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Showing progress in books

Discussion in 'English' started by sebedina, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. sebedina

    sebedina Occasional commenter

    Hi, I am doing a maternity cover and wanted to know the easiest and best method to show progress in books??

    What method do you use ? I want my marking to be effective. I currently just do WWW EBI

    The school has a new head and there is no specific way to show progress in books. I am there until next year so need to make sure my books look good to SLT.

    I have bought some stamps for WWW and EBI to save time, but I know this isn't enough.
  2. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    WWW and EBI is good.... if the students then do something with it (e.g. improve their work based on the EBI you've given them). Otherwise you are just wasting your time doing it.

    Better still (in my view), is to train you kids to peer assess each other (I find giving them a list of potential comments to choose from and modelling the process works reasonably well). THEN students improve their work based on the peer assessment. Saves you time, and means the students get the feedback more quickly and more often.

    Obivously, sometimes I do mark the students' work myself. In the inside cover of my students' books they have a progress tracker. On it they record their marks and target from every assessment - this then tracks their progress over time, both in terms of summative and formulative assessment. (see attachment for a KS3 example) I also make students refer to it, before they do a similar assessment (e.g" right, before we plan this, what was your target from the last piece of transactional writing you did? How will you meet that target?"), so for me this isn't just a box-ticking exercise, but a way of getting the students to take ownership of their learning.

    I also have my own tracker on excel which shows their progress in relation to their target grade, which I can easily produce if asked for. Again, the colour coding on it helps me to differentiate my lessons when deciding on group compositions, task-setting, etc.

    Attached Files:

  3. pianopete

    pianopete Occasional commenter

    A good SLT/observer looking at your books will focus on the students' work rather than your marking. Progress will be evident if, as they look through the books, work has visibly improved and that can look a number of ways: evidence of students self-correcting, written work is better as the book goes on, presentation becomes neater, stronger vocabulary in their work, more correct answers. Progress takes many forms and a lot of it can happen from your good teaching, verbal feedback and formative assessment in class - don't obsess too much over "evidencing" it.
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    ...and there lies the rub. I agree entirely with pianopete that the above is all fantastic evidence of pupil progress and should be all that is required.. Unfortunately, you can't control the quality of your observers! So (if scoring highly on lesson observations/book scrutinies is something that is important to you) make it as easy as possible for the observer to see the progress. My last head was a Maths teacher who'd had to go back to nightschool in his twenties to get his pass in GCSE English and seemed almost perversely proud of the fact that he didn't have a clue whether the work in the students' books was good or not, so progress had to be made really obvious. [On the flip side, he always told me he enjoyed coming into my lessons, as he always felt he learnt something new.]
  5. OneLooseCrank

    OneLooseCrank Occasional commenter

    Yup - WWW, EBI, green pen student feedback, purple loops back to earlier work, written in lesson objectives, red - green -red - green conversation logs are all ways of signalling to observers who don't know or don't want to know what real progress is, that progress is being made. All of this junk is IMO time spent pandering to the needs of an observer and not to the learning of the students.
    Progress is made when students use their learning from prior lessons as a springboard into the current lesson (do you remember what we did last time? We are adding this new layer to that this time). But you should circle back as a teacher often and revisit the topics / tasks that students studied in earlier lessons(remember that topic we did a while ago? We're giving it another shot today). It doesn't matter if a student's grades haven't gone up when revisiting a topic - no one knows how many times a skill will need to be rehearsed before the student adopts it.
    This doesn't help you make your books look good to an observer I'm afraid... sorry... this sort of thing get my heckles up because it's putting the needs of the observer ahead of the needs of the student.
  6. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Here's an example from a previous 'book look': earlier in the book, I'd put a target to work on using semi-colons in the pupil's writing; the SLT looked for evidence of this later in the book and it was found (several times). It helps to have a very quick flick through at previous targets when marking so you can 'catch' where they have been achieved. Also, being explicit about prior targets before starting a fresh assessment (if relevant) and when you are giving work back pupils should act immediately on feedback (green pen time - or whatever colour you choose - i.e. adding in capital letters to their writing). Yep - there is a lot to dislike and criticise in the rainbow-marking method - but if you use one colour and the students another, for whatever reason SLT/Ofsted love to see this, especially where the student has self-corrected under your direction.

    Another way is, for example, if you mark a set of books and see that a sizable chunk of the class haven't achieved a particular skill (say, for argument, using semi-colons again) then your teaching should be adjusted to reflect this so it is evidenced later in the book. For those who already had them secured, your teaching allows for them to use them differently (i.e. stylistically) or move them on to hyphens.... you get the drift.

    To be honest, I am really surprised there is no marking policy in your school: what Ofsted really look for is use of the policy. And before posters pile-in on 'it's not about Ofsted' I fully appreciate that, but the whole idea of 'looking for progress' in books is of the observation/teacher-effectiveness variety. It's detestable, but part of the territory. OP - as well as WWW and EBI stamps, I like a 'target achieved' stamp to acknowledge where they have been met.

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