Explicit teaching and feedback – South Halls Head Primary School

Explicit teaching and feedback – South Halls Head Primary School

November 25, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


We’re a large primary school and we have
students from kindergarten through to year six. We’re in a regional town of Western Australia
called Mandurah. In 2011 we were analysing our data and we
became quite concerned with our NAPLAN results. We identified that 30 percent of our students
were falling below national minimum standard in both reading and maths. We became aware of an expert in explicit teaching
who was conducting programs in Melbourne so we sent our deputy and three influential teaching
staff over to view him in action and also to attend his professional learning. They then came back to the school and fed
that information back to our whole staff and that’s where the process started. Once we’d actually got the explicit teaching
model in place then we decided to look at more explicit parts of explicit teaching and
so feedback was one of the things that we really wanted to look closely at because it
was so important. Since the explicit teaching was brought in
and became a firm school direction our performance management has been based on it. Our focus has become feedback and we were
given a professional development on it which had lots of data relating to the most efficient and
effective feedback. So we had a look at John Hattie’s research
giving feedback and what impact that has on students and then we had a look at Dylan Wiliam’s
work and what he had to say about formative assessment and we did quite a long session
with our staff on what sort of feedback actually makes improvement. Success criteria are really important because
micro skills results in big learning goals and so it’s very important to have very
specific criteria because when you add those together students end up with a result that
is far greater than if you try and work on everything at once. Most of the questions that I ask of students
throughout a lesson are really focused on the aims of the session. Those specific learning goals and success
criteria. Why is it we’ve got that comma after the
adverb at the start of the sentence, Ashton? Because it’s extra information. Because it’s extra information. If we take that out will our sentence still
make sense? Yes. Yes. Yes it will. Questioning is definitely allowing the teacher
to see whether the students know and are able to move forward and that’s that formative
assessment, constantly making sure that the students are understanding, checking for understanding
all the time. Over the shoulder marking is really important
in allowing students to focus on the success criteria, however, if a student’s work already
meets those success criteria then it’s looking for what they can do to improve even further. DMB I like how you’ve used a capital letter. Your adverb is a good one and you’ve put
a comma there. The courageous, but dumb knight went into
the dragon’s mouth. Oh my goodness that is foolish. The most important part of planning lessons
is ensuring that you incorporate opportunities for feedback into your lessons. You need to make sure that you can check for
understanding with the students at all points of the learning. Can I see hands up, please, all of those people
whose partner effectively began their sentence with an adverb? Excellent. With your blue I’m going to get you to underline
a simple sentence that you’ve used. With the green you’re going to underline
a compound sentence and in red you’re going to find a complex sentence. During the lesson I’ll get the students
to actually highlight particular things in coloured pencil. In the lesson I’ve just done I got them
to highlight the three different sentence types. It gives me an opportunity to actually see
if the kids can apply the knowledge that we’ve learnt in an explicit teaching lesson back
into a task and this allows the students, once again, to reflect on their piece of writing,
highlight what they’ve actually done so they’ve got evidence of their learning. And you’re going to have to edit your own
work, but then you’re going to have an option to actually give some peer feedback. What sorts of things would you offer in peer
feedback? If they’ve got some words that could be
improved you give them an option of a higher modality word. Peer feedback is valuable to both students,
the reader and the writer, and the rubric guides what is desired to be obtained. The students try to come up with a positive
statement which is a star and a wish which is a critical feedback. What it does is it allows the kids to set
a path of improvement for each other. I really liked your use of your paragraph
and it was really evident how you did every single step and sentence. And my wish would be that you listed more
solutions in your solution paragraph because it was about litter so there’s a lot of
different things you could do instead of just making laws about it. I would like to see your numbers written neatly
inside the head and the belly of the seahorse. I need to see you using up that whole area. Can you have another go next to mine please
to do the letter ‘s’. At the end of each lesson once I have marked
their work I have a little rubric that I staple into their lesson. It gives me a chance to see which areas I
have probably got some gaps in so I can then go back and, for example, if their numbers
are not tall or meeting the areas where they need to be I can go back and do a handwriting
lesson specifically on numbers. So the rubrics is more for me to see where
there are some gaps that I can improve on and plan for my next lesson. We’ve got a very I guess stringent data
collection cycle. As a whole school we analyse our data at a
whole school level and we feedback at a whole school level and then discuss it at phase
level as a follow up as to this is what we’ve found now what are we going to do about it
and we are able to do that I think because we’ve got scope and sequence documents also. So the scope and sequence for literacy and
numeracy tells teachers what they need to teach every week and therefore we can collect
data from all students which tells whether they have achieved that for that week or not. Today the purpose of our phase meeting is
to look at some results from the progressive achievement tests that our students completed
in October this year. More specifically, we’re going to have a
look at the strengths and weaknesses that we’ve identified and what changes we can
make to our maths scope and sequence documents. We look at data that we have collected across
the year. We look specifically at the weaknesses and
strengths that the students may have had during our formative and summative assessments that
we’ve done. We then created an outcome for the staff and
these are then followed up at future meetings that then makes everybody accountable to making
the changes and having success. And just looking back at the data there seems
to be a bit of a weakness with the problem-solving part of things. Looking at the scope and sequence I’ve just
found we do have problem solving in there, but it’s just if you go through it really
only just pops up a couple of times a term. We wanted every child to reach at least a
certain level so we put together a benchmark level which was the minimum standard and then
a standard level which was that we expected at least 50 percent of the students to reach
that standard level. As our students have improved our benchmarks
have got increasingly more difficult and our standards have got increasingly more difficult. I think too we’ve gone from teachers sitting
at their desk to teachers moving around the classroom all the time and giving continuous
feedback to students on an individual basis. So it’s not at the end that they get that
feedback it’s as they’re moving forward they get that feedback.