39 Replies Latest reply on 16-Jan-2018 8:33 AM by aking

    Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

    teachontario.team

       

      Tell us about yourself and why you are interested in reading and discussing a book on feedback in the thread below.

      Here are some points to cover in your "Entry Ticket":

      • Your name school and teaching position.
      • What kind of feedback do you commonly provide?
      • What are your perceived barriers to giving meaningful feedback?
      • How do you know your students are benefitting from the feedback you provide?
        • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
          mcgrathm

          Hello to all book club members! I am Maureen, your facilitator for this exciting journey. I am a high school English teacher of about 20 years and have spent part of my day in the Learning Commons as well for the past 9 years. I was excited to read this book as feedback is a constant stress in my life! I always worry I'm not doing enough and rarely is it as timely as I would like! I have continued to shift my methods of feedback over the years struggling with finding ways of ensuring my students are actually internalizing the feedback I give- I have yet to feel successful in this!  I presently have a class of 29 grade 10's and fitting in face to face feedback is certainly a challenge. As we move more into digital submission of student work, my method of giving feedback is changing, which I feel is mostly positive, but has drawbacks as well. I am excited to hear what others are doing, and to discuss Deborah McCallum's many ideas!

            • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
              dmccallum

              Hi Maureen,

              I just couldn't help but nod and agree through your entire post! I 'feel' that pressure you are talking about to provide meaningful, timely feedback each and every day. The question that led me to write this very book was, if students are already giving themselves feedback, and most of it is incorrect, how can we get them providing more meaningful feedback to each other? I really look forward to hearing your reflections as well through the lens of a secondary school educator as well. Thank you for being our fearless leader in this forum!

              Deb:)

                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                  It is great to meet you, Deb! You prompt a very thoughtful question - I have wondered how to create an environment in the classroom that encourages peer feedback in an authentic way. I guess for me, the puzzle is in getting the 'buy-in' so that the students independently seek and utilize feedback from others. How do we get them to a point where they also become comfortable having those discussions with one another.

              • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                Hi Maureen! I have to admit this is the first online book club I have participated in and am very excited to work through Deborah McCallum's book with everyone. I have been in education for 18 years and have taught from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Currently, I am currently an elementary Vice-Principal and although am aware of different forms of feedback, I have mainly provided it through conversation and/or in writing. It can be a bit of a struggle to feel as though you are providing feedback to all of the students in a consistent and constructive manner. Upon reflection, I didn't actually discuss the feedback I gave my students in terms of what they might have thought about my suggestions. I am looking forward to reading McCallum's thoughts on providing meaningful feedback so that I can become a better communicator myself, as well as be articulate when discussing feedback with staff and students.

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                  • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                    Hi Anna and welcome! I'm so glad you are venturing into this world of conversation - it will be new for many of us, I'm sure. I share the struggle of consistent and constructive feedback. About 5 years ago, I started having my students complete a feedback form, to ensure they reflected on my comments and then I had them refer to it before handing in their next assignment. It was an effort to feel like my marking mattered, and that I could see they were acknowledging the areas of need I highlighted. I'm not sure how well it worked, but it made me feel better! Deb McCallum has made me think about shifting from only giving feedback at the end of a task to looking at feedback as a cycle and integral to the learning process. I think her ideas will spark some good discussion.I love that you will be able to share an Administrator's perspective on our discussion too- instructional leadership can be so integral to change.

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                    • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                      dmccallum

                      Hi Anna,

                      Great to meet you here online! Thanks so much for joining the book club:) I really appreciate your thoughts on providing meaningful feedback through the lens of becoming a better communicator.

                      It will be great to hear an administrators perspective here online!

