In two instances recently, I was asked to speak about methods of assessment that I would use in the classroom. So just as I am feeling comfortable giving a reasonably comprehensive response about that, (and please note I am comfortable using many current assessment methods, it's the talking that gives me trouble) I am asked about the kinds of feedback I give my students. This was one of those times when I thought, "Oh brother, I know I give feedback, but there are so many and I can't think of them all and where do I start?" but first I thought, "I haven't been asked this before, or have I?" ugh. . .
I know I have given lots of feedback in many forms. There is feedback in just about everything I do, or more for everything our students do, from behaviors and procedures, to participation in discussion and verbal questioning and check ins, to feedback on assignments and projects. Feedback is closely related to assessment, because we are constantly checking in with our kids throughout the day and need to return the information to them, reflecting it like a mirror so they may see which side of the head still needs hair combing.
Sometimes feedback is verbal and simple, "good job" when a child has got it down. Often feedback is more detailed, "You did a great job with x, y, z. I also noticed you had a bit of trouble with w" Feedback for written work requires prompt, constructive feedback and opportunity to learn or clarify a difficult point.
I began to think tonight, could I make a list of types of feedback?
- verbal feedback short and positive
- verbal feedback more involved
- smile/ thumbs up
- hand on the shoulder and stern look
- sticker on paper for good work, with a specific comment for the child
- conference and/or reteaching for work that is incomplete or misunderstood
- using stoplight signal for behavior or being on task
- A specific note praising a skill or behavior modeled by student