Very long sharing of some of our current marking/feedback tactics for our own staff to skim through, to guide our new September teachers and to share generally via our blog [for anyone who finds the time to read!]. It’s a theme we will be returning to on our inset days but a health warning before I begin-marking, feedback and ensuing dialogue at their best are one of the strongest forms of personalised intervention there is-period! You don’t have to read lots of research to inform your practice of this-ask the students-Helen Rose did-great marking and feedback, of which there are lots of examples shared below, makes a huge impact on learning. We’ve discussed previously what great marking and feedback is BUT as a teacher you have to decide how much time you are going to give to your marking and planning. 1 lesson may be supported by 3 hours of marking/planning-can you do this for every lesson AND teach well, throw in some extra-curricular and actually have some of your own life too? Using peer assessment, if it’s done well, can be a big help and I can offer advice based on years of teaching BUT it’s a long time since I taught a full timetable and led the Humanities faculty. Talk to one another and follow up any shared ideas to find out more, read the blogs I send out from elsewhere with great ideas to deliver ‘best value’ marking-your well-being is crucial and it is for all of us to ensure that ALL colleagues are happy, healthy and working to their full potential. If you feel you are drowning under marking-I spent the summer of 79 as a lifeguard-no big deal to whiz the old speedos on and I’ll dive in for you! This article by Andy Tharby may interest and help those colleagues too http://t.co/St6PY1ARMH
Ofsted have moved to looking for evidence of learning over time-student books are one way of checking learning has happened and is developing and progressing-I doubt that any of us would have an issue with this and it’s one of the factors that contribute to great teaching in our professional portfolio. The debate surrounding what constitutes good and useful feedback/marking has new additions every day-how quickly should feedback be given, how detailed should it be, feedback that tells them the answers isn’t as useful as feedback that encourages thinking, feedback should be very different for different abilities, subjects, learning activities and so on. I’m not sure how many countries have teachers who provided the length of written feedback that many of our teachers often provide-should this be expected, is it useful to write so much-mmm big questions and I don’t have a ready-made answer! When I spot good examples and articles on the web, I grab them and share with our staff-our first big feedback sharing from last December blog mixes ideas from our staff with external ideas http://blog.meolscophighschool.co.uk/?p=180
Quick Jonesy rant!
One of the interesting aspects of keeping up to date with innovative and exciting educational ideas is seeing or hearing an idea that sounds absolutely wonderful e.g. a great marking strategy or inspirational leadership tactic-I automatically [naively] use to think that the person or school involved must be part of a great development sweeping across their school, having a great impact on all that it touched. A quick look at their data/external reports sometimes revealed a different truth-the reality was probably that a few people [or just 1!] were producing good ideas that they were proud of, but that the practice wasn’t universally adopted or accepted, possibly because the methods of collaboration or monitoring failed to include everybody [including support staff] Leadership has to be nitty gritty as well as inspirational-even though I may think that some of my mad ideas are amazing and non-negotiable and that colleagues on hearing them will just immediately implement them into their classroom practice-dream on! Trying to get all colleagues to agree with a new idea or change in policy that is crucial for the school to move forward is virtually impossible-ensuring that they all follow the policy once implemented takes the combined characteristics and skills of Sir Alex Ferguson, Mother Teresa and Michael Gove! [perhaps not!] All schools must have some great markers, feedbackers and DIRTy dialoguers-I’ve read the Ofsted reports that say so BUT usually it is one of the areas that is found to be inconsistent-will you be the one that is spotted not marking well and lets your school down in the Ofsted report-how many SLT have spitefully said this! From my experience, when inconsistency is found, leaders haven’t shared examples of ‘good’ marking, haven’t created an environment where the value of marking and feedback has been discussed openly [what is the point of spending ages on it?], haven’t researched and shared good practice/methods having the most impact, haven’t tried to support the work-load of colleagues by thinking of time efficient methods of marking [RE not marking every book every week etc.], haven’t included marking and monitoring as one of the key success criteria for individual quality of teaching and one evaluative measure of learning over time, haven’t allowed a flexibility in the system to cater for individuals and subjects and haven’t having said that marking is important, haven’t bothered at every level of leadership to monitor it rigorously and haven’t included the parents and students in discussions and debate about it. AND even if you think you have covered all of those areas-you still find books unmarked, policy not adhered too and so on-not sure any school ever gets it totally right at one given time and I certainly wouldn’t pretend to.
