Educators know that providing writers with feedback is important for students to grow. They also know that meaningful feedback can be extremely time consuming when grading student writing. As a classroom educator, I wanted to provide my writers with specific feedback on their written pieces. I found though to do this well, I had to think about what a student did well and what they needed to improve on for each genre of writing we completed. Students had access to the rubric, but a written paragraph to each student would support the performance shown and help students extend their growth.
How could I meet my students’ need for specific feedback without adding hours to my grading time? Finding balance as an educator is valuable. My solution-using a form to click areas of excellence and tips for improvement. The form helped me to capture the student’s piece and use my best teacher feedback “phrases” for each style of writing. I decided to create a Google Forms that I could tailor to comments that I would give students for each genre of writing during the year. I took time to think about what comments make sense for each type of writing and the different abilities of the student writers that I work with. What order also would make sense for developing a paragraph of feedback? How do you create different statements that make each writer feel they are getting feedback that fits just them? What reflection stems make the most sense to end the paragraph of feedback? All of the genre forms are in this presentation.
In their article, “The Power of Feedback” John Hattie and Helen Timperley point out, “Feedback is among the most critical influences on student learning.” The question is not whether specific feedback to writers is worth it, it is how do we meet the demands and provide the information with ease? Honestly, how do we use a new system for meaningful feedback? What can we learn from this time that can make the classroom an even richer learning environment?
Reflection is key to helping students recognize what they did well and set goals for future writing pieces. Grading takes time. Make the most out of your feedback. Make sure students reflect. Each form includes a variety of reflection questions that a teacher can select for the student to respond to after receiving feedback. Teachers could also have students meet with a writing partner to share their feedback. They can also verbally reflect together on the various reflection questions given to students. Reflection is a key step to improving and using feedback and rubrics. The next step for us is to write a goal and a plan for writing. These goals can be posted to Canvas to share with the teacher and allow their parents to see them.
This presentation contains links to all the Google forms and a video of this in practice.