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September 25, 2012
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News for the Education Profession

ASCD Special Report:
Feedback on Learning
Feedback is something students and educators alike want to hear about their work. This ASCD Special Report examines feedback -- directed, positive, specific and tangible -- that helps students learn. The best feedback is not advice or praise but information about how we are doing in our efforts to reach a goal, writes ASCD author Grant Wiggins. And feedback doesn't have to add hours to a teacher's day. Done correctly, effective feedback can actually save time, according to education professors Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. These and other education experts examine how effective feedback can change the face of education.

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  At a Glance 
  • Not all feedback is created equal
    Not all feedback is beneficial, Marge Scherer writes in Educational Leadership's theme issue on "Feedback for Learning." She notes that good feedback "describes what the student has done and helps the student decide what to do next. Good feedback not only motivates, but also transfers a sense of agency to the learner." Scherer also shares ideas from "Inviting Students to Learn" (paperback and e-book), and "How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students" (paperback and e-book). Educational Leadership (9/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Feedback in the Classroom 
  • What are the keys to effective feedback?
    Feedback is information on how a person is doing toward reaching a goal, writes Grant Wiggins in this article. For feedback to be helpful, it must also be "tangible and transparent; actionable; user-friendly (specific and personalized); timely; ongoing; and consistent," he notes. Wiggins also writes that research shows that greater learning is accomplished through less teaching and more feedback. Educational Leadership (9/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Middle school uses iPads to offer differentiated instruction
    Sixth-graders at Hazelbrook Middle School in Tualatin, Ore., will use iPads this year in language arts lessons as part of an effort to close the racial achievement gap, while also tailoring lessons to student needs. Teachers say they plan to use the iBooks Author application to have students create stories. The iPads will be synced together and linked with sixth-grade learning specialist Rory Moore's laptop, so he can offer immediate and custom feedback to each child. The Oregonian (Portland) (9/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
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  How to Give Feedback for Learning 
  • The sticky note as a teaching tool
    The sticky note can be a powerful teaching tool, suggests education consultant Ben Johnson. In this blog post, he writes about a teacher who asks students to write something they have learned on a note and stick it to the door while exiting class, enabling the teacher to assess their understanding. Johnson writes that he has written positive messages on sticky notes for students and teachers, and given students notes with extra credit points on them. Sticky notes also can be used for organizational purposes or in student discipline, Johnson writes. Johnson's blog (9/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Effective feedback can be a time-saver for teachers
    All teachers want more time to get things done, write Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. While Fisher and Frey can't slow the hands of time, they note in this issue of Educational Leadership that teachers can use effective feedback as a time-saver. The professors of education at San Diego State University, Calif., offer suggestions for teachers, including focusing attention on students' lack of understanding of material rather than just mistakes brought on by inattentiveness. The article also features a special video interview with Fisher and Frey. Educational Leadership (9/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Transform your approach to assessment with our dynamic PD!
Leading practitioners will work with you to create a powerful system of student feedback, identify learning goals, and redefine grading practices.
Learn More
  Looking at Student Work 
  • Wash. STEM Academy encourages technology use
    An increasing number of schools are adopting bring-your-own-device policies, allowing students to take cellphones, iPods and other technology to school for use in the classroom. The West Hills STEM Academy in Bremerton, Wash., is piloting the policy. Such devices can allow teachers instant feedback from students when they do not understand lessons. Kitsap Sun (Kitsap Peninsula, Wash.) (free registration) (9/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Focus feedback on the positive
    Feedback that focuses on the positives and gives direction for improving is the most effective, writes Jan Chappuis in this issue of Educational Leadership. Chappuis, of the Pearson Assessment Training Institute in Portland, Ore., writes that intervention feedback points out an error, asks a question or describes the area that needs work along with ideas for improvement. Chappuis also offers a Stars and Stairs Form that can be employed with younger students, among other tips. Educational Leadership (9/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Ga. district uses frequent tests to gauge understanding
    Teachers in Richmond County, Ga., are using short tests every 15 days to determine whether students need immediate help with the curriculum. The tests are given in core course areas, range from 10 to 15 questions and do not count toward students' grades. If a student does not understand a concept, teachers will try to intervene in the next two days with individual tutoring, said Nathan Benedict, principal of Tutt Middle School. The Augusta Chronicle (Ga.) (9/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expectations, goals are required for "deeper learning"
    Defining and measuring "deeper learning" will require teachers to set clear goals and expectations, while giving feedback to let students know what's expected of them, according to a report from the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. A commitment from local, state and national policymakers will be needed for deeper learning -- a process of taking a lesson learned in one situation and using it in another situation -- to become the standard, said Linda Darling-Hammond, professor of education at Stanford University and advocate for education reform. blog (9/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Using Feedback from Students  
  • Literacy initiative is used as guide for math curriculum
    Teachers in the Ball-Chatham School District in Illinois are building a new math curriculum that aligns with the Common Core State Standards. They are modeling the new efforts of a district literacy initiative that emphasizes small-group and independent work and understanding of concepts. "Rather than just learning the skill and drill, it's 'understand the concept,' " said math teacher Traci Kimball. The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Ill.) (9/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Directed feedback develops skills
    Teachers should direct their praise of a student's work toward the improvement of the student's skills, not grades, writes author and professor Carol Ann Tomlinson in Educational Leadership. She recalls her teaching errors of the past and writes that she works with students to focus not on grades but on developing their skills as writers. "I gave them a rubric that indicated competencies important for their success as writers and a progression of growth for each criterion. Most important, I told them I wouldn't grade any of their writing until near the end of the semester," Tomlinson writes, recalling instructions to a class. Educational Leadership (9/2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Learning about students through poetry
    Oakland, Calif., leadership coach Elena Aguilar learned a great deal about her seventh-grade students' emotions and home lives by having them write poetry, she writes in this blog post. She asked the students to write about where they were from, describing sensory details and their feelings. "I quickly realized that not only was I learning about my class, but as students shared their poetry, their understanding and empathy for each other also expanded," Aguilar writes. Aguilar's blog (9/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  ASCD Resources 

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