Friday, September 13, 2013

the ladder of feedback

When we were first meeting teachers at our school, they all at some point mentioned something like this:
"This place gets very busy."
"When the year gets going, it's like a freight train that just rolls on through."
"You may, at times, wish you could pull the blinds in your room and take a little nap."
After this week, I know what they meant.

We are lucky enough to have had PD sessions this week with an Inquiry guru, Kath Murdoch, and man, does she have amazing things to show and tell.
I learned and considered so many really though-provoking and new things - it was great to be a student.
One of her suggestions was to video tape students working in groups.
And so I did!

We've been studying The 7 Habits of Happy Kids by Sean Covey in our first Inquiry unit, Learning to Learn.
Yesterday, as we explored the final habit, Sharpen the Saw, I asked students to work collaboratively to categorize picture/word cards into the headings mind, body, heart, and soul, as mentioned in the Sharpen the Saw story.
Of course, there were many pictures that could be categorized into more than one.
I videotaped their conversations as they decided, and found the recording was really valuable.

Today, I introduced the ladder of feedback, which is a tool I know we're going to refer to and use OFTEN in our room - it's awesome.
It's just such a great way to get kids thinking about framing feedback to their peers in a positive way.
(In fact, I think we could all take a look and examine the way we provide feedback - not just with students but in all of our relationships!)
Afterward, we watched one video of a group "working together" and step-by-step, used the ladder to provide feedback.
I'm telling you, it was like a breakthrough. Simply amazing.

I'm definitely looking forward to watching the rest of the group interactions, evaluating student cooperation, participation, and general input, and using the ladder of feedback as a guide.

I made up a super quick reference poster to give out - it could be given to individual students, taped onto grouped desks or at meeting areas, shown on a projector, etc.
I'd love to know if you've used this or if you do use it, how it goes.
Click the picture to download.

Happy weekend!

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