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Showing posts with label giving feedback. Show all posts
Showing posts with label giving feedback. Show all posts

How am I Doing?

Every "report card" time, kids will undoubtedly ask, "how am I doing?"

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

Of course, it's great that they care about their achievement, but seriously, they're in school every day doing the work. They're in class, participating and engaging in work all the time. So, shouldn't they already know how they're doing?

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!


What do you think? Yes, report cards are all about reporting to their parents. They have a right to know how their child is doing. They see the children through homework, encourage them to do well, and want to know about their child's successes! 

This post isn't about report cards and reporting to parents.

It's about giving feedback to the children every single day!

Brain research tells us that frequent feedback is essential to learning. 

A good place to start is making sure every child knows their strengths!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!
 
I believe in encouraging children every time you see them doing something right. It could be ANYTHING they do well. Here are some examples:
  • staying organized
  • smiling at classmates
  • participating in group discussions
  • greeting classmates when they arrive
  • positive attitude
  • listening
  • following directions
  • getting to work right away
  • following rules
  • working independently
  • staying focused
  • helping classmates
  • helping teacher 
  • putting forth effort
  • showing growth

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

In fact, this information should be made public. Everyone in the class should know who is good at knowing math facts, and who is good at following directions. All students should know who they can turn to for figuring out an unknown word, solving a math problem, where to find extra supplies, or sketching a cat for their journal. This is all part of the teamwork. And I'm sure you'll agree, all children have strengths!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

All children also have areas that need improvement, don't they? The only way they will improve in these areas is if they are aware of their weaknesses and put in the effort to improve them. I prefer to think of these as "skills the child is working on," rather than weaknesses. It's just a bit kinder!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

Although the whole world should know the strengths of your students, the opposite is most definitely NOT true!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

 

I schedule meetings with individuals every so often. How do I find the time? I meet with individuals instead of reading groups for a couple of days. (See THIS POST to see how I organize this!) I spend a few minutes with each child, and honestly, those few minutes make a world of difference and are totally worth missing a reading group or two!

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

I use a 2-1-1 strategy! I start with 2 statements about what the child is doing well. These can be about ANYTHING the child is doing in school, as long as it's honest praise. (See THIS POST about giving honest feedback!) 

After the happy celebration, I mention (carefully) one thing the child needs to work on. They usually know, and agree they need to work on this. 

Wanting to leave the conversation with a positive note, I'll mention one more thing the child does well. This doesn't have to be academic, just a little something to keep the conversation upbeat. Quite often, it's something like, "I'm glad you're in my class!"

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!

You've probably already spent a lot of time building relationships with your students, and these personal conversations should simply amplify these relationships. Of course, make sure it ends with a smile!

How do you keep the children informed about their progress?

Kids often ask, "How am I doing," especially around report card time. Here are some suggestions for making sure the children KNOW how they're doing!



Five Hints to Help Avoid False Praise and Give Valuable Feedback

How do you feel about false praise? 

You know, when someone tells you that you've done a great job, when in your heart, you know you haven't?

 

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
One time, I was working hard with an exercise video when the instructor said, "Great job!"  I remember thinking... how does she know I'm doing a great job? I could be sitting here eating a bowl of potato chips, and that's not doing a good job!

I've also had people compliment me on things that I know weren't my best work. How do I feel about it?

Well, honestly, it makes me lose my trust in that person. And it frustrates me. I'm sure your students feel the same way. 

Students absolutely need feedback, and they need to develop self worth. But false praise is NOT the way to get there! 

Here are a few suggestions for avoiding praise and giving feedback that matters:

 
 1. Know your students! It's important that you know your students. Not only academically, but personally. Know what they feel good about and what they're sensitive about.

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
 
 2. Follow the "2 to 1" rule! This means, two compliments and one "you need to work on" item. Of course you wouldn't just say, "great job" or "you're awesome." Make sure they are genuine compliments, which shouldn't be tough to find. As long as you see any effort at all, that can be one of your compliments. It's also important that you always give them something specific to work on.


 3. Make sure your students know you! Let them know about the things you struggle with as well as your successes. When you make mistakes, let them see you model correcting mistakes. When you struggle with something, let them see you processing your way through the struggle.
Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

4. Make sure your students trust you! This tip goes right along with #3, making sure they know you, but it goes beyond knowledge. Trust is something that must be earned, so this won't happen the first weeks of school. By the time the initial "get to know you" period is done, the students should absolutely know you can be trusted.

 Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

 5. Always, always, always be honest! If you tell the students they're good at something, and they know they're not, you've lost their trust. When you give information about something they need to work on, and it's honest, you'll gain their trust. And that's more valuable than anything!

Since feedback is such a valuable part of learning, I've written several other blog posts about feedback. Here are some links.


 Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
 

Five Useful Tips and Tricks!

 

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!
 

The Importance of Failure

 
Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!

Quick, Easy, Honest Feedback

 What kind of praise do you give in the classroom?

How do you keep it honest and genuine?

Beware of False Praise! It's important to give students  feedback, and they need to feel good about what they're doing, but false praise doesn't help!






Giving Feedback

I find it is important to give honest feedback to children.  
I won't tell a child he's doing a good job, unless I honestly feel it is a good job.  
I tell the truth.

How do you give feedback? This post explains the importance of giving honest feedback, and how it can be done quickly and easily.

I choose to be honest with children.They know how they're doing. If they're not putting in much effort, and you tell them they're doing a good job, isn't that giving them the wrong message? Isn't that telling them they don't need to try?



I've often found the best way to build self esteem is to give opportunities for the child to work. I'm sure most people, after completing a very difficult project, are beaming with pride. I remember caressing the cover of certain reports in college, simply because it was the result of a whole lot of hard work, and I felt proud that it was completed.



In every day work, I use a simple system. Since I work with young ones, they need feedback within a day if possible.  Since many are non readers or beginning readers, I need to make it simple to understand. I use highlighters and a traffic light system.


How do you give feedback? This post explains the importance of giving honest feedback, and how it can be done quickly and easily.
I'll highlight the child's name in one of these colors:



Green: Go! You're doing just what's expected of a second grader.



Yellow: Caution: There are some things you need to be careful about



Red: Stop! There's a problem here.



There is one more color I use: purple. Purple means "above and beyond the expectations of a second grader." Purple means they are royalty.



I'm very stingy with purple. They really have to go "above and beyond" to get it. And they should be extremely proud when they earn it.



These are the papers I usually show off to the whole class.  Not only do they get the feedback they need, they are now role models for the others. (Of course, it doesn't hurt that I bow to them, and refer to them as "kings and queens".)



And what about the kids who gets yellow or red?  Does this destroy their self esteem? Of course not! They know that if they didn't put in any effort, they won't get much in return.  They also know if they don't like what they got, they have the power to change that. I often remind them:  when the going gets tough, the tough get going!


Once in a while, I have to give myself a "red." 

If a good portion of the class aren't giving me what I want, that's a teacher problem! I tell them honestly that I goofed, apologize for not getting the ideas to them properly, and I promise to do better. (Being a role model matters!) 

I have another post about giving feedback here:


Quick, Easy, Honest Feedback: Here's an idea that will make your life easier, and give the kiddos the information they need to grow!

How do you give feedback?

How do you give feedback? This post explains the importance of giving honest feedback, and how it can be done quickly and easily.

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