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Math teacher here:)

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by MathDen, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Hi all,

    I am a math teacher and spend a lot of my time marking and planning classes. I spend up to 60 hours per week doing this. I'd be interested to hear what tricks people here use to speed up their work or to save time. Thanks!
     
  2. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    pupils should be self marking throughout lessons, completely justifiable as it avoids them repeating mistakes, allows them to learn to spot and correct their own mistakes (a crucial exam skill). Then ask the teacher for help with any problems that they cannot identify themselves. Sadly some secondary SMT are very anti this as they like to waste teachers time on repetetive low level tasks such as repetative marking rather than reviewing pupils' self or peer marked work for insertion of AFL into their planning.
    Funnily enough every single primary school that I have visited on supply uses self and peer marking as an integral part of developing independent working skills. Cerrtainly at that age there is little or no evidence of pupils just writing down the answers.
     
  3. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    It depends to what level you expect students to do this. Should every single piece of work done by a student be marked by a member of staff? I don't believe so, as students quite readily assess their own work in class and there is always an element of peer review of work going on in every classroom.
    However, in my opinion, to call it a low level task is not only wrong but an abrogation of ones responsibility as a teacher. Peer review and self-marking can only go so far. There has to be an element of oversight from the teacher - even if the student seems to believe that everything that they do is correct. There are aspects of methodology, presentation, conciseness - to name a few - that cannot be adequately self-assessed or peer assessed.
    Assessment for Learning is not the be all and end all of teaching. Elements of assessment for learning have been present in all good teaching before Dylan Wiliams was born. Yet the interpretation of how assessment for learning must be implemented is, in my mind, based upon how much time it can save a teacher in a classroom. It is an effective way of assessing large numbers of pupils, but it is certainly not the best way.
    No peer or self assessment can ever supercede the input that can be made by a trained professional.
     
  4. Unless the children are VERY low ability, I would think it a complete waste of time to mark answers which are simply right or wrong. Teachers in my school waste a lot of time ticking every page just to make it 'look' marked.
    Personally I use a lot of self- and peer-assessment, as if you are not giving out correct answers in lessons, you're not giving immediate feedback which pedagogically is very useful. In maths you can legitimately do this. I then take books in and I review the work done and the marking to check it's being done correctly. I make no apologies for the fact that I can't check absolutely every single thing students do. However there are exceptions, such as in shape and space I always check angles have been drawn accurately as that's the only way to know they've been done accurately.
    With Higher GCSE groups and A-level it's much more traditional marking - I look at methods and layout as questions tend to be more involved. I still don't correct a whole page of mistakes - I would correct 1 as an example, then obviously revisit in the next lesson as that would presumably be necessary!
     
  5. Hi everyone,

    I am a Math teacher too. I have been teaching less than 3 years and I have similar problem with Math_Den on how to save time marking and planning of classes, and I am also looking forward to hear what others could contribute or perhaps help to lessen this problem. However, the tips and what others had shared with Math_Den is extremely a good source of additional information. Keep in touch!
     
  6. A few years ago we decided as a department that we needed to look at our marking and assessment. We decided that we were marking too much and it wasn' t useful to the pupils. Now we use peer and self assessment in lessons for class work. We then do key pieces of work that are teacher marked, maybe one or two for each module where feedback can be given. We also set at least one, at the most two, pieces of homework per module which again is teacher marked. To enable this to happen the pupils have two books, a classwork book and a homework/factbook. The classwork book is generally peer or self assessed unless it is shape or angle work like a previous post said, or graph work. The fact/homeowrk book is always marked by the teacher and this is where pupils will do homework, assessed tasks or worked examples that they can refer to. I don't know if this helps anyone but it seems to work for us. It would be impossible to mark every peice of work that the pupils do and they wouldn't get the benefit if they get the work back a long time after they have done it.
     
  7. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    a couple of things happened to me in my first year of teaching (a long time ago!)
    a) I set my top set year 10s work on standard index form, indices etc. I took it home at the weekend and marked every single question for 32 pupils for a double lesson. Never again!
    b) in my year 11 set 2 I had a reasonable well motivated Canadian who had recently arrived in Britain. I could not read a word in his class book, but his homework was excellent, as were his tests. He explained that in North america, a teacher had NEVER looked at his class book. That was HIS notebook and HIS responsibilty. BUT he expected to be judged on homework, completed independently and tests.
    The second case certainly made me think about where we should prioritise our efforts!
     
  8. Homework may not be a true reflection on the work the student can do - who has done it? what facilities at home support the student in doing independent work? Not every child will do homework. Again another can of worms! We had a visiting INSET (another HOD) who told us it was not his responsibility to mark work outside the class for similar reasons - he would only be responsible for the work covered in school.
     
  9. Karvol

    Karvol Occasional commenter

    Lovely.
     
  10. Hammie, I like what the canadian pupil said and I agree with him for the most part. As mentioned in my earlier post we have a similar system
    I agree that homework may not always be representative of what pupils can really do. That is why we also mark assessed tasks which are done independently in class time.
     
  11. Hi hammie,

    I understand that having students marking each others? work (this is sometimes called peer assessment) is a good way to save time but has had complaints about it in the past, both from parents and from the Principal. Some students don?t want anyone else to see their work. :) I am still looking for a way to save time without dropping standards. :) Thank you hammie for your idea. :) Keep in touch always.
     
  12. Hi hammie,

    I understand that having students marking each others? work (this is sometimes called peer assessment) is a good way to save time but has had complaints about it in the past, both from parents and from the Principal. Some students don?t want anyone else to see their work. :) However; I am still looking for a way to save time without dropping standards. :) Thank you and keep in touch always! :)
     
  13. Hi elainem,

    I appreciated the ideas and you are fortunate to have people around you helping each other. I work in a school where people do not share resources very well. :) I am looking forward for more information. :) , Thank you so much!
     
  14. Hi mathsden. What a shame you don't have much support. Hopefully you will find the support you need on here.
    With regard to pupils marking each others work just to save time...I'm not sure that is the only reason. Looking at each others work should help pupils to see what they can do well and what others do that may help them. The atmosphere in the classroom has to be right before this method of peer assessment really works but when it does it is really valuable not just as a time saver. In my classroom pupils are paired randomly every two or three weeks with another pupil that we refer to as a learning partner. The ground rules are laid down very carefully about how to be a good learning partner, reference to the world of work and colleagues v friends is useful here to show pupils that they have to be prepared to work with other people who they may not be friendly with. I sometimes refer to sports teams as well-players may not be friends off the pitch but on the pitch they should work together. Once these boundaries have been set (good SEAL and PLTS practice btw) the pupils can use their learning partner as an extra resource for help, advice, discussion and of course assessment. I know that this is an ideal and may not be to everyone's liking but I fully believe that once the atmosphere is established, pupils discussing maths and assessing maths with their peers is really useful.
     
  15. Hi elainem,

    Thank you so much for the ideas you shared. I am pleased about it. :) keep in touch!
     
  16. murkle

    murkle New commenter

    I've had some success using these:
    http://www.geogebra.org/en/wiki/index.php/Mathlets




    It takes a bit of training to get the students used to them - they work best if they write the question & working, mark it right or wrong, ask for help when stuck.




    Of course there's much more to maths than doing such problems, so use in moderation :)
     

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