Celebrate, Inspire, Grow
vol.1 - edition 3: January 2022
Want to see more amazing examples & strategies from JUSD teachers? Visit our Impact Teams Secondary Webpage: https://sites.google.com/jusd.k12.ca.us/jusd-secondary-edservices/home
Director's Delights - Jay Trujillo
Every child, no matter where they start, is entitled to a year’s growth for a year’s input (teaching). Understanding and utilizing effective feedback is one of the best ways to improve progress and achievement of the students in your classroom. John Hattie's research found that the effect size of feedback is 0.74, which means that when feedback is used effectively, it can almost double the speed of learning. But clearly, Hattie is not the only noted researcher espousing the benefit of good feedback. James Nottingham, the creator of "The Learning Pit," wrote this in his book, Challenge Learning Through Feedback (2017):
"At least 12 previous meta-analyses have included specific information on feedback in classrooms. These meta-analyses included 196 studies and 6,972 effect sizes. The average effect was 0.79 (twice the average effect). To place this average of 0.79 into perspective, it fell in the top 5 to 10 highest influences on achievement..." (p.6)
Moreover, feedback can increase students’ effort and motivation to reduce the discrepancy between their current status and the learning goal.
Feedback is tough. As Hattie noted, “Feedback costs. You have to do it again and again, because it wasn’t good enough, and people don't want to hear it” (Sparks, 2018). Compounding the challenge is the fact that there is considerable variability in the use of feedback, which means that some types of feedback are much more powerful than others.
The Feedback FitThere are times when a student will have a high degree of proficiency and/or a lot of experience in the tasks teachers assign. Other times, students will have some degree of proficiency, possessing some basic understandings of what they are learning. Not surprisingly, there will also be times when learners are at a novice level. In order for teachers to determine the best fit for feedback, it’s important to know where learners are in their learning. Students will have the best chance of understanding/applying the feedback when it is targeted to their instructional level--think the Goldilocks principle: feedback is “just right!”
Ideally, learning and teaching need to complement each other and move gradually from task-type feedback to feedback that empowers learners to become more self-regulating.
Below is a table to help delineate the focus of each level of feedback and sample prompts that can be used:
Here’s something interesting. When we give feedback, we often notice that the receiver isn’t good at receiving it. And when we receive feedback, we notice that the giver isn’t good at giving it. It’s a conundrum. This all too common inter-play between feedback giver and receiver is highlighted in Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (D.Stone & S Heen, 2014, Harvard Negotiation Project).
Most of us, including students, do fine with “positive” feedback [Note: do be careful with praise, which can have a negative effect on learning-- see video at the end of this article.] The kind of feedback that triggers dissatisfaction, indifference, or outright indignation usually falls in one or more of these trigger traps:
Truth Triggers: The substance of the feedback is off, unhelpful, or simply untrue. How to avoid this trigger in the classroom? Make sure students are clear about the learning goal, and more importantly, the success criteria. Knowing isn’t enough; students need to understand it and be able to spot the differences in their own work vs. the desired work.
Relationship Triggers: All feedback is colored by the relationship between those giving and receiving. Adults and students will not accept feedback from people they neither like nor respect. How to avoid this trigger in the classroom? Feedback requires a healthy feedback culture, where all students feel safe from ridicule, errors and risk-taking are welcomed, and challenge is encouraged.
Identify Triggers: We feel threatened/attacked, ashamed, or overwhelmed. When we’re in this state, the past looks damning and the future is hopeless. How to avoid this in the classroom? Focus on the learning (e.g., success criteria) and NOT on the learner (e.g., praise, effort).
Dylan Wiliam, along with Paul Black, wrote the seminal research “Inside The Black Box.” This piece highlights best practice findings associated with formative assessment. A key element of the formative process is feedback. Hear more from Dylan Wiliam on feedback below:
Summing it Up
“Good feedback causes thinking.” Dylan Wiliam’s message reigns true. The goal of feedback is to reduce the gap between a student’s current level of performance (or understanding or skill) and the desired goal. The quality of feedback must be judged by what is received (understood) and applied by the learner, NOT by what was transmitted. Does grading count as feedback? No, according to Nottingham. "When we give students a grade, the learning stops" (p. 15). True feedback shapes the next action for learning while learning is still underway. Get this right and watch your students soar.
