Green penning...

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by ahsila, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. ahsila

    ahsila Companion

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    Aug 3, 2005

    I don't know where the idea came from (maybe here?) but in an effort to focus on the positive instead of the negative, all of the primary ed teachers at my school have adopted green penning. Instead of marking the wrong answers on a sheet (usually in red) we are now supposed to star the correct answers with a green pen. Then, we score the number correct out of the number possible (+x correct/y possible.) Is this something that is catching on everywhere? I like the idea behind this, but I've never worked at a school where it's policy.
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I don't know of anywhere that's it's policy, but that's how I correct things anyway. Well, not necessarily in green (usually purple!) but I make a mark (check, c, etc..) next to the correct answers and then write the number correct over the total on the top of the page.
     
  4. mrs_u

    mrs_u Rookie

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    I do the same thing! Green or purple pen to correct and the x/y. I don't think it's policy, but many of the newer teachers are doing the same thing. I heard somewhere that the red ink brings stress to the child or something like that...Anyone heard anything about that?
     
  5. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    I've heard the same thing about stress, but honestly, I think a bad grade in any color would be stressful! haha I do avoid red, though. :)
     
  6. mrs_u

    mrs_u Rookie

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    Lol!
     
  7. karrie723

    karrie723 Rookie

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    I think the fear of the red pen comes from us teachers. When we were little all the teachers used red. They didn't have options to use other colors. I know that I NEVER use a red pen, for anything. I like the pastel bik pens they come in purple, light blue, green, and pink. I think a kid is more afraid of lots of markings on their paper than the color of the ink.
     
  8. Mable

    Mable Enthusiast

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    red stands out-right?
    I used green awhile ago back when I taught intermediate. I wanted to focus on positive growth. :>)
     
  9. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    I think the green-pen idea was one that evolved from teachers "correcting" student writing. Students worked so hard on the story or essay and it came back with all the negative red marks on it, and that is pretty much all you saw... those red marks. Gradually it has become more acceptable to mark the good stuff... underline or star in green and write comments such as, "So true. Interesting thought. This part is organized nicely. I like the way you stated this." etc.
    So there is more of a focus on what was done well. That way, if you needed to make a comment such as, "this part needs fine-tuning", you have had a lot of other positives stated to create a balance.
     
  10. SimplySue

    SimplySue Rookie

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    I've always used a green pen to mark with. :D This is mostly because we color code our subjects. I teach science and my color is green. Therefore I use the green pen. I do like the idea of the correct/possible grade instead of the "F" staring them in the face. It is still a low grade but they have to figure that out and see why. Good idea. Now, what do I do with my subjectively graded papers like lab sheets? Any ideas on that one? :rolleyes:

    Sue
     
  11. Miss W

    Miss W Phenom

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    I use what ever bright color is close when I'm grading. There have been studies done about the red color. It's said that if all teachers started using the color blue to grade with, then we would be having the discussion about blue.
     
  12. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    I agree with Miss W... it's really the (positive)thought that counts.
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Our school is point based, not percentage, so our grades are always amount correct out of possible points. We usually mark just those that are missed, though. I always try and mark comments on tests, though. If a child who has struggled with a math skill gets it correct, I always note them, etc. I actually have tried marking correct, but to me, it makes the page too busy, too confusing.
     
  14. teacher62604

    teacher62604 Companion

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    I still mark the wrong answers, but I never write D or F on a paper. If a student gets a " D or F" will write "NY" which stands for Not Yet. When a student recieves a Not Yet paper, they are allowed to re-do it for a C. Parents LOVE the fact that I allow the students to re-do the papers. I tell them that I believe we all need a second chance sometimes! I will not let them re-do quizzes or tests, but classwork I will.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    We have had problems in the past with teachers letting students redo too many tests. We get them in 4th grade (where they must pass the LEAP to pass) and they can't do it, yet they have honor roll from previous years. In fact, our school has now stated that students shouldn't be allowed to redo more than 1 test a subject per six weeks (except for extenuating circumstances, of course).
     
  16. teacher62604

    teacher62604 Companion

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    Well, Like I said, I don't let them re-do tests or quizzes.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. dianejw

    dianejw Companion

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    I like your ideas of being more postive when grading students' work. I have always used whatever color goes with the season or holiday. My marks also change with the holidays. For instance I use miniature pumpkins, snowflakes,etc. It just makes it more appealing that way for the student.

    However I disagree with not allowing students to redo work, even weekly quizzes and tests. I bellieve that my job as an educator is to make sure every student makes progress and can eventually do well on previous taught concepts. My students have to self-monitor and chart their progress. Retaking similiar tests and redoing other papers is just part of that process. Their end of the nine weeks tests are given once and are usually the tell-all of how well the students are actually doing.
     
  18. Irissa

    Irissa Cohort

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    I have always used the x/y method. I also circle not X the correct answer. When a student has corrected it I put a K behind the circle and it becomes Ok.
     
