As @Daniel_Eos and I evaluated progress in my Y6 pupils’ books one autumnal aftertoon, we found ourselves asking the same question over and over again… ‘What impact is teacher marking and written feedback having on pupil progress?’ The answer was simple, very little!
Given that the findings of The Sutton Trust show feedback to have high impact, where was I going wrong? Was the quality of my written feedback to blame? Was it the quality of pupils responses and the time given to this that was failing? Or was it a combination of the two?
@Daniel_Eos found this on Twitter (source unknown) and we decided to adapt it slightly and use as tool for pupil response time.
This left me to consider the quality of feedback that the children were receiving through written comments in their books. Over the coming days, I conducted a vast amount of reading on this matter. A common theme quickly emerged; peer feedback.
Having seen the impact of Critique at Hartsholme Academy, and with child-directed learning/metacognition high on my agenda, I decided to focus my efforts here.
I stumbled across the idea of TAG on Twitter (original source unknown). This seemed to provide a basic structure for pupils to provide peer feedback.
The next step was to provide children with a criteria to provide feedback against. In my NQT year, I remember asking my Y2 class at the time to ‘write something positive in a peers book’… Only to find one child had written ‘I love you’ in another pupils book… Nice but not particularly helpful!
@Daniel_Eos, @crizzlerizzle and I developed the following. Y6 were writing narrative poems at the time. We now develop one of these for every genre that we teach and this goes into the pupils’ books at the start of the ‘block/genre/unit/whatever the government say we are supposed to call it these days’. This provides the children with a criteria to provide feedback against.
Every time a pupil produces a piece of work, they ask another pupil to TAG it. They then use the DIRT tool to improve their work based upon the feedback given. As a teacher, I have provided feedback on the quality of feedback if and when needed.
Four weeks on from the implementation of this and the impact has been staggering! Evidence in books shows large numbers of ‘level 3’ writers producing independently written ‘level 4’ pieces of work. Children are showing a greater understanding of writing and genre in the feedback they are giving and they are responding to feedback in a way that is enabling them to move their own learning forward. I believe that children have risen to the challenge of being empowered to improve each other’s work. Moreover, expectations (across the attainment range) have risen.
Here is one example of the poetry produced. This pupil achieved this outcome by responding positively to peer feedback.
I have been blown away. As a result, my next challenge is to develop a similar system for peer feedback in reading and math.