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In an earlier blog post, I addressed a helpful procedure I use for checking in student work and eliminating the need to sift through piles of paperwork to see if a student turned in a particular assignment. This eliminated the work on the teacher to track down paperwork from students and gave a quick way to see who had and hadn't turned something in.
Today, I would like to address part two of my turn-in procedures - Reflect & Highlight! If you haven't read part one, I highly recommend it so that you know what it means when the poster says that students should check off their name. This strategy has almost eliminated my no name papers and also allows the students a quick moment of self-reflection after every assignment. Allow me to explain...
As a third year year, I was super frustrated at having to tack multiple no name papers up to the board every time I graded a stack of papers. I had seen plenty of strategies scrolling through Pinterest, but none of them appealed to me or stuck very long if I tried them out. I found myself stuck telling my students that they needed to put their name on their papers 56,345 times every month, and it wasn't holding them accountable for remembering these procedures!
I also loved the thought of having students reflect on how they feel they understood an assignment. I had looked at many options on Pinterest - but again, nothing really stuck with me. I liked the idea of having different colored turn in bins, or labels for their level of understanding, but I wanted something that wouldn't require me remembering who had put what paper in each bin for each assignment. Then, I had the idea to combine these two procedures (highlighting their name and reflecting) and alas, Reflect and Highlight was born! I know I'm probably not the first teacher to ever think of this, but if it helps anyone else as much as it helped me, I definitely wanted to share!
It goes like this: after students check off their name on the checklist for the assignment, they grab a highlighter that corresponds to their level of understanding about that particular assignment. I have these highlighters conveniently located by my turn in baskets, and marked with washi tape so that they don't walk off! Students simply grab one, swipe their name ONE time (yes, this is a procedure I teach, otherwise they highlight multiple times until their name is barely readable!), and turn their paper in. Even better? These flower highlighters work SO well for this procedure and cut down on the amount of highlighters you need floating around.
These Levels of Understanding Reflect and Highlight Posters, with an editable version available in the resource in my TeachersPayTeachers store as well! See below for how I teach the procedure and implement this within my classroom. There's a one page version as well as editable posters for each level and turn-in directions. It's easy to make it work for your classroom!
Level 1 - I do not understand, YET. I needed support to complete it.
These might be your kiddos who completed this paper at your small group table and needed assistance through each step of the process.
Level 2 - I sometimes understand. I had to ask a couple of questions to complete it.
These might be those kiddos who checked in with your halfway through the assignment to make sure they were doing it right, or needed a few quick reminders on what needed to be done.
Level 3 - I understand most of it. I completed this independently, but I couldn't teach it to someone else.
I teach this explicitly to students! I tell them that if they could do it by themselves, that's great! They are a Level 3. This is the step I want them to attain, and anything else is bonus! Sometimes students have a hard time not being at the "top of the chart" (Level 4). I explain to them that Level 3 is great and is exactly what I am looking for.
Level 4 - I understand completely. I am confident I could teach this to a peer!
If I notice a student consistently rating themselves at a Level 4, I may check in with them and ask them to explain to me how to do a problem. This just helps them recognize whether they can truly break the process down to help someone who may be struggling. If they are confident and can explain it to me, I will sometimes partner them up with a peer to help!
I pair these check in procedures with my student checklists and teach them all at one time at the beginning of the year. It takes a few weeks of reminders, but then it is ingrained in them and they do it naturally!
In the resource, I have included a sheet with mini-posters, four to a page. These are useful for a couple of purposes!
1. Teacher cheat sheets: I always found that when I took papers home to grade, I would forget which color went with which level when I was grading. I always liked to see if their color correlated with how they scored on the assignment, so it was crucial for me to remember which color was which level, but I could never seem to keep them straight! Now I keep a laminated copy with my E-Z Grader so that I always have a copy with me.
2. Student reference sheets: You could also print these in color and have the students paste them in their notebooks so that they can refer to them at their desks before turning in. This would work especially well if you have table supply caddies and each group has their own supply caddy and highlighters!
As with any procedure, I teach the how and the why to students when I introduce it. I tell them that it is important for them to reflect on assignments to monitor how well they are understanding concepts and ask for help when need be. This would be great paired with the read-aloud The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes! I love using picture books to teach procedures at the beginning of the year.
You can find this resource posted in my TPT store. I hope it helps you and your students! I know it has greatly increased accountability in my classroom and I love not having to search for the owner of no-name papers anymore! Click this link to grab the posters for yourself.
Have you ever combined two different procedures like this before? What does it look like in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below!