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Book marking

Discussion in 'Heads of department' started by Gurmeet1985, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Good day all. I really wanted your opinion on book marking. At present my school wants books to be marked with skills and targets every 3/4 weeks however that is proving to be extremely time consuming. Any suggestions on how to make it more manageable but still provide the feedback to pupils?
    Thanks in advance
  2. You could tell them verbally what they need to do to improve in virtually every lesson, but unfortunately there will then be no written record of what you have done and seeing as that is far more important than actually giving regular feedback you are somewhat stuck.

    Why not issue a list of generic targets / points that the pupils then stick in the front of their books; you can then just write the relevant number in their books when marking, thereby saving some time.
  3. My school's policy is to mark books every fortnight. In order to meet this my technique is the following:
    • all short answers are self/peer marked in green pen so that I don't need to look at these at all
    • I pick one longer piece of work a week to be peer assessed in green pen. Students write comments and targets for each other. They then respond to the comment themselves saying whether they agree or disagree
    • In red pen, I respond to these peer assessments commenting on whether I agree or disagree with the comments and targets. I then set an overall target, which the students respond to.
    This means that I am only actually marking two pieces of work every time time, which doesn't take longer than 5-10 minutes. However, there is peer/self marking in green all the way through the books. This also shows the dialogue with the students as they have to respond to my comments and their peer assessor's comments.
  4. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    I too have to mark every two weeks and have to be very strict and disciplined right down to having a marking timetable! For God's sake, the things you do ...
    Anyhow, I too try to get the kids to mark as often as possible (a different colour pen or just using pencil is a good idea, see above poster)
    However, I tecah English and sometimes I feel quite overwhelmed, in fact, I get caught up and then the kids write ion their books again- it's the Forth Bridge, i tell you.
    In some ways you need to accept that you will never be up-to-date.
    Do what you can.
  5. with respect in some ways I think this is quite dangerous advice. I am certainly up to date.
    Our departmental marking policy is fortnightly. That is in addition to and not instead of peer/self assessment.
  6. I think what Liz is saying is that the second the books are marked, the kids write in them again. Not that it's not possible to mark once a fortnight.
  7. I agree, books are never going to be up-to-date in the sense that there will always be some work in some books that isn't marked yet!
    That said, it is quite difficult to keep up with fortnightly marking. It's difficult to give advice as each school is different. In a school where teachers rarely cover and there is plenty of time to get marking done of course marking fortnightly is no problem; in some schools at some times it just isn't possible. If I have a week where half of my frees are taken for cover, there is a parent's evening until 9pm one night, I have a load of sixth formers coming for extra lessons after school, I just can't get my usual level of marking done. The school needs to accept this or give me extra resources (time) to do this.
  8. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    ''I think what Liz is saying is that the second the books are marked, the kids write in them again. Not that it's not possible to mark once a fortnight''
    Yup, this is exactly what I mean southlondonteacher !
    In fact, I do often mark books every week which is more than required, but sometimes feel that if they are not marked up to the very last bit of work/ they did/or word they wrote i have failed somehow! LOL.
    In fact, almost planned for year 7 to work on paper and make them think that the work they do tomorrow will go on display etc... so it doesn't ruin my latest efforts! Crikey, I've lost it ...
    Year 10 books to mark over the hols; only marked these last week. A little often works, I think. For example, I managed to marked a set of year 9 books in about 2 1/2 hours which is good for me but I only did those last week too. Marking does sometime invade my life I feel.
  9. Yep - I've been guilty of this one myself! I've also done the "oh no, I left your books at home" when I've been too ashamed to hand the books back to the students unmarked! But i'm proud to say that most of the time, I manage to mark every two weeks following the guidelines of my previous post!
  10. WD

