachers • As a table group, choose one of the lessons shared today to use in this activity. • Use Activity #4 handout to guide your work • Clear Learning Targets – (I can, I am learning statements - Student-friendly terms) • Sharing criteria for success – • Opportunities for feedback • Facilitator and timekeeper should pace work – You have about 30 minutes.
Activity #5: Taking it Home – Next Steps • With your school team, reflect on what you have learned this morning. • Discuss and plan your ‘Next Steps” using the Activity #5 handout. • When directed, please share your next steps with the other school at your table. Ask for feedback and input.
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 with the teacher: • What went well – specifically? • What do you need to learn more about?
This afternoon… • Review descriptive observation • Practice descriptive observation • Review dialogue • Observe 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
Breakout Sessions • Stack and pack all of your materials for a move. • Take a 5 minute break and reconvene in your assigned room.
Activity #6: Let’s Practice Descriptive Observation! 1. Assume the role of teacher or administrator. 2. Before viewing the video, review the sample PLP for the teacher that will be observed. Note: • Specific indicators for focus • “Evidences for Implementation” • “Evidences of Impact on Student Learning” 3. You may use the observation template provided.
REMEMBER! • Looking for evidence related to the indicators from the Continuum cited. • Use descriptive feedback … 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) as it relates to FA/FF.
PQP (Praise, Question, Polish) • 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 • Reflect on how your PQP compares/contrasts to the presenters’ PQPs • Have a table discussion about your PQPs and what you learned about dialogue
Thinking about the Dialogue Session • What did you notice about the dialogue session? • What questions do you have about the dialogue session?
Activity #7: EducateAlabama – Making Connections Cooking a Meal? Playing Tennis? Driving a Car? Coaching an Athletic Team? Choose one.
GO TO THE CORNER!! • Choose a recorder. • Brainstorm ways that EducateAlabama is like your selected metaphor. Write each idea on the easel paper provided.
Reflection and Feedback • Please complete the session feedback form as completely as possible. • Your suggestions are welcomed!
Next Meeting: April 12, 2011 Check out our Facebook page, and leave your insights/finds: http://sn.im/abpcfacebook Contact Information: Cathy Gassenheimercathy@aplusala.org Julie Hannah firstname.lastname@example.org Magan Merritt email@example.com