Using Students as Resources

Students can be great resources of feedback. Teaching students to be specific, kind and constructive in their feedback is a critical component of this and should be taught explicitly.

“C3B4ME” Before students can approach the teacher for help they must first seek assistance from three other students.

“Peer evaluated homework” Teacher provides a rubric and students swap homework either in partners or between groups to mark each others’ homework.

“Homework help board” At the beginning of the day(elementary) or the period (middle secondary) students indicate on the homework help board the questions they have about the homework. Time is given as students seek help from their more capable peers.

“Two stars and a wish” A peer assessment approach whereby when providing feedback a student uses sticky notes to provide two things good about the work and one suggestion for improvement. Once the feedback has been used the teacher collects the sticky notes and reviews them with the class to see if the feedback comment would be useful to others. The quality of feedback is then discussed and the best criteria are displayed on a poster in the classroom.

“End of Topic Questions” Once a learning activity is completed student groups are given the opportunity to discuss any questions. Some teachers require at least one question per group. Any questions that cannot be answered within the group are then collected by the teacher. Teacher then arranges the common questions and deals with them.

“Error classification” Teacher collects student work and underlines errors and then passes the work back to the students. Students are asked to classify the errors using common themes/criteria and then buddy with a student who has complementary strengths to get peer help.

“What did we learn today?” Students work in groups to produce a list of things they have learned in the class. Each group then reports one thing to the class.

“Student reporter/Captain’s Log” A student is selected as reporter before the lesson. Ten minutes before the class is over the student reporter is called upon to summarize the main points of the lesson and tries to answer any questions that other students may have. If the reporter cannot answer the question he/she asks for another student to help out.

“Pre-flight check list” Before an assignment can be submitted it must be signed off by a buddy who checks off a list of items provided by the teacher. When the teacher grades the assignment any substandard checklist items are taken up with the buddy.

“I-You-We Checklist” At the end of a group activity each student records something about his or her contributions, something else about a peer’s contributions and an evaluation of the quality of the work as a whole.

“Reporter at Random” Rather than select the group recorder at the beginning of the activity, wait until the end to ensure everyone is more accountable.

“Group-based Test Prep” Teacher organizes the class into groups of five to six and assigns each student one aspect of the work to review. The student reviews are guided by a brief descriptive paragraph provided by the teacher to each student. Next day each student presents their review task to the group. Groups members rate the member presentations using “traffic light” and then add to any weak reviews to make them into reviews for the test.

Writing Checklist Use this Editing Checklist to have students check their own writing and then have a peer check it.

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