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Providing Feedback within an Assessment Framework

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In the previous session we examined artifacts related to existing assessment practices and examined how those aligned with your beliefs on the teaching of writing. In this session, the goal is to examine an assessment framework as a means to provide useful and authentic opportunities for assess within the context of writing workshop. 

Teachers will often express frustration over the amount of time it takes to provide feedback to students' writing and also articulate doubts as to whether students are reading or acting upon the feedback. As discussed in the prior session on assessment practices, there is also strong evidence that teacher's feedback of writing is not necessarily serving the desired purpose.

Within this assessment framework, let's explore the idea of feedback. 

In the last session we looked at the mismatches between intentions and outcomes when it comes to teacher feedback on writing. So what should feedback like?

Activity on Feedback: Teach the Writer, Not Fix the Writing Part One: Begin by reading the blog post, Conferring:Writing Workshop Fundamentals. As you read, identify one word, one phrase and one sentence that stands out for you. As a group discuss your insights from this reading. Conclude with a discussion on how conferring fits the definition of effective feedback,(timely, specific, understandable and actionable).  If time allows, you might want to view the video of a third grade teacher conferring with a student If time allows, view the video of the third grade teacher conferring with a student on writing to a specific audience. Part Two: Individually or in small groups, think about how you incorporate conferences with your students into your writing instruction. Make a list of the questions you have about conferring with students. Share the list with your colleagues, or write them in your notebook. As you read the blog post, "if Then...Then...Then..." begin to identify strategies you want to add to your master list and/or additional questions that arise.

For more information on the topics covered in this session consider exploring the following:

  • On the Feed Up, Feedback, Feed Forward Framework, consider viewing the following On Demand Web Seminar. While most of the examples are from the secondary level. it provides a nice overview of the framework.
  • On conferring and "teach the writer, not fix the writing", explore the vignettes, "Conferring in the Writing Workshop" School Talk 6, no. 2 (January 2001): National Council of Teachers of English.

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These tools were created as part of the Literacy Improvement in Rural Education through Collaboration (LIREC) project funded by the U.S. Department of Education