Highlighting Key Features
Using highlighter pens in the classroom is far from a revolutionary idea, so bear with me.
How you use highlighters to make a difference is the point of this blog post. There are many ways you can use highlighters and make them an integral part of your classroom and your children’s peer assessment, self assessment and target setting.
To get a greater understanding of how highlighting can be used in all three key areas of assessment I will break this post into those three sections.
The use of highlighting of key features for the purpose of self assessment is simple. Below is an example of our self assessment tools for highlighting:
The above resources can be used in many ways. The WWW ones (which are already three-way differentiated) can be used after the lesson. The children write 2, 3 or 5 great features of their work and then choose a highlighter for each key feature and highlight an example of it in their work.
The EBI resource is a more interesting tool in many ways. Also differentiated three ways, they help children say what’s missing of what could be improved. They have to highlight areas that can be bettered. A useful tool when the class our working on a first draft or plan.
The use of highlighting for the purpose of peer assessment is certainly interesting. Give each pupil one of the resources below:
Once they’ve been paired they can look at their partner’s work and decide which is the best part and why and which part can be improved, and once again why. They can then choose a highlighter colour for each part and highlight examples of great practice and bits that can be improved.
I’ve tried it out recently and it worked really really well. The children go so much more from this form of peer assessment. Below is an example of what one pupil came up with:
The use of highlighting key features for target setting has to be done in two stages, one at the start and one at the end of a lesson. Give each pupil one of the below resources:
They can then choose 2, 3 or 5 features they’d like to include in their work (the resource comes three-way differentiated). For instance when my class were writing diaries entries they chose which key features they were going to include (first person, chronological order, time connectives, etc) in their diary entry.
At the end of the lesson they can then go back and highlight where they have used each key feature in their work, thus proving they’ve successfully completed their work. If there are any key features they can’t find examples of then they know what to do to improve their work.
So dust off those highlighter pens. They can be one of the most simple and most powerful tools for classroom assessment.
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