Talking “Bump It Up” Walls

While I’ve been fortunate enough to be involved in Zoe Branigan-Pipe’s (@zbpipe) Livescribe TLLP Project, I’m also fortunate enough this year to be involved in a Descriptive Feedback Livescribe Pen Project through my school. My two wonderful administrators, Deb Chabot and Tammy McLaughlin, purchased Livescribe Pens for all interested staff members with the understanding that we would be using these pens for descriptive feedback and writing conferences. I’ll be honest here: I loved this use of the Livescribe Pen, but up until I became involved in this school project, I never really tried using the pen for this purpose. Now I have this great opportunity to try something new.

I was actually thinking about this project when I decided to do something else that I’ve never done before: create Talking Bump It Up Walls. My class just started two new TLCP’s (Teaching Learning Critical Pathways): one on story writing for Grade 1 and one on procedural writing for Grade 2. Yesterday, I took six samples of student work — three from Grade 1 and three from Grade 2 — and placed them around the room. Inspired by Trevor Hammer’s (@trevorhammer) PA Day session, I gave students different coloured dot stickers: yellow ones, green ones, and red ones. One colour was for Level 2 work, one colour was for Level 3 work, and one colour was for Level 4 work. Both the Grade 1 and Grade 2 students worked in partners. They went around to the work samples for their grade, read the work together, looked at the Success Criteria that we had generated previously as a class, and decided on the appropriate level for each sample.

Then we looked at the work samples under the document camera, compared them point-by-point to the Success Criteria, and came to a consensus on the level. Students then worked in partners again to write specific suggestions on how to “bump up” the work from a Level 2 to a Level 3 and a Level 3 to a Level 4. Again, they used the Success Criteria to guide their discussion.

We then met together as a class and the students gave me all of their ideas. As part of shared writing, I wrote their suggestions in the Livescribe Notebook, and then as part of Shared Reading, the students read their ideas orally, so that we had a visual and an auditory recording. We cut the Livescribe Notebook pages into quasi-arrows, and we put them on our Bump It Up Walls, along with the work samples, the learning goal, and the big idea. Now students can go and read the ideas on how to improve their work, but they can also use the Livescribe Pen to listen to these ideas.

That’s when one of my students had a fantastic idea! He knew that the Livescribe Pencasts can be uploaded to the blog, so he wondered if we could make Bump It Up Walls for our student blog. Then, as the children are typing their stories or procedures, they can use this Bump It Up Wall to easily access the suggestions for how to improve their work. Better yet, students can use this Bump It Up Wall at home with their parents. When they’re writing at home now, their parents can use the same vocabulary that we use in class to help their children improve their work. We now have a real parent connection to classroom learning, and with parents, students, and teachers working together, we are sure to see academic success. Yeah!! I’m so glad that this student made the suggestion that he did. (See the Grade 1 Bump It Up Wall here and the Grade 2 Bump It Up Wall here.)

Have you ever created Talking Bump It Up Walls before? What were the results? How can you see using this idea in your classroom? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Now I can’t wait to figure out the next way to use the Livescribe Pen for meaningful descriptive feedback and increased student achievement!


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