Coordinator Connection - Janice Cloward
Teaching for Effective Feedback
It may come as no surprise to many of you that I am not the strongest of writers. My love has always been with numbers. So when asked to contribute to our Secondary to None newsletter, putting my writing skills or lack thereof on public display, I was terrified. I remember my first article about Teacher-Student Relationships taking me hours and hours over several days to write. And this was just my first draft. Once my article was drafted, I shared it with our team for feedback. I felt vulnerable and overwhelmed sharing but as an educator, I understood the value of feedback. The effect of their feedback allowed me to make revisions so that in the end, I felt accomplished and proud of what I had written. But would I have felt as confident about the quality of my article to share with the entire district if the feedback I received was superficial? Probably not. And as I continue this journey in writing for each edition of our newsletter, the valuable, effective feedback I receive from our team supports my learning and growth.
Establishing a classroom culture that promotes feedback is an important element to empowering students. And although students may recognize this, they may not always be the best feedback givers. That’s why we need to teach them.
Here are a few ideas to consider when teaching students how to give effective feedback.
“If your students don’t understand their learning goals, then feedback is not going to work well. So do all you can to get this part right!” (Nottingham, 2017)
Do students understand what they are trying to achieve? In order for students to engage in high-quality feedback based on success criteria, they must understand the success criteria first. Success criteria gives students a point to reference when giving feedback. It provides the giver of feedback the ability to make the feedback specific and actionable for the receiver.
The most effective way to support student understanding of the success criteria is to co-construct it with your students (see the October 2021 Secondary to None Newsletter on Teacher Clarity for more information). Once success criteria has been developed by the class, provide feedback using the language of the standards (Sackstein, 2017) so students can make the connection between “what are they learning” and “how they will know that they’ve learned it.”
Use examples of effective feedback as a way to develop success criteria with students. Just as we utilize success criteria for students to assess their learning of a standard, we can do the same for students to evaluate the quality of their feedback. Many students may not know how to word feedback for their peers that provides any impact. Examples are one way to solidify their understanding of what effective feedback looks like.
Examples and Nonexamples of Effective Feedback
As you can see in the above examples, the feedback is detailed and specific. Each example of feedback acknowledges something the student did well, then provides a suggested pathway for the student to consider as they work towards mastery. Versus the nonexamples that are superficial and provide no effective information that will benefit the learning of the receiving student. By providing students with a set of examples and nonexamples, they can identify the qualities of effective feedback that would establish the criteria for success and use it to guide the quality of the feedback they provide their peers when evaluating student work.
Sample Success Criteria for Effective Feedback
- My feedback is aligned to the success criteria of the assignment
- My feedback is clear and specific
- My feedback is actionable for the receiver
- My feedback acknowledges an area of strength
- My feedback provides information that will help the receiver progress towards their learning goal
Modeling what effective feedback looks and sounds like is an important way to establish an expectation for the type of feedback students will give and receive. Modeling feedback can happen in different ways.
1. Consider creating your own version of the assignment and ask students to provide you feedback based on the criteria. This can allow you the opportunity to guide the quality of feedback you are receiving by asking questions or providing feedback on the feedback.
2. Create a fishbowl activity where two students model the peer feedback process while the class observes. This will allow you to provide commentary on what the class is seeing and hearing and you can highlight the aspects that are of greatest value to the giver and the receiver of the feedback.
3. Provide students a sample assignment with example feedback statements. Have students discuss the quality and usefulness of each feedback statement for the receiver’s learning progression. This will allow students the opportunity to provide feedback on feedback to further their understanding of what effective feedback should be.
“...let students dip their toes into peer feedback by offering plenty of low-stakes opportunities for them to provide feedback to one another as well as to you.” (Sackstein, 2017)
Scaffolding early peer feedback can be an effective way to introduce students to the process. Creating opportunities for students to give and receive feedback from their peers on assignments that are low-stakes will reduce anxiety about the feedback they give, but provide them the opportunity to learn. Consider using structures such as templates and sentence starters with students as they learn to give effective feedback. Or another good way to scaffold the feedback process is to create a survey that guides students through questioning to evaluate each other’s work (Sackstein, 2017).
