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Outdated Marking Strategies

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by BoldAsBrass, Nov 27, 2018.

  1. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass Occasional commenter

    Ok, in theory things may have altered in some schools due to Ofsted clarification and union advice and bold SLT decisions.

    What would you consider to be outdated or unnecessary marking styles?

    In your opinion, what constitutes good/acceptable marking?

    Please don't spout school policy, we all know that's not always right ... as professionals how do you see it? This is an evidence gathering thread to see whats happening across the country.
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Showing you've looked at it with a comment eg "well done!" and underlining the errors.
    Any more is meaningless to a child. They want to know the teacher cares, and they want to know how much they got right.
    If they will benefit from more meaning from it, they'll ask, and obviously I'll explain. Plenty do, plenty don't.

    I cannot speak for all subjects. I am talking about Maths and MFL, which have much in common with each other and little in common with other subjects, in terms of marking,
    (discounting some elements of A level MFL.)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  3. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    Just move them on so they make progress but don't waffle on all day.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. ridleyrumpus

    ridleyrumpus Star commenter

    Constructive marking of set work, not marking of student notes.
    gemfrome and agathamorse like this.
  5. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    They also need to know how to move to the next grade, be that A to A* or E to D. Underlining errors is completely pointless unless students understand why it's wrong. Maths might be slightly different where the answer is either right or wrong (I always maintain that, as a humanities teacher, I could easily mark Maths at GCSE for precisely that reason, but a Maths teacher would find marking History comparatively more difficult.)
    matevans likes this.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    This is the bit that gets me.
    Not through marking they don't.
    they can have GCSE mark schemes stuck in their book.
    You can talk through the marking in class en masse and get them to check against mark schemes. What are lessons for if they are not to move the kids on to the best they can achieve? Why do you have to write this in their books as a quasi replacement to what you can simply tell them?
    My point is that marking to "move them on with a target" is a total waste of time.
    They don't read it, they don't work to it, they don't use it. They don't think in terms of it in the same way we are supposed to as teachers.

    If you believe that marking must include telling them how to move to the next grade, it's because you've swallowed a line from someone.
    It's just a time consuming nothing that management have invented in order to provide visual evidence of bla bla bla.
    Ask a kid about this.
  7. Lalex123

    Lalex123 Established commenter

    I don’t understand why it’s ok for PE to have no marking and the children still make progress.

    Surely this subject proves that marking makes no difference.
  8. BoldAsBrass

    BoldAsBrass Occasional commenter

    We think alike @sbkrobson, so frustrations sets in when teachers feel their time could be better spent on other.aspects of a busy job. Show me a child that remembers their response to a specific EBI statement or 2 Stars & a wish? Seemingly, its things like this which are another meaningless addition and have little or no impact. It takes up valuable lesson time to respond to statement the kids don't respond to in the first place.

    So, how do we influence change as minions not leaders?
  9. drek

    drek Star commenter

    My last school wanted to see model questions with students correcting their own answers in different coloured pens. Perhaps an ebi or two.
    Ticking and flicking.
    They removed the nonsense about deep marking.
    Whoever came up or promoted that without looking at the implications regarding immediate differences in overtime workload between teachers teaching 30 hours or less a fortnight and those teaching 40 to 45 hours a fortnight should have lost their TLRs by now.....we hope!
  10. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    Sir_Henry and lardylegs like this.
  11. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    The marking of notes, informal drafts etc.
    The dominance of individual written feedback as opposed to oral and whole class.
    agathamorse likes this.
  12. -myrtille-

    -myrtille- Occasional commenter

    Outdated/ineffective marking policies = policies which specifiy a certain frequency at which there will be teacher comments in books.

    I teach an incredibly weak Y7 class. I am teaching them MFL. They really struggle to write much in their books from memory.

    We do a huge amount of work on mini whiteboards, sometimes with support (access to word mats etc.) and sometimes from memory. I am constantly checking what they write and giving verbal feedback. We do a lot of speaking (I chuck a soft toy around and ask them questions - lots of praise and verbal feedback).

    When I try to get a piece of markable "extended writing" in their books, many take so long trying to recall basic words that their response is literally about 3 words. It's painful. So I don't really want to do book work very often.

    The books are sitting in a bag in my living room. I need to mark them tonight because they've barely been marked so far.

