How Kaizena Can Amplify the Student Writing Process
As an English teacher, I can relate to the familiar struggle of providing meaningful feedback on our students’ writing. The stack of essays piled on our desk after school or on the dining room table at home. Their papers take nice rides in our cars with us, and finally, we sit down to the task with a groan. It’s not that I don’t LOVE their writing, there just has to be a better way. About five years ago, I discovered how a tool called Kaizena can amplify the student writing process!
What is Kaizena?
For many teachers, the issue is the considerable time it takes to provide meaningful feedback. Superficial comments like “Good job!” and “You need to work on this a little more” don’t really address areas that need improvement. However, many teachers have experienced the frustration of seeing essays in the trash almost immediately after students receive the graded product.
Kaizena is a program that addresses these and other obstacles that hinder student writing growth as an easy online platform or Chrome extension with multimodal feedback.
Check out how Kaizena can amplify the student writing process!
Setting Up Kaizena
Simply go to the Kaizena website or add the Chrome Extension. Once installed, you’ll automatically see it under the Add-On menu in Docs and Slides.
You’ll have the option to personalize your Kaizena settings. If you choose “Teacher”, Kaizena will ask for your schools and subjects you teach.
Your students will also need to load Kaizena one time. When you provide feedback on their Docs or Slides, they’ll be able to access it easily.
Personal Feedback in Less Than Half the Time
A little English angel dies every time an essay hits that classroom wastebasket without ever being viewed by a student. All of those hours of writing what we believe to be meaningful, valuable feedback wasted! Why would those our students do that? Well, perhaps it’s because seeing their paper marked up in red pen is too disheartening, or it could be that our understanding tone and encouraging voice are unintentionally lost in those written words. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.
The revolutionary aspect of the Kaizena add-on is that the feedback is verbal. Yes! Your own voice is guiding your students through the revision process, making the comments both meaningful and personal to that individual person. Research has also proven that teachers can cut their feedback time by as much as 75%, which is a drastic and liberating decrease.
This provides flexibility of instruction as well. Students can be assigned to listen to and make note of the necessary corrections as homework, or they can have a writer’s workshop day in the classroom, which frees you up to sit down with students who may need extra help while others are revising.
Kaizena Provides Multimodal Feedback and Differentiation
When students are provided effective feedback in the writing process, that feedback is a catalyst for growth. Kaizena not only enables teachers to verbally coach and guide their students, but also has options to track skills, attach lessons, and insert written feedback.
Perhaps a particular student struggles with possessive apostrophes. You might not want to take the time to reteach this skill to the whole class, but it’s clear that the student needs to work on this skill in their writing. Kaizena allows you to highlight the error and attach a mini-lesson and even YouTube videos that can be viewed immediately, eliminating the potential excuse that “I couldn’t find any resources on that.” Well played, Kaizena. Well played.
Students’ Proficiency is Tracked Automatically
I can think of nothing more thrilling than lounging next to the copier, making endless copies of rubrics in order to individualize student feedback, can you? Oh, you can? Clearly you don’t know the meaning of fun.
With Kaizena, you can monitor your students’ growth in their writing and individual skills with either manual or customized rubrics. These skills are trackable over time, assessing whether or not they are meeting the necessary standards or learning objectives. You can even add your own comments within the rubrics to further individualize student feedback.
Now that you’ve seen How Kaizena Can Amplify the Student Writing Process, I hope that you’ll have the courage to implement it within your own classroom setting. The time it will save you alone should be enough to convince you to give it a go, and the potential student growth is a close second. Kaizena is also perfect if you’re participating in distance learning or have a flipped classroom!
Check out some other feedback tools to use with writing.