Sample templates with sentence starters:
“So let’s be clear: The quality of feedback should be judged not on what is transmitted but on what is received and applied.” (Nottingham, 2017)
Mario Esparza & Jansantos Rodriguez, 9th grade, PHS
Classroom Chronicles - Amanda Jaurigue
From Feedback to Revision: A Classroom Perspective
Getting students to the point where they are providing meaningful, actionable feedback is no easy task. It takes persistence, practice, and most importantly, it takes time. If my own classroom experience has taught me anything it is that sometimes it is best to let go of expectations of what things should look like and admit to students that I am a learner in this process myself. It is when I modeled my own learning through inquiry to my students that I saw the culture in my class shift to one of one where mistakes mean growth, and growth is valued above all else.
This shift does not come easily, and in a time when shifting and pivoting has been the expectation in teaching, this can be especially daunting. I realized early on, however, that there must be certain conditions met to help facilitate the process for feedback to be seen as meaningful. I spoke with teachers at Jurupa Valley High School to get a sense of their perspective as well, and overall there seemed to be a general consensus of what conditions need to be met in order to achieve high impact in student learning:
There must be an expectation of revision or change if there is to be growth. If there is no expectation for revision, the process of giving and receiving feedback is seen as an isolated task and the impact is lost.
The learning intentions have to be very clear. This serves to create common expectations, but also a common language for students to refer to when they are giving and receiving feedback. This serves to raise the quality of feedback significantly.
Success criteria should be co-constructed and fluid. This one was hard, but co-constructing success criteria means that students need to be able to add, change, or even take away success criteria. This is of course under teacher guidance, but having students justify their reasons and having a sense of control is truly empowering.
Even with these conditions being met, students still have difficulties applying feedback to revising their work. Modeling and frequent opportunities for applying feedback effectively are absolutely necessary, and exhausting, to be quite honest. But as slow and frustrating as the process can be, it is so worth it to see students who are empowered, regardless of their levels or abilities!
So how do we structure opportunities for revision into our schedules? In continued discussions with teachers at Jurupa Valley, these are the points that were generally agreed on:
1. Start small. Giving students small tasks where they can experience success can pay off in the long run. Rarely is learning occurring in isolation and students will start to show an awareness of skill progression as they grow, which will ultimately result in applying their learning to the rest of their work.
In this example, students were focusing on writing and developing a line of reasoning based on a theme statement. Students responded to each other's paragraphs that detailed how the author, "conveys the characters' complex attitude towards grief."
“Often, students who struggle with writing have an avoidance mentality, so I like to break the assignment into smaller chunks, so I can take a sentence-by-sentence approach. Once these students are able to accomplish one aspect of the task, it makes the writing assignment as a whole much less daunting.” Ms. Jamie Johnson, JVHS
2. Embrace modeling. A lot of it! One of the most worthwhile activities I use in my own classroom is writing an essay in front of my students and having them take notes on the moves I make as I think aloud. I then take them through the process of eliciting feedback from them, then applying their feedback to my revision. Perhaps the most significant part of this process is that I model questioning strategies for eliciting the type of feedback that I can apply in my revisions with specific, targeted language related to our learning intentions and success criteria. Students then use this same model when they are working through their own peer feedback.
Ms. Rebecca Finn, JVHS teacher, suggests that using non-examples has been one of the most effective ways for students to distinguish between feedback that is effective and feedback that is not effective. She has noticed a significant change in how students approach their feedback and their revisions as a result.
Ms. Jamie Johnson has made use of Paper.co to help students see how the quality of their feedback can impact revisions. Paper.co uses the Socratic Method to provide feedback. Additionally, students are able to get feedback from multiple people and ask targeted questions as needed. This has helped students in the revision process, especially if they are not confident in applying feedback on their own.
