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Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

10.10.13Has Anyone Tried a “Dot Round”?

dot roundHad the pleasure of spending yesterday watching classes in one of our schools with visitors from the Netherlands–four school leaders plus teacher trainer and school adviser Carla van Doornen. They’ve been on a week long visit of Uncommon Schools in three cities. At the end of the day Carla gave me a list of things they’d borrow from the schools they’d seen during their visit and things they’d leave–things they liked and things they didn’t, in short.  But she also gave me a list of things they might add.  One of them was a “Dot Round.”  Loved the idea but hadn’t ever heard of it–which doesn’t mean everyone else doesn’t already know about it–and thought I’d ask if anyone had tried it.

The idea is that you assign students independent work and, as they are working, circulate to observe their work.  If their work is wrong, you put a dot on their paper. Very subtle, not a permanent “wrong” mark, just a reminder that there’s something that needs checking.  And here’s the best part- that’s ALL you do/say.  The idea is that the dot reminds students, subtly, to find their own mistake and, in time, encourages self-reflect and self-correct. You could even then ask students to discuss- who got a dot and found it? who got a dot and didn’t.

Sounds pretty useful. Anyone out there tried it and have advice?