Friday, August 26, 2011

Text Marking: Using Colouring Pencils in Class

Back to School

For many, August coming to an end and the beginning of September heralds the start of a new academic year. Children return to school after a long summer holiday and seem, to the new teacher, to be a lot further behind than what last year's teacher had promised. Research data shows that children can lose up to 50% of what they gained the previous year. Therefore the first two weeks or up to a month of the school year is  a crucial period in recovering the basics in numeracy and literacy and setting in the routines and structures of the new classroom.

Coloured Pencils

One idea that can transform the tedium of revision into excitement is to use coloured pencils. A much over looked part of most children's equipment (and very cheap to get hold of in the supermarkets), coloured pencils can be used to pull out the prior knowledge and understanding.

  1. Photocopy a page of a reading book that is at the level of the children on the table
  2. After comprehending the text ask the children to mark alternate sentences using two colours and a ruler to underline
  3. Mark the capital letters and full stops
  4. Use a colour to identify nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs etc.
  5. Mark simple and complex sentences, highlight the conjunction
  6. Use wipe-boards to write out sentences and then model sentences using the same structures
Follow Up

Use coloured pencils when children are peer marking work. Ask children to use specific colours to identify the learning intention in the child's work, followed with a written comment and target.

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