3. Make it part of the class routine. Revision works best when it is a fluid process, but it can be hard to find the balance between allowing students to have the time they need and moving forward with learning and instruction. This particular challenge “is aided when teachers automate many other tasks in the classroom and provide rich learning opportunities for all students and thus have the time and resources to be responsive to feedback.” (Hattie & Jaeger, 1998).
At JVHS, Mr. Erickson takes a workshop approach to his class, which means that students are given one day a week to work on the revision process. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of creating clear co-constructed success criteria, modeling, and pacing in helping students be successful in the revision process: “When students are not successful in applying feedback, it is usually the result of that student not engaging in the process of co-creating success criteria.”
4. Encourage self reflection. There are many opportunities and tools to facilitate self-reflection. Some of the most used include Flipgrid, PowerSchool Discussion Boards, and Jamboard.
In my own classroom, Flipgrid in particular has been especially useful. I will ask students to focus on one aspect of their success criteria in their revision, and to explain their moves- much like I will often model for them through think-aloud. This is especially useful when we are short on time since students can tell me what they would change or revise in their work and their justification for it. It is especially meaningful to listen to how students work through their process as it gives me insight in how I target and personalize my own feedback to them, and ultimately shortens my grading time!
A Reflection on Self-Assessment
A Reflection of Peer Assessment
Ms. Jamie Johnson also uses Flipgrid, and incorporates a self-reflection questionnaire that students must complete before they begin any revision. These are the questions she includes:
What positive feedback did you receive, or what do you feel that you are doing well with in terms of the writing response?
What do you feel are your weak points in terms of writing? What constructive feedback did you receive from your partner? Do you agree with this feedback? What is the best way to apply this feedback to your writing?
As you prepare to revise, what is your game plan? After you revise, please outline the improvements you have made to your response? Have you met all of the requirements of the Success Criteria?
The impact that effective feedback can make on learning within the formative assessment process is undeniable. Giving students the time, the space, and the structure to revise and grow is an integral part of the process, and in this partnership between students and teachers is where true empowerment lies.
A Few Words From Donia Briones, Teacher On Special Assignment, Professional Development
I’m type A. There, I said it. I am always striving for a level of perfection that is probably not even attainable. My first quarter in college was rough. All of the strategies I learned in high school suddenly seemed worthless. When I got back a D on a paper in a sociology class I was taking, it was like a punch in the gut. I had a moment where I felt like maybe college wasn’t meant for me. So after a period of lamentation, I went back to the feedback that the teacher had written on my midterm paper. But, honestly, his D in red ink and brief words of feedback did nothing to help me figure out how to rescue myself from my situation. I had to use self feedback, identify my gaps, and use self regulation strategies to determine how I could organize my thought processes to achieve the level of perfection I was always striving for.
Being type A, control is important to me, and self feedback transfers control from the teacher to the student. The goal of the formative assessment process is to create empowered learners. If we as teachers are always the ones in control of providing the feedback, students will not be equipped to handle failures when their teacher is no longer there to provide support and scaffolds. If students need to develop a set of transferable skills to progress to being empowered self regulated learners, how can we better prepare our Jurupa students to have a level of self awareness to be able to assess their own learning, choose appropriate strategies, and generate self-feedback to close the gap between their current level and their teacher’s goal for the learning intention?
Provide an Exemplar
Students can better self assess when they are given a model to compare their own work to. For students to be able to create great work, they first need to know what great work looks like. The exemplar or model can be used to discuss the features of quality work that can be used to generate the success criteria by which the student can use to self assess.
Nearly every teacher is pressed for time. I get it - periods fly by in the blink of an eye. However, self feedback should be a regular part of what a learner does. Some thoughts to think about are: how much time are you dedicating to self feedback? How much time are you giving for students to receive feedback from themselves, their peers, and then finally yourself before their work is turned in for a grade? One idea for time saving self assessment could be in the form of a 5 minute think pair share where students are asked to reflect on topics such as: what could you do to improve, under what conditions do you excel, or what do you think would be the best way to carry out this task? Another time saving idea would be exit tickets in which students place their exit ticket in a drop box labeled by perceived proficiency.
