This month, I'd like to share how I used Bright Spots to provide student feedback.
Sometimes the temptation is to tell kids only what they've done wrong. I felt like that is all I did when I gave feedback on students' writing.
But when I read their pieces, I'd think, "Wow! Look at that! That's really good!" I decided I needed to find a way to share that with the kids, but without killing myself to do it. So I came up with the idea of Bright Spots.
When I'm reading student writing, I keep a yellow highlighter handy. When I come across a great example of word choice, figurative language, a vivid verb, or some other outstanding work, I simply swipe the highlighter across it. Instant Bright Spot.
Once I explained what the highlighting was for, it was the first thing the kids looked for when I returned papers. They were so excited to see what they had done well.
I started keeping the yellow highlighter with me as I conferred with students so I could add a Bright Spot while they were looking. I used it when I walked around monitoring independent work. And then my students asked if they could use it when they conferred with peers. You bet I let them - I just had them use another color than yellow, so I could tell when the Bright Spot came from me.
I hope this is an idea you think you could try. It could work for any subject - a problem worked correctly in math, a great use of vocabulary in science or social studies. Let's celebrate what our students do well!
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