FeedbackPanda SuperStar Teacher  Mary L

This week’s SuperStar Teacher is Mary L! Mary L is a Mom of 7 and Grandmother of 3. She is on her 2nd contract with VIPKID and also Homeschool’s the 5 kids still at home. She is also learning Latin in her spare time.

Teacher Mary L’s templates are very popular on the FeedbackPandaCloud. She uses 5–3–1 feedback style and has some great insight about how to give superb feedback which can make the difference. Here is her interview…

FeedbackPanda Superstar

Tricks for staying alert:

Coffee….. Lots of it. Cold, ice coffee in the summer. Hot coffee in the winter.

And standing to teach. Even with caffeine I have almost fallen asleep. Standing assures I stay awake. I am more energized. I have more fun. And the students have more fun. I could cut out the coffee….. but I can never go back from standing.

Favorite Lesson to teach:

This is a really hard one question. I love so many of the units. One of my favorites for the younger students is the whole colors unit. It seems like it would be boring. Most students already know the colors. so……. I had to do some tweaks to make it fun. Every lesson the students find another way to mix colors to get a new color. Did you know if you put a red balloon inside a yellow balloon and blow it up, the color changes to orange?? Yep! Blue inside yellow will make green. And red inside a light blue makes purple. Then there is mixing colors with colored water and playdough. Writing the student’s name with many different colors. And props are everywhere.The students find objects for a color. I find props. EVERYTHING is a prop in the colors lessons.

For the older students, the culture lessons are favorites. I love learning about the Chinese culture and the students teach me Chinese words — how to write the characters and how to say them. They become the teacher and I become the student and relationships are created.

What do you do in between classes?

Switch names on the whiteboard, reset the reward being used, pull out the next props to be used, drink a gigantic gulp of coffee, take a deep breath, and open the camera. Seriously….. There just isn’t enough time!!

How do you use FeedbackPanda?

The night before my morning classes, I load all classes with the powerpoint. And I open FBPanda for each class. This lets me see the student I am teaching (yay for pictures!!), check birthdays, check previous feedback to see if I wanted to work on something, and see if I have a template already loaded. If I have a template — happy dance. If not, I check the cloud for a similar template to what I use. If I find one I like, I upload it and tweak it with my wording. If not then I upload my sample template and add comments for the lesson. Now I am ready for feedback after class.

After class, I scan the feedback, add personal details, copy and paste into VIPKID. Voila!! Done.

Describe your Feedback Style/Structure:

{5–3–1 } After many different attempts to provide feedback that is beneficial to the parents and me, I have found the very best is to score the feedback with 5- Met Lesson Objectives, 3 — Suggest Review, 1 — Difficult. I use this scoring system to evaluate the student’s ability in Grammar, Reading (passages and sight words), Phonics, Speaking (pronunciation, conversation), Math, and Participation. These areas are all clearly defined in the lessons and easy to give a brief overview of what the student learned and how well he did with the material. When I first moved to this style of feedback, it was to simplify my long feedbacks. It did. But the response from parents is more valuable than the time it saved me. Parents of my regulars praised the new feedback form telling me it is easier to understand and they know exactly where to help their student. Parents of new students praise the detail and seriousness of the after class report. They thank me for letting them know how they can help their student. I rarely give a 1. But for one student, I gave several 1s and explained why. The student was moved to PreVIPKID. She actually thanked me for helping her understand. {5–3–1} feedback can be too much if you only say what is in the lesson. It can be a valuable tool if it is used to explain the student’s success and behavior.

Good Feedback Must Contain…

….strengths and weaknesses of the student.

Very good feedback gives ways to help the student master an objective.

Excellent feedback explains why the skill needs to be mastered: Why answer in complete sentences? Why are you making silly faces and focusing on the mouth formation in the PreVIP classes?

Superb is relational. This feedback tells a story. What happened in class that creates a relationship for you and the student? What did they tell you? Be relational. It truly makes a difference.

(One parent’s comments on relational feedback: Dear Teacher Luci, I really love reading your feedbacks and watching ____ take pictures with you in class…….. — — — We took selfies because it was in a slide. ____ was having more conversation. I mentioned it in feedback.)(Another: Hello, Luci. Thank you very much for your feedback. I took a look at your last lesson, and I found that I forgot to tell you that Beijing is getting cooler now, sooner or later, it needs to wear long sleeves and even wear coats. ______ was very happy to talk to you in class about some Chinese words. He said he would be happy to be your little Chinese teacher if you like. Luci see you this afternoon! — The class was on seasons and _______ had on long sleeves and pants, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I commented on how the seasons were different and we compared the weather.)

What do you like to see when checking the Teacher to Teacher Feedback (notes on students from teachers in the VIPKID portal)?

I look for behavior issues and anything that needs to be practiced AND what project is chosen. It is valuable. It helps. I feel more prepared when I see feedback.

Notes or comments to the teachers who import your templates?

Thank you for importing my templates. Some of these templates I have imported from others and made them fit my teaching style. PLEASE change them to meet your teaching style and personality. I chose 5–3–1 instead of 3–2–1 because I wanted a wider range scale. I I give lots of 4s!! I use “Met Lesson Objectives” because I don’t want parents to think the student did perfect and has mastered English in that area. Just that he met the objectives for THIS lesson. (This was a suggestion by a parent)