'Metropolis Reflections on the modern city - sign - Acknowledgements' photo (c) 2013, Elliott Brown - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Four ways to give ELL students feedback on their writing is the headline of one of my latest Teaching English – British Council posts.

I’ve been thinking and writing  about the most effective ways to give feedback to students. I’ve obviously been trying to apply what I’ve been learning in the classroom, too.

As a one sentence summary, as I’ve posted about previously, the research says it’s best to praise effort and not intelligence.

Here are some resources I’ve found helpful:

What Kind Of Feedback Should We Give Our Students? is a post I have previously written.

The Difference Between Praise & Acknowledgment is another older post.

The Perils and Promises of Praise is an article by Carol Dweck.

It’s Not About How Smart You Are is an article by Carol Dweck.

Goodbye to “Good Job!”—The Power of Specific Feedback is a useful post by Margaret Berry Wilson at ASCD Express.

“The Praise Paradox” is an excerpt from the book Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children, written by by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. It appeared in the March issue of “NEA Today.”

New Marzano Study On “Effort & Recognition”

The words that could unlock your child comes from the BBC.

Carol Dweck’s website for her book, Mindset, contains a number of useful articles on her research, particularly on giving effective feedback.

Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson has written a short article for Carol Dweck’s website. It provides a simple review of the basics on the kind of feedback we should be giving our students, and generally there’s nothing new in it. However, it did make one important point I have not see made anyplace else:

Avoid praising effort when it didn’t pay off. Many parents try to console their child by saying things like “Well honey, you didn’t do very well, but you worked hard and really tried your best.” Why does anyone think that this is comforting? For the record – it’s not. (Unless, of course, it was a no-win situation from the start).

Studies show that, after a failure, being complimented for “effort” not only makes kids feel stupid, it also leaves them feeling like they can’t improve. In these instances, it’s really best to stick to purely informational feedback – if effort isn’t the problem, help them figure out what is.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t provide references to those studies.

“Praise for effort keeps people engaged and willing to work hard”

Use Acknowledgments More Than Praise is by Marvin Marshall.

How to Tell Whether You’re Using Praise or Acknowledgments is also by Marvin Marshall.

An article entitled Choice Words by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey has been published by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and it’s an exceptional commentary with practical suggestions on giving effective feedback. I especially like the framework they use — dividing helpful feedback into ones that emphasize student accomplishments, identity and agency.

How To Give Good Feedback is by Annie Murphy Paul.

This next piece is an excellent interview with Carol Dweck. I learn from all of her work, but I found this one particularly interesting because she shared some thoughts I hadn’t heard her say before.

Giving Feedback is by Elena Aguilar and is focuses on instructional coaches giving feedback to educators. However, most of the advice can be easily applied to students, as well.

Quote Of The Day: Giving Feedback

Grant Wiggins and Mark Barnes did a workshop Feedback, and you can see the Storify “notes” and the slideshow here.

Tips for Improving Feedback at the Middle Level is by Debbie Silver.

The Pajarao Valley Unified School District has an excellent collection of resources on Professor Carol Dweck’s work, and it’s been on The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” list for quite awhile.

However, they created another related resource that, for some reason, I discovered is not on that list. It’s an exceptional PowerPoint presentation on how to provide feedback to students that promotes a growth mindset. And, in an added bonus, a portion of it speaks directly to parents.

The Best Learning Motivator EVER! is by Eric Jensen.

The Difference Between Praise and Feedback is from MindShift.

Tips for Giving Feedback is from Elena Aguilar.

How to Turn Praise into Acknowledgment is by Marvin Marshall.

How Adam Grant Just Made Teaching More Complicated

New Ideas on Feedback from IATEFL 2014 is an interesting post.

Pupils benefit from praise, but should teachers give it to them publicly or privately? is from Research Digest.

