Your students need a model for improving their work; with timely and specific feedback, it will be easier for them to work to improve in certain areas. Student feedback identifies particular areas of student performance and provides insight into their strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, feedback should be a natural component of most assessment methods you provide in your classroom. This article will give you a brief set of steps to help you build timely and targeted student feedback.
Supporting the Oral Presentation: A Checklist for Providing Feedback to Student Presentations in Your Classroom
Students will be tasked with showcasing and presenting their work in various ways throughout their educational careers. This could be activities like reciting poetry or text, presenting at a science fair, participating in debate, or presenting a final project within their content-area class. Typically, you might design your presentation rubrics to focus on what matters most in your course- mastery of the course content. Because presentations can be used as one assessment method for students to showcase mastery, you might be looking for depth of content knowledge, accuracy, or expertise in the content students are discussing and how well the presentation itself communicates the students' message. These components are critical for an effective student presentation. But the actual characteristics of an oral presentation should also not be overlooked. For students to truly be effective communicators and demonstrate their best work, they will also need to be effective public speakers. Monitoring a student's public speaking ability and providing feedback and guidance for improvement can help develop them into effective communicators that will accel above and beyond your academic requirements for a presentation.
The Four Corners Strategy is a simple verbal strategy to help engage your students and improve discussion and discourse. In Four Corners, a question is presented to the class, and students are given time to think about their responses. Students will respond to the question by standing in a designated spot of the room that represents their answer choice. Typically, you allow for each corner of the four corners of your classroom to convey an answer choice. After posing your question, students will reflect on their answer and then move to their designated corner of the room. The Four Corners Strategy is a wonderful way to encourage debate and discourse in the classroom while also visualizing students' differences in ideas. By posing questions that elicit a more open-ended response, you can encourage students to think more critically about the question and their answer and prompt them to justify their choice.
In a classroom context, positive affirmations are phrases and acknowledgments of positive aspects of a child’s personality, effort, behavior, or other characteristics. When affirmations are present in your classroom daily, it helps to set a positive tone within your classroom environment and enriches children’s perceptions of themselves. You may be most familiar with positive affirmations as a way for students to acknowledge aspects of themselves and use them as a mantra to help them continue to behave in a certain way. For example: “I am kind. I am smart. I am a hard worker. I am a helper. I am a leader.” Recited often, individuals may begin to have a healthier outlook on life, their character, and what they are capable of. The point of positive affirmations is to acknowledge yourself and others from a place of positivity and not criticism. This helps create motivated and happy children who value themselves, their work, and their peers.
Our educational system is not always constructed to best support creativity. Consider the countless hours students spend studying facts, reciting definitions, or learning how to solve math problems using provided formulas. Creativity may sometimes take the backburner in a lesson when important concepts must first be taught. But creativity in instruction is not an all-or-nothing focus. Just as we need to make sure that students are learning the foundational knowledge and skills within each lesson objective, we also need to make sure that students can use those concepts and apply them creatively through experiences and activities. Often, we see students thrive most when they are provided with opportunities to apply concepts, stretch their thinking, and complete tasks “outside of the box.” Sometimes, though, this can be difficult for students. While some students have a natural, innate ability to use their creativity in meaningful ways, others may struggle with expressing creativity. But this does not mean they can’t improve! In fact, most researchers agree that creativity can be practiced like a skill and improved. Though there are many types of creative expression, one specific kind is called divergent thinking. It is a creative process that can easily be implemented into classroom activities across content areas.
Have you heard of inquiry-based learning, but weren't really sure what it entailed? Have you tried to implement it in your classroom, but not sure if you’re hitting the mark? Read on to find out the difference between true inquiry and flawed inquiry.
We’ve all heard a student complain, “This is too hard, I’ll never understand.” Or maybe even, “I’m not a math person, I just don’t get it.” These statements both reflect a fixed mindset, and one of our responsibilities as educators is to encourage a shift in our students from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. According to Dr. Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and a leading researcher in the field of motivation, a growth mindset is the “understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed.” Once students have this mindset, watch their confidence soar! Even as they face academic struggles, they will understand that the struggle is part of the process of learning.