New Feedback Activity: Not Yet/You Bet Lists

If you have been following the Radical at all this month, you know that I’m currently consumed by the notion that we need to rethink the feedback practices that we have integrated into our classrooms.  The simple Dylan Wiliam inspired truths driving all of my thinking are that we have to turn feedback into detective work and that feedback should be more work for the recipient than it is for the donor.

But there’s a flaw in my thinking, y’all:  If we are truly going to develop confident, self-directed learners who thrive in situations for which they were not specifically prepared, we have to remind the kids in our classrooms that they should be actively gathering feedback about their progress BEYOND school, too.  If feedback becomes “a school thing” in the minds of our students, they will be woefully unprepared to meet the demands of the modern workplace where thinking on the fly, leading in the moment, and moving forward in uncertain circumstances really are essential skills.

So I’m tinkering with a new idea that I’m calling Not Yet/You Bet Lists.

Check it out here:

Handout – Not Yet/You Bet List

Like the Unit Overview Sheets that I’ve written extensively about on the Radical (see here, here and here), Not Yet/You Bet Lists are designed to give students opportunities to track the essential content and skills that they are working to master.  But because they are simple tools, students – whether they are baseball players, gymnasts, pianists or martial artists – can use Not Yet/You Bet Lists to detail the progress that they are making in areas of personal interest and passion outside of school.

Think about it like this:  At the beginning of each new season, parents, coaches and/or tutors can help students to generate lists of important skills worth working on.  Those new skills can be listed in the Not Yet column of the Not Yet/You Bet List, serving as a tangible, transparent reminder of just what it is that a student is working towards.

After practices, training sessions, or recitals, students can revisit their Not Yet/You Bet Lists to reflect on the progress that they are making.  When a new skill has been mastered, students can move it from the Not Yet to the You Bet column of the handout. Each time an important outcome is moved, students are reminded that they are making progress and that they can learn – important messages for building confident, self-directed learners.

Can you see why all of this matters?

By asking students to think carefully about their own strengths and weaknesses in learning situations outside of school, Not Yet/You Bet Lists can reinforce core feedback practices that you are trying to integrate into your classroom instruction.  More importantly, by asking students to think carefully about their own strengths and weaknesses in learning situations outside of school, Not Yet/You Bet Lists can reinforce the core notion that actively monitoring individual progress isn’t just a school skill.  It’s a life skill.

So whaddya’ think?  Does this have any value?  

I haven’t tried it with my own students yet — it’s a new idea for me, too.  But I think it just might work!

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Related Radical Reads:

Turning Feedback into Detective Work

Activity: Feedback Action Planning Template

Activity: Where Am I Going Reflection Sheet

Feedback Should Be a Work For/Work On Process

 

8 comments

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  2. learninglabnotes

    This is a great idea. As a homeschooling parent I am constantly evaluating my children’s learning and giving feedback. The form of feedback changes as they get older. I would suggest getting kids to evaluate feedback with someone they trust, hopefully a parent as they are likely to be someone who knows the student’s personality, and skills set. Perhaps parents could be coached on how to help kids receive feedback.

  3. Pingback: New Slide: Prioritizing Grading over Feedback |
  4. Jodie Jantz

    I have only been following you for a few months and enjoy each post, but as you work on feedback I am interested in how you attack the problem of knowledge retention. For example I have done and do feedback with students and we can get them to move a concept from not yet to you bet, but later in the year about 50% will have fallen back to not yet. How do you keep all students at you bet?

    • Bill Ferriter

      Hey Jodie,

      That’s a GREAT question — and I’m not sure that I have a meaningful answer.

      More importantly, I don’t think I care all that much about content retention anymore. If my kids forget the silly facts that I’m forced to teach them, I figure they can (and will) Google them later.

      What I’m more interested in is whether or not they can see themselves as capable of monitoring their own progress towards mastering outcomes. If they leave my room recognizing that it IS their responsibility to identify outcomes worth pursuing and to gather evidence of their levels of mastery, then I figure that’s a win.

      In most traditional classrooms, they see all of that work as the responsibility of the teacher instead of the student.

      Does that make sense?
      Bill

      • Jodie Jantz

        Bill, I agree with your assessment of who should be doing the work you are right the student should be, however I don’t support the Google them later concept. I have worked with students 6th grade through college MS students, and what I have discovered, I think, is that unless they have the prequest background knowledge they can’t access content and in fact are not even sure how to begin to look. I am also bound by a state test as many are where my students are measured on their content knowledge. So their ability to retain content is a big focus for myself and others who work with student who are challenged by things like poverty, being SPED or English Language learners.