Ok. One more jewel I wanted to share from my conference. I had a few teachers e-mail me to ask if there was a resource book I could tell them about after the conference. Sadly, no. But, the presenter was Nicole Vagle and you might be able to locate a book from that link. The conference was excellent. It was the last two days of a 10 day series that I attended throughout the school year.
The thing I like so much about these two sessions is that they were full of things that I could implement right away... and the "things" were so common sense... and they are changes that I can make a the teacher level, rather than trying to turn other teachers into believers.
So... the thing I got on to post about right now was a bit of research she shared with us. I'm not sure who the researchers are or when it was completed, but the two days were all about assessment, so the research took three groups of students and had the teachers grade their work. One teacher gave only grades with no comments. The second teacher gave comments only- no grades. And the third teacher gave a letter grade and wrote comments.
First she asked us to predict the gain that each group of students had on the next assessment after seeing their grade/comments. My table felt that comments AND grades would have had the biggest gains. Go ahead. Right now, make your prediction. I'll wait! :)
Did you make your guess?
We were not surprised to learn that the researchers found that students who had grades only had no gain on the next assessment. We were extremely surprised to learn that the students who got grades AND comments also had no gain on the next assessment! The students who made the most gains were those who had comments only- specific feedback to help them understand what went wrong and help guide them to higher achievement in the future. To be precise, the research that she cited said that this group had a 30% increase in achievement on the following assessment! Thirty percent?! That definitely screams to me that this is something I must try for myself!
She also suggested giving feedback on an assessment, but holding off on the grade until a student has been given an opportunity to see the feedback and act on it. I can see that being very powerful in writing- to require revision and resubmission instead of just having things "turned in", which I am guilty of doing.
I am bummed that I have two months to sit on this knowledge and not teach my class with it... but my kiddos better look out come September! I can't wait to put my new information into practice!