How much sloppy work from the teacher should I tolerate before approaching the HT?

(220 Posts)
Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Wed 06-Mar-13 19:51:17

DS is in Yr 3 at a good enough school! There have been 2 or 3 minor spelling or grammatical errors in homework tasks which I have (very graciously grin) overlooked.

However, last term DS had to do some time telling homework ie write down what the time is on the clock face shown. Teacher marked all of the his work correct when over half was incorrect. I wrote a note to the teacher asking about it and she apologised profusely saying that she had marked the homework but had no idea how that had happened.

This week's homework for numeracy had a number pattern that was unfathomable and the literacy homework had a grammatical error that would have made the work confusing for children.

What really pissed me off a lot was that DS's literacy homework from last week was marked all incorrect when not only was it correct, but the week before's work was very, very similar and again all correct, but this was accepted by the very same teacher. Again I made a note in DS's literacy homework book, and all she has done is initial and date my comments.

The marking is very sloppy and I wonder whether I should raise all these issues with the HT or do I let it go and see if things improve. All parents recently received a note from the HT stating that moves were afoot to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the school.

Do I put up and shut up or speak up?

(sorry, very long and rather dull...)

Euphemia Tue 12-Mar-13 17:31:56

How can that be helpful in any way, shape or form?

Several posters have already answered that. There are some children whose work would be covered in pen. I have pupils who would not be able to cope with that - they would just be confused. It's much better to focus on one or two learning intentions.

MortifiedAdams Tue 12-Mar-13 17:47:09

What is the point in setting homework if the teacher doesn't care if it's done correctly or not?

Euphemia Tue 12-Mar-13 17:50:19

The Year Head's response is a load of defensive drivel.

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 17:51:12

So at what point do you move them on and correct the incorrect work? If the work would be covered in pen does that not indicate something has gone wrong in a previous learning objective for that child?

Euphemia Tue 12-Mar-13 18:02:21

We plan to work progressively through spelling rules, grammar, punctuation, etc.

Part of our assessment is checking for retention of previous learning, but that does not mean we need to cover work in pen.

We often show today's LIs and SCs on the board followed by "Expectations", e.g., full stops and capital letters, finger spaces, neat handwriting. These may also be printed on a separate sheet for self-assessment by the pupil (ticking or traffic lighting) and/or the teacher. That way, previous learning can be brought into the assessment without covering the work in pen.

Future teaching is then planned based on the next steps in the progression, and on what we identify needs to be revisited or re-taught.

SirChenjin Tue 12-Mar-13 18:13:46

That's very interesting, thanks Euphemia smile

Hulababy Tue 12-Mar-13 19:15:46

Agree that the YH's comments are less than helpful.

But also agree that it is not always appropriate to correct all errors in every child's work. I have several children in my Y2 class where this would be soul destroying to do so - it could feasibly be every single word in some pieces of work. There would be very limited benefit to the child to do so.

Also bear in mind that some corrections or changes to work may take place verbally and not be recorded by the teacher in the child's workbook, especially if it is something that is happening with a lot of the class. For example - maybe a big number of children are spelling the word "people" incorrectly. Instead of correcting it in several books, the teacher or TA may stop the class/group and go over it on the board instead.

And re the speech marks thing - yes, it is in the Y6 grammar test - but I'm in Y2 and for now we go with what children are comfortable and familiar with. It is not difficult to revert to inverted commas later on in juniors.

Hulababy Tue 12-Mar-13 19:23:56

Euphemia - we do similar. The basic rules/requirements are on the board, alongside the WILF, and/pr on checklists on tables. These are added to as the year goes on. There are usually a visual image to go alongside each.

So at start of year might be:

Finger spaces
Capital letter to start a sentence
Full stop at end of a sentence
Letters to sit on the line with correct ascenders/descenders
Use your phonics charts to spell out words

Later on might be added to:

Finger spaces
Capital letter to start a sentence and for names
End sentences using . ! or ?
Use commas , in lists
Joined handwriting
Use your phonics charts to spell out words

etc.

