Day 14: What is feedback for learning, and how well do you give it to students?
I remember being in AP English in high school. I hated hate writing and nothing was more frustrating than spending 3-5 days (we had a block schedule, too), pouring over an analytical essay about the social and political themes in some book that I probably didn't even understand because there were no spark notes for it, and finally turning it in to be reviewed by the teacher, only to get it back with a few words at the top. TENSE. REDO.
I was fifteen. WTF is TENSE? And was I supposed to fix this paper?
Feedback is not a check mark. It isn't 34/40. It's not even an A-. Feedback is what you give a student so they know what to do next. It's specific and descriptive with a focus on process and strategy, not necessarily the result or outcome. Feedback is timely and ultimately all for the purpose of supporting students and pushing them just a little bit more.
How am I doing at giving feedback? Well to reflect on the past four weeks (FOUR WEEKS?!) I have to say that I am not in the same place as I was at the end of last year. I've done the verbal feedback quite often, but I really enjoy providing students with written feedback, and that's only happened once so far. I probably provide feedback daily through questioning, but I really would like to increase my written responses.
I know it's powerful and that students need it. I just need to put it on my daily to do list.