When having students self assess, changing the level of questioning from surface level to a deeper level can be beneficial for self-regulation. Instead of asking “what did you do well” could you ask, “what learning goal have you achieved?” Instead of asking, “what do you need to improve on,” try “how well is the strategy you tried working?” Are the questions you are asking allowing the students to determine for themselves a pathway from their current level to a level of mastery?
Self Regulated Learning
Eventually we want the students to be at a level of self regulation, but that will take modeling of strategies and routines that occur regularly throughout the year. Students need repeated exposures, modeling, and practice to become the empowered learners we want them to be. Some self regulation strategies that could be modeled throughout the year are: goal setting, asking how can a student best organize information to increase their understanding, task analysis such as how best to break a task into manageable chunks, or reflecting on effectiveness of a chosen strategy. Our goal would be for students to be at a place by the end of the year that they have had multiple exposures to self-feedback strategies being modeled, so they have various pathways to adapt their approach if it is not effective and make mid course corrections.
Normally our rubrics would contain a set of success criteria for students to attain. Including an area for students to self assess or reflect would be helpful for the formative process before they turn their work in for feedback from their teacher. Include an area where they can reflect on their areas for improvement and strengths as well as develop an action plan after reflecting.
Another idea would be a blank section on the rubric below the success criteria. This blank area would be used for students to write criteria that was not included, but that they would like to self assess themselves against. They would complete that blank section with an area they perceive as necessary for success and then self assess and give feedback on their progress towards that self-selected criteria.
Sample of a Single Point Rubric
Self feedback is a strategy to develop empowered learners that are capable of monitoring and regulating their own learning. Magic happens when we are able to step away from holding the power in the classroom and are able to cultivate learners that are able to apply independently the tools, strategies, and skills you have taught them. Our ultimate goal is to develop learners that are capable of persistence and self reflection who can pivot to a different strategy that will lead to success.
Teacher Feedback About Feedback
First Demonstrate It Myself
Healthy relationships is most important when providing feedback to students. Praising their wins, and not only pointing out their mistakes, is very important. They need to know that I give feedback because I want them to learn in my class and use everything they've learned in the future. They trust me, and know that I want what is best for them, and therefore they accept the feedback.
- Martha Gutierrez
Jurupa Middle School
We're Here To Help Them
In my classroom we work on getting to know each student personally and how we can help the student as a whole. We utilize our mental health therapist when needed. We have encouraging words on our walls. We work one on one with students to build confidence and encourage them that they can be successful.
- Jacalyn Allbee
Nueva Vista High School
We all give each other feedback. Students are encouraged to ask questions and point out errors (even from the teacher). Students cross-talk, and then get called upon. Ensuring that all students are prepared... and understanding that no student (or person) is perfect. Understanding that we are here because we don't have all of the answers and that we looking to improve is key.
- John Gunty
Jurupa Valley High School
Making Mistakes Is OK
- Casandra Gurau
Jurupa Middle School
I Enjoy Watching Student To Student Feedback
- Ariel Collisson
Del Sol Academy
Interested In Reading More Responses? Click On The Link Below
Editor's Ending - Sheila Szabo
Learn From Wilson: We Need Feedback!
When we don't have a sounding board to get regular, consistent feedback, we miss the validation that our presence has meaning. We need to hear words of reassurance or affirmation that we're doing something right, and sometimes when we're doing something wrong. Everything from body language to tone of voice gives us clues that we're heard and understood, and most importantly, that we matter.
According to Bob Dignen, feedback may be the most important skill. In his article for Cambridge University, Dignen points out the five reasons why it's so important:
- Feedback is constantly in our lives. (Unless you're the unfortunate victim of solitude, like Tom Hanks in Castaway). Everywhere we go, we are faced with different levels of feedback, and even silence is a form of it.
- Feedback is a synonym for Effective Listening. Dignen points out the two most important factors to feedback: we need to be understood and feel that our thoughts have value.
- It's an opportunity for growth. Positive feedback is a true motivator and can bring out the best in each of us. Students literally thrive on the praise they receive from their teachers and from their peers alike.
- Feedback is crucial to improvement. When choosing the right words to give feedback, it can facilitate enhanced performance and a successful outcome.
