The focus for my final quarter of induction was to determine a method to give my students quicker and more meaningful feedback on their writing. Like most classrooms, I have too many students to walk through my rows and give feedback to each student. Walk through twice? Impossible. Further, grading writing after students had turned their sample in lacked the “in the moment” approach that would allow students to meaningfully use the feedback for multiple drafts.
I decided to utilize Google Forms to create a new approach for providing feedback. I created a Google Form with a prompt for my students to develop a claim. They had to answer a series of questions (multiple choice and short answer) that had them solve each step in their claim before finally drafting a full claim. The questions had students determine what kind of claim they would be writing, what the topic was, their position, and the assertions they planned to use to support their claim.
I then projected the live results using my laptop and class projector of the Google Form and used the responses as a model. I was able to answer questions that multiple students were asking. I didn’t need to answer the same question for five different students, rather they could all get what they needed simultaneously. The whole period became a conversation about writing specific to the content. We talked about how each example would be scored and what it would need to score higher. The students were also able to see the perspectives of their classmates.
Each step and each model that we examined involved another round of revision. Students would then take that feedback and determine whether their writing needed to be revised for the same thing. What resulted was that all students submitted multiple drafts as Google Forms allows students to re-submit responses multiple times . It also provided me a way to filter through the issues in student writing to determine who just needed the modelling and feedback and which students required more one-on-one assistance.
Although using the Google Forms process did not completely solve the problem of giving rapid feedback for large classes it did provide for a method in which students could see multiple student generated models, provide a platform for quickly using feedback to write multiple drafts and act as a filter for me to quickly determine which students would require remediation.
Sean Tessada is a history teacher at Bonita Vista High School and currently enrolled in the SUHSD Induction Program. His spirit animal is a narwhal and he is the kind of guy who will wear your exact same outfit to school and then expect you to go home and change. He is also passionate about making literacy in the social sciences accessible to all students.