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READING- Marking is an act of love

READING- Marking is an act of love
UPDATE: After a lot of thought and reading, I’m no long convinced that marking is anywhere near as important or useful as it’s often claimed. In fact, much of it is a complete waste of time. In this post I explore the difference between marking and feedback and here I suggest that less marking might mean more feedback. October 2015 Have you ever flicked back through an exercise book and seen the same repeated comments followed with soul numbing certainty by the same repeated mistakes? There are few things more crushing to the spirit of hardworking teachers than this dramatically enacted evidence of the fact that, apparently, 70% of all feedback given by teachers to pupils falls on stony soil. I’ve always felt guilty about marking. I guess if you’re marking like I used to, then it’s easy to feel like this. The big difference is DIRT. At Clevedon School, this has been formalised into Triple Impact Marking: and Joe Kirby has also written about how using symbols can save precious time.

Related:  Feedback for progressteaching and learningAfL including marking and feedback

READING- WWW, EBI & INT This month's blogsync topic is all about marking and all entries can be seen by going to There are already some fantastic entries, none of which I will try to emulate here, but I will give my account of the marking expectations at my school and how I have gone about this task over the past half term. Follow the #blogsync conversations on Twitter using #blogsync. On arrival at my school this September I was presented with my very own stamper to use when marking my students' exercise books/work. It is very similar to my own stamper I bought from last year and used when marking...with one slight difference. It wasn't just a What Went Well (WWW) and Even Better If (EBI) stamper but also an 'I Need To (INT) stamper.

The Goldilocks Bowl The importance of hard work Man on the moon In September 1962, John F Kennedy promised America that they’d be a manned lunar landing before the end of the decade. He said: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade…not because [it is] easy but because [it is] hard, because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win”. Tickling Pink - Assessment for Learning Marking I replied to this tweet mentioning the Tickled Pink approach our School has adopted this year. In my current role, my amount of marking is minimal as most of my work is done on iPads. However I asked our Deputy, Miss Brookes, for more information as she has been the one who has implemented it in our school.

READING- Marking. Encouraging and evidencing dialogue In order to make judgements of quality of teaching and progress over time, Ofsted inspectors are looking for high quality feedback which crucially is acted on by the student. Too often what is seen is feedback without any response. Having made a conscious effort to make sure questions were being asked in feedback, and students were being given time to respond, I found that this was not always being picked up through book scrutinies. Good practice was there, it just wasn’t being seen. Inspired by the practice of @keeping18, marking plasters by @ASTsupportAAli and @ListerKev, and blog posts from @MaryMyatt, @HuntingEnglish, @learningspy and @shaun_allison I created a set of stickers that take on the characteristics of mobile text bubbles.

Have We Got Feedback Backwards? Does a steepling pile of marking like this loom large in your nightmares? The effect of good quality written feedback is one of those few constants that most teachers can agree has a positive impact on our students’ learning. With this universal truth acknowledged, we create assessment policies and armies of teachers scratch away in the books of their students, filling their waking hours with marking and feedback. Too often, our tough 9 to 5 is then followed by an evening stuffed with marking from 5 to 9. Is all this effort having the impact we desire? How to improve marking in primary schools Improvements in children’s writing will be proportionate to the quality of feedback and discussion in your classroom – ticking books doesn’t help anyone, says Pie Corbett... For feedback to work, children have to be sufficiently enthusiastic as writers to want to improve, which is most likely to happen if they feel part of a community of readers and writers. It also helps if children’s writing is published, so that the effort towards a polished product is purposeful.

RESOURCE- Maths Plasters Not my idea, but an absolute blinder courtesy of @ListerKev (Kev’s blog) and @ASTsupportAAli who originally posted about using these for literacy here Agility – The teaching toolkit. Its working so well, I wanted to share as part of the October #blogsync 8: “Marking with Impact” … don’t get me wrong its not a panacea, but is saving me time and the novelty value means that the students are reading the comments. Every half term, we complete a marking cycle of assessments with books marked and in conjunction with the test feedback, targets are set both by the students and the teacher. As part of the cycle, weekly homework is set and marked, a peer assessment of books takes place and we also complete a book monitoring check. Whilst doing this, I still like to write comments, but find myself repeating the same thing, so having stickers that I can just pop on the page is brilliant and saving me so much time. So far the comments I’ve done are:

Marking work every lesson – should we bother? Actually, it’s not every lesson. I’m trialling a system of marking books every time students use them. The difference is that they don’t use them formally every lesson. I tweeted this in the week and a couple of Tweeters were vociferous in their disagreement, so I thought I’d explain what I’m doing and what I believe to be the benefits. Firstly I have a confession to make that will probably make you sick or stop reading this blog post… I want to be a #SmartAss by Marking is a tribulation in the life of every teacher. It is equally, the most constructive tool that a teacher can use to empower students and aid their learning; as well as your own teaching! Here, I outline why ‘I want to be a #SmartAss’. In this short article, I endeavour to provide the reader with a simple marking strategy to use in the classroom everyday. #SmartAss – or Smart Assessment – is all about saving time and improving quality. But, is this truly possible?

READING- Understanding why feedback doesn't stick The feedback goblin There is no doubting that feedback is one of the most important key components of teaching. We use it every day, in various forms and in response to various situations. If used well it can have such an impact on the learning of students. In fact according to Hattie, if used as effectively as possible, it can have an effect size of d=0.79 which is twice the average impact of other classroom methods.