Summer 2014 shared examples
I’ve shared quite a few of our current ideas in our blogs and internally in collaborative meetings and via emails when I’ve spotted great marking on my tours around the classrooms. I don’t impose a uniform approach in terms of everybody marking in green/the students responding in purple pens of progress or everybody having to give 2 stars and a wish or WWW, EBI and so on. I can fully understand schools, especially if Ofsted or internal monitoring has found an issue, usually inconsistency of rigour, with marking across the school and need staff and students to follow clear guidelines that all can clearly understand, follow and monitor. I do prefer to let individuals and faculties follow their own professional research and evaluations to find the marking and feedback which works best for them in terms of impact on learning and best use of their time. I’m not sure that one size fits all is the best approach with marking and feedback given the initial differences in subject specific needs, individual students [ages/abilities/motivation], teacher workloads-teachers spend a lot of time marking-as professionals they should be trusted to work within our overall school/faculty structure to get it right for themselves and their students. This isn’t a soft option-it can’t be because the learning over time observed in student books is one the main criteria in our individual teacher portfolio ‘quality of teaching’ evidence files. Books give us a much clearer piece of evidence about learning and teaching than 1 off lesson observations-they absolutely do matter to both teachers and students! They are a veritable treasure trove of learning! A basic version of our marking policy as shared with parents in our handbook is here;
Marking and feedback
We use a range of marking strategies in school depending on the subject, age and ability of the students. However, there are some key basic principles that underpin our approach, to which staff and students should adhere:
- Marking and feedback must be prompt. The books must be taken in for marking and returned with feedback at agreed regular intervals dependant on the amount of curriculum time the subject has.
- Subject specific feedback and feed forward advice and targets must be given to inform the students about what has successfully been achieved and how the learning can be further improved.
- Questions addressed to the students may be used to support this strategy aimed at emphasising misconceptions and incomplete knowledge.
- Whichever strategy is used, the students must:
- Be given time to read the advice and respond;
- Have future learning checked to see that the feedback has been successfully employed;
- Some teachers may use the term DIRT (Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time) to carry out these activities.
- SPAG (Spelling Punctuation and Grammar) will also be checked for general and subject specific accuracy.
- Our students will be involved in evaluating their own and each other’s learning. Teachers will check the accuracy of student self and peer marking but the thought process involved strengthens student learning and helps them become more effective learners. For them to be successful we might use the acronym FISH:
- Friendly comments must be based on the learning, not the person!
- Informative advice that suggests improvement, with supportive examples provided.
- Specific feedback, based on the subject knowledge and skills that are need for mastery of the subject.
- Honest feedback – don’t hide from what needs to be said. Constructive criticism is useful and all mistakes can be learned from.
- To enable student marking to be successful, the criteria for marking must be in student friendly language and have a clear structure, e.g. Bronze, Silver and Gold.
- Peer assessment on its own is often inaccurate. Another student should check the peer assessor’s comments and verify their accuracy before a compromise discussion with the owner of the work, the peer assessor and verifier. Further verification by using more peer assessors e.g. gallery critique further supports more accurate peer assessment.
The reality goes much deeper with a variety of nuances as you will see from the different examples.
It goes without saying that books should be graffiti free and kept with pride. They are a log of individual learning and progress for each student, often with their own flight path and self-assessed personal views in-they are important-and we should encourage that presentation matters-basic use of rulers writing in pen, drawing in pencil-do matter. Work presented for marking should be as perfect as possible and re-drafting encouraged [a difficult and sometimes un-popular skill] but students should be encouraged to highlight work, add feedback in each other’s books, use different coloured pens for different tasks-[re-drafting may be better at the back of a book!]-a mixture of the old and new! It is sometimes easier to have 2 books-rough, best-sometimes one for if the students have an ITT teacher and so on-your choice.
