“Look Again” Positive Ways to Provide Corrections to School Work

  • Situation

    Several students in my Learning Support class become very upset when I make corrections on their papers.  I’ve tried calling them up to my desk for a private review of their errors, and they still cry, protest, or shut down.  How can I get them to fix their mistakes without the negative reactions?

  • Summary

    Try using a “Look Again” folder which gives students a non-verbal prompt to check their work.

  • Definition

    The “Look Again” folder is a non-verbal signal to students that they have made some mistakes on their work but corrections can be made.  Inside the folder, the students find their paper in the left-hand pocket marked “Look Again”,  along with a simple direction card or post it note that tells them exactly what they need to do to fix the errors.  No marks appear on their papers, so students can change the answers without worrying about the red marks remaining.  When they are finished making corrections, they place the paper in the folder in the right-side pocket marked “I’m done”, and return the folder to the teacher.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    ability to read


    2-pocket folders


    index cards or post it notes


    teacher desk bin

  • Process

    1. Inside a two-pocket folder, mark the left side “Look Again” and the right side “I’m done”.


    2. Explain to the students that you have discovered a way for them to fix the mistakes on their papers by following the simple correction directions that they will find on an index card or post it note.


    3. Show them how to transfer the paper from one pocket to the other after they have corrected their work.


    4. Have a “Finished” bin on your desk and teach the students to put the  completed “Look Again” folder in the bin.


    5. When you come across corrections that need to be made on papers, use an index card or post it note to briefly list what needs to be fixed.  For example:

    • Check punctuation on #3.
    •  Re-read page 16 to answer question #7


    6. When corrections need to be made,  give the “Look Again” folder to the student.  place both the card and paper in the “Look Again” side of folder and privately return to students.  Quietly remind the student to put the folder in the “Finished” bin the after corrections are made.


    7. Reinforce students for using this system to encourage productive responses to corrections in the future.

  • Documents and Related Resources



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