Using feedback to help students learn

How To Give Students Specific Feedback That Actually Helps Them Learn

To tell a student “great job”or “this needs work” is a missed opportunity.

Everyone loves to hear they did a great job. And perhaps your student really did nail this latest assignment. But the problem with “great job” is this: it’s not specific. There is no indication of what was done that was successful, and no information about how to replicate this success in future projects.

I don’t grade students, I use feedback to help the students learn from their mistakes and re-submit their work.

Student tech abuse

Who Is Responsible for Tech Abuse?

For as long as there has been social media, kids have been getting punished for its “misuse” (in the eyes of adults). Because of this perceived inappropriate behavior in social media, many schools have blocked Facebook, Twitter, and other frequently-used social media sites from their students. Smart phones are also commonly banned. It’s not unusual for teachers and school administrators to dole out punishment for students who don’t adhere to these social media restrictions. Consequently, we are holding kids responsible for something that, in most cases, we never taught them to use, but have only forbidden them to use. Where’s the adult responsibility here?

Yes, technology is distracting and some students are obsessed with their phones, but banning/hiding the devices aren’t the answer. We’re all trying to figure out where these mobile technologies fit into our lives, and, until we do, we’ll be fumbling around. Technology is coming to our classrooms, do we allow it now when we have time to figure out how best to use it, or do we wait until it’s forced on us?

Create an mp3 of translated text with Sound of Text

Using Sound of Text site for language learning

Sound of Text allows you to enter up to 100 characters of text in one of 44 languages. Once you click Submit, the site generates audio of the word or phrase.

I have used Google Translate on my phone in the past to communicate with an ELL student, but this tool is for a different use case. Noah spells out several uses for the tool in the article. 

Slow reading is reading enjoyed

On Slow Readers and What It Means for Student Reading Identity

I am ready to hang a banner in our classroom to loudly display the following words, “Being a slow reader does not make you a bad reader!” and then point to it every time a child tells me with a downward glance that they are slow readers.  The shame of the designation oozing from them.

Since when did taking your time as you read become something to be ashamed of?

In this age of skimming text and calling it reading, slow reading should be embraced and celebrated. I know I have problems with wanting to rush through a text, and constantly need to tell myself to SLOW DOWN!!!

Age helps when it comes to correcting mistakes

Older beats younger when it comes to correcting mistakes

Findings from a new study challenge the notion that older adults always lag behind their younger counterparts when it comes to learning new things. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, shows that older adults were actually better than young adults at correcting their mistakes on a general information quiz.

Not only did the older adults in the study do better at the general knowledge questions, they were better at correcting errors.