Skip to main content

Stamp As You Go - A Simple Feedback Strategy

Here at Floop, we’re all about creating effective feedback systems that mix different strategies to best meet your students’ needs. This post is part of a series sharing simple feedback strategies.

Any other teachers amazed at how motivated students are by stickers? Stickers are classic - I remember getting stickers in piano lessons every time I learned a new song - but they can get messy and hard to manage.

Stamps are the cheaper and more sustainable form of stickers. I know many teachers who carry around rubber stamps and an ink pad. I started off with self-inking stamps myself, but as those got worn and lost, I bought these stamper markers as a cheap and versatile replacement.

816aE9HPGOL._SY450_

Note: I teach high school, grades 9-12. Stamps are still appropriate! The strategies I’m sharing today are what I use in my high school classroom.

How I use stamps for in-class practice

One way that I use them is for checking progress on in-class practice. On a practice worksheet, I stamp off every correct question (or sometimes, every correct section of questions). It’s faster than me having one-on-one conversations or even carrying around a pen or highlighter to initial. Plus, winky-faces and paw prints are way more interesting than a checkmark.

Even when I provide the answer key along with the practice sheet, students still ask for the stamps to affirm their correct answers. It’s fun for them to look at their worksheet full of stamps!

When I ask students to turn in their assignment at the end of class, or to complete it for homework and turn it in the next day, I have a great starting point for checking over their work. I just look at the problems that are missing stamps.

How I use stamps on warm-ups

On really short practice sheets, I have a slightly different protocol with the stampers. When I taught Geometry, I almost always had half-sheet warm-ups to review the previous day’s material. As students completed questions on the warm-up, I stamped off on correct answers. As soon as a student earned all correct answers, s/he got a few stamper markers and walked around to stamp off on other students’ correct answers. As more students finished their entire warm-up with correct answers, more and more students became stampers, until every student had a complete and correct warm-up and all my stamper markers were passed out.

Stamps are great, but...

Sometimes, stamping for the correct answer made students try to get the right answer without actually understanding it. However, I actually observed good collaboration between students as a stamper would help out someone who wasn’t finished yet. Also, passing off the job of checking answers freed me to help students who were struggling.

Was this the best, most detailed feedback? No. But in a classroom where I’m trying to touch base with 32 students in 5 minutes, it worked. The stamper marker allowed me to be my students’ compiler - a quick check for “Is there an error or not?” - and I think for some everyday practice, this can be what students need.

Feedback Strategy - Stamp As You Go

Summary: Stamp off on students’ correct answers as they work on in-class practice. For short activities, students with 100% correct answers use their sheet as an answer key to stamp off on others’ papers.

Best Use: Ungraded in-class practice with right/wrong answers

Pros:
  • Feedback is very fast.

  • Stamps are more fun than initials or checkmarks.

  • Stamping is easy to implement while moving around the classroom.

  • Students get up and moving while helping each other out.
Cons:
  • Feedback is not very informative for the student.

  • Students may be encouraged to pursue correct answers without deeper understanding.
How do you use stamps or stickers in the classroom? Do you use a similar strategy to check off on students’ correct work? How else are you able to provide fast feedback to your students?

Keep us in the F(eedback)loop!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

5-Minute Energizers to Activate You and Your Students

We're officially in the grind. I ask my teacher colleagues how they're doing, and the standard response is a sigh: "I'm really looking forward to catching up on grading over the 3-day weekend," "I'm counting down the days until Thanksgiving," "I have 20 letters of recommendation to write."
If we're feeling this way, our students are too! Here are super quick activities to inject energy back into your classroom: Snap, Stomp, Clap (Partners) Each person counts off to 3, i.e. Person A: "1", Person B: "2", Person A: "3", Person B: "1", etc. When everyone gets the hang of it, try it again, but replace 1's with a snap of the fingers (snap, 2, 3, snap, 2, 3, etc.) Do it again, but also replace 3's with a stomp (snap, 2, stomp, snap, 2, stomp, etc.) Do it again, but also replace 2's with a clap (snap, clap, stomp, snap, clap, stomp, etc.) Gift Giving Game (Partners) Person A pantomimes givin…

Part 2 - Tools for an Equitable Feedback System: Engaging with Criteria

This series of posts will cover a variety of bite-sized strategies that can be incorporated into a more holistic feedback system. To learn more about the research behind these approaches, we recommend you first read our white paper.

Part 1 - Feedback is Emotional



For feedback information to be useful, it must communicate:  Where am I going? (What are the goals?)How am I going? (What progress is being made toward the goal?)Where to next? (What activities need to be undertaken to make better progress?) (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).  Supporting students in engaging with the grading criteria helps give context to the feedback to come. In other words, it does the groundwork of helping them determine for themselves, "Where am I going?"


Part 1 - Tools for an Equitable Feedback System: Feedback is Emotional

This series of posts will cover a variety of bite-sized strategies that can be incorporated into a more holistic feedback system. To learn more about the research behind these approaches, we recommend you first read our white paper.

Most of us have experienced that moment where you pass back papers, full of rich and detailed feedback, and watch a student walk out of class and drop it in the recycling. It's hard not to take it personally. Why do some of our students struggle so much with receiving and using feedback?