We monitor books twice a year formally and re-visit them during observations and learning walks and bring examples to cross-curricular meetings, as well as sharing good practice via our internal sharing lines of communication [the blogs show shorter versions!!] It is the responsibility of all colleagues to support the development of each other and to celebrate successful impacting strategies [and steal them!] Our summer book monitoring form is here;
Book Monitoring Summer 2014 Name Department
There is a slight change in format to fit in with some of our key initiatives so we can measure the impact of them and set priorities for next year. Please select a cross section of books from different abilities and cohorts and please highlight on your sheet, specific areas in the books where your line-manager should look to be guided towards finding good evidence to support your self-evaluation.
|Dialogue devpt||Self/peer assessment||Questions posed||Literacy/numeracy||New ideas||DIRT/re-drafting|
|Specific feedback the students can understand||Self/peer assessment related to a specific criteria||Questions are set by the teacher as part of the assessment process and the students answer them||Literacy /numeracy checked. Literacy marking scheme used-monthly literacy advice followed||Any ideas trialled from learning hubs, peer observations, courses||How have you built DIRT/time for the students to check and reflect into your lessons|
|Evidence that the students have checked the feedback||Self/peer assessment with an explanation/example||The questions are specifically aimed at levels/grades/skills/misconceptions||Students respond to literacy/numeracy advice||Impact of your innovations||How has this impacted on learning?|
|Evidence that the students have successfully responded to the feedback||The self/peer assessor checks that their feedback has been successfully met||Questions are raised by self or peers and answered||Any impact noted?||How will you develop them further?||How have you tried to get them to give you ‘nearly perfect’ work in for marking/used re-drafting?|
|The process is verified||Questions are written into schemes of learning||Ideas you have shared. Any feedback?||How has this impacted on learning?|
Line manager feedback-please keep copies for your professional portfolio and pass a copy on to Alison
Areas of strength
Biggest impact on learning your marking has had this year?
Agreed priorities for next term to support personal, department and whole school marking development [to return to in the autumn book monitoring]
Teacher Line manager
The teachers presenting their books for monitoring choose their own examples and highlight examples of the criteria that they wish to draw to the monitor’s attention. Helen H made it easy for me by using different coloured stickers on certain pages in the books to match her self-evaluation form.
|Specific feedback the students can understandOliver Brookfiled –blueMia – blueCharlie Ball -blue|
|Evidence that the students have checked the feedbackMia – yellowTom L – redJames R – redCharlie B – yellow|
|Evidence that the students have successfully responded to the feedbackDeclan B – pinkOliver B – orangeTom L – purpleCharlie B – yellowSammy H – pink|
I’m grateful to colleagues who have shared their marking so openly-sometimes it can be a closely guarded secret and sometimes colleagues are worried that they will be found wanting in front of a larger audience-I hope we have dispelled fears like these and can value individual contributions in the true spirit of collaboration and British values of volunteering!
Before I begin a quick warning that sometimes the spelling of peer assessors isn’t always as accurate as it might be! Hopefully our SPaG will be ok! What I wanted to do was to share ‘real life’ examples rather than blank teacher copies
The amount of feedback given is for the teachers to decide-if everybody provided very detailed feedback for every piece of learning given in-they wouldn’t have enough time to plan lessons, prepare resources and have a life outside of school-they would be exhausted and their teaching in the classroom would suffer. Teachers of subjects like RE with the amount of classes they teach would simply go under and so the amount of detail, the use of different strategies [that may save time but still be appropriate and have an impact] and the use of self and peer assessment all have their part to play at a time when the teacher feels that is the optimum time to use that tactic. For instance science may decide that their assessments for a half-term take priority and that detailed feedback and DIRT need planning and preparation time devoted to this-book marking and feedback may then require less detailed teacher assessment and more emphasis on quality peer critique.
You can see from Lisa’s English marking below that she has commented on learning that went well and has offered very specific advice-in the first piece she would then give the students time to read the advice and would check that the feedback has been achieved at the next appropriate opportunity. In the second piece you can see her use questions to reinforce what she spotted as errors and then verify that the student has successfully met her feedback.
Her 3rd piece shows the use of a peer assessor who also has been encouraged to give as specific feedback as they can with examples to show the ‘assessed’ student what they need to do to improve.