These things may not always be referred to on every piece of marking.
Not all pieces of work are "deep" marked either. Some are only marked using a tick system against a smiley, straight of downturned face - often twice (once by child, then by teacher) and refers to the specific WALT only.

Some work is deeper marked using two stars and a wish (target/reminder) and a next steps comment - with time given for children to address 1 or 2 key aspects of the work, usually linked to the WALT buy sometimes referring to the expected list (as above) or spellings.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 20:46:53

It is not that all the corrections were not made that pissed me off the most. It was correct work marked as incorrect and incorrect work marked as correct that my main gripe is.

Thanks for all the discussion from teachers! It is good to learn how things are done and also to see that in some respects my DS's school is doing the right thing.

What is WILF and WALT?

Hulababy Tue 12-Mar-13 20:50:25

WALT - what we are learning to do (the main focus of the lesson)
WILF - what I am looking for (the success criteria)

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Tue 12-Mar-13 21:32:27

Thanks, Hulababy.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 07:29:36

UPDATE: Having been asked by the YH to check DS's homework assignments in case there are problems, I have found 3 spelling and gramatical errors in 5 lines of print.

I was also able to look at the work book of a friend whose chld is in my DS's class (with permission of both mum and child!) and marking is NOT consistent. What was marked as wrong in DS's book was correct in the other child's book - same assignment, same answers, same teacher marking.

I am rather cross (I would say fucked off, but my aforementioned friend is reading this thread and I would rather not swear like a trooper in front of her grin).

I will be emailing the school today for the attention of the YH pointing out the errors as she had requested me to!

Feenie Thu 14-Mar-13 07:50:13

graMMatical grin

toddlerama Thu 14-Mar-13 08:11:05

I can't stop smirking at the anecdote about a teacher exclaiming "How would you know? You're not a teacher!" This thread is eye opening. My children are home educated currently. They may attend school later, they may not. I am very glad they will be learning spelling and grammar before that happens though! grin

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 08:13:51

grin graMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMatical

NK366568b6X1269e5a0059 Thu 14-Mar-13 16:28:18

Just back from parent-teacher consultation. Pointed out that spelling mistakes in daughter's work were not being corrected (she's Y6 and a confident reader and writer so really I think she should be able to cope with the corrections by now). Teacher's response : computer programmes have spell checks. Seriously. Am incandescent with fury. Pointed out that people needed to be able to WRITE and SPELL properly. Will computer programme correct their/there/they're ??? What do I do now? Daughter will be leaving that school in 4 months' time but really.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 17:26:54

NKetc, your daughter's teacher's attitude is mind boggling, short sighted and goddam stupid.

learnandsay Thu 14-Mar-13 18:28:42

NKetc, just teach her to spell yourself.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 18:41:24

learnandsay, I appreciate what you are saying, but surely that is not the point? Teachers should be able to spell and should be able to teach spelling or encourage the learning of good spelling.

Feenie Thu 14-Mar-13 18:54:53

Teacher's response : computer programmes have spell checks.

Oh my lord [shock}

Euphemia Thu 14-Mar-13 19:14:47

I'm really shocked too. Computers also have speech-to-text applications: does that mean none of us should bother learning to write either?

ZZZenAgain Thu 14-Mar-13 19:41:47

it is threads like this one which always spring to mind when I read posts saying, "Leave it to the teachers. They are the professionals". It just isn't professional to make such a hash of things.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 19:54:02

I have emailed DS's YH asking which is correct, considering that she told me that grammatical rules are inconsistent:

"I like fish," said the girl.
"I like fish," Said the girl.

DS and his classmate had written an example along the lines of the first sentence. DS's was "corrected" to the second example. DS's classmate was marked as correct. Same homework. Same class. Same teacher teaching. Same teaching marking.

ARGH!!!

It is no fucking wonder that literacy is in such an appalling state in England.

Euphemia Thu 14-Mar-13 19:58:14

The second example there is wrong. No ambiguity, no stylistic, regional or any other variations, no grammatical irregularities; it's just wrong.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Thu 14-Mar-13 20:00:37

Euphemia, I love you, you clever thing, you! (Lots of yous and lots of commas, but as far as I know, all correctly used!)

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