I have read some great posts on feedback, see Alex Quigley’s Improving Written Feedback  and Verbal Feedback Given….. on Shaun Allison’s ‘Class Teaching’. Such a good idea, I couldn’t resist – so I bought myself the stamper and decided to try this with Year 7 – early days yet, but I love the idea so far..

Nought & CrossesA student in my Year 7 class was determined to find the number of winning lines in a game of 3D noughts and crosses which she did successfully. She drew some clear sketches of the different groups of winning lines and after a discussion with me was the recipient of my first stamp! I was very enthusiastic about her written work on this as you can see from her response! I had explained to the class that if I discuss their work with them, then give them a stamp – they have to write down that feedback as Shaun suggests in his post.

verbal feedback v3

It is important for students to make a note of verbal feedback and I have asked students to do this more often recently, so for example if I am giving any verbal feedback to the class after a test or homework I expect them to make a note of any verbal feedback they believe applies to them.

Something we must do of course is allow students time to respond to feedback, ideally I want a conversation in their books! I acknowledge where a student has responded to feedback by awarding a Feedback Response point (see ClassCharts for recording learning behaviours). We need to allow time in class for students to act on any feedback given; another possibility is to give freedom of choice for homework. My notes for my Year 7 class on our homework blog includes the following:

Note that the independent homework gives you the chance to respond to feedback; for example you might want to try to solve some equations and present your solutions very logically and show that you are checking your work. It may be a response to my feedback or your ‘self-feedback’. When you reflect on something we study in class, sometimes you might think ‘I’d like to practise some more examples’. Your independent homework provides that chance. Remember you could choose any topic, your homework offers you the chance to revise work.
Staying with the use of homework, it may be appropriate to give a follow up homework allowing students the opportunity to act on feedback received from the first attempt.
See also: Dollops of Feedback which includes some useful resources on feedback.
The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback. The simplest prescription for improving education must be “dollops of feedback”.
Hattie, J.A. (1992). Measuring the effects of schooling. Australian Journal of Education (see page 9).

3 comments on “Feedback

  1. Pingback: Feedback | News inMaths.UK

  2. Thanks for this, as they’ll be very useful when getting ready for the new classes in September. I did once think that getting students to write down verbal feedback was just a hoop to jump through, but for a variety of reasons I now see the usefulness. For one, there is a reference to what was said and therefore the student can be held to account for the next steps.

    It’s important that writing down the feedback is part of the routine, otherwise students may not write down what is needed effectively. There is an issue with those that struggle to write things down in a timely manner, but this is where planning and patience is key.

    The ‘feedback response point’ is an interesting idea and could certainly help to get students into the routine (and the teacher too, when being pestered for the points!).

    Thanks again!

    • Tim, I think my conversation with the very bright young student who was the recipient of my first stamp would amuse you – I asked her if she thought it made a difference – me asking her to write down the feedback – ‘Yes’, she said, ‘it means I have to listen to you’!

      As for my points system – that really is about me recording their great learning behaviours – an acknowledgement – a sort of online notebook of mine – that they can see. It is absolutely not a conventional ‘reward’ system – I’m with those who think doing great work should be all about intrinsic, not extrinsic motivation.

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