Friday, February 20, 2015

Feedback on Speeches

Giving feedback to students on their writing is a very tricky endeavor. You want to help them improve, but you also don't want to criticize them to a point of causing their writing paralysis. Writing requires confidence, but not hubris. I try my best to keep this in mind when providing them with edits.. However, some students cannot handle any constructive criticism. The goal with them is to gain their trust and open their hearts so that they can learn without feeling like feedback is an attack on their self worth.

I find that feedback is least tolerated by students when the genre is creative writing; unless, the entire course is focused on creative writing. Students are most eager to receive feedback on a speech because they will be reciting it in front of their peers. They want to put their best foot forward. 

Below are links to four students' speeches. The students are diverse and English may not be their first or second language. Their grades last semester range from C to A. All four of the students received some type of individual, in-person feedback either during class or after class after receiving comments on their rough draft. Student 4 was asked to rewrite his speech during a conference; I prefer to tell a student to that in person, rather than in the comments section. 

This is their sixth piece of formal writing this school year. They are 10th graders.  Rough drafts were uploaded to Turnitin. I included three very successful final drafts and one improved, but less successful one. 

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