Quote Of The Day: I Think This Is The Best Article Carol Dweck Has Written

Good Videos On A Growth Mindset, The Importance Of Learning From Mistakes & A Lot More

Quote Of The Day: “A scientific look at the art of teacher talk”

Study: Feedback doesn’t always help students is from Chalkbeat.

This Is A Really Useful Article On Giving Student Feedback

This ASCD Article By Dylan Wiliam May Be The Best Article You’ll Ever Read On Giving Students Feedback
Additional suggestions are welcome.

I’ve got questions about some of these recommendations, but I’m still adding it to this list:

I don’t think I agree with everything Doug Lemov writes here, but a lot of it sounds useful: Positive Reinforcement: Distinguishing Praise from Acknowledgment in the Classroom.

How to Give Bad Feedback Without Being a Jerk is from Heleo.

Two Myths about Feedback (and Why the Myths are Wrong) is from The Learning Scientists.

Save Grading Time and Provide Meaningful Feedback: It Is Possible is from Read It Write It Learn It.

Good Reminder About How To Give Constructive Feedback

Guiding student improvement without individual feedback is by Harry Fletcher-Wood.

Good Advice On Talking About Our Colleagues & Our Students

New Studies Find Calling Children “Smart” Makes Them More Likely To Cheat

A Marked Improvement: A review of the evidence on written marking is from The Education Endowment Foundation.

No Surprise But A Good Reminder – Critical Feedback Generally Only Works If People Feel They Are Valued

Seven Characteristics (and Six Tools) That Support Meaningful Feedback is from ASCD.

The Praise Paradox is from Behavioral Scientist.

“What’s the next step on the path up the mountain?”

I’m not sure I agree with this Dan Pink piece: Why you should always deliver the bad news first.

Important Reminder That We Need To Praise Process To Support A Growth Mindset

Feedback Without Clarity is Meaningless…At Best is from Kristin Anderson.

‘Not All Feedback Is Created Equal’ is a four-part series in my Education Week Teacher column.

This Article Shares Some Of The Best Advice You’ll Find On Giving Feedback

Ensuring students respond to feedback: Responsive Teaching 2019 update is from Improving Teaching.

How to get better at giving (and getting) feedback is from NBC News.


We need to change our high-school students’ expectations about teacher feedback is by Ray Salazar.

The Secret To Giving Great Feedback is a new and short TED Talk that offers a simple, but useful, formula to keep in mind when giving anyone feedback.

Good Feedback Is a Two-Way Conversation is from The Harvard Business Review.

The Anatomy of an Effective and Efficient Piece of Feedback is from Matthew M. Johnson.

Focused feedback: why less is more is by Harry Fetcher-Wood.

FEEDBACK A short guide to delivering effective and meaningful feedback to students is from Evidence Based Education.

Dylan Wiliam: Let’s look again at research on feedback is from TES.

8 Steps to Making Feedback More Effective is from Edutopia.

Study Finds – To No Teacher’s Surprise – That Praising More Than Reprimanding Gets Results

On Positive and Negative Feedback to Student Writing is by P.L. Thomas.

Feedback Isn’t Enough to Help Your Employees Grow is from The Harvard Business Review.

Giving Feedback That Works: Plant the Seeds of Confidence is from the University of Pennsylvania.

Improving Feedback and Fostering Collaboration With Technology is from Edutopia.

Make feedback into detective work is from Tips For Teachers.


What are the conditions for delivering effective feedback? is from Evidence Based Education.

The Danger With Giving Students Feedback is from Alfie Kohn.

How To Give Students Feedback: 11 Teacher Feedback Examples And Strategies is from Teacher Made.


4 ways to work smarter—not harder—at giving feedback on student writing is from Teach Learn Grow.

Feedback That Fosters Growth is from Edutopia.

Here’s How to Give Feedback That Students Will Actually Use is from Ed Week.

“Agentic Feedback” Is A Useful Term – & Practice – For Teachers

The Art of Giving Feedback is from The Harvard Business Review.

3 Techniques for Providing Students With Feedback is from Edutopia.

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