Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Feedback For Learning

Reflective Teaching 30 Day Blog Challenge
DAY 14: What is feedback for learning and how well do you give it to your students?

For me feedback for learning is all about having a conversation with children about things in their work that they do well and things that they can work on improving for the next time. This might be something that the teachers wants the child to improve on or something that the child themselves has noticed that they could do better. Both praise and critique are given in context and are specific e.g. "I like how you used a capital letter at the beginning of your sentence." or "Remember that a capital letter should always be at the beginning of your sentence!"

As I'm teaching in a junior room feedback is largely verbal though some things may be recorded in their books for assessment and reporting purposes. I am conscious of giving feedback for learning to all my students. Throughout the day I'm praising students for jobs well done and giving advice for ways that they can improve. A lot of this may be informal, especially in subjects like Art, P.E. or in routine parts of the day. In the major subjects such as Literacy and Numeracy, children are taught in small groups where they can get more individualised attention and where the process of giving feedback may also be recorded.

For example, during a writing lesson I have four children around a table at a time and pull the all children over to this table over the course of the lesson. During the time they sit at the table I am giving feedback for learning by asking them to re-read what they have written and going over any errors with them. If the errors can't be corrected then I will write the correction in their books. I will also prompt them to check the brainstorm, their word cards or think about patterns in words. Additionally, I ask them questions about their writing to get them thinking about what they have written or what they want to write.

By giving feedback in this way I am in a constant dialogue with the children about their learning as the learning is happening. They know what it is that they can work towards and also know when they are doing well. The feedback is also individually catered to each student so that each child can be addressed in the manner that bests suits them and their learning style. Although I'm always thinking of things I could do better throughout each day, I think the structure of the classroom systems means I give my students good feedback for learning everyday.

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