Brain research tells us that honest feedback is essential in order for learning to happen. Common sense also tells us that children need to know if they're on track.
I make a point to give honest feedback whenever I can.
On written work, I use 4 highlighters: red (or pink), yellow, green, and purple.
Here's how it works:
If I highlight the child's name in green, that means they're doing just what's expected, they're right on track!
If the child's name is highlighted in yellow, that means he's on track, but needs to be careful about something. (I usually write a little note to let them know.)
If the child's name is highlighted in red (or pink), that means stop! There's a problem here. (We usually have a little conversation.)
But there's one more: if a child's name is highlighted in purple, that means his work is above and beyond expectations. Purple represents royalty, so I'll often bow to these children!
For most papers, like homework, the only mark I make is the highlight at the top of the paper. Sometimes I'll focus on a specific skill, and make a note and highlight about that topic or skill. In the spelling papers below, I focused on the correct formation of the lower case m.
Then, of course, I'll find a little something spectacular that a child has done, and I'll make a point to make a purple star right on that part of the paper.
I often hold up these papers for the children to see. The next day, many children are doing the same thing on their papers. It's amazing how happy it makes the children to get a little positive attention!
On the paper below, I've made purple stars for children showing their work in math.
Well, there you go! It's easy to remember. It cuts back on my correcting time AND it gives the children the honest feedback they need!
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