Maths STAR and other self/peer critique
The maths faculty have been trialling STAR marking and when I tweeted Zoe’s STAR around the world, it proved to be very popular! You can see teachers, self and peer comments and a worked example set to check that the feedback has been met and verified.
This was from a more able student and examples from Jen show some different abilities and slightly different differentiated tactic based on the same principle. Sometimes STAR and the questions set begin initially with the teacher setting them before building up student confidence so they can set them. Miss gives her feedback and sets a question for the students to answer in DIRT in the next lesson. Stickers and stampers engage and motivate and I buy hundreds of them, design our own and encourage everybody to do the same. They work- even for year 11!
It takes time for the students to learn how to self and peer assess accurately-done badly it’s simply a waste of time so strict guidelines, constant modelling of WAGOLLS for the class using the visualisers and confidence begins to grow. When time is such an issue, great student marking is a massive help and more important develops their learning and understanding too and encourages the use of subject specific literacy.
Alex has used her NTEN lesson study with Claire to look at developing responses of our lowest ability students to functional skills type questions and has also being trialling ideas to engage the students in entering in to a maths dialogue. This is at a basic level to begin with but the more we can help the students to become involved with specific feedback by being patient and offering them structured and developmental support-the better maths learners they will become.
Beginning to peer assess, set questions and challenges!
Encouraging them from year 7 to always learn from and focus on what they can’t do.
Taking responsibility for your own learning and progress as much as you can.
Not getting any wrong! Extension task on its way!
Below-joint action-talking and arguing about maths- scribbling out and re-drafting until you agree that you have an answer to offer to Miss.
It wouldn’t be maths marking without their ladder of glory-moving up the rungs of success to differentiate and progress sum by sum!
You have 5 – 10 minutes to read through your teacher’s comments in your exercise books and to respond to any challenges your teacher has set.
If you are not sure of something and want to write a question to your teacher, you can!
Helen offering some dedicated improvement and reflection time- for the students to check her feedback and respond in MFL. For years we spent ages marking our books and rarely gave the students any opportunity to read and respond, apart from writing out spelling mistakes! DIRT activities can include so many different chances to reinforce learning and allow the students to plan and prepare only their very best work to offer for marking. A few ideas here for DIRT/FLIRT!
If you are going to peer critique/assess-do it the MCHS way!
The uses of DIRT and peer critique have developed rapidly and have gathered a fair amount of interest from elsewhere. Katie and Lisa’s slides have been tweeted out, as has Katie’s book mark.
Year 7 beginning to peer -Critique using Katie and Hannah’s modelled guidelines.
By attempting to follow the guidelines, they will grow in confidence and the idea will bring high level evaluation skills, connecting nicely to G.C.S.E. skills-we have to have the highest of expectations and keep encouraging FISHy evaluations.
I wasn’t able to observe Hannah with Katie due to the interviews so Leon took my place and was delighted to see Hannah analysing poetry with 7 set 3 and developing their peer critique skills [and as a consequence their own analysis] Hannah told me that she used the visualiser to model the process of gradually improving peer critique for her class as you can see below. Showing them the different stages of a developing skill is really interesting piece of teaching and her bronze, silver, gold simple criteria gives the students criteria that they can work with and understand.
Katie mixes teacher feedback, questioning and peer critique below to good effect-a variety of marking methods-each suitable to very different groups and abilities is best and down to the professional instincts of the teacher-not an overall school policy or rule!
Hannah shared her examples on a ppt-here are some of her key slides. Please note the BSG approach!
Helen R liked my peer verification original idea [historians stick together!] aimed at promoting discussion and compromise-2 great life-skills and has adapted them for her own classes.
Helen has devised her own peer provider idea and although the slide looks basic and simple [often works best!] the idea works really well and has produced some pleasing critique.
Helen mixes her development of peer critique with questions to focus on areas of weaker knowledge or to probe deeper.
Or a mixture of self, peer and teacher-the peer is weaker advice here-ITT student marking and perhaps letting the peers off without providing sufficient evidence and examples. Hence the need to constantly model exemplar peer critique and provide high challenge-it’s a difficult skill and they need to be taught how to do it properly [can’t emphasise enough!]
