Sometimes getting students to buy into giving and receiving critiques on their work can be tough. One of the favorite methods, especially in my level one classes, is giving what we call SWAG Reviews. SWAG stands for S – Say something kind, W – What do you notice first, A – Ask a question, G – Give feedback. We do these fairly informally, usually on contact sheets, using post-its. It’s quick, the acronym is pretty easy to remember, and they seem to enjoy the process.
To begin, the students clear the tables, leaving on their contact sheets, and then they do a gallery walk around the room to check out everyone’s work, we use the Cher Horowitz (Clueless) method and “make a lap before committing to a location”.
Once everyone has made a lap, I hand out 1 to 3 post-its to each student, depending on the project. Each student selects 1 to 3 contact sheets to leave reviews on. To make sure everyone gets three reviews I have them check to make sure the contact sheet their reviewing doesn’t already have three, and if it does, I tell them to move on.
As they go, the just stick the post-it to the back of the contact sheet. Once everyone is done, they return to their seats, read over the critiques they’ve received, and then we have a quick discussion – how did what others said to encourage your work? What will you consider as you move forward with this project? What did you notice about your peer’s work as you went around the room?