                       

                      Deb:)

                    • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                      daylaur

                      Hi everyone,

                      My name is Laurie Day.  I am also with ALCDSB, teaching grade 4/5 this year at our new school, St. Francis of Assisi.  The type of feedback I used to provide was typically after a piece of work had been submitted for assessment, and typically followed the "strengths, weaknesses, next steps" formula.  This feedback was usually written and probably rarely looked at by students! Over the last few years I have been more focused on giving more specific feedback to students to move them forward while working on something.  I come across many barriers to giving meaningful feedback... often they are time and/or opportunity related, and also can be related to knowing what to give feedback about.  I think knowing if my students are benefiting is one of the challenges, but I know they only benefit if I provide it within a "timely" time frame!  Providing feedback is one of my annual learning plan goals this year, so I was thrilled when I saw that this course was available. Looking forward to the next few weeks!

                      1 of 1 people found this helpful
                        • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                          Hello Laurie and welcome to book club! I am also with ALCDSB at Nicholson so some day we may be able to meet face to face as well! It sounds like we share the same dilemma of timely feedback and whether or not our students actually benefit from this feedback. It's nice to know I'm not alone! I hope our discussions about feedback and Deborah's ideas help to address these aspects. 

                          • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                            dmccallum

                            Hi Laurie!

                            Welcome! Thanks for joining to learn more about feedback - I was very excited to read that feedback is one of the goals on your annual learning plan:) When you mention the barriers that you have come up against, it just resonates with me very much, and I look forward to delving into some of the strategies from the book this month!

                            Deb:)

                          • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                            Hello everybody,

                            My name is Elisa Waingort. I am a grade 4 Spanish bilingual teacher in the Calgary Board of Education.

                            I generally try to give oral feedback on the go as students are working on a project or in writing by way of sticky notes. We also use Google Docs and I love the commenting ability that Google docs provide. I have tried many different ways to get my students to respond and act on the feedback I give them on a Google Doc, but this has proven to be a huge challenge for many. I feel that I could be more timely and intentional in the feedback I provide to my students. When I'm not sure what to say, I will ask the student to tell me more. Usually at that point, I am able to give more specific feedback. I struggle with students constantly asking me if I like their work. I generally turn the question back to them and ask them whether or not they like their work and why. I am trying to get my students to assess their own work, but that is still a challenge. I know my students are benefitting from the feedback I provide when they are able to assimilate some of the feedback I give them into their work in the future. I don't expect all of the feedback I give to be applied. Sometimes students aren't ready for the feedback I may give.

                             

                            2 of 2 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                Welcome to book club Elisa! I am excited we are a cross Canada grouping!! I have also moved to online audio feedback with Brightspace (D2L) for summative written work and have gotten feedback from my students that they prefer this- they like to hear my comments rather than read them. I find it much friendlier and more personal than marking and handing back a paper -it's faster too! But the gap still exists in having them apply the suggested next steps. I feel like you have hit on an essential component of feedback here- the ability to hear criticism as constructive. We are asking a lot of young people to not take feedback personally - really, none of us like to be judged. Your observation that kids just want us to like the work they've done is so true!

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                  dmccallum

                                  Hi Elisa,

                                  Wow, it is so exciting to hear from educators across Canada! I LOVE spanish, I studied all the way up to University, but haven't really used it since, so aside from trying to follow and read Spanish educators, I find myself only able to get the 'jist' of what is written:)

                                  You brought up a great point at the end of your post as well, and how to handle feedback with those who are not 'ready' for it. I look forward to delving into this more as the book club continues:)

                                  Thanks for joining!

                                  Deb:)

                                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                  leah.kearney

                                  Hi everyone, my name is Leah Kearney and I am an Instructional Liaison here at TVO on secondment from TDSB. I am so excited about the discussions that will take place over the next month in the book club. I am interested in our understanding of what feedback is and how we can use feedback to foster classroom culture. This book club gives us a chance to build our knowledge collectively.

                                  • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                    Hello all

                                    My name is Kit Luce and I am currently an Instruction and Assessment Facilitator for the Simcoe County DSB. My role means I work directly with teachers and students, focusing on math in the junior grades. I use feedback to help move student thinking forward, to help move teacher thinking forward, and to help teachers develop their understanding of how to provide effective feedback. The most common stated barrier I hear from educators has to do with time - not feeling like they have enough time to give feedback. One of the struggles I see often is creating feedback that is specific and that can be acted upon by the student. That means providing them with the opportunity to revisit the same task and apply the feedback. I see students benefiting from the feedback when they go back to the same problems in math and revise and edit them, deepening their conceptual understanding.

