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Praise, Question, Suggestion

Management in the Active Classroom

Eighth-grade students in Rich Richardson's class at the Expeditionary Learning Middle School in Syracuse, NY, offer feedback to their peers in preparation for revising their writing. The praise, question, suggestion protocol helps students see the strengths of their work and consider questions and suggestions that will lead to revision and improvement.

In this video, students and teachers are engaged with a protocol/engagement strategy from EL Education's grades 3-8 ELA curriculum.


- [Instructor] Praise, Question, Suggestion is a protocol that helps students provide meaningful feedback to each other. This protocol can be used for pretty much any aspect of the classroom where students are starting with one draft and moving on to another draft. We demonstrate how to give feedback based on Praise, Question, Suggestion in front of the whole class first.

- When you use an artifact and you back it up with another artifact, maybe you should elaborate a little bit more.

- [Instructor] From there, students actually take their partner’s writing and use the half-sheet graphic organizer to write examples of praise, a question they have, and suggestions on how to improve that writing from the first draft to the second draft. And then they explain it to their peers.

- I think that 2.5, because when your first two pieces of evidence, we elaborate it real well and you went and got which one I was talking about. But on your last eight pieces of evidence, you get in the lab early like I know that you can.

- For your praise, I like how you used various pieces of evidence and you did good on elaborate and put in the meanings of the words in the parentheses.

- Did you use a category to correct them because I didn’t really get the sacrifice in this area?

- [Instructor] The questioning part of this protocol is sometimes the most difficult part. We try to focus students on asking specific questions about a particular part of their writing and performance. Students may use these questions as a way to clarify the intentions of the writer or to get at what they were really trying to convey.

- A suggestion is that you should elaborate more on these last three pieces of evidence and you’ll probably get a 3.5, 4 outta that.

- [Instructor] If they’re able to identify those mistakes and those strengths in someone else’s writing, they’re more likely to be able to apply it in their own writing. A discussion will allows the writer to ask some clarifying questions so that they truly understand what their peer is suggesting. The peer collaboration element adds some accountability. They’re invested to want to improve their own skills but also help their friends.

- Over time, students learn the ability to articulate their thinking to a peer in an effective way. As students have already finished the protocol, we see everybody continuing to write their second draft and as a teacher that makes me really proud.

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