The need for peer verification was brought about by my concerns over the inaccuracy of peer assessment-our verifier or verifiers not only re-check the original peer critique but discuss with the original person and compromise. As many counts of verification as possible are fine; the more the merrier depending on time and the amount of feedback given and expected. Subjects like art have always used the ‘gallery critique’ method of laying out work and touring around adding comments/feedback and taking your own. Lots of colleagues use similar tactics and a simple version would be one I used with year 7 with the laptops and lots of post-its [and a history essay]-get round as many laptops as you can and leave a pink post it-with a couple of positive things that you liked and want to pinch and 1 piece of advice with an example to support the advice. On a green post-it jot down ideas you like and want to take back with you and use on your own piece. Time needs then to be given [DIRT] to allow the students to read their comments and act on them by adding the advice and examples-this can be highlighted on the screens so that the teacher can see the process unfolding in front of their eyes. Bronagh used a slightly different tactic with some high flying Spanish students that Helen and I had the pleasure of observing. Bronagh has trialled different peer assessment ideas in lessons and developmental dialogue scaffolds with her marking and feedback. The lesson I observed with her subject leader was in the context of the students having described and compared where they live and she was hoping that their learning would progress to extending and developing their basic descriptions by using connectives and high level phrases. She began by the students forming a human sentence where they each in turn added a word and then set them off with post-its to construct a sentence on their tables.
The success criterion was;
Bien-must give a structured sentence
Muy bien should add opinions to their description
Excellente could use justified opinions and another tense
The sentence was then peer assessed according to shared criteria and the peer assessors had to leave their feedback on the table on a different coloured post-it [it had to have two specific examples that could be used on it] and also take away [on a different coloured post-it!] a couple of ideas that they could use to enhance their own sentence. The pairs went back to their own table and read the feedback the peer assessors had given and then amended their sentence accordingly. Bronagh then sent the peer assessors back again to verify that their advice had been taken and used. As her class mascot is Pablo [who gets chucked around in questioning] she can ask the students to PABLO it-Peer Assess Borrow [2or 3 ideas to take back] so you can Learn [from the peer assessment process] and use your learning to improve your Own.
PABLOING it! The peer assessors highlighting where their advice has been used successfully!
A learning conversation followed based on the grade success criteria and I asked where the students felt that their learning should go next to achieve the B and A grades [they are year 9 students]-they were able to work out what was needed next, although Miss would be needed at this point to expand!
Science DIRT/peer critique
Rachael and Joe in science joined us as NQTS and have constantly trialled different marking strategies, led a peer assessment hub and worked together on lesson study. Rachael used a new overlay in her lesson observation to support her peer assessors and give them a structure to assess each other’s work on.
Some of her questions and the dialogue in her books was excellent-stronger than Even Better If-which needs an extra E for example or evidence as does 2 stars and a wish or 2 medals and a mission. Highlighting point, explanation, evidence works well for self/peer marking and encourages thorough reading-as long as everything isn’t highlighted!
For the lower ability students picking out key words in peer assessment helps them to offer subject specific oral or written feedback. Joe shared different approaches to providing initial scaffolds to support the student’s early attempts at PA. No levels anymore but you can see how he was trying to develop their responses.
After using the overlay, Rachael used DIRT to allow peer assessment feedback [black] and self-response [blue] to decide which BSG was reached and how they could improve further.
Basic self-DIRT with year 7 low ability and please don’t be afraid to let the students highlight and write in each other’s books [yes I know presentation is back in Ofsted fashion-just do it!]
Below you can see Joe using DIRT to allow the peer assessors to offer advice/raise questions, student responses, peer verifier checking that the feedback has been met and the teacher offering positive feedback on what has gone well and then leaving another question to for the student to answer in the next DIRT session.
Hannah S sent me some examples of her year 7’s, beginning to develop their peer critique skills and her explanation; “Basically, I gave them questions to answer, which they did in black. Then I gave them a general mark scheme to self-assess (red pen)their work without giving them the answer and then an opportunity to improve in blue pen. The work was checked by a peer (red pen) who checked their self-assessment and improvement and add to the feedback using PEER (praise, EBI, example, respond). The students then with a very general levelling researched the topic, while I looked over their books and gave some feedback to add to the peer. They then came back and improved their answer again to try to get more marks where I gave them a specific mark scheme to give a real mark, they then commented on what they did to improve.”
