Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wordle as a Tool to Respond to Feedback

This year, particularly after reading Thanks for the Feedback, I am making a conscious effort to gather on-going feedback from my students, in order to address them in real time and to engage my students in a two-way communication. But, let's be honest, the thing that takes the time in class is not to gather feedback, but to go over it. It always feels tedious to go over kids' concerns and appreciation bullet point by bullet point, so this year I am going to try using Wordle (or one of the alternatives) to make the discussion take up less time.

Here is an example of my Algebra 2 wordle, based on feedback for what is working well in the class thus far. I couldn't get the Java interface for Wordle creation to work either on my laptop or on the school's laptop, so I used TagXedo to make this in the end. I like TagXedo, because you have choice over both font and orientation of text. If I wanted to, I could have orthogonally-oriented text. As you can see, kids mostly thought that group work and their classmates were very helpful, as well as handouts that had some basic examples on them. Lots of kids mentioned fixing their errors as being very helpful as well, and the idea of growth mindset being weaved into that. With this picture, I can hopefully whittle down this part of the discussion into a couple of minutes, and then focus on discussing what isn't working well yet. (It didn't make sense for me to create a wordle for what isn't working well in this class, because they are only individual concerns and no real repeats.)

Incidentally, we had a great open house this week, which also weighs in as a source of feedback for me. I tried out an exercise where I asked my students' parents to write down on an index card one hope or excitement they have towards their child's math class this year, and one anxiety that they have towards the class this year. My student parents blew me away on this task! Their responses continue to reinforce my belief that our approach to teaching mathematics needs to consider, in every step, how we are impacting our students' mindset and attitude towards math.

Here are their hopes or excitement. Believe me, their concerns are equally insightful!!

I would love it if [my child] developed a sense of the Beauty of Mathematics.

I am hopeful that [my child] can regain [their] confidence and enthusiasm for math.

Feel like a mathematician and enjoy math.

Hoping that [my child] sees the beauty of method and that it becomes a great mix of method, understanding, and simplicity as a meditative experience/tool.

[My child] continues to love learning.

I hope [my child] grows [their] confidence in Math and is able to solve problems with numbers.

Confident enough to not fear mistakes and attempts and iteration.

Learn algebra

I hope for [my child] not to hate Math.

To gain confidence by asking questions and talking more in class.

Excited that [my child] is taking Calculus in high school.

Hope [my child] continues to enjoy math.

Deeply interested in math/Calculus both as theory and application.

I want [my child] to enjoy Calculus and math and to want to do more of it in college, to embrace quantitative theory and analysis.

Excited for [my child] to learn Calculus!!

[My child] is totally turned on by math. [They have] not expressed any anxiety.

Understanding the basics of differential equations and still keeping [their] interest/love/self-confidence in math.

Understanding the basics of Calculus.

I never took Calculus so I am excited for [my child] to learn something beyond what I took.

Glad [my child] has got classes and teachers that [they like].

I am excited that my student is in Calculus and I'm looking forward to [their] development of understanding derivatives.

Excited about [my child] building confidence with Calculus to ease the college course experience.

[My child] seems to love it.

My hope is for [my child] to appreciate that Calculus will be applied to Sciences, and necessary for [them] to succeed in.

Excited for [my child] about [their] continued exploration of new math concepts.

[My child] LOVES math and I'm excited that [they are] able to do 2 classes this year.

I am excited that no matter what [my child] learns, [they] will know more than me.

[My child] is taking charge of [their] work and meeting with you regularly.

Excited for [my child] to continue advancing in math as it is one of [their] favorite subjects.

That [they] can apply [their] learning to real life situations.

Thinking about incorporating some of this parental input into my discussion with the students about how class is going, where we are headed, and why.

How do you manage gathering and addressing feedback in your classes, on an on-going basis?

No comments:

Post a Comment