How do you use Formative to build class culture early in the school year?

Good morning! My name is Mike Szczepanik. I am honored to co-moderate, with Jason, this week’s Slow Chat: Exploring new Heights with Formative!

I am a High School Biology teacher at Hilton HS located outside of Rochester NY. I should tell you I am new to Formative but I really dove in and it has become my go-to technology this year.

So here we go with this week’s slow chat Q1
@informed_members
@Certified_Educators

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Im Jason Jorgensen and I am here as well. Likewise honored to moderate with Mike. I am a Middle School Social Studies teacher. I am new to formative and am growing fond of it at the same time that I adjust to using it in class.

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I try to use Spanish/French as much as possible in my class and have students use Spanish/French as mush as possible as well. Therefore, when we use formative I also try to make sure that they give students opportunities to use the target language as much as possible. That might mean, recording spoken responses, writing short answers to questions in the target language, drawing something in response to statements in Spanish/French, categorizing things in Spanish/French. Bottom line, anything I can do to get them to manipulate the material, without using English, and I feel like this supports the class culture that we are building together.
Also, I think that the idea of formative assessment alone is an important part of class culture. The opportunity to make mistakes, understand what we know and what we don’t know, get feedback, and then try again (I often allow re-submissions) are really important to create a culture of healthy learners.

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I have been using Formative for the past two years. I’ve found that students really open up and seem to become more comfortable with the ability to make mistakes. I teach in a very competitive district and students are always being pushed to take more advanced classes.
Using Formative, they can immediately see what they know/don’t know. I think the biggest advantage for me is that it allows for the teachable moment. It shows my flexibility because I’ll jump right back in to reteach something if the results are showing most of the students are still struggling with a concept. I think that students appreciate you taking the time to go back instead of just moving along because some understand it or your plans say that you need to cover something else.

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I love resubmitting - The idea that the first time is not a measure of all their knowledge rather the first step. Shifting the culture from completion - aka done learning to Feedback and revision - aka always learning is huge!

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Students learn more from their mistakes. It’s that moment when kids say “wait, why did I get that wrong?” is THE teachable moment - the fact that you are using that moment to reteach is great! It’s a culture shift to go from the view of “I covered that topic” to “They LEARNED that topic and here is my evidence” is awesome!

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Resubmitting plays into what my new thing for this year is growth mindset

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I agree whole heartedly. GoFormative can b such a breath of fresh air for them.

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It’s really awesome that you are using Formative to help immerse your students in a new language and provide them with different ways to practice it!

I used the return scores instantly with my students the other day and didn’t realize how this feature could impact the classroom culture. I had been reluctant to use it because I thought students would just record their responses and be done.

I was pleasantly surprised when my students worked to solve the problem so they could get a green circle for each problem, essentially correcting their mistakes as they went along rather than completing several problems incorrectly and having to reteach themselves.

They also had discussions with their group members about how to solve the problem. The immediate feedback for them was awesome as they were preparing for their quiz the next day. I’m planning to use the return scores instantly feature more as it works to build a growth mindset. I did have to laugh though when my students asked if their quiz could have the same feature. :smile:

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As a virtual Language Arts teacher, my students don’t actually see each other so they can’t read social cues. Formative is one way that the students feel comfortable in sharing about the literature. They don’t have to worry what other students will think or do. This builds a safe place for the students to be honest with themselves.

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Yes! I love that too. I see my students engage in academic conversations about the problems discussing how to solve them and why they got it wrong. Or arguing and checking to see who is right!

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For community building, I like to post a question and display the results anonymously on the smartboard and have the students list their favorites, pets, etc. The students like to talk about and read each others likes.

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I love that I can post the results on the board without the names. I spend more time going over why the incorrect answers don’t fit than I do focusing on what the right one is. I think it helps to build their confidence levels too.

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I like to post getting to know each other type questions and then showing the responses. Kids realize they have things in common with kids they may not know well or think they are nothing alike. I also always allow students to move towards mastery either with retakes or similar formatives after reteach, when I share the growth with them it encourages them.

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