4 Ways to Build Classroom Community Through Feedback Using Kami & iCivics

December 10, 2021

A strong classroom community is vital for empowering students and making them feel valued. Creating such an environment should foster kindness, responsibility, compassion, empathy, and more. Though there are many ways to build toward a strong classroom community—including through family involvement, identity, and predictability—feedback is one aspect that is often overlooked.

Feedback is an important component for building classroom community because it is what students rely on to understand and reflect on their actions. Decisions are based on this feedback and impact how students will operate in the future. Students need adequate feedback about their work in order to improve. Therefore, a method for providing feedback needs to give teachers plenty of options for communicating with students. Fortunately, iCivics and Kami have you covered!

Kami allows teachers to markup, discuss, and provide feedback on iCivics lessons using Kami’s text, comment, and media tools.

Here are four ways to use iCivics and Kami to provide feedback to students:

1. Utilize the comment tools

Kami’s comment tools allow teachers to respond directly to a specific spot in students’ work. This flexibility means that teachers can pinpoint targeted areas for improvement and praise. Kami’s comment tools also allow for teacher and student reply. Why not try using the comment tool to ask a scaffolded question that will help students rethink something they answered incorrectly? Then allow students to try again by replying to your comment! Rather than seeing feedback as failure, students will see it as an opportunity for growth and repeated practice.

2. Give praise with correction

Some students will respond well to corrective feedback, while others will struggle with it. One way to balance this is by offering praise along with corrective feedback. Studies show that praise boosts student confidence and motivates them to complete or stick with challenging tasks. Kami’s media tools allow teachers to add stickers to student work indicating “great effort”, “excellent work”, and “good idea.” You can follow up the visual appeal and excitement of a sticker with a more specific explanation of what the student did well with Kami’s comment tool.

3. Use student exemplars with the class

Using a projector or smartboard, share student exemplars with the class. Kami’s markup tools like the text highlighter and the drawing or shapes tool let you emphasize for students what to focus on. We recommend sharing a range of student exemplars at varying performance levels and discussing them with students. When students see and have opportunities to discuss examples of real student work, they gain a better idea of what success looks like at different levels.

4. Offer real-time feedback on assignments

As students think through their own ideas and grapple with an assignment, circulate around the room to monitor students' progress. Take note of what students seem to be struggling with and what they are getting right. With students' permission, select a sample to project on the whiteboard to model and discuss with the class. Use Kami's annotation tools to draw students' attention to important pieces of evidence or keywords that underscore the concept you are teaching. If you need to provide this feedback virtually, Kami allows teachers to make comments in real-time on iCivics lessons and provide students with the opportunity to improve their work as they continue to complete the assignment.

Using Kami's tools with iCivics assignments will allow teachers to give students the formative feedback they need to build confidence, resilience, and a classroom culture of learning. Try using Kami with iCivics today!