Greg,

I want to zero-in on two things in your comment: you give two quizzes emphasizing feedback before building up to a test; you have correct solutions for them to check their answers.

I think a big part of feedback is having a place where students _expect_ feedback – and this is part of my struggle too. In this ideal classroom I have in my head, I have some sort of activity or classroom space where students just KNOW: this is where I get my detailed feedback from the teacher. It seems like for you, that’s with quizzes and having an answer book.

I’m with you on the answer book – I have that too – but I need a designated point-of-feedback for my students. I’m thinking of giving consistent quizzes next year as my designated point-of-feedback. I used to think homework would do this for me, but I’m realizing there’s an equity issue – I want _everyone_ to get my feedback, not just the students who turn it in.

Anyway – those are my thoughts. Thanks for sharing!

]]>That said, there’s the looming issue of buy-in, and some students just don’t buy in unless it counts for marks… and if they haven’t practiced by then, it’s really too late… so on the one hand, it’s really impossible to say “this method works for all students in the class”, yet on the other one needs to have something consistent for all students to avoid showing favouritism. I’m not sure I’ll ever figure that one out.

]]>For younger students (and older students still struggling with foundational skills) I suggest building off your standards-based gradebook.

Often individual students don’t have full mastery, but groups of 2-4 kids have the skill set needed to complete certain important tasks.

Collect some formative data and sort your class into groups who have the prerequisite skills to complete a challenging task that they couldn’t do alone.

Next class, rearrange your seating chart and give your kids the full period to work on this collaborative activity.

This increases the level of math talk among my students and often leads to better individual understanding.

This doesn’t work for every unit, but 2-4 times per year, I find it’s worth my time to follow this process. Pick your course’s 2-4 most foundational skills and see what happens!

]]>I’m glad you said this – I feel like this is the direction my teaching style is moving, but I have a hard time articulating that this is a form of feedback. If someone were to ask me how I give feedback to my students, I pretty much have to respond with ‘I don’t – they give feedback to themselves’, and I’m never sure if this is a valid answer. I agree that this system relies on a culture of reassessments and resubmissions, which I guess is what makes it work.

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