AUSTIN'S BUTTERFLY: A LOOK AT USING AUTHENTIC FEEDBACK IN THIRD GRADE
WHAT IS IT? WHY DID WE DO IT?
We believe that feedback is an essential part of learning experiences for children. It helps a child understand what they're learning and also gives clear guidance on how to improve. We're interested in children being able to both give and receive feedback throughout the year and across the curriculum. We wanted to streamline the feedback process and language so we might see it being more readily used and transferred.
HOW DID WE DO IT? THESE WERE THE BASIC STEPS WE TOOK:
Present children with a choice of realistic photographs and had them select a picture to biologically illustrate.
- Gather the group together and asked them collectively what they knew about feedback.
Group them in random cohorts of four with the instruction to take turns providing feedback on how to make the illustration more realistic.
- Complete a second draft trying to incorporate one piece of feedback they had received.
- Watch “Austin’s Butterfly,” and share their observations on how the kids in the video communicated with each other and what they noticed. Click here to watch the video Austin's Butterfly
- Group with their original cohorts and tried to give advice on the second draft of the drawing keeping the feedback framework in mind.
- Repeated this with a third and fourth draft.
- We also did intermittent “gallery walks” to make students more aware of our collective process.
- Finally we asked the children to choose their best illustration and add color.
It was noticeable that all students were able to have a voice in the feedback conversations and that most students were receptive to the feedback. Our hunch is that they valued the task and genuinely wanted to improve. Additionally, for some quieter students, knowing they had guideline for how to share increased their confidence in speaking. For the most part, both parties in the conversation were highly invested. When students had an opportunity to improve their work by doing a subsequent draft, they were incredibly focused and everyone persisted. Not a single kid said, “No way, I can’t do this!” Doing this activity helped the students understand how feedback works and the three key terms resonated with them.