Feedback Ideas

+These are feedback ideas you could use if you were using journalling in your own class. For Ling 420, just respond naturally to your student, depending on the comment of your student's post.

Some of these ideas are specifically for students journalling about an extensive reading activity. They could be a great idea to use in a reading class at a later date!

Feedback Idea #1 – Make FIVE positive comments throughout the journal entry. Each comment should be one FULL sentence and cannot include the words, “good”, “great”, “excellent”, or “awesome.” The comments must address something specifically written in the journal. Your comments should also give your reader a sense that you are genuinely interested in their book and their thoughts, as well as make the reader feel good! At the end of the journal, write a two-three sentence note to encourage them in the process. Finally, ask your student one question regarding what they wrote.

Feedback Idea #2 – Circle all of the AFFECT words in the person’s journal and then comment at the end about the perceived effect that the book is having on the student. Your final comment should incorporate some of the words that the person used in their journal. Finally, ask your student one question regarding what they wrote.

Feedback Idea #3 – Your student has just described the main character of his/her book. Interact with your student at least FIVE times throughout the journal entry. THREE of your comments should be questions related to content and TWO of your comments should be encouraging. At the end of the journal entry, interact with your student re: lack of clarity and awkwardness. Sandwich this in between two positive comments. Finally, ask the student to rewrite the character description. (NOTE: You are practicing on this journal as if things were not clear, etc.)

Feedback Idea #4 – Use emoticons and symbols to express your emotions as you read through this journal entry. No words allowed until the end of this journal entry! At the end, identify with your student by relating a short experience of how your expectations were foiled in reading a book.

Feedback Idea#5: Free response. You must find 10 areas to interact with in the WRITE-UP (not the activity). One sentence each in the margins – no repeated Goods, Greats, Excellents. At the end of the journal, informally relate how pleased you are with her journals and ask 2-3 content questions that would help the writer reflect more on their book. End the comments with a full sentence expressing your anticipation for their next book!

Feedback Idea#6 – Write comments throughout the journal using positive words/phrases (no full sentences) that SEEM positive, but are terse. At the end of the journal disagree with the writer’s belief about romance novels in point form and ask them a few questions which would cause them to reconsider and come to your side.

Feedback Idea#7 – At the end of the journal, summarize in FOUR sentences what the writer has written. Try not to use the writer’s exact words.

Feedback Idea#8 – Using one or two word comments, pepper the journal entry with positive, thoughtful, and reflective comments. At the end of the journal…empathize with something your student said and tell your own story. Your goal in empathizing is to make your student feel that their world is more special than yours (not jealousy or envy).

Feedback ideas for students journalling about an extensive reading book:

Feedback Idea#9 – Interact humorously throughout the journal entry. Make at least 5 comments (full sentences) throughout the body of the entry. At the end of the entry, relate a funny scenario where you imagined yourself taking a role in a novel. Your entries should produce at the least, a smile, but hopefully a few chuckles.

Feedback Idea#10 – Comment on the content of what the journaler wrote. Your comments should pique the interest of the journaler. For example, if I want to identify with my student and give them a bit more information, I will often things like: “I completely agree with your assessment. I recall my first reading/interaction with one of her books – I didn’t know what to think. As I reflected, I recognized that the author had gotten under my skin and was challenging the way I thought about ___. I’d be interested to know what other areas YOU were challenged in, have you considered….?” Either way, write something that causes the journaler to be drawn into the topic/author/concept and that reveals your prior experience. (You may need to make something up…the purpose here is PRACTICE!)

More ideas
Feedback Idea#11 – Affirm the journaler’s choice of books. Tell them about your knowledge of this person (or lack of) and encourage them to learn as much from the person’s life as possible. In the body of the entry, make encouraging affirmative comments (single words or phrases, no repeats).

Feedback Idea#12 – Discuss the value of prereading and skimming and scanning prior to reading. Then give your journaler a “for example” when you did this with a piece of non-fiction.

Feedback Idea#13 – I want you to disagree adamantly with the journaler on their assessment of the character. The way you write should reflect that the journaler has completely misunderstood the person’s life – what they were impressed with was ill-founded and what they were disappointed with was ridiculous. The journaler should be bothered when they read your comments and feel as though they have completely misunderstood the book.

Feedback Idea#14 – Go through the journal entry and circle vocab words and phrases and suggest “better” words or phrases to replace them. Every so often, underline a word, put a question mark in the margin, input a “hmm”, and place a squiggly line under something, etc. At the end of the entry, talk about the journaler’s need for clarity of thought and continuity. Suggest ways of improvement. After reading through your comments, the journaler should be left with the feeling that there was nothing really

Journal Writing Activity (should take ONE hour)

1) Read through the journal to get a feel for it. (2-3 minutes)
2) Read it through again, and as you read it, jot down on a separate piece of paper (numbered) what the STUDENT is able to do with the language (e.g., grammatical structures, morphology, syntax, etc.). Frame it this way…for each thing the student CAN do, write the number from your sheet on his journal. For example, if your first comment is 1) Student is able to form basic S-V-O sentences., then go through the journal and in 2-3 places, write the number one.
3) Read it through again, and as you read it, jot down on a separate piece of paper (a,b,c…) what the student has difficulty with. Following the same pattern from above, find 2-3 places in the journal that match your observation and put a letter beside them.
4) Go through the journal and make positive comments in the right hand margin. Two comments (full sentences) for each journal and then a final positive comment after each journal (put that at the bottom, not in the margin). NOTE: Your comments should be grammatically well formed, but they need to match the skill of your student.

5) Perform the following tasks – one at a time
a. Correct the spelling – circle the word and with an arrow to the left margin write the word correctly.
b. Correct the punctuation within the actual document.
c. Underline improper agreement.
d. Put a squiggly line under areas where the meaning is awkward.
e. Put a checkmark at the end of every sentence that has more than a bare S-V-O.
f. Put a check plus at the end of every sentence that is extended with a conjunction. Above the conjunction, put COR for coordinating, CORR for correlative, and SUB for subordinating.
g. Fill in the grammatical overview sheet provided. You will have to examine the following things:
i. Verbal tense-aspect
ii. Inflectional and derivational morphology
iii. Active and passive structures
iv. Prepositional phrases and the relation they define
v. Parts of speech
vi. Clause structures (Adverb, adjective, and noun)
vii. Frame structure (today, yesterday, back then)
viii. Complement structures
h. Based on your analysis of this student’s writing, make five grammatical suggestions to his grade four pullout ESL teacher regarding areas where he needs improvement.