- Feedback leads to cultural understanding. Because of the many different cultural modes and methods to communicating with each other, it's important to allow feedback to bridge the gap between confusion and misunderstanding. Assumptions can trip us up, so a kind reminder that we often misinterpret words, gestures, or vocal cues can bring affinity with our community. Feedback is our friend.
Take away the ability to communicate with and get feedback from someone, and you can imagine the dark place we'd end up in. It's nothing short of a grown man weeping like a child when he loses his only friend: a volleyball with a bloody, hand-printed face aptly named "Wilson." Humans are communal by nature, and it goes against the very DNA that we come with to avoid communication. Being heard, understood, and appreciated are fundamental rights. Hence, feedback may not just be the most important skill, but the most humane one as well.
CTE News - Roberta Pace
Just some of the Chromebooks awaiting repair in the Educational Technology Department, November 5, 2021
22,068 students = 22,068 Chromebooks. That means over 22,000 Chromebooks that will all require service at some point in time. How is JUSD dealing with this service demand AND helping prepare students for their future? Get to know Dell Student Tech Crew.
Jurupa is the first district in California to implement the Dell Student Tech Crew program and is in operation as a class at Jurupa Valley High School, Patriot High School, and Rubidoux High School and as a student club at Mission Middle School. Supported by Dell’s Corporate and Social Responsibility team, staff attended free training this past summer and are using Dell’s curriculum to train students to operate an IT helpdesk, perform Chromebook and other technology repairs, and earn industry certification.
The curriculum focuses on so much more than just learning how to repair equipment. Dell Student Tech Crew students are learning how to work collaboratively, be effective communicators and use creativity and logic to solve problems. They also participate in the Conrad Design Method Challenge with Dell Student Tech Crews across the US and Australia to support global thinking and solutions-based learning. They also develop multiple soft skills important for customer service.
Dell Student Tech Crew is a win-win. “I enjoy the hands-on learning this class provides. This class is an incredible opportunity. Getting a head start in the industry provides a huge benefit to me and my future career,” said Morgan Stockman. Morgan is a senior Dell Tech Crew student at Jurupa Valley High School.
District Science Committee
Wednesday, Jan. 26th, 8am-3:30pm
10223 Bellegrave Avenue
Jurupa Valley, CA
Mark Your Calendar [Please Note: All meetings are tentative due to COVID-related substitute shortage.]
- January 17th, 2022: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (no school)
- January 25th, 2022: Principals Meeting (8:00-3:30) PDC
- January 26th, 2022: Science UOS (8:00-3:30) PDC Training Room
- February 2nd, 2022: Math UOS (8:00-3:30) PDC Lab
- February 9th 2022: ELA UOS (8:00-3:30) PDC Training Room
- February 14, 2022: Holiday (no school)
- February 21, 2022: Holiday (no school)
Speaking Of Goal Setting... Time To Eat Healthy For The New Year
"I could stop eating chocolate, but I'm not a quitter." - unknown
When we finally recover from New Year's celebrations, we normally start out with the best intentions for improving ourselves-- get more sleep, keep connected with love ones, get into shape, eat healthier, etc. However, after a few weeks of unrealistic expectations, many of us give up and resume our old habits.
Last year I pulled the trigger and got myself gym membership in hopes of shedding all the pandemic stress-eating weight. I was already six weeks into my daily weekday workouts and I barely lost a few pounds. So many mornings I would wake up to the alarm at 4:40 am tempted to hit the "snooze" button, but instead I forced myself to get up and whispered, "time to make the donuts."
Changing your diet or getting into shape isn't a temporary fix to achieve a short-term goal. It's a decision to make lifestyle changes to put your health and happiness ahead of everything else. There is an unlimited supply of excuses our minds can come up with to not have to go to the gym today, or skip the salad and indulge in that yummy, ooey-gooey pizza instead. But what if you found an excuse to just do it, instead? Keep your eye on the prize and save the indulgence for the cheat day (make it once a week, not every day). Imagine the rewards of your perseverance when you achieve your goals and see the results when you look in the mirror... and love what you see.
Remember: Baby steps every day to achieve your goals. You can do it!
Introducing the Newest Members of Our Team
Education Services/Secondary Education
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