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Marking - how to cope with this demand?

Discussion in 'Assessment' started by alexireland, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. right, 1st post so be gentle!

    i have had a running battle with my HOD about marking for the past 5 years!

    i must point out that i cant do marking, reasons later, however the expectation is that every book is FULLY marked every 2 weeks with * * wish format

    the departmental review is up soon and she takes in ALL exercise books from a year group to go through to check marking, somethig i cannot keep up with! i know other departments that have to literally take their books to HOD to see if they are marking correctly! whilst others do the more traditional, 2 top, 2 middle, 2 bottom

    i have asked for some standardisation to be brought in amongst departments at middle leaders forum but this has not happened

    i feel that with 11 classes, for books to be marked in the way she wants every 2 weeks, that is fully marking a full set of books every night surely unrealistic?!
    also, she knows i dont do marking (!) and i feel she singles me out whereas a femal teacher in the dept feels she has done well if she marks books once a half term and nothing is said!

    any advice / help with this situation? please dont tell me to knuckle down etc!!

    thanks so much!
  2. You need to be more explicit with why you 'can't' and 'don't' mark. As your post stands it sounds like you just don't bother...
  3. apologies if it sounds like that! well i do mark but not as much as i evidently should, also let things back up a bit on occasions and of course this leads to further putting off
  4. BlueJuno

    BlueJuno New commenter

    It would help to know what subject you teach, I currently teach 13 classes and have found that I have (quite honestly) not had the time to mark some class books at all this half term. While I appreciate that this is not ideal, i do have a good idea as to how my students are progressing (and this will hopefully be confirmed by their end of term assessments),I am currently looking at ways to gain useful assessment data through class work without having to mark all books in a year group and have found that (according to ofsted) there is no need to mark all books on a regular basis to gain useful assessment data...if you can let me know which subject you teach I may be able to share some ideas that will help youto support your stance?
  5. hi bluejuno

    thanks for the reply

    i teach french and spanish

    do you have a link to the ofsted comment please?
  6. Yes, marking each book every 2 weeks is probably rather tough going, our school says every 4 weeks.

    What I don't understand is your comment that you "don't do marking" and that you can't do it. I thought this was part and parcel of teaching.

    So are you actually saying that your HoD is pulling you up because you haven't marked books and that you think this is wrong? If this has been ongoing for 5 years and it is a matter of you letting it pile up, then I think your HoD has a point.
  7. BlueJuno

    BlueJuno New commenter

    Hi, sorry for the delay.
    I am also interested in the comment 'I don't do marking'.
    Personally, I am not a fan of 'marking for marking's sake', it must be meaningful if it is to be of any use and if it is not then it is a complete waste of time.
    As to the document I was talking about, it doesn't apply directly to MFL but may be of use nonetheless. If you go to the website below and open the document, you then need to download the document from the word document...you'll see what I mean. It was published in 2003 but makes some pertinent remarks about effective assessment and, having implemented some of the strategies, I have found that it has been of use when planning for progression etc.
    I wonder if you can elaborate as to what you will/will not mark. This may be useful to others reading the post.
  8. Ilovetravel

    Ilovetravel New commenter

    A slightly odd thread in that I don't feel you're asking for tips on how to manage marking as you keep saying you 'don't mark'. Anyhow I will offer some ideas to help try and solve the issue.
    • Only get students to write when absolutely essential for their writing skills.
    • Leave 5/10 mins in a lesson for peer marking. Give them a different colour pen each and a markscheme or guidance and get them to mark them.
    • Same as above, but mark their own
    • Whilst students work, walk around the room marking as they go. This is a great motivator.
    • If you do mark, pick a specific area to focus on and 'ignore' other issues. In MFL for example, focus on verbs and ignore everything else. Obviously make this clear! Students can write next to the title - Focus:verbs
    • If you are marking a larger piece of work, create a 'marking sheet'. On this sheet are all the areas that a student have worked on. You then underline on the marksheet in green if the child achieved this and red if they haven't. Give this back and they then adjust their work to address the red parts.
    • If you have online access, use online assessments which mark themselves. e.g Yacapaca. ( I set all my KS3 hw on here so I don't have to mark!)
    • Create yourself a marking timetable. Now, I have met 2 people in my career that mark EVERY lesson. Both of them, are in school fairly early and ALL they do is mark the books from the day before. They don't sit and chat. They don't stand around moaning. from the moment they enter the building they work. Ditto in a free period/after school. If you mark every week you shouldn't have much to mark. The issue comes when people accumulate work. Without knowing your timetable, I cannot tell but lets imagine you teach 5 classes a day. If you make it so one doesn't generate ANY marking. Two do peer/self marking. That leaves two for you to mark. Lets say 30 in class. You should be able to do this in an hour IF your work is planned and organised. And if it's only ONE lesson's work.
    • Finally, and this may be your saviour. Buy perosnalised stampers. What do you write again and again and again? Get stampers made saying these comments. Get them made. Use them. They're quick and easy and cut out so much writing.
    Hope these help although I'm not sure they will....

    N.B My OH has 9 classes a week and marks ALL their work EVERY week. He's very organised!

  9. ilovetravel - what a great and thorough answer! And thanks for mentioning Yacapaca.

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