I’ve attached the PowerPoint I used. “The only thing I didn’t do was get the peer to check their feedback had been met. It was a revision lesson a couple of weeks after we completed the topic. They enjoyed it though and where very happy when they went from 1 / 2 marks to 5/6.”
Then the same in blue for improvement and red again for peer checking of the answer.
Art-creative and imaginative marking!
Rachel Y with her artistic touch has trialled different strategies with different classes. She led our marginal gains hub and used her lesson study with Josie to use the approach with her year 10. This is an example from year 7 of Rachel using her MG wheel to support self-assessment marking along with WWW/EBI and more.
PAR is used mainly in technology and PE and works well when sufficient time is given to complete the boxes and to check/verify that the feedback has been achieved. When too many PARs are attempted or time isn’t given-it doesn’t work-this is similar to the use of stickers with guidelines/advice on. When colleagues first used them, they appeared on each page and the students couldn’t possibly respond to all of the action points. For busy teachers they offered a quick way of marking-for deputies in charge of learning and teaching, they were no better than what had gone before and I despaired! Used well; they can work but you need an awful lots of stickers to personalise them in enough detail. Did I ever encourage them and make them-I forget due to age!!
Rachel likes to add a touch of literacy to most of her marking and I liked her crayons too! The students told me that they enjoyed assessing using these.
Acronyms amuse me if they are used to support learning and not jargon for new initiatives! Helen and Bronagh, being linguists are creative and imaginative [they told me to say this!] and they came up with MONSIEUR aand SENORITA when one of our learning walks revealed that the students felt that MFL wasn’t using or developing peer critique as much as other areas. It isn’t always easy using the target language to discuss/critique in the detail you might in other subjects and they’ve devised some cunning plans!
It looks great on paper but what is the impact on learning and what does it look like in practise?
I really like to see the students asking questions of their teacher-it shows a thirst for knowledge and a desire for subject mastery-traits of great MFL scholars.
Supporting lower ability students to recall learning with a simple recap at the start of the lesson.
And supporting more able students to aspire to higher levels and highlighting when they have used the feedback in the next piece of learning. G.C.S.E peer critique-advice, feed-forward-peer sets question and check it
For the more able- teacher questions to recap prior learning at the start of the next lesson as a bell activity and I also like MFL challenges set by Helen in French.
Colin works predominantly with the PCs in business studies and his own marking/assessment/feedback and the ensuing dialogue and self/peer critique is all based on google docs and the VLE. I’ve observed the system in action and always have a suggestion for further refinement as we discuss the lesson afterwards-sorry Colin! Colin has explained his ideas in the attached document –quite big to put in the ordinary flow of the blog-and added student views. You can see their spelling mistakes so know they are genuine!
Although not everybody will have the same access to ICT as Colin does-some of the ideas can be adapted for aspects of any subject and it really does represent an exciting and innovative way to feedback.
Some of the best feedback I’ve seen may have been given orally-marking/feedback doesn’t always have to be written down copiously. There is always the option of using the ‘teacher said’ or ‘oral feedback’ stampers to record words of wisdom but often they are said in the heat of the learning moment to offer advice or model e.g. in PE during gymnastics during a somersault-“you need to alter your approach to….” [You may have filmed the session and can use the film as evidence to feed-back or encourage peer/self-critique] or in cricket, “you need to grip the bat handle higher up to give greater power”-teacher takes the bat and models. Oral feedback doesn’t have to be the sole domain of practical subjects-you all give oral feedback-and great for you when you see the student has listened or observed and made a learning gain or the learning penny has dropped. Both PE and drama lesson study have explored student oral feedback and improving it to support better and more accurate self and peer critique, especially with our lower ability students. It’s one of the keys to helping them make learning progress by facilitating the development of subject specific literacy. A couple of mats they have developed [explained in previous blogs] made an impressive short term impact and need to be developed further.
