Good question. In my 5th grade classroom, I began feedback loops on the first day of school. And feedback quickly becomes a buzzword in my classroom (along with behoove, extrapolate and a handful of others). While formative academic feedback is critical for student growth, social/emotional feedback also begins day one.
Before I continue, it is probably important to note that I don't have any sort of reward/consequence system or token economy in my classroom. Following John Hattie, Daniel Pink and the path paved by other great thinkers I have become invested in building students' self-awareness, social thinking, responsibility and intrinsic motivation. Enter feedback. In the first few days of school when our levels of responsibility are introduced (loosely adapted from Discipline without Stress and the Raise Responsibility System) I carefully plan to offer effective formative feedback on learning behaviors.
You showed perseverance when you tried that problem in three different ways.
Great eye contact during that greeting!
I love how you are tracking the speaker.
You are smart. We often think that when students hear this it increases motivation but it does the opposite.
Good job. Not specific enough, good job on what?
Thanks for following directions. Frame what they did, name the specific directions you saw them follow.
This isn't a loop yet - but it is normalizing effective feedback and building the foundation we need to start.
In order to put effective academic feedback loops in place, clear aims (learning targets, objectives, etc.) need to be part of your practice. I introduce each aim when beginning the lesson (usually on the board, in a document on a 1:1 device or my personal favorite: on the anchor chart). Then we deconstruct the aim (define any vocabulary necessary) and go through the steps of the workshop model. Opportunities for feedback should be purposeful and somewhat planned. I ask students to give feedback (something they love and something I could try) guiding them to connect feedback to the aim. I model this using effective and ineffective examples and then ask a few students to try it out. I do this frequently* follow-up with feedback on their feedback, and thus the loop begins. I find that asking for feedback and showing students how to accept feedback to feed forward (growth feedback) normalizes this practice and it becomes ingrained in the culture of our classroom. Normalizing this practice has to happen for it to be effective.
*in this context, frequently means brief discussions, several times a week during meaningful aims. Don't ask for feedback after you decorate your portfolio or model a math benchmarking assessment.
I would LOVE to know, how are you going to begin feedback loops in your classroom?