Distance Learning and Feedback: Three Types of Selfcorrecting Activities for Middle School Math7/28/2020 You walk around the classroom, looking at students' math work, listening to students' conversations, chatting with students about their math work, correcting possible misunderstandings, and reinforcing correct thinking. This is a big part of your 'normal' teaching day, right? But this probably won't be the scenario for your fall 2020 math class. Whether you're totally online, in a hybrid model, or facetoface but need to social distance, providing feedback will look different. Providing feedback in distance learning Feedback is so important. When a student completes a task  a practice problem, responding to a reading passage, reading aloud, writing an essay  whatever they're learning  they need to know if they did it right or they need to know what to do differently. Then they can repeat and practice correctly. When you're with your students, giving feedback is relatively easy. You can nod, give a thumbs up, give verbal feedback, etc. But when the learning is virtual, or you need to social distance, it's not so easy! You can't walk among the students, look at their work, and take the quick moment to correct a little misunderstanding. So providing feedback becomes even more critical with distance learning, when you can't see students' body language, facial expressions, etc, that indicate they don't fully understand the concept. Even on a Zoom call or Google hangout, it's tough to just see everyone, let alone notice everyone's cues! How can you provide feedback to students in this situation? Or in a situation where you're in the classroom, but can't be close enough to students to check their math work in the same way? Selfcorrecting digital activities are one great way to provide that feedback. Benefits of Selfchecking Digital Resources How are selfchecking resources beneficial? Obviously they aren't the same as being next to your students, checking their work yourself, and giving them verbal feedback. But, they're so much more beneficial than assigning an activity that gives students no indication of whether they 'get it' or not. The selfchecking element is a step toward avoiding a lot of incorrect practice. 1) Selfchecking resources provide immediate feedback One benefit of selfchecking math activities is that they provide immediate feedback  research has shown that feedback is most effective when it's given immediately. While you may not be able to give very detailed feedback all the time in a distance learning situation, it's helpful for students to at least know if they're correct or incorrect when they're practicing math concepts. 2) Selfchecking activities give students more independence Selfchecking, digital math activities, especially nongraded activities, allow students to feel independent and more responsible for their work. The benefits here are that students may take more time to retry a question they answered incorrectly, or retry the entire activity because they aren't being monitored. Since they aren't being watched as they're practicing, they can try again without feeling selfconscious about it. I remember doing math homework back in high school and loving when the answers were in the back of the math book  not because I wanted to cheat, but because i wanted to check myself! If my answer was wrong, I'd redo the problem until I got it right. Three types of selfchecking digital activities So far, I've created three types of selfchecking activities. 1) My favorite are the Truth or Dare games:) These are in Google Slides (and on my digital math activities site) and do require a good amount of navigation. This is a quick overview of the steps (video demo below).
2) The next favorite are the selfchecking task cards in Google slides (video on the left, below). These are multiple choice questions. Selecting an answer takes students to a 'correct' or 'incorrect' answer slide. If the answer was incorrect, there's a Back button they can select so they can try again. 3) I also love the pixel art color by answer activities in Google Sheets (right, below). These offer more 'fun' feedback because students see the colors appear if they get the answer correct. They can try again on these as well, by deleting the incorrect answer and entering a new one.
I'll be continuing to brainstorm to find other activities that can provide feedback, instructional when possible. What other ways do you use to provide feedback during distance learning or social distancing? To Read Next
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AuthorHey there! I'm Ellie  here to share math fun, best practices, and engaging, challenging, easyprep activities ideas! Archives
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