Tickling Pink - Assessment for Learning Marking


I replied to this tweet mentioning the Tickled Pink approach our School has adopted this year. In my current role, my amount of marking is minimal as most of my work is done on iPads. However I asked our Deputy, Miss Brookes, for more information as she has been the one who has implemented it in our school. Here are her ideas behind the Tickled Pink/Green for Growth Assessment for Learning marking scheme we have adopted this school year.

The idea is that you use two highlighters to mark children's work. A pink highlighter for parts of the work that have met the learning challenge/objective and green for places that need improving or could be improved.



  1. Close the gap marking is done through tickled pink and green for growth and relates on to the learning objective.
  2. Highlighting should be done in a way which is clear to the child which will be through the child's word or punctuation marks.
  3. The children's work should not be dominated by highlighting and pink should outweigh green.
  4. Written comments at the end of the child's work clarify for the child what was good (pink) and what could be improved or extended (green.)
  5. Teachers use a range of agreed symbols to illustrate to children their area of pink or green.
  6. Children are actively encouraged to tick or respond to the teachers comment once they have read it or it has been read to them.
  7. Children can self assess their own work or 'peer mark' by using pink and green pencil crayons to underline areas of writing that they think are pink/green.
Quotes from teachers who have used the approach:-

"We highlight something that we are pleased with in pink and something that need working on, in green, not in loads of places just maybe the one or two spelling errors that we know that the pupil should know. And maybe the same with a couple of areas that has pleased, eg; a capital letter used correctly or inverted commas. Its fairly new, but the children are getting used to it and seem to approve of it."

"The children underline or shade in their own work with crayons (pink and green) and sometimes their learning partners work. They understand that pink is for work that is done correctly and green means they still have to improve their work. Our children have different learning partners every week and they sit together in all subjects and work together on tasks for a week sharing ideas and knowledge. This works very well in our school."

"We decide on success criteria as a class for the writing (steps to success), then the children spend 10 minutes writing, then we pick a child at random using lolly sticks and put their work under the visualiser. As a class, we then identify 2 pinks and 1 green based on the success criteria and the literacy targets of that particular child. Then the children work in pairs to tickle pink and green for growth their own work and their partners (has to be agreed by both of the children), before they spend another 10 minutes writing, and the process starts again. The idea being that the first lot of writing will have some green for one of the success criteria, but then the child addresses that in their next lot of writing, so you can see the progress they have made in one lesson very clearly. So far, its working well, and it motivates the children to write (none of them want to risk having their work under the visualiser of they've not done much!) The children also enjoy the peer and self assessment, and seem to be much more aware of what they are aiming for. We haven't been using it long enough to see any real long term progress, but so far I think it is a great way of focusing on our areas to improve and addressing them directly."


Some examples of tickling pink in action:



























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