                                     

                                    I also have the great honour of working directly with Deb McCallum as a colleague and learning from her every day. I'm excited to dive deeper into her book.

                                    Kit

                                    @kitluce1 on twitter

                                      • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                        Hello Kit! It sounds like you have a great job! How exciting that you work with our author and presumably have some experience with the methods she encourages in her book? It's so true that when we give kids repeated opportunities to practice, and apply feedback we can work towards "mastery" of a skill -too often tasks are a "one off"- especially in high school. Time(or a perceived lack of time) can definitely feel like the enemy as for me,  in one semester it's a constant challenge to fit it all in. We are having lots of discussions in our English department right now about what's more important: covering content or skill development- the latter is winning out for me (but it does mean that Shakespeare takes a back seat!). Deborah challenges us in her book to shift our traditional ideas about feedback which should make for some great discussion!

                                        • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                          dmccallum

                                          Hi Kit,

                                          My heart sang seeing you here! I really look forward to learning with you as we delve deeper in this book - your knowledge and expertise always deepens my practice!

                                          Thanks for joining Kit!

                                          Deb:)

                                           

                                          PS, Kit is one of the most brilliant people I know, and I learn so much from her each day, we are so lucky!

                                        • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                          Hi everyone!

                                          My name is Becky, and I teach the English side of French Immersion, grades 2 and 3, at St. Michael Catholic School (ALCDSB). This is my sixth year teaching, and I have had the privilege of teaching grades 2-12, in Ontario and Saskatchewan. This is my very first online book club, and I am really excited to try something new! My form of feedback is usually written, and takes place after an activity or assignment, in the form of: strength, need, next step. This has proven to be time-consuming and sometimes I think it is not helping my students the way I want it to. I have been dabbling with some inquiry-projects in the past three years, and have tried to use the inquiry model as a way of providing feedback throughout the process of an activity. This is something I would like to do more often, and improve upon. My copy of The Feedback-Friendly Classroom arrived today, and as I flipped through it I really liked Deborah McCallum's idea of co-created feedback between students and teachers. I am really excited to read the book, and have some great discussions with all of you. My goal is to take away some successful feedback practices to implement in my classes!

                                          • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                            munsee72

                                            Hi to all!

                                            My name is Ian McCallum. I work for the Simcoe County District School Board as an Indigenous Education Resource Teacher. I work with students from K-12 supporting student achievement and well being. I support school goals of a more inclusive environment in terms of Indigenous worldview, culture and language. I am not in a position which gives feedback (to students) on a daily basis. Perceived barriers? When I teach grade 8, time is of the essence. My role as a grade 8 teacher in a small school is compounded by the need to wear "many hats." While I tend to thoughtfully plan my assignments to push student learning, I would like to improve the feedback that I offer that would encourage student exploration in improvement.

                                            Anushiik (Thank you),

                                            Ian

                                              • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                dmccallum

                                                Hey!! This is an exciting surprise as well! Didn't I just see you in real life when we just tucked our kids into bed??? lol

                                                I look forward to your Indigenous perspectives here as well - a lot of what I learned from you in terms of Talking Circles worked SO well in my own practice, that they became a powerful method of feedback to write about in this book. Also, thinking about feedback as much more than academic, but also developmental, and emotional - it reminds me of the Medicine Wheel and holistically integrating feedback into the classroom.

                                                Thanks for joining! This is a great surprise:)

                                                Deb:)

                                                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                                  Hi Ian- looks like you have some insider info on our author:)  I am so glad you have joined! Each perspective we can gain as we take this time to think about how we can best support and inspire our students to learn is so valuable. I am looking forward to learning more about Talking Circles and how I can implement them in my classroom.

                                                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                  dmccallum

                                                  Hello everyone!

