This week, I started DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) with the class, so I’m not using the Livescribe Pen during guided reading. Since we continue to focus on descriptive feedback at our school, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to try something new and let students use the Livescribe Pen to give descriptive feedback to each other.

Today, I wrote the following questions in both of the Livescribe Notebooks, and I recorded myself reading the questions as well:

I explained to the students that they could use my written prompts and/or recordings to talk to each other about their goals. The plan was to discuss their goals, reflect on how they’re doing with them, and even give the students a chance to improve based on feedback. I then waited to see what happened. A couple of groups of students gave this a try, and below you can see and hear one of the discussions:

I love how one of the students wrote down for me some key points while also recording the conversation. She sees the value in the written word to accompany the oral explanation. I also love how she attempted some follow-up questions to clarify thinking and find out more information from her partner. She was encouraging her partner while also helping her come up with some good next steps.

This recorded conversation also helps me as the teacher, for now I know where this student is at in achieving her goals, and I can structure my follow-up conversations with her based on what she said. Yes, students are experimenting with the vocabulary that they’re hearing in class. Sometimes this vocabulary is used correctly, and sometimes it’s not, but hearing the complete discussion helps me know what this student understands. I can help clarify the meaning of difficult words as we conference together.

To me, the most powerful part of this discussion is the fact that students are taking control over their own learning. They see the value in setting goals, working towards these goals, and modifying their goals based on their own opinions and the opinions of their peers. The Livescribe Pen let me capture this great feedback session, and I look forward to capturing many more with the use of this tool as well.

Have you ever used the Livescribe Pen in this way? What were the results? I’d love to hear about your experiences!


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