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The Red Ink Myth

The Red Ink Myth

Juila G. Thompson | Teaching

Formative Feedback Strategies

Instead of waiting until students have committed mistakes and then playing “Gotcha” with them, offer frequent opportunities during the course of a lesson or unit of study for students to let you know how they are doing. Try some of these strategies to determine your students’ progress.

•Ask students for suggestions on how they can learn the information better.

•Give students a checklist to gauge their knowledge or skill level. Have them check the items that they feel confident about and use the results to see what you need to reteach or emphasize.

•Begin a lesson with an outline of the information that you will cover and ask students to track progress and their mastery by using their outlines.

•At a good stopping point in a lesson, ask students to complete a graphic organizer with the information covered so far.

•Pay attention to body language. Your students telegraph both negative and positive reactions through their body language.

•Don’t ask, “Are there any questions?” Instead, ask students to write one thing that they may not be sure of and share it with the class.

•Use the rubrics that you give at the start of an assignment as periodic checkpoints.

•Ask students to keep learning logs where they can comment on their progress.

•After you have taught a chunk of information, have students summarize or paraphrase the information you have just covered.

•As you move about the room when your students are working independently, ask them to tell you one question they have about their work.

•If your school offers it, use an electronic response system where students can click in their answers and have instant feedback.

•Have students play online games or complete other activities that you have developed. A Web site that your school may have an account with is: At Quia, you can create online tests, quizzes, and other interactive activities.

•Periodically stop and have students write questions about the lesson and share those questions with the class.

•Have students write responses on whiteboards and hold them up for you and their classmates to see.

•Ask students to restate the directions or an important concept.

•Have students circle a question or problem that they are unsure of. They can also mark the ones that they are confident about.

•Begin class by asking students to complete sentences such as these, “I was wondering…” or “I am not sure about…” or “I don’t understand…”

•In groups, ask students to evaluate each others’ work and then ask questions that concern the entire group.

•Ask students to rate their knowledge on a scale of 1-5.

•Pass out stickers and have students place them beside their best and worst answers.

•Ask students to predict their grades before an assignment. Use their predictions to discuss concerns.

Continue reading on the next page: “How to Encourage Student Self-Correction”

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