Today we discussed how to give feedback. It was good to get some practical pointers.
Guidelines for giving feedback
- Write ½ page of feedback – they’ve put a lot of effort into it, so why shouldn’t we?
- Engage with the content
- Be positive
- Describe some of the strengths of the writing
- Pick only 1-3 areas for improvement
- Be constructive about how they can improve
- Give them something to do e.g. proof read for sentences, spelling errors or homophones (relate strategy to piece of writing). Possibly get them to type it up and look for synonyms/ go through and underline spellings they think might be wrong – give them one thing to look for/choose a handful of words they want to actively learn
- Consider the staging e.g. pick largest/most regular skills
- Have they covered this in class?
An example of feedback we gave on a learner’s piece of writing was:
I really enjoyed reading your story. I hope your mother has forgiven you now! In lessons we work on your next draft and will look at:
- Capital letters, full stops and question marks (Teacher’s note – the learner might just spot them – we need to work out whether they don’t know them, or forgot to put them in)
I found this session very useful, and will use these strategies with my learners.
I have since used this strategy in my sessions, and it has worked to varying degrees. Whilst some learners really enjoyed improving their work, others felt they didn’t know what to do/didn’t feel like they were doing much, and preferred to complete worksheets.
For the learners who did enjoy looking at their own work again, I have introduced them to look, say, cover, write, check and asked them to pick 1 or 2 words to study. I have bought them A7 pocket notebooks to encourage them to actively learn these words in between sessions. So far, this is working well, and learners have reported that they feel they are learning spellings more easily.
Further reading/things to research
- Research Geoff Petty for feedback process
- In Access for All – supported way for marking
- Scaffold feedback
- ask them to find their errors
- ask them to find spelling errors (out of 10 possibly)
- underline the errors for them – get them to work out why
- encourage autonomy – underline errors, but ask them to write/study in their personal dictionaries/use dictionary/ask peers/ask tutor/use electronic aids
- think about what’s going to be useful for them!
- Scaffold feedback