Those of you who follow me know I have a thing for chart paper and post-it notes. Nothing has changed. Last week I did an exercise that allowed me to give my students fast feedback in a way that was much more enjoyable than them writing another essay that I would have to mark. They will be writing an essay soon, but this activity will hopefully make it a less painful process for the writers and for me, the reader.
The students came to class having read a chunk of Pride & Prejudice. I had told them to take good notes on the character development of Collins and Wickham. When they came in the door, I gave each student a handful of post-it notes (two different colours). I told them to take a few minutes to transfer points from their notes to the stickies. Read on to see what happened next:
An effective formative tool:
When they had finished the activity, every student had more practice in collecting evidence, organizing ideas and staying focused. It took seventy-five minutes, and I truly believe they got more out of it than if I had taken in an assignment and given them the feedback a week later. Now don’t get me wrong: those finished assignments are very important. I’m just saying there are multiple ways to get them to learn how to write about literature that allows us to have a life too!
Check out Active Reading with Post-it Notes for more ideas for using this tool. You can also find more formative assessment ideas in my Formative Assessment Power Pack, as well as on my Pinterest board: