As a math teacher, I think my feedback is different than in other areas. One unit in which we are currently working is all about factoring polynomials. I’ve built the formatives in a way that help me to pinpoint where a student is going wrong. For example, the first formative, 25.1, is all about pulling out the GCF (number only) from two terms. Once students make progress there, they go on to 25.2, where they also pull out a variable… but they only focus on positive values. In 25.3, they pull out a number, a variable, AND they have to watch for changes in signs when factoring out a negative number. In 25.4, they have all the types .1-.3 mixed together. In 25.5 I introduce difference of squares… and the series progresses.
Once they figure out how to manipulate binomials, I do the same sort of scaffolding for factoring trinomials, too, starting with pulling out the GCF first.
For feedback, I focus on something positive that the student is doing correctly, and then pose an area of focus. For example, “numbers look good… check your signs” or “great start… check your Bs” (meaning bases of variable B).
I even started displaying our progress and allowing for students to give me feedback (in column C). I’m trying to get students to give each other feedback, too. I work with a focus group (usually the ones at the bottom of the list) to help them get caught up and to correct misunderstandings in their math learning. I emphasize to my students to ask classmates who have already completed the assignment (in green) if they need help. They can work with anyone who is working on the same assignment they are so they can collaborate and find mistakes together. [I put the data in a spreadsheet so I can sort it each day based on student progress. I can also highlight student names for grouping.]