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Give Specific Feedback


Social-Emotional Learning All Ages Strategy

Give Specific Feedback

All students, particularly those who don't ask for feedback or help

Teach It!

  1. Objective: Balance constructive feedback with positive feedback to encourage a healthy mindset and self-confidence in your student.
  2. Teacher Takeaways: Feedback is not criticism. Feedback is constructive and includes specific examples of where the student could do better as well as suggestions for how to improve. Aim for a ratio of positive-to-negative feedback of between 3-1 and 5-1. In other words, parents and teachers should try to say three to five compliments to balance out a single constructive point. You are balancing self-confidence and self-awareness of good work as well as identifying areas for improvement. Scroll to the next slide for stepped tips.

Giving Feedback: Teacher Tips

  1. Focus feedback on what is most important. Balance is key and not every mistake needs to be highlighted.
  2. Be sure students understand the feedback. Have them repeat the feedback in their own words or explain what they will do next with the feedback.
  3. Identify how your student takes constructive feedback best. Many students prefer to receive feedback in a one-on-one meeting, while others might feel better with written feedback that they can digest before discussing.
  4. Provide immediate opportunity to use the feedback so they can practice reaching the desired outcome.
  5. If a student makes the same error, consider having the student do the work while you watch. You want to understand if she is not being careful or if she needs help with understanding.
  6. For students who struggle taking feedback, provide them with additional coaching.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

Feedback that feels like criticism can put a student on the defense, often leading them to shut down. If students are primed to accept feedback, they will be encouraged to listen, learn and grow. Evolutionary psychologists call this the primacy of emotions over reasoning, as human beings are far more likely to react strongly and negatively to bad feedback than they are to hear any positive feedback.

Best-suited for students with weaker: Self-Regulation, Inhibition, Metacognition (Source: Digital Promise Learner Variability Project)