Skip to main content

Eliciting Student Voice During Instruction

Washington state is becoming the first in the nation to include student voice as a standard in the edTPA teacher certification portfolio assessment. They define student voice as:
Ongoing reflective self-assessment expressed in the words of the learner for the purpose of improving teaching and learning.
 The edTPA breaks the portfolio down into three tasks: planning, instruction, and assessment, and plans to add a rubric addressing student voice to each of the tasks.



Looking at the rubrics, I am reminded of how Hattie & Timperley and Black &Willam describe the elements of effective feedback. The edTPA essentially calls for the teacher candidate to demonstrate evidence of the following elements in their planning, instruction, and assessment:

 Hattie & Timperley and Black & Willam call for feedback to describe:
Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next?
I had the privilege of running a workshop with the current Seattle University Master in Teaching teacher candidates this week and was inspired by how readily they expressed motivation to develop effective feedback systems in their classroom and incorporate student voice into the classroom culture. Through a workshop exit ticket they also communicated a clear need for examples and strategies for eliciting student voice during instruction. Looking at the proficiency description for the edTPA student voice instruction rubric (#17), it comes at no surprise that more examples and strategies are needed. I'm not sure that in-service teachers are reliably meeting this hefty standard!

The edTPA rubrics tell us that proficiency in this standard requires that:
  • Students can express why the learning targets are important to learn (how they will use the concept or skill).
  • Students use tools or strategies to communicate what they are doing well and what they need to improve to reach the learning target.
To reach a mastery level, the standard requires that:
  • The teacher and students work together to define learning targets and their importance.
  • The teacher and students work together to create or revise tools/strategies for reflecting on their learning and areas for improvement. 

So, how are effective teachers supporting student understanding of the learning targets and what tools or strategies are they using to help student learn and monitor their own progress?

STRATEGIES

  1. High school STEM teacher Amy Morriss is using daily feedback questions to formatively check-in on student understanding and as an opportunity to support on-demand feedback for students who need it. 
  2. Secondary French teacher Azima Thakor (@MmeThakor) uses learning maps to support students in charting and reflecting on their own progress towards mastery. 
  3. Secondary writing teacher Carla Meyrink (@carlameyrink) is flipping feedback through student conferencing, where she can ask questions that elicit student understanding of concepts and purpose, all focused concretely on a piece of work. 
What tools or strategies do you use to help your students understand the learning targets and monitor their own progress?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5-Minute Energizers to Activate You and Your Students

We're officially in the grind. I ask my teacher colleagues how they're doing, and the standard response is a sigh: "I'm really looking forward to catching up on grading over the 3-day weekend," "I'm counting down the days until Thanksgiving," "I have 20 letters of recommendation to write."
If we're feeling this way, our students are too! Here are super quick activities to inject energy back into your classroom: Snap, Stomp, Clap (Partners) Each person counts off to 3, i.e. Person A: "1", Person B: "2", Person A: "3", Person B: "1", etc. When everyone gets the hang of it, try it again, but replace 1's with a snap of the fingers (snap, 2, 3, snap, 2, 3, etc.) Do it again, but also replace 3's with a stomp (snap, 2, stomp, snap, 2, stomp, etc.) Do it again, but also replace 2's with a clap (snap, clap, stomp, snap, clap, stomp, etc.) Gift Giving Game (Partners) Person A pantomimes givin…

Back-to-School: Consider Your Feedback System, Not Grading System

One question I ask other teachers is “How important is feedback in learning?” Every teacher I talk to agrees that feedback is crucial. It’s how both teacher and student gets better. Research backs the importance of feedback; building off of John Hattie’s work comparing factors on learning, Evidence for Learning’s toolkit ranks feedback as having the highest impact out of their 34 approaches (along with meta-cognition) with a +8 months’ impact on students’ learning progress.

I follow the feedback question with “How important are grades in learning?” It might seem like a loaded question. You can imagine how teachers respond: “They’re not.”

Why give grades, then? We’ll save that topic for another occasion. For now, I just want to point out that we are frequently asked to consider and describe our grading system by students, parents, colleagues, and administrators. We’re rarely asked about the much bigger and more important component of our work: feedback.


With back-to-school quickly approac…

Part 2 - Tools for an Equitable Feedback System: Engaging with Criteria

This series of posts will cover a variety of bite-sized strategies that can be incorporated into a more holistic feedback system. To learn more about the research behind these approaches, we recommend you first read our white paper.

Part 1 - Feedback is Emotional



For feedback information to be useful, it must communicate:  Where am I going? (What are the goals?)How am I going? (What progress is being made toward the goal?)Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?) (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).  Supporting students in engaging with the grading criteria helps give context to the feedback to come. In other words, it does the groundwork of helping them determine for themselves, "Where am I going?"