I’ve been using traffic light trays and cups for AFL for a long time now.
Initially I used them with the obvious criteria so that when pupils handed in work they choose which tray to leave work in
Green – ‘Yes – I’ve got it and am confident I don’t need support’
Amber – ‘I am unsure about some of my work’
Red – ‘I need help’.
Whilst it worked fairly well I became aware that some pupils were just putting their book into the same tray without thinking about what they were doing.
The whole exercise seemed to reinforce the ‘X is clever, Y isn’t perceptions that so many children have.
In fact, they seemed to have self-ranked themselves into a kind of ‘top, middle and bottom order and it very rarely changed.
I decided to try and use lots of different criteria this year so I drew up a list of things we could think about at the end of a lesson.
It’s been really interesting.
If the children have produced written work we use the trays, otherwise we use the ubiquitous lolly sticks and coloured cups.
I don’t use it everyday, but I think mixing up the criteria has improved the AFL in the classroom.
I spend a couple of minutes running through the criteria and making sure they understand
‘Effort’ is an interesting one – when I first used it two of my more able pupils sheepishly put their work into the amber and red trays.One even blushed as she sidled past me
Their actual written work was of an acceptable quality but it meant that when I was marking I was looking at their work in a far more critical manner.
The other one that has definitely had a positive impact is the ‘focused on my targets’. In order to assess whether you focused on your target you need to know what it is… always a bonus in my view.