    They are continually getting feedback. They are learning! But at this stage (3 months in - when a lot of them miss lessons regularly due to literacy/numeracy intervention) their books look rubbish. And now I've got to make the books look vaguely decent to cover my back for a policy.

    There are other times when I would rather mark something more frequently than the policy states. And obviously the policy doesn't prevent me from doing so officially. But it does. Because if I'm marking these Y7 books to cover my back, I don't have time to mark my Y10 books this week.
  13. Pomza

    Pomza Star commenter

    Just SPEAK to them about what they need to do to improve. Sit with them and demonstrate if necessary. Anything else is a waste of everybody’s time.
    Babycakes77, lrw22, bevdex and 13 others like this.
  14. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Good teaching there by @-myrtille-

    Just how it ought to be done.

    Can you imagine how dispiriting it must be for some kids to do book-work? They learn nothing by making mistakes after being made to labour for hours to do it!

    Actually that's incorrect. They learn to hate writing and hate the teacher and the subject and the whole business of learning.

    They know they're lousy at the subject and see no prospect of improving and resent the marking and every little bit of it!

    A lot of them shouldn't even be put in for half the subjects! They absolutely shouldn't be doing GCSE Maths and English. They should be taking Functional Skills but not GCSE. MFL isn't for everyone.

    We have a great system for making many kids think school is irrelevant, boring, humiliating, pointless.

    Marking? Bah! Verbal feedback. Start a lesson with a quick reference to fundamental points/common errors from last time. The occasional individual will react positively to a quiet word in the ear.

    Marking these days is just an exercise in accountability/cover yer backside/be seen to be doing something.
  15. Wilmthrop

    Wilmthrop New commenter

    Personally, I set one extended piece of written work each half term (in addition to the assessment) and mark this in great depth. You can give the students detailed feedback which will help them improve and progress.

    I’ve found myself at loggerheads with my school’s marking policy as it envisions teachers marking all class notes and correcting all examples of bad presentation and misspelling. This is ridiculous, the students don’t learn anything from it - much less look at it - and it’s terribly time consuming. Thankfully, I’m leaving at Christmas.
  16. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

    Not in their book! You explain in class and don't waste time writing this down. This is one of the biggest wastes of time and one some teachers buy in to. Of 25 kids chances of only one misunderstanding one part of a lesson, scheme or whatever is very slim. You skim the books and find a number of these and quickly sort it in a following lesson. Don't waste valuable time explaining individually.
  17. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    The more you write in students' books, the less likely they are to read any of it. Writing 'edu-babble' comments means nothing to them, so is pointless.
  18. 50sman

    50sman Lead commenter

    I hate to say this but at GCSE you fix the grade 4 and 7 marks at a certain point and the exam board computer does the rest

    As the 4 and 7 pounts can change then trying to guess a mark to move students in is ludicrous

    On last years criteria 53% (just over half) got you a grade 5

    I suspect it will be similar next year and I will sim0ly give out exam board grade boundaries so students can work out how many marks they need from there

    Once they know how many marks they TP need they know how much effort/ revision/exam practice they have to put in for THEIR qualification
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Surely it is feedback which makes the difference. In PE, a lot of this can be verbal as it is happening. this is harder when you have a class of 30 producing written work. Anyway, isn't written work in PE usually marked? I know it was in my school, especially when it got to GCSE or A level.
  20. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Speaking for myself, and only for Maths, I think the important thing is the messages which get across, not exactly how it is done. Help given within a lesson is probably the most valuable thing, and a piece of classwork which shows they had got it after I spoke to them needs nothing more than (maybe) a short encouraging comment. It is not to find time for verbal feedback for homework, so I tended to reserve this for somebody who really had not got the idea. I gave out answers in class for them to self mark, and we went through the most common difficulties. Otherwise, a few things that helped, apart from the obvious emphasising errors, were:

    For students who had done well, perhaps tips on setting out which would help avoid mistakes and make more advanced work more easy;

    Pointing out patterns of errors and how to avoid them;

    If they weren't quite there, showing them how to get some distance into a problem and asking them to continue;

    Giving them exemplar solutions to one or two problems so they could retry more.

    I hope that this helped them move towards the next grade simply by enabling them to get more similar problems right in the future.

    When I looked at books as part of PM management, my only concern was whether students were getting decent feedback; I did not expect marking to look like mine.
    agathamorse likes this.

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