Thursday, January 10, 2019

Growth Mindset: January Focus- FEEDBACK

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Our Growth Mindset focus for January is Feedback.  How do we give feedback to our students and how do our students share feedback with their peers are the questions that we will be looking at this month. The more specific feedback we give our students, both positive and critical, helps students continue to grow and work hard to get to "yet".

Praise is one form of feedback and it is probably most often what is used at school and at home.  Some examples are: "You are doing a great job, you're so smart, you worked really hard". These feedback phrases are specifically related to the person and not the process of the work that they were doing. It can be related to some inborn quality that one has, versus the amount of effort that one put in to the task.  In the Growth Mindset Coach, the authors share that when we praise the process as opposed to the person, you are validating the effort involved.  They share that person praise works when a task is completed successfully, but if the feedback is more critical, the person may become fearful to try new things or make mistakes.

In my opinion, praising the process (effort) is an extremely important part of feedback. But, even more important is specificity. How specific can your feedback be?  An example is, "I really see that you worked hard to organize all the books in your bedroom to help keep it clean!" as opposed to, "thanks for cleaning your room". Another common feedback comment might be, "Oh, I like what you made in art." Instead, you might say, "This drawing has so many colors and different shapes that I can tell you enjoyed making it."

Being specific with praise/feedback is not easy.  It is much easier to be general in our comments to students and our children. It is a skill that requires continuous practice and awareness.  During the month of January, teachers will be working together on process versus people praise and being specific in our feedback to our students.  We will also be working on framing feedback questions, that we hope will push students in the right direction, like "Have you considered, One suggestion might be, What a great example of.." We hope you will try this at home as well with your children.

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