                                                   

                                                  This is quite an honour for me that my book was chosen to be part of the TVO Teach Ontario and OSLA book club. Thank you very much Maureen for facilitating!

                                                   

                                                  I couldn't join you last night as I was down at a course at OISE as I am taking my MA in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Development:) My course is a deeper look into the role of mentor/coach in education, and I am really looking forward to delving into more research behind feedback and how to give it in a myriad of educational relationships.

                                                   

                                                  I am currently an Instruction and Assessment Facilitator with SCDSB, and one of my passions is the Library Learning Commons. I have been a TL in some capacity in 3 different schools, I instruct the Librarianship AQ, and am on the Editorial Board for the Canadian School Library Journal. I always love change and continuing to learn and grow in ALL subject areas, and am delving very deep into math, and would like to explore how the role of math and content coaching can play from the lens of a TL.

                                                   

                                                  I continue to learn about feedback, and have many new ideas about how our learning environments change depending upon how we view learning through the lens of a feedback-friendly classroom.

                                                   

                                                  I cannot wait to learn with all of you on this amazing journey for me!

                                                   

                                                  Check out my blog, I have an introduction video embedded here as well:)

                                                   

                                                  The Feedback-Friendly Classroom | Big Ideas in Education

                                                   

                                                  D:)

                                                    • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                                      Hello Deb ( can I call you that?!) I am so excited you have joined us right from the start. I am thrilled and feel we are so lucky that we will have the actual author of the book we are discussing with us on our journey! I am excited to hear that you are continuing to develop your thinking around feedback- that even after you publish a book the work continues. As educators this is what we do, continue to grow and reflect and adapt. I hope our discussions over the next month provide some useful feedback for you in the awesome work that you are doing! This is going to be great!!!

                                                    • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                      elexus

                                                      Hello Everyone,

                                                       

                                                         My name is Alexis Orgera. I am an Occasional Teacher for the Upper Grand District School Board. In the past, I have used a variety of methods for feedback such as rubrics, self-assessment, check-lists and conferencing to name a few. I came across mention of this book club on Twitter and it piques my interest. I want to be the best teacher I can be and continuous learning and growing can only benefit my students.

                                                       

                                                        Barriers I feel I have that affect me providing meaningful feedback is that I find assessment and evaluation overwhelming. I want to make sure my students know where they stand and what they need to do to progress in their learning. As well I want to learn how to identify that my feedback makes sense and the students utilize it. Another barrier for me is something from my math class, "there is no time in teaching", but there has to be a way to establish routines, reflect and adjust to figure out how best to deliver feedback.

                                                       

                                                      • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                        aking

                                                        Hi everyone!  I'm so glad that this book club has come together with our fabulous leader mcgrathm and our author dmccallum.  My name is Alanna King and this is the 14th book club I've participated in here at TeachOntario and I'm confident that it will be dynamic.  Feedback is something we all do all day every day but we rarely make time to talk about.  I look forward to our discussions!

                                                         

                                                        I'm a secondary school teacher in the Upper Grand District School Board.  I live in Elora and teach in Orangeville, where we are celebrating our second no-bus day of the year.  I teach 5/6 in the library in my vibrant school of diverse secondary learners and 1/6 online teaching ENG4C to students all over the province.  So that means I'm looking for PD learning about feedback that will help me a) with students that I am often meeting for the first time as I collaborate with their teachers and b) online feedback strategies or strategies that I can easily adapt to online places.  Currently I use a lot of sticky notes and personal conferences with both staff and students.  Online, I like to revise in Google Docs with my students leaving highlights, comments, and audio feedback with the Brightspace Grader tool on my iPad.  I use blogging a lot as an English teacher because I want to emphasize the process of writing/oral communication and get at their visible thinking.  I use portfolio a lot as I want students to develop a body of work and to recognize their own growth.  A barrier I face constantly is being timely with my feedback.  I often struggle with being able to prioritize which aspects needs to receive feedback first and how to be descriptive and accurate quickly in my feedback.  Sometimes I just want to say "Good job!  Keep going, weirdo!"  I leave those quirky bits for the audio feedback usually or in person. 

