Evidencing progress during the rehearsal stages of a project can be difficult. Evidencing it in books can be even harder.
Rehearsing for a performance is a difficult period of time to control. Students are working independent from the teacher, to their own deadlines and creating something that is specific to them. Knowing when and how to intervene can be very difficult.
One of the standard ways of doing so is teacher observation. Taking notes on the performance and then giving verbal feeding back to the students on how to improve. But what happens to these notes and that verbal feedback? It could be a week before the students come back together to rehearse and make progress. How are they going to refer to this feedback and action it?
I’ve found two ways of helping this process. The first is linking the assessment criteria to the notes that I take as a teacher. The second is post-it note feedback.
The notes you take as a teacher when watching a performance are vital and you must keep them for the students to refer to. When going through notes you have the opportunity to engage with the students about their learning and progress in such a direct way. The feedback and modelling you can provide is far more engaging and immediate than in any other subjects than perhaps PE or dance.
What makes these notes better is if there is a copy of the relevant assessment criteria on them. Although the assessment is individual, it is important for the group to understand what each of the members need to do to make progress. As teachers, we make suggestions to the group to allow them to make individual success.
Using a proforma for your notes doesn’t solve the final piece of the puzzle. There is still the issue of how students record, remember and use the verbal feedback you have given them.
Giving verbal feedback and using some sort of stamp is okay. It will tick the box for your observation and book trawls. But is that of value? Is that going to actually help the students recall and put in place the feedback in their next lesson? The chances are no.
So I use my favourite stationary item – post-it notes. As I circulate around the room, or give notes to groups, I give verbal feedback and I write it on a post-it note. We then have giant posters around the room with all the students names on it – they stick it onto them. Then over the series of lessons they will have more and more post-it notes. Building an individual bank of improvements that they will be able to track and improve upon. At the end of the lesson, or series of lessons, we examine the notes, reflect on them and set targets for the next lesson. Once reviewed, the post-it notes go into the students books to provide the evidence of progress for book trawls.
The students respond to this well. It is also hard for them sometimes to see where they are going with their own performances. This is a simple but effective way of keeping track on what happens to your verbal feedback. And it helps students make consistent and constant improvements in their performance.
So, grab yourself some post-it notes and get some post-it note feedback happening in your drama studios.
6 thoughts on “How to use Post-It Note Feedback to improve, record and track verbal feedback.”
Brilliant idea about using post it notes. Will use it when I am helping out in colleagues’ classes as a quick and effective way of passing comment without too much interruption. Thanks for sharing!