The Balcony View

Curriculum News for Bellmawr Schools

The Balcony View On...Visible Learning Feedback

Feedback, while powerful in supporting learning, can also be highly variable in its impact. Therefore, it's up to us to get the most bang for our buck...after all, time and resources are limited! As Hattie states, the goal in providing feedback is for both students and teachers to answer: Where am I going? How am I going there? and Where will I go next? In other words, students must understand and reflect on the results or their work in order to set goals for future learning.

To ensure this, it's important that we maintain a regular cycle of specific, measurable, and task-orientated feedback. As we build these routines into our daily instruction, Hattie reminds us that less is more! IMMEDIATE, verbal feedback is the way to go...and it doesn't always have to come from us! When we have established success criteria that integrates rubrics/student-friendly checklists, feedback can (and must!) come from peers as well!

Some High Impact Teaching Strategies (HIT's) from our PLC Text include:

  • Entrance Tickets
  • Content-based “Stop & Jot”
  • Peer-Assisted Reflection (PAR)
  • Language Frames

Links to Danielson's FFT

  • 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
  • 1f: Designing Student Assessments
  • 2b: Establishing a Culture for Learning
  • 3d: Using Assessment in Instruction

The ACECC Buzz: Teaching with Clarity in Early Childhood, Part I

Teaching with clarity and providing developmentally appropriate instruction/feedback (what Hattie calls hitting the "just-right" space with the "just-right" challenge) are two essential components of creating assessment capable visible learners. The goal is to establish early childhood classrooms that foster questioning, encourage peer feedback/coaching and provide opportunities for students to summarize their learning by capitalizing on their natural curiosity. At the heart of all this is one thing: a variety of intentional, language-based interactions!

On Teacher Clarity: To lay the groundwork for success beyond our early childhood classrooms, we must guide students in understanding what they are learning, why they are learning it, and how they will know they're successful. This helps to ensure that we "see learning through the eyes of our young learners & that our learners see themselves (and their peers) as teachers."

One example of this in practice is from a 4-year-old classroom during a unit on "patterns." Instead of simply posting learning intentions (the what/why of learning) and success criteria (the how), opportunities for students to understand what they are learning and what success looks like are built into the schedule and are the focus of accountable talk.

During this particular lesson, the teacher leads a brief minilesson on the class' focus (patterns) prior to centers. Throughout centers, questions and vocabulary are also focused on patterns. Once center time concluded, there is an opportunity for sharing/closure, allowing students to talk about what they accomplished. The result is a rich learning experience where students develop skills in a "variety of learning contexts, using a variety of modes."

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Links to Danielson's FFT

  • 1b: Demonstrating Knowledge of Students
  • 1c: Setting Student Outcomes
  • 1f: Designing Student Assessments
  • 3a: Communicating with Students
  • 3f: Using Assessment in Instruction

Click on the links below to see visible learning in action in early childhood classrooms! You can access additional videos via the QR codes in your text as well.

Links to Learn More...

Looking to go even further with your professional learning? Bite-sized best practices are just a CLICK away!

Coming Soon...

  • The February edition of The Balcony View will share some more thoughts on visible learning feedback as we prepare for our February In-service with John Almarode.
  • The February edition of The Buzz will share some more information from Chapter 1 on developing experiences and language to support "just right" learning.

Bellmawr's BOOM! Board

You're the BEST! Quotes from the staff...
  • BOOM! to Nurses Hope, Judi & Marie! Next time you see these ladies, give them a thank you!

  • BOOM! to Jenn, Zach & Carol, our ELA and Math coaches, for working collaboratively with our teachers.

  • BOOM! to our BSI teachers for being so flexible and helping when coverage is needed.

  • BOOM! to Emily, Katie L., Lauren M. & Alyse for participating in our Eureka/Wit & Wisdom learning walks!

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