What is feedback for learning, and how well do you give it to students?
To me feedback for learning is responding to a student’s work with information that will help them improve and not simply grading a paper. More often than not work in my classroom is completed on the computer so my feedback comes in terms of my walking around the room talking to students about what they are doing. I ask questions to prompt them to think about what they might need to change or mistakes they might have made. I ask them how they feel about what they’ve done to encourage them to recognize their own successes. As students do complete paper work, such as the paper activities that accompany the lessons on Code.org, I check each question, problem, puzzle individually and speak to the student about what they’ve accomplished. As my intermediate students work on presentation or documents using Google Apps, I utilize the comments feature to suggest they reread for understanding what they have written, check spelling, sometimes I simply comment that I really like what they have.
The daughter of a friend of mine has written a novel, she’s 15 WOW! She sent me the novel to read and respond to, I used the comments feature in Word to reply to the story itself, ask her questions when I was confused, occasionally make suggestions about word choice. To me this was the best job I had done in providing feedback for learning and I’ve tried to adapt that idea into my teaching ever since. I just wish I could go back and redo some of my first years with this style.