  19. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I understand the idea behind letting a child redo a test. Maybe I wasn't clear in my post, so let me explain how I handle a child not doing well on a quiz/test/graded paper. If a child doesn't pass a paper, that means they don't know it. I work with the child(ren) as needed to reteach the skill. There have been times that one child or the whole class has redone a quiz. These are very few and far between,though. Most of the time I average the two grades and that is their new grade. Other than it being a rule at my school that they not redo grades, I have 2 other reasons:
    1 - The kids who did everything that was required of them, studied, worked, etc, earned their grade (again, this is understanding that there are exceptions to every rule). I don't think it's fair for one child to bust their tail to earn an A on a paper and then another child gets to redo the paper to get that A.
    2 - My 4th graders learn responsibility. I give them ever chance to succeed. However, I don't want them to think that every time they make a mistake they are going to get a chance to do it over. That is setting a bad precident for life. They take ownership of their grade and we move on from there to do whatever we need to make sure they learn the skill/subject.
    I don't know how to type it without coming across as harsh. I'm not. There are countless times that I look at a paper, call a child up and ask if they studied/understood, etc. I will often give them the chance to study for a few minutes and try again. I don't tell them what's right or what's wrong, I just give them more study time. I only have the class at my school to go by, but she had 14 out of 18 students on the honor roll trip (honor roll all year) year before last. I know that many of them only made honor roll due to excessive bonus point projects and retaking tests until they made a good grade. I'm tough. When my kids earn an A it has value to them (or if they bust their butt and earn a B or C, whatever grade shows their highest ability - not all kids are A kids). I don't think the grades held the same value for those 14 kids who were handed them.
     
  20. CanadianTeacher

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    I don't see a problem with red. When I had marking, I've used it. I've also used blue, green, pencil, etc... One thing I always make sure to do is to include constructive feedback. I take the time to write short, encouraging messages on each and every paper.
     
  21. dianejw

    dianejw Companion

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    ChristyF

    I do understand what you are saying. Actually when I reread my posting, I thought mine sounded a little harsh. I guess I just need to find a happy medium. Not all of my students even want to retake a quiz or test for understanding. However I was thinking more of my overachievers, several of which I had last year, who just wanted to make sure they had mastered all of their short-term goals. My class is set up in a way that students have to set short-term goals that correlate with the state standards. Then they have to self-monitor their progress to see how they are doing. This process involves them having to retake quizzes and tests along the way to reach their goals. I hope that helps to explain a little where I was coming from when I made my original posting.
     
  22. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    dianejw ~ I agree with you. Sometimes it's hard to make yourself clear with just the typing. That's why I re-explained mine. I understand your point and I can appreciate where you are coming from with it. Yours didn't sound harsh, I was just worried with how mine was coming across and wanted to explain more.
     
  23. Gr8Teacher

    Gr8Teacher Rookie

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    I do the same thing as most of you do I do let students redo any "practice" class work regardless of the score.(Most of this is just check, check plus, check minus) So if a student receives a check minus, I'll let them fix their mistake and get a check instead.For graded class work and tests/quizzes. I do allow students to make up tests and quizzes if they receive below a 75%. But what I do is I receive their good grade and their bad grade together and record that. This way the highest grade they can get is a B+ and that's if they get a 74 on the first test and a 100% on the Makeup.
     
  24. hescollin

    hescollin Fanatic

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    Sometimes we use white boards and redo as a class when many don't seem to understand. Teacher reexplains the problem. Students write and work the problem and hold up their white boards, if correct, teachers says erase.....If wrong try again. You can see exactly who needs help and help one on one... Or if several hit it a different approach.
    ***White boards are great and expensive. Go to the lumber yard buy a sheet of smooth white paneling. ---called white tile board…. Our lumber yard cut it up in smaller sizes free. (about 11 by 12 inches) don't remember for sure. Or maybe your high school shop teacher will cut it for you. Next with sand paper sand around the edges just enough to take off the sharp edge. A boys top of a sock ---makes a good eraser. You need a white board, a white board marking pen and sock top for each student. Teacher gives a math problem, spelling word or whatever. When student has an answer they hold up the board. You say correct erase or try again. Our boards get lots of use. I have not used this idea. Expo on sheet protectors w/ a piece of tagboard inside just to stiffen it. It worked GREAT! Erase using t-shirt scraps. The sheet protectors will fit right into their binders in their desks.
     
  25. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Interestingly, even in other career fields, the red pen issue comes up. I think it originally became a hot topic as a response to perceived self-esteem issues in education, etc. However, in my former job, I proofed and edited court documents, and when I asked the writers' preferences, they ASKED for red. There is no question that it is easy to spot areas to fix when they are marked with red. Also, in my case, it helped the writers note the difference between my comments, etc., and the supervisor's. I don't think I have a problem using red for students, but I tend toward more fun colors anyway! I've had more than my fair share of red ink!!
     
  26. mR.t-TiMe

    mR.t-TiMe Rookie

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    I know a lot of teachers have moved to green or purple ink, but honestly, as long as the student knows their teacher is there to help them with what they haven't quite grasped yet, then the color is totally arbitrary. I can maybe see how it might cause anxiety if the student thinks that the failure of a paper is equated purely to their own personal worth. Ideally, your classroom atmosphere has been well established as a nurturing place of learning and fosters the notion that it's okay to fall down once and awhile.
     
  27. Rosieo

    Rosieo Enthusiast

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    I agree. I do use all kinds of colors to mark my papers. The kids see a variety. I think if I used red all the time my first graders wouldn't know the difference, it is the parents that would probably freak out. Often I try to write a positive comment but with 28 kids that is impossible to do on all papers. I usually limit comments to writing papers and tests. I wish I could put comment on every paper but I would be going insane if I did.
     

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