I wrote a post this spring about trying to move from feedback to using feedback loops. In that post, I talked about one particular student and an experience I had with him, but I have also recently had an opportunity to think about closing a loop on a larger scale with all of my students collectively.
The process of this larger feedback loop began with asking students for input into what materials they wanted to study to prepare for both MCAS (our state test) and the teacher-created Year-End Assessment.
From there, we asked for input from our Extended students about what schedule they would prefer and if they could come up with a schedule we hadn’t figured out yet. Here are some sample responses:
- On the 20th and 21st year end test, some people will miss the second day, due to D.I. globals
- If we did option one, we would have all of our systems work in one week so we don’t start it one week and finish it the end of the next week.
- I feel like people days after MCAS would be ready and seasoned to be able to take the year end test, instead of giving people a break where they might not try as hard after it.
- I completely agree with your reasoning on why option one would be best for us. Since we are already in testing mode, we can get it done then.
- This allows people in DI to not have to make up as much work than in option two. The order also allows us to get a lot of the testing over with when we are all still in a testing mindset.
- I like option one better because I would rather get the test over with rather than wait until next week.
- I think the first option would be the best because I would rather get the tests done and over with. Also I like having the year end test after MCAS because we are already ready to take the test.
- The best option for me would be getting most of our tests done in one week. If we do this we would be in the correct mindset for our year end test anyways, due to just coming out of MCAS.
- It’s way easier to get the majority of the tests out of the way, even if it’ll be just tests most of the week. That way they can be put behind us, and we can get a good start on systems. And for me, because of DI, I’ll have to make up the year end test if we do option 2, as well as iReady. Just having to make up iReady will be way easier.
- I like option one better, because I like being able to get all the major tests over at the same time while everything is fresh in your head. Also I like having a “fun” day on the half day in option one. Therefore, I think option one is the better choice.
We used this feedback to set the schedule for Extended, the advanced class, and then set the dates of the Assessments and also proceeded with planning/schedule for Standard. In both classes, due to various scheduling constraints we did not control, we ended up with a lot of testing in a very short period of time, which was concerning. Even if I hadn’t been thinking about feedback loops, I would have wanted to make sure we had followed up with our students to see how they felt about the schedule they had helped us create, now that we were on the other side of it. It’s hard to know how valuable the details of this feedback will be for future planning, as our year-end schedule changes dramatically each year, but it might impact our choices next year if we end up with a similar early end. Even if it doesn’t, I know I wanted to hear from the kids about their experiences, which I will review in my next post.