#1: Assess what your students know:
As a teacher, you need to continually assess where students are in their learning journey, identify the gaps, and then plan your teaching accordingly. These formative assessments are more diagnostic and less evaluative, but they’re invaluable in finding out what you need to focus on when you teach. Given that our students may have significant learning gaps because of the pandemic, teachers need to be especially aware of the need for continual formative assessments.
Examples of formative assessments include short quizzes and worksheets, short writing assignments in-class, and exit passes.
#2:Give useful feedback that improves learning:
Give feedback that is specific, targeted, and useful. And make sure that students have time in class to review the feedback given and learn from it.
Your feedback should help students understand HOW to improve. Don’t just tell them what they did wrong, tell them how they can improve and do better.
Useless feedback: Edit your work; work on grammar and punctuation.
Useful feedback: Underline all the comma errors in the student’s work. Assuming you have taught students when to use commas, ask the student to review comma rules and correct all the underlined sentences. Give the student time in class to review the rules and make the corrections. Help as needed.
Useless feedback: Your analysis needs more depth.
Useful feedback: Underline a specific part of the student’s analysis that is shallow or weak. Ask the student: Can you expand your analysis here by exploring what the evidence suggests or implies? Give the student time in class to do this, and offer help as needed.
#3: Give students sufficient opportunities for practice:
Mastery of skills requires repeated practice with specific and targeted feedback.
Here’s the process you need to follow:
o Teach a skill (for example: solving algebraic equations or analysing a poem)
o Give students opportunities for practice
o Give students specific feedback to help them improve
o Make sure that students use your feedback and correct/revise their work
o Repeat the process.
If you are preparing students for a board exam, make sure that students have plenty of time to complete past papers and get feedback on the papers.
#4: Offer consistent support and encouragement: Effective teaching is about pushing and motivating a child to do better, while also providing the necessary scaffolding, encouragement, and support. Don’t overstress students and remember that they need encouragement and motivation to keep doing their best.
#5: Hold YOURSELF accountable:
As a teacher, you need to feel accountable for your students’ performances. If you have a student who is not improving, ask yourself what YOU need to do to help that student. Keep track of each student’s performance and track improvements. Remember, you are the teacher, and it’s YOUR job to help your students learn and get better.