As teachers, how do we become better and better each day? We want to be the best we can possibly be so we can improve student performance and increase student achievement.
Five Tips to Increase Student Achievement
- Align instructions to learning standards. Instructions for an assignment should always be clearly aligned to the learning target and task for mastering a learning standard. We can best know that our students have met the learning standard if we use a measurable learning target. Likewise, we should align our feedback strategies to the learning task to help our students master a learning target.
- Include formative assessment. Royce Sadler, Professor Emeritus at Griffith University, suggests that students must be able to understand quality work and be able to asses the quality of their own work. Give your students examples of quality work so they have something they can compare their work to and can identify their learning gaps themselves. This helps to show where students need improvement. Students become more motivated about learning and confident in their abilities.
- Provide consistent feedback. Education experts, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam, found that students whose teachers have used formative assessment with them significantly improved their performance on standardized tests. As a result, the highest gains occurred from lower performing students
- Use the feedback loop concept. This involves teachers and students simultaneously collecting and analyzing student learning information to determine where students are and where they need improvement. Students’ movement from one learning target to another works best when students receive feedback to help them improve. Students rely on feedback and, without it, their chance for remaining engaged learners spirals downward.
- Self-assess regularly. Teachers should self-assess how well they perform these three actions:
- My students clearly see how one day of learning builds on the next day of learning.
- I create opportunities where my students receive continuous and specific feedback that helps them improve.
- I consistently recognize my students’ strengths.
These are five basic tips that teachers can use to help them better themselves so they can better help their students.