Every day we engage children in back and forth conversations by encouraging responses to our questions and prompts. These conversations are called Feedback Loops. Here’s how you can use Feedback Loops at home.
How to use Feedback Loops
Simply engage your child by asking questions about what she is doing or by following up on comments your child makes. To make it a loop you want to keep the conversation going.
Engage your child by asking questions
Just ask questions about what he is doing.
- You’re painting with a carrot. I’ve never seen that before. What other things have you used to paint?
- You’ve been working hard that picture. Why did you choose green for that tree?
- That was a great jump. How far off the ground do you think you jumped?
Follow up on comments
Listen carefully to what your child is saying and respond by expanding on the comments by adding new ideas or suggestions. Following their lead, adding more content to the conversation, new vocabulary, and new sentence structures.
- I’m going to build a rocket out of these blocks! You say, That’s great! What made you decide to build a rocket? | Your child says, They blast off super fast! | You say, How fast do you think they can go? | Then keep it going in whatever direction your child takes it.
Successful implementation of feedback loops
The success of Feedback Loops depends on your ability to understand not only your child’s words, but also his intent— and to add information that your child will find interesting. Conversations that are not interesting usually end prematurely; however, when children feel their ideas are being taken seriously, conversation increases.
Don’t overwhelm with too many questions
Engage your child. Don’t grill them. You don’t need to have prolonged conversations about every comment or action. Just create a natural flow. And let your child take the lead. The best Feedback Loops move from one thing to next at your child’s pace.
Use Feedback Loops at home, the car, grocery store, the movies…
Feedback Loops will help you and your child deepen your relationship as you create learning moments together. When you engage your child she’s getting the time and attention she needs from you. Use Feedback Loops at home, the car, grocery store, the movies, the park, the beach. Use them anywhere and everywhere. And have FUN!
Adapted from Preschool for All, San Francisco First Five (firstSsf.org)