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Book Study Discussion Guide

Name: Ali Hendrickson

School: Sam Davey Elementary
Date: 3/7/18
Book Title: Visible Learning for Literacy by John Hattie
1. What takeaways did you discover in your reading?

 The big idea from the reading is – know thy impact!

 Teachers are not bound to specific teaching strategies-rather, they regularly focus on evaluating the
effects they have on students and adjust teaching methods accordingly. Using “effect sizes” and his
research, Hattie explains how to be an effective literacy educator. Knowing how to match instructional
approaches with specific phases of learning, knowing your impact, and acting when the impact is not
sufficient is our best opportunity to help children engage in the world of literacy.
 Some of the most powerful instructional effects result from teachers setting expectations for students,
creating clarity around instruction, demonstrating credibility, and giving effective feedback.
 Though the authors of Visible Learning for Literacy acknowledge that surface-level learning is a
prerequisite to deeper learning, they point out that educators spend far too little time emphasizing depth.
And while teachers generally preach deeper learning, their instructional practices do not push students
beyond surface-level skills. (Hattie 2016)
 I also learned how important teachers are in creating lifelong learners. With new initiative and facets to
education, it was nice to be reassured that teachers MATTER! and that teacher-student relationships are
a key factor for learning.
 Another principle throughout the book is “visible teaching and learning.” When the teaching is visible
the student knows what to do and how to do it. When the learning is visible the teacher knows if
learning is occurring or not. Teaching and learning are visible when the learning goal is not only
challenging but is explicit.
 Both the teacher and the student work together to attain the goal, provide feedback, and decide whether
the student has attained the goal. Evidence shows that the greatest effects on student learning come
when not only the students become their own teachers (through self-monitoring, and self-assessment),
but the teachers become learners of their own teaching (Teacher’s Mind Frames).
“If we want to ensure students read, write, communicate, and think at high levels, we have to develop positive,
trusting relationships with students, all students.” (Hattie 2016)

“Up to 90% of the instruction we conduct can be completed by students using only the surface-level skills.”
(Hattie 2016)

2. What new knowledge or skills will you practice because of this reading?

 I found that the mind frames for teachers applies in planning instruction and curriculum design and can
inspire you to be a change agent in students’ lives. It is critical that teachers see themselves as
evaluators of their effect on students. Teachers should be driven to discern what is and what is not
working in the classroom. I strive to be part of a staff that understands that visible teaching is result of a
continual daily assessment of one’s impact on student learning. Reflective practioners reflect not only
on assessment scores but understand the effectiveness of learning strategies and are able to identify what
works best for each student.
1. I cooperate with other teachers
2. I use dialogue, not monologue
3. I set the challenge
4. I talk about learning, not teaching
5. I inform all about the language of learning
6. I see learning as hard work
7. Assessment is feedback about me
8. I am a change agent
9. I am an evaluator
10. I develop positive relationships
 Hattie (2016) discusses how to best consolidate learning through spaced practice, receiving feedback,
and collaborative learning with peers. Hattie writes about feedback across four dimensions. It must be:
(1) timely, (2) specific, (3) understandable to the learner, and (4) actionable. (1) Timeliness of feedback
is important. I will continue to incorporate feedback into all academic areas.
 I learned that daily, formative assessments are a novel way for teachers to make instructional strategies
about what will occur next. I am going to develop more common assessments within our science/social
studies units and continue “conferring” with students during writer’s workshop to measure progress and
compare it to the teaching that has occurred.
 I would like to check in with students more often including asking questions, using exit tickets, and
giving students more opportunity to self-assess their learning. Below is an example of an exit ticket I
created and used in the classroom:

 I will also incorporate learning targets in my classroom to ensure students know the learning criteria and
can review these expectations throughout the day. Learning targets help to set the purpose for learning
and helps students focus on what is important in the reading/or lesson. Teachers need to reflect on what
they want their students to know, learn, do and show to plan and deliver effective instruction and
learning opportunities. Below, is an example of the “I can” learning targets I now post in my classroom:

 Another idea to engage students to evaluate their own work is to include an “Exemplar Work Samples”
basket in my reading and writing curriculum. Using a milk crate as storage, I will allow students to
publish their work and showcase it with the class. This will be another way for students to access the
success criteria and build confidence. I have also included an “Author’s Chair” for writer’s workshop
into our weekly writing schedule. Students love sharing their best work in front of the class and
celebrating their writing accomplishments!

“The success and failure of my students’ learning is about what I do or don’t do. I am the change agent.”
(Hattie 2016)

“When teaching and learning are “visible” – that is, when it is clear what teachers are teaching and what
students are learning, student achievement increases.” (Hattie 2016)

3. How does John Hattie’s work compliment what you are already doing?

 In my classroom, I focus on building positive relationships with students. I am redefining my current

curriculum to include more social emotional learning and promoting the well-being of the whole child
using the Zones of Regulation.
 I collaborate with my Professional Learning Community (PLC) to determine the “effect” size of many
procedures, routines, management, and teaching strategies within my classroom and use the feedback to
adjust my instruction.
 I feel that I influence my students in a wide range of ways: helping them to develop deep and conceptual
understandings, teaching them to develop multiple learning strategies, encouraging them to take risks in
their learning, helping them to develop respect for themselves and others, and helping them develop into
active citizens who participate in our world (I am not solely focused on assessment scores).

4. Reflection Questions for Teachers:

Learning Climate
• Did you demonstrate to all students that they were able, valuable, and responsible, and did you treat them
• Did the students see that you believe in them, even when they were struggling?
• Did the students get the message from you that they possess untapped potential in learning what is being
taught today?
Learning Intentions & Success Criteria
• Did the students know the learning objectives? Did the students know the success criteria?
• Could they articulate them in a way that showed they understood them?
• Did they see them as appropriately challenging?
• Are you aware of each student’s progress on the journey from her starting point toward attaining the
success criteria?
• How close is each student to attaining the success criteria?
• What now needs to occur to help each student move closer to meeting the success criteria?

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Hattie, J., (2016). Teaching literacy in the visible learning classroom. Thousand Oaks,
CA: Corwin Literacy.
Useful Resources/Websites:

Video 3m 38s: John Hattie - What Matters Most

Video 2m: Overview of Top 10 Influences on Achievement

Youtube Video Playlist Links

PPT Presentation: Book Study

Keynote Speaker Notes: Doug Fisher

SUMMARY NOTES - Visible Learning for Teachers: Hattie

PPT/PDF Visible Learning-Teaching

Hattie Effect Sizes - List

Barometer Graphic - Effect Size

VideoScribe on John Hattie's Visible Learning

PPT - Session 1

Research & Proven Practices: 53 page doc

Hattie's Learning Pyramid Graphic