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Chelsea Schmieding

EDUC 461 Student Teaching

TWS #7 Instructional Decision Making

Feedback Whole Class:

During my time student teaching, providing feedback was crucial for the ultimate success of all
students. During the social studies unit on the regions and places of South Carolina, feedback was
provided in many different ways. During any whole class discussion or direct instruction lesson,
students were questioned frequently. Each student had a Popsicle stick with their names on it for the
teacher to call on at random. Occasionally, I would call on random students to answer questions to
ensure that they are paying attention and understanding the content presented. No matter which
student who I called upon, they all were asked to explain their thinking and provide support for their
answers when appropriate. Students, who were often shy or timid, were allowed to jot their
questions on a small piece of paper and give it to me to answer in discretion. By having students
explain their thinking, it allowed me to provide students with feedback during the discussion.
Discussions of any kind, I have found, that involves the students to explain their thinking, provided
insight of what they really know. Often times, discussions would modify my plans and alter the
direction the lessons were going.
Another great resource in provided the students with feedback was the use of formative
assessments. During this social studies unit, many different formative assessments were given.
Students were given daily maps to label, a regions book, exit slips, and a rivers brochure. Students
were given grades on each of these formative assessments and allowed me to give specific
individualized feedback. It also allowed me to see what the majority of the students were struggling
with and what needed to be reviewed. Any students who needed specific individualized help were
given assistance during independent practice.
The most effective feedback was the immediate feedback on graded assignments. Now that
the students are in third grade, they are becoming more grade conscious. Students who were not
pleased with the grades they were receiving were able to see what they needed to work on for the
next assignment.
Feedback - Individual Students:
My high performing student performed exceptionally well throughout the SC history unit. He
made a perfect score on the pre-assessment and a 96% on the post-assessment. He received high
scores consistently on the formative assessments as well. I was very pleased with his work and tried
to call on him during the lessons so his peers would look at him as an example. This student is in
GATAS and knows what it takes to be successful. The only constructive feedback I gave this student
was that he needed to work on his handwriting. This student was often an early finisher and would
help his classmates with the activity or assignment when he could.
Both of my average performing students were active participants in the discussions and lesson
activities. While they both were active participants, this gave me the perfect opportunity to provide
feedback when needed. Both of these students know what it takes to be successful; however, they

continuously make careless errors. The immediate feedback was very helpful for these students
during the unit. Neither of these students decreased from the pre-assessment to post-assessment.
One of them increased by 13 and the other scored the same on both.
My low performing student required more attention and feedback. This student needs to be
constantly reminded to pay attention and to stay on task. This student is very low and is capable of
doing better with more time. This student benefited greatly from the note outline sheets for each
lesson. Her handwriting is very sloppy and she takes a very long time to copy things down. I figured
out that most of her energy went to copying instead of learning the information. Her scores on the
majority of the formative assessments during the unit were low. I called on this student several times
throughout the unit to ensure that she understood the information and if she answered incorrectly, I
would work with her during independent practice. On several of the activity sheets (map labeling,
regions book, and rivers brochure) she was very successful. This student decreased from the pre to
post-assessment by 12 points. I feel as though this was a lack of studying and retaining the
Adjustments & Modifications:
Understanding that my feedback to the students is crucial, I have learned that the feedback the
students give me is just as important. This is very beneficial in planning future lessons. During several
of the lessons on the river systems of South Carolina, the students were having trouble remembering
which one was which and the region it was located in. This was a red flag to me to go back and
review the regions with them. I understood that the unit test was going to be new for them since it
was cumulative. A lot of information was going to be on the test and I wanted the students to be
prepared. We spent several days reviewing and discussing the different places and regions of South
Carolina prior to the test. I have learned that teaching to your students is most important. If your
students dont understand the material, it is up to the teacher to stop and regroup. Struggling
students need the extra support when they are struggling and it is important that teachers notice it.
I had to modify several of my lessons throughout this unit because of timing. I originally
planned to teach two regions each day but after doing the Blue Ridge region with them, we were
almost out of time. I figured out that the note taking was taking forever. I decided to provide the
students with note outlines to fill in as the lesson went on. This was a huge help for many of my
students and timing improved tremendously.
For the most part, the adjustments and modifications were made based on whole group
discussions and formative assessments throughout the unit. These instructional decisions were made
with the students success in mind. In order for the students to master the objectives for this unit,
these modifications were imperative. The post-assessment results revealed that the unit test was
indeed a lot of information and with it being their first cumulative assessment, they struggles for the
most part. I think that in the future, there could be two smaller tests within the unit to show higher
student success.