                                                          • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                            mcgrathm

                                                            Hello Alanna! I was hoping you would join in- even though you must be swamped with Superconference planning!!

                                                            I agree that we rarely take the time to talk about feedback in a proactive way-usually the word just elicits groans!!! Providing feedback for an online course I would think presents an interesting challenge as relationship feels so integral to how kids internalize (or ignore!) the feedback I give. In some ways the role would be quite freeing and in others perhaps quite restrictive or limiting...I'm intrigued to hear more and am so looking forward to your input!

                                                          • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                            mcgrathm

                                                            Hello all,

                                                            It sounds like we have an amazing, diverse, eager and reflective group here.

                                                            Others may join us in the next few days, but it looks like the rest of us are ready to move on to Week One.

                                                            So enjoy diving into Deborah's ideas and we will look forward to hearing what everyone thinks as you respond to the prompts laid out. This is your book club though, so feel free to take the discussion wherever it may lead to best support your needs!

                                                            • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                              dianamali

                                                              Hi everyone!

                                                              I'm late to the party but I know I'm still welcome.

                                                              • Your name school and teaching position. = Diana Maliszewski, teacher-librarian with the Toronto District School Board
                                                              • What kind of feedback do you commonly provide? = oral, informal
                                                              • What are your perceived barriers to giving meaningful feedback? = providing it in a timely fashion so it's useful
                                                              • How do you know your students are benefitting from the feedback you provide? = example isn't from me exactly; every year we have a Red Maple Marketing Campaign and we have advertising executives provide feedback to each team and to the groups as a whole - I notice that the groups really take the suggestions to heart and use the feedback they get from these real-life experts to improve their campaigns the following year.

                                                              I was grateful to receive Deb's book at Treasure Mountain Canada (a teacher-librarian think-tank) as a door prize in October. I've only read to page 10, so I hope this will force me to read more.

                                                              Diana

                                                                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                                                  Hi Diana- you are so welcome- and I am so glad you joined- I know you will have amazing insight!  From the sounds of it, we are all suffering from the dilemma of making feedback timely. I hope our discussions ahead will help us to find ways to overcome this barrier. As well, I hope you can find the time/energy/space to keep reading- it's worth it!!

                                                                • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                                  skritzer

                                                                  Hi group!

                                                                  Sorry I'm joining the conversation late - finally received a copy of the book

                                                                  I'm Sandy Kritzer, Secondary Curriculum Leader (Literacy, Arts, C&WS, English, International Languages, SS&H) in UGDSB.  In this role I commonly provide oral feedback during small group sessions and workshops, sometimes in the form of a question that I hope challenges thinking. From my discussions and experiences in the classroom, I think barriers include providing ongoing, timely feedback, and using student feedback to alter instruction to meet their needs. I know students are benefiting from feedback is when I see them use that feedback to improve, and when they feel confident to ask questions and have a meaningful dialogue in conversations.

                                                                   

                                                                  Looking forward to connecting with the group!

                                                                  Sandy

                                                                    • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                                                      Hi Sandy,

                                                                      I'm glad you joined in - really, we are still getting started... your role will provide a unique perspective in our discussions! I agree that kids show us their processing when they can converse about the feedback, rather than brush it aside, or ignore it. I wish my students questioned feedback more, rather than just accepting it! Looking forward to the discussions ahead!

                                                                      • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!

                                                                        Hi Sandy,

                                                                        I'm glad you joined in - really, we are still getting started... your role will provide a unique perspective in our discussions! I agree that kids show us their processing when they can converse about the feedback, rather than brush it aside, or ignore it. I wish my students questioned feedback more, rather than just accepting it! Looking forward to the discussions ahead!

                                                                        • Re: Welcome & Introduce Yourself!
                                                                          aking

                                                                          Yay Sandy!  3 from UGDSB!  That's awesome.  As always, I look forward to learning with you.