Friday, February 4, 2011

"Stickerize" Your Way to Grading-Free Evenings

I got this great idea from a veteran teacher. It's one of those great "work smarter, not harder" ideas.

Stickerization is a term my students have coined that describes a fun and smart way to formatively assess student work in real time. Dr. Robert Marzano and company urge teachers to give instructional feedback to students as soon as possible to help maximize student learning and achievement.

All you need is some cheap dollar store stickers (I use small little smiley face stickers) to get started. The best part is, when it's all said and done, you are correcting work during class instead of after school. If you think about it, it really doesn't make sense to correct work when the student isn't even there to get the feedback.

I use stickerization mostly in math class.  I teach fourth graders. I have them do a lot of group work and partner work. They are expected to work on the practice pages in their math journals first on their own, and then check it with their partner. Before they begin in their journals I tell them what problems or pages I want to check, or stickerize as they call it. I don't necessarily need to check the whole page of problems to get a good sense of their understanding. So, ahead of time I choose several problems that I feel will show their understanding of the skill I want them to learn.

When the partners come to me for checking, I look over the work. Students know that they got it right if I put a sticker over the problem number or page number (formative assessment). If I see some problems done incorrectly I don't issue a sticker, and then I take a minute to investigate with them where they might have gone wrong (immediate feedback driven by formative assessment). After a little coaching, they go back to work the problem again. When they think they've got it they come up and check back with me. And hey, kids are kids, and they love to get stickers.

When the work is handed in for the day, I have a pile of graded work ready for my gradebook. A 10-20 minute chore after school it's magically turned into a 2-3 minute chore all because of a little sticker.

Who doesn't want to save time and have a little bit of fun? Try it soon!

1 comment:

Nate said...

Great idea Jason! I wish high schoolers liked stickers as much as 4th graders. :)