    WD New commenter

    Marking is essential for 1. behaviour management (if you don't value the work why should the pupil?) and 2. planning (what use is planning on sand? i.e. when you have no idea how the class is doing).
    In a previous role I worked to assist teachers move away from unsatisfactory or satisfactory gradings. In every case books weren't marked for weeks. In every case once books were marked regularly behaviour and progress came back on line.
    I mark after every lesson (I teach History). I use a range of stampers with my most common advice phrases, plus one that says 'good notes' and one that just says 'work checked'. I also write a comment of advice. I also use peer marking and also have a stamp that says 'how can you improve this' and 'how is the work going'. And ones like 'underline headings'. All this saves time. (I work a 6.45-3.10 day and never at home, holidays or weekends btw).
    You mark what you set, so if I want I have lessons with no written output as a break, or only mark part of a piece of work in detail.
    I would worry at a school that only requires monthly marking.
  11. WD

    WD New commenter


    You use their own or can personalise stamps to suit yourself. Well worth it.
  12. desibelle

    desibelle New commenter

    I think you've got to try to mark a set of books per day to keep on top of things. I mark every book every 2 weeks so it's not too onerous and it really helps me know which kids are falling behind or doing better than I thought. My own daughter goes to a different school and her books are hardly ever marked by most teachers even though this is supposedly the best school in the area. Her homework does not feel valued at all. I try to write a meaningful comment and/or target every time I mark and know that this is helpful to the pupils. I make a big thing about them reading and even responding o my comments. Mind you ,I'm middle-aged and don't have a vibrant social life in term-time. I never marked this much in my 20s!
  13. beauleyloo

    beauleyloo New commenter

    Roughly speaking, how many hours of marking a week do you have?
  14. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

  15. beauleyloo

    beauleyloo New commenter

    Then you need to ask a primary teacher of 30 children how many hours they do. Literacy, numeracy, science/topic each day = 90 books or pieces of work to mark or acknowledge most days. I await with interest the response to this!
  16. I can't imagine marking every piece of work my students do. I don't imagine I'd have the time and I know I wouldn't have the will to live, let alone carry on my job.
    A lot of work I do (admittedly secondary) is self-checked and I overview-mark.
  17. beauleyloo

    beauleyloo New commenter

    It would be a shame if this became 'I mark more books than you' but as primary teachers we are expected to mark our books every day, using assessment for learning from that day's lessons to adapt/amend the following day's lesson. We are also expected to mark any topic/RE/science books as thoroughly as Ofsted now ask to see books demonstrating children's writing in a cross-curricular way, eg L4 writing NOT In Literacy books. We also track children's work against APP sheets (child speak) - where each strand is evidenced several times before being highlighted as achieved. After marking books, children have time at the start of the next lesson to read marking comments, carry out any corrections and/or next step actions.

    So yes, a primary teacher would mark most books every day! I would not like to be marking Year 11 writing though!!
  18. lizgaskell

    lizgaskell Occasional commenter

    I know, and this is not my intention, honestly! It's been a long, long week!
    How on earth can you be expected to mark 90 books a day? This is madness! In an ideal world mine would read my comments and comment but I do this only with occasional pieces and, of course, final assessments (Controlled Assessments or what used to be coursework) cannot be changed or redrafted anyway at KS4. I do use their progress to plan too though and it helps if you marked regularly.
    We do APP at KS3 but only half-termly although we are supposed to level pretty much anything- thanks SLT!
    Year 11 writing varies. I have had to give page limits to top sets and spend much time cagoling bottom sets to write half a side!
    Have a lovely weekend
  19. Marking is the bane of every English(and other subject I know)
    I have taken heart by posts on here.
    I am never up to date and my New Years resolution is to adopt the peer assess/self-assess most tasks and me mark the key assessment task.
    Of course the pupils love to get back books with stickers/stamps/lovely comments but teaching 150 kids a week sometimes it is just not practical!!!
    Guilty of pupils writing on paper until books are marked!!
    Marking has to be done and someone somewhere has the perfect answer!!

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