TT012 Why you should be using rubrics (Mark by Numbers)

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This week is all about rubrics. Colin and Michelle take a closer look into rubrics: why they’re so useful as an evaluation tool for your assignments or projects, how you can make them quickly, and examples of rubrics in action.

Show Notes:

  • Download our new PDF: 44 Ways to Check for Understanding at www.teachertactics.com/understand [0:56]
  • Segment: Tactic Time [1:31]
  • What is a rubric and what is it good for? [1:47]
  • What should you include in a rubric? [2:08]
  • Why rubrics are so useful for you and your students [3:08]
  • How to save time when making rubrics [4:45]
  • Create free rubrics at rubistar.4teachers.org or rubrics4teachers.com [4:49]
  • Why leaving personal comments are still important – refer to TT011 for suggestions for giving feedback [5:49]
  • Michelle’s 3 Ps strategy for giving feedback on rubrics [06:24]
  • The value of a “catch-all” category in your rubrics [06:49]
  • The ideal alternative to rubrics [8:03]
  • How to make your rubric as clear as possible for your students [8:55]
  • Rubric resources: www.teachertactics.com/rubrics [9:32]
  • Segment: Your Homework (how to apply this week’s tactic) [9:41]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [10:23]
  • Colin’s recent huge mistake when scheduling projects (try to avoid this!) [11:09]
  • Like what you heard? Leave us a review on iTunes, or send a teaching question to hello@teachertactics.com [12:11]

TT011 The 3 elements of effective feedback (Food for Thought)

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What’s the best way to give feedback? Colin and Michelle talk about a framework for delivering feedback to your students that communicates strengths and weaknesses in a way that students are receptive to hearing.

Show Notes:

  • Download our new PDF: 44 Ways to Check for Understanding at www.teachertactics.com/understand [0:56]
  • Segment: Tactic Time [1:29]
  • What exactly is feedback and how does it relate to formative assessment? [1:50]
  • Looking to give behavioural feedback? Check podcasts TT005-008 [2:55]
  • The three elements of effective feedback [03:18]
  • An example of this feedback framework in use for a creative writing assignment [3:32]
  • Another example of this feedback framework with an elective course [4:50]
  • How to use this framework to give negative or constructive feedback [6:00]
  • Teaching students to effectively give feedback to their classmates [6:57]
  • Segment: Your Homework (how to apply this week’s tactic) [8:07]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [8:52]
  • Teachers as mentors to students vs. mentors to other teachers [9:15]
  • Like what you heard? Leave us a review on iTunes, or send a teaching question to hello@teachertactics.com [10:08]

TT010 6 Ways to Check for Understanding (Progress Check)

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Frequent checks for understanding can make learning a lot easier for you and your students. Colin and Michelle outline six simple ways to assess learning, including a few ways to check for understanding instantly, and strategies that provide feedback for your students.

Show Notes:

  • Download our new PDF: 44 Ways to Check for Understanding at www.teachertactics.com/understand [1:35]
  • Segment: Tactic Time [2:16]
  • Instant progress checks [2:41]
    • How to use “thumbs up thumbs down” [3:31]
    • How to use “five fingers” [5:14]
  • Detailed progress checks [6:31]
    • How to use a “cue card study guide” [6:34]
    • How to use a “paper slip/exit slip” [6:34]
  • How to phrase questions that check for understanding to get more honest responses [08:10]
  • The benefits (and drawbacks) of anonymous feedback from students [08:57]
  • Checks with feedback [9:12]
    • How to set up a “review race” [9:21]
    • How to set up a “stress free pop quiz” [10:55]
  • Segment: Your Homework (how to apply this week’s tactic) [12:11]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [13:25]
  • Like what you heard? Leave us a review on iTunes, or send a teaching question to hello@teachertactics.com [14:40]

TT009 How to quickly make a useful unit plan (Create Your Blueprint)

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What’s in your unit plan? Colin and Michelle outline the four essentials of a useful unit plan, and give three tips for how to best take advantage of your well-laid plans.

Show Notes:

  • Segment: Tactic Time [0:51]
  • How to create a unit plan can be a quick and effective way to guide your courses [1:37]
  • Unit plan element #1, especially important if you’re creating your own course content [1:46]
  • Unit plan element #2, and why this is the hardest part for newer teachers [2:40]
  • Unit plan element #3, with some examples [3:53]
  • Unit plan element #4, with an important distinction [4:30]
  • Why it’s helpful to keep your unit plan brief [5:47]
  • How to keep your unit plan fluid and flexible [6:42]
  • Why it’s important to stick to your unit plan (and when you should improvise) [7:12]
  • The advantages of sharing your unit plan with your students [8:04]
  • The big re-cap of our unit plan tips from this podcast [8:57]
  • Segment: Potent Quotables [9:20]
  • Have Colin and Michelle actually never laminated anything?! [10:21]
  • Like what you’ve heard? Review us on iTunes, take our 2-minute survey, or send us a teaching question to hello@teachertactics.com [10:42]