Some of you might be aware that I’m on a mission to make marking manageable (an oxymoron? I hope not!) and I have blogged about this before.
Anyways, this is just a quick update on how we are further developing the sample marking, by trying to reduce the amount of teacher comments which need to be written down as you check through the work.
Basically, you use the crib sheet (link below), as you mark a set of books. By “mark”, I mean that you select the piece of class work or homework which you’re focussing on, “stamp” it- to show you’ve done that section – SLT like proof you did it! Then, you very quickly circle any errors on the work. I have started off circling them, as I know there’ll be chaos next lesson as they will struggle to get used to this and perhaps not realise where exactly their mistakes are. In time, I hope to reduce this as well. Make notes on your crib sheet as you go through, you should find similarities in the types of errors. Note down names on excellent work, presentation issues etc. Divide the DIRT/AfL feedback section on the crib sheet into basically as many coloured “tabs” as you want- I think they’re called flags or something? They’re usually in packs of 4 and ridiculously cheap from things like the A-Z Catalogue. I divided the feedback into 2 colours this time; pink was for stretching those who did their opinions well and needed to now justify/extend them, green was for those who had made similar errors in spelling, or didn’t use the opinions correctly. I then stick the coloured tab on the work, so it sticks out of the book and they will see it immediately when the book is handed back.
Next lesson, I will talk through my crib sheet, say “if you have a pink tab, you need to do this” etc, giving plenty of time in the lesson to improve the work, write down what I’ve said they are checking for and make the necessary adjustments. I will remove the tab next time, if they do it right.
All the while, lessening the load in terms of written marking for me. I hope it will help the students be more self- critical of their work before handing it in. They (certainly in MFL) need to get much better at spotting spelling mistakes themselves and checking their work to see if they’re learning from the feedback over time. Maybe, they might aim to not get a green tab next time, but push for a pink (if that’s your colour for the best work etc). That’s the aim, anyways, I’ll let you know how it goes! Adapt/change/amend, have a go yourself. Pop me a tweet to let me know how you’re finding it and/or if you have any ideas of your own. Or if you have a better crib sheet! I came up with ours today! I am always looking for ways to improve marking load!