Do you use a red ink pen?

The other day, as I sat checking math papers, one of my students asked me why teachers always use red pens?  Unsure of the real reason, I told her that red was the color of love and grading with red ink shows students how much we love their work.  This answer worked for her, but left me thinking about red pens.  I've read studies that explain why teachers should avoid red ink.  I've tried grading with other colors, but it just seems weird!  Until recently, I was a BIC Cristal Stic Ball Pen user.  These pens are inexpensive and easy to find.  Over the summer, I bought a three pack of Pilot Frixion erasable pens.  I loved the idea of being able to erase and still use red ink!  My love for this pen quickly faded when it ran out in just a few weeks and costs a small fortune.  Back to the BIC I went until recently when I was asked by Office Supplies to review the Pentel Oh Gel Retractable Roller Pen  and the John Dickinson Black n' Red Casebound Notebook.
I really like these pens for several reasons.  They feel really comfortable when writing.  I love a pen that has a comfortable grip and is thicker to hold.  (This is the one problem that I have with the BIC pen.  The hexagon-shape is not comfortable to write with even though the price is right.)  The ink in the Pentel pen also glides nicely across the paper.  My only wish is that Pentel would come up with an erasable gel retractable roller pen!
 I was also happy to receive the John Dickinson Casebound Notebook.  It has many nice features, including a date planner and several resource pages.  I also like the built-in ribbon marker for quick page referencing.  I plan on using this notebook for staff meetings and professional development since it matches my school colors of red and black!
I would love to hear your thoughts on grading with red ink and your list of go to pens!!


  1. Ooh those pens look fun.

    I grade scantrons/tests/quizzes in those smelly markers - the kids (6th graders) get a kick out of it.

    I've started this year grading with Flair pens too.

    I like color because the kids automatically have come to associate red with bad, but I love your version of why we use red!

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

    1. I love the idea of using smelly markers! My students love it when I use them to make anchor charts. I'm sure they would be thrilled to have a graded paper that smells delicious!

  2. I always grade with Crayola Washable Markers. I usually just use whichever color I grab, unless it's yellow, I think that is too hard to see. The kids like getting their papers back so the can see what color their smiley face/star is. My son's teacher uses Mr. Sketch and he always likes to tell me which sent it is.

  3. I usually use markers, any color...and sometimes I use red (and even red pens)! I just like some kind of color to stand out instead of black pens.

  4. Use grade with red because it shows up well. I also have pink, purple, & green. I don't really think it makes a difference what color we use.

  5. I grade with red, pink, blue, green, etc... I love to grade with Paper Mate Marker Pens and smelly markers, but I also have been known to grade with a colored Sharpie too!

    Teaching Tidbits and More with Jamie