Some teachers do use marking codes which take a while to produce but then can be used rather than to write lots of feedback. The students check the codes given and then write the definitions/respond to them. I wrote a couple for my own subjects and one for Ric Dance in science because marking was weighing heavy on his joint role-teacher/progress manager-didn’t really take off. [although Ric did!] It’s 4 years old now and I was using it pre Ebac and pre the demise of NC levels-is there any mileage in this approach still based on the new BSG?
It’s difficult to mark all of your books and give you detailed feedback, because I teach so many classes! I will continue to read your books and give rewards but will use the code below to assess your work. When you get your work back, you will need to check the codes I have given you e.g. C3, P2, M5 and write down ‘I have successfully……then add the sentences for C3, P2, M5; with a piece of evidence for each code. The second code will be advice as to how to improve, so you write, ‘I need to…..and add the sentence that matches the code……..easy and a short description of how you will actually achieve this improvement!
I could then check that their feedback was achieved or they or a peer could. It does save time and it does make the students think about interpreting the code and explaining the feedback and setting a new target. It might have lacked the personal touch that comment marking provides but I raise it as a possibility and some in other schools use various styles of code marking and report the success of them.
If you have time, I’ve attached some of David Didau’s blogs where he summarises different approaches and adds some reasons why we should feedback-great for policy writing and discussion. A couple of snippets that I like;
- Time savers – despite all the juice I try to squeeze out of my marking, there’s always scope to save more time. I love Lisa Ashes’ idea of using + – = to mark. Here’s my spin on it:
Don’t write out comments. You end up writing such similar comments across the class, and they won’t read them anyway.
Instead, get them to write them out. Choose three to five targets or questions before you start marking, then scan their answer, choose the best fit between the student’s work and the group target, and draw an icon. One minute per book maximum. At the start of the next lesson, you write the targets on the board, students write their targets in their books. They get instant feedback and can take action on their target straight away.
Other external ideas that I like and I attach for those thinking of looking at new ideas, especially time saving ideas-you might want to have a quick look at Andy Tharby’s ideas [or just ask and I’ll find exactly what you need in my favourites folder!]
Science has used RAG marking/feedback inspired by external articles shared in school-check these out. Provided that evidence is given to justify the choice of RAG in subject specific terms-go for it-oral feedback/explanations are fine if you wish-you choose the appropriate form of response for that particular lesson and situation.
The North Oxfordshire Academy has their FAR burger to summarise their policy whilst some of our staff like Katie’s PEACE burgers to aid their students with evaluations/peer critique and.
I also like the idea of dot marking and will be trying this out
The teacher or peer assessor puts a dot on a page to indicate there is a mistake-the student then searches for the error themselves without any clues putting the emphasis on them to find and correct. Variations could be to put the dot in the margin close to the mistake to make finding easier or to use different coloured dots for different types of errors-SPaG, lack of evidence, misconception, different aspects of SPaG and so on.
RE marking using forward/backwards symbols like you have on a remote control-can be used in any subject-check it out!
Depending on your subject [how many times a week you have your classes] you might like to try daily marking, nicely explained here. My partner has had a go and you might find that shorter daily marking, rather than waiting a week to mark a bigger quantity, may suit.
Loads of ideas in this blog!
Final external sharing comes from Chris Hildrew-some of his own but references to so many others here and a must read!
Our final internal sharing is from Emma in geography where she has given some different examples of her marking beginning with basic questions being used to check knowledge/misconceptions to begin the lesson with in DIRT. SPaG check on key words shown too and the feedback achieved sticker.
Her other examples show peer critique giving advice and setting questions that need to be answered to achieve better mastery of the topic. Green for Miss, red and black for peer, blue for student.
Stickers used to motivate, engage and comment on the quality of peer feedback.
This is the 56th page on my PC and still I can’t really get close to doing justice to the ideas, time spent and impact on learning that good marking and feedback has on our students. The examples here represent a tiny sample of reality and for all of the excellence of some of these; if other teachers aren’t marking well and other students aren’t receiving the feedback and engaging in the oral or written communication about their learning that they should be and is their right here-I haven’t been rigorous enough in my leadership.
Thank you to all who have shared and I hope that you have been inspired to try out some of the ideas in this blog or in any of our others. Have a wonderful holiday and well-earned rest.