Friday, September 07, 2012

Coaching Students: Homework and Feedback

Blog Post about Hattie's "Making Learning Visible for Teachers" Book
My main learning and teaching focus this year is student coaching. I'm wondering how I can coach each child well so that he/she learns both the content and the language/action of learning with confidence and success. I'm employing Hattie's "bridging the gap" strategies:

  • working with students to set achievable goals and success criteria,
  • identifying and employing optimal strategies for learning,
  • assessing and reflecting along the way,
  • adapting when necessary, and
  • setting next step goals in a transparent, student-centered way.

A big challenge with regard to this work is the homework/feedback loop.  The challenge includes the following:
  1. Finding the time for meaningful, daily feedback for each child in class. 
  2. Making the time to review students' work after hours with care and attention.
  3. Researching, creating and implementing responsive, targeted learning endeavors i.e. teaching the students first, the curriculum second.
  4. Finding the time to meet with each child in order to set optimal goals. 
The success so far has included the following:
  1. Daily at-home practice that is reasonable, independent and responsive which builds confidence and skill.
  2. Daily feedback on assignments and in-class work which develops important knowledge about each child as a learner, a working relationship with each child and a child's investment in the work. 
What's to Come?
I want to employ greater collaborative efforts in the class to develop student learning, and also to make more time to coach individual students related to specific goals and teaching.  I will explore this next week with a number of new strategies. I'm also looking for, and trying out many tech avenues to maximize learning, engagement and coaching as well. 

The Big Picture
Research demonstrates that just-right feedback is essential to student learning success.  As it stands now, classroom teachers don't have enough time in the day for thoughtful lesson planning and feedback since they are working with large groups of children most of the time, most days.  As I've mentioned before, I think schedules, roles and responsibilities in schools need to be reassessed so that the majority of the collective professional time is spent on activities that best promote student learning.  

How do you make time for feedback each day for each child? Do all professionals in your building who work with students offer regular response and feedback using Hattie's model of "bridging the gap" between learning goals and success criteria? In what ways do you use collaborative collegial and student learning strategies and activities to optimize student learning?

As an educator, I have always aimed to increase students' academic growth, however with the new knowledge and information we have about learning and success, I am revising strategies and schedule.  It is very challenging to coach each child well, however it is an invigorating and meaningful challenge I'm excited about.