With the majority of my students speaking English as their second language, it is an ongoing battle to have good English spoken and written in the classroom. In order to develop their writing and spelling skills we have a number of worksheet or workbook activities. As I check work, I usually mark errors with either a circle or a question mark and send students back to have another go. Sometimes I'll give them a clue as to the type of error they need to find, while other times I will simply highlight the directions and ask them to read the instructions/question again.
Today we had a discussion about why I ask the children to do their corrections. It was great to hear the reasons they came up with.
"To help us know where we went wrong so we can learn."
"So we won't think we got it all right and keep making the same mistakes."
"To help us learn".
There were others, but they've escaped my memory at the moment.
It would be easy just to mark things incorrect and let it go. It would take a little more time to mark it wrong and give them the correct answer. It takes much more time and effort to have the children do their own corrections, but it's worth it, especially when they understand and can verbalise why they need to do them. Also, since they know they will have to do the corrections, they have a greater motivation to do their very best the first time around, and to check their work!