Our CPD focus shifts this Spring term to incorporate verbal feedback alongside the written feedback focus of last term. As I venture into experimenting with verbal feedback in my classroom, John Hattie’s ‘Just in time, just for me, just for where I am in the learning process and just what I need to help me move forward’ seems to sit most easily with me.
With a focus on trialling new strategies, I decide that Valerie Schute’s ‘Keep feedback as simple as possible but no simpler’ will work alongside Hattie’s ‘just in time’ approach, to break any habits I have of talking too much. ‘Simple’ suggests to me the notion of the pared down: concise, precise, focused. It also ties in with the idea of teachers learning when to leave well enough alone. If teaching does require deliberate intervention, then deliberately deciding how much not to say and when not to intervene is part of this process. Simple is defined by Shute as ‘one clue’ feedback which generates ‘only enough information to help students’ and it therefore becomes easy to differentiate to suit individual student’s needs.
Dylan Wiliam’s voice echoes in my head: feedback should cause thinking. Bingo: Simple feedback phrased as questions…I’m trialling that.