I like messy papers. I like papers with all sorts of colors over them and all sorts of comments. My students enjoy them too.
The messy papers are my students’ peer reviewed papers . The pupils color code the writer’s paper with the thesis and topic sentences in red, evidence in yellow and details in green. They draw triangles for transition words. They put in many other marks to indicate various aspects of writing that they found.
The more colors and the more marks, the better the student has written the paper. When students get back their papers, their faces light up when they see all the colors and all the positive comments. When they are missing a color in a paragraph, they can instantly notice the lack of color. They know we are a “green” classroom; we want to have plenty of “green” in their writing.
After a quick verbal peer conferencing, they revise their papers as soon as they are made aware of their learning gaps.They want more “color” in their life!
How do you help your students to give formative feedback to other students? How do add “color” to their work?
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Students, is available through Eye-on-Education.