Green Pen Words
Purpose: To help teachers pinpoint spelling words in students’ writing.
- Keep a green pen on you at all times, with the goal of using it to help writers, not punish them.
- If you spot a developmentally appropriate, high-frequency word misspelled in a student’s piece of writing, write it correctly in green at the bottom of the page. Look for words in journals, response logs, writing workshop pieces, etc. I manage this by collecting just two of my students’ writer’s notebooks daily and searching for misspelled words.
- Have students place words on their individualized spelling lists – green means “go add this one.” I prefer to add these words myself to the spelling assessment sheet I keep for each child in my assessment notebook. With this sheet I am able to find patterns in a child’s misspellings, and it gives me valuable information when I am doing report cards or sharing spelling progress with parents. These sheets are then added to students’ portfolios at the end of each grading period.