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17th September 2013 - Have you been 'Hattified'?

Catch Up Blog

Have you cottoned on to the importance of teacher feedback to improve learning? As John Hattie says: “When feedback is combined with effective instruction, it can be very powerful in enhancing learning.” (‘Visible Learning’ 2009)

However, some teachers may now be swamped with time-consuming methods to deliver that feedback and wondering desperately if all their efforts are worthwhile. The challenge with feedback is to get the balance right – enough to trigger pupil learning and engagement but delivered in a streamlined form that does not over-burden teachers (or pupils!).

Catch Up® has a pretty neat solution to providing effective feedback. The individual session sheet (which is used to structure each 15 minute Catch Up® session) has two small boxes at the bottom for comments and follow up. If used effectively, these boxes can enhance ‘learning through success’, which is key to the Catch Up® interventions.

Top Tips for streamlined feedback:

  • Remember to give verbal comments in addition to written ones (some pupils are aural learners)

  • Focus on the learning outcomes and make specific reference to the achievements of the learner (“Today you have learned …”)

  • Be specific about what the pupils need to do to make more progress (“So the next steps are ..”)

  • Link learning acquired outside the classroom to teaching back in the classroom (“So now in class you will be able to ……..”)

  • Keep it short and snappy! Try to strike a balance - not enough feedback = learner is still unsure about how they can improve/what they have achieved; too much feedback = learner may feel they have achieved all they need and no longer need to try to improve!

  • Communicate in language your pupils will understand. Ditch the jargon of the textbook and tap into the words and phrases that ‘get through’ to your pupils

  • Include the pupil in the feedback process and help them find the language to sum up how well they have done; what they have learned, what they need to learn next.

Remember: effective feedback closes the gap between new learning and secure knowledge.

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