Giving Students Feedback: Bless, Address, and Press

 Feedback as Instructional Coaches

How do you give effective feedback to your students?

This post provides an overview of how teachers can give effective feedback to students, as well as how you can build the routine for students to have meaningful conversations during peer to peer feedback.

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What to look for in this post:
  • Peer feedback in the classroom
  • How to give students feedback: Examples of bless, address, and press
  • Examples of student feedback for math activities
  • Giving teachers feedback as an instructional coach

If you prefer to hear me talk through this, here is a video featuring all of this content:

[0:12] Peer feedback in the classroom

I was reading the book 180 Days by Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle with some English teachers in my building, and I loved the description of writing conferences they included. Students would be in groups, and whenever they reviewed each other’s work they had a process and procedure that they would repeat. I love processes and procedures, so this idea was near and dear to my heart.

When the student groups would get together, they would have a copy of their writing for each student in their group. At the top of each copy, they had to write what type of feedback they wanted their peers to give them: bless, address, or press. The students would then take each other’s writing pieces, provide the feedback type they had asked for, and then return them.

[1:26] How to give students feedback: Examples of bless, address, and press

If the students wrote Bless on their papers, they were just looking for some positive interactions. They were not looking for anything constructive at the time, but rather they wanted to hear about the good things they were doing. There is nothing wrong with that, from time to time. Even as teachers, sometimes we just need a win.

The second option is Address. If the students wrote Address, they needed to write something else as well to give others an idea about what in particular they wanted feedback about. Maybe they would write, “Address conclusion,” or, “Address thesis statement”. They would pick one or two areas about which they specifically wanted feedback.

Finally, they could write Press. If they wrote Press, anything was fair game. Students could give constructive criticism in any area.

Types of Feedback for Coaching: 1. Bless 2. Address 3. Press

[3:15] Examples of student feedback for math activities

I loved this idea so much, and it got my brain working. While I didn’t teach ELA as much during my years in the classroom, I did teach math. I started to think about how Bless, Address, and Press could be applied to math activities. Students could complete multi-step math problems, swap their papers, and label them with the type of feedback they wanted. Rather than the teacher jumping all around the classroom, they could receive feedback from their peers as well.

[4:37] Giving teachers feedback as an instructional coach

In addition to making me think about peer feedback, this book also made me think about how I provided feedback to teachers in my role as an instructional coach. It gave me a procedure to use when teachers want feedback from me. As a teacher, it can be scary to request feedback. As an instructional coach, you may not know exactly what they are looking for.

With this strategy in mind, I could have a conversation with the teacher in advance to figure out if they want something blessed, addressed, or pressed. This would help both of us as we go into my observation and the following meeting.

Check out these related posts:
Coaching Teachers on Behavior Management Strategies for the Classroom
4 Strategies for Elementary Classroom Management
Benefits of Building Good Relationships with Students for Classroom Management

Check out these related YouTube videos:
Coaching Teachers with Classroom Management
4 Tips for Classroom Management
Classroom Management: Building Relationships

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