I have been fortunate enough to move through to the 2015 teaching year with some students who were in my class in 2014. This has given me 'feedback experts' who have a level of skills and knowledge in one curriculum area and can talk those new to our class this year through the process of giving peer led feedback. We have a new independent reading challenge which is allowing us to build on the familiar. By that I mean strengthening the feedback comments that were developed last year. This has been a very positive process so far. I love hearing the learning conversations that take place as the 'experts' guide my new learners. The exciting part for me is that the buy in and engagement in these tasks is gaining strength as the unfamiliar becomes the familiar. I have set up the program so that everyone has a buddy. This has allowed me to spend time guiding and conferencing each pair at the level they need. For some we have walked slowly through the process, and for others the scaffolding has almost been removed.
By providing this 'peg to hang the new learning on' I leapt into the oblivion and buddied up my class so that each person had a 'critical friend' to give them feedback on their personal writing. I needed to see where my learners were at as far as being able to give feedback in Writing so I simply asked them to work together to see if, when wearing their critical friend glasses, they could use our success criteria to notice where their partner had made a connection.
The album below reflects examples of peer lead feedback in Writing. This is a snapshot of the initial independent feedback comments. The students were reminded only to use the success criteria to see where their partner had 'got it right'.
The comments I have included in the album show that I have a great starting point. My next step is to look closely at the content of the comments and see if genuine connections have been made. I will do this by comparing the comments with the actual work analysed.