marking /correcting written work(20 Posts)
At my daughter's school, her written work isn't corrected. It has ticks and occasionally a general comment. She repeats the same mistakes and is making poor progress.
I have my own thoughts on what good feedback would be, and how she could learn from her mistakes to improve. However, I am trying to find out if there is a policy or current research on feedback to children so I am better informed from the school's perspective about best practice. Can anybody help? thank you
They will be looking at different things in different lessons. If the learning objective is using adjectives then it wouldn't matter so much if spelling isn't correct.
I understand that but the spellings are never corrected, so she thinks it doesn't matter and isn't aware of her mistakes. She's also reinforcing incorrect letter formation when she writes. How can she improve if she isn't aware or practicing?
The teacher didn't write the marking policy. Ask for it?
You may find this recent AIBU thread interesting and informative.
Thank you both. I see there is a marking policy on their website. Does anybody have examples of a good marking policy please?
I'm trying to understand how much autonomy the school has. Do schools differ much? Where would they be getting their "scheme" from? Will look at the AIBU thread.
They differ hugely. Ofsted judge schools on how well they assess students, including on feedback to students, but they look at how well the assessment and feedback policy is designed and implemented on a case-by-case basis.
The best feedback is immediate and not always written
Speaking to my daughter and looking at her school-work, it doesn't appear she is receiving verbal or immediate feedback on these areas. I know its difficult to find out what happens during from the lesson from your own child. I've asked her if the teacher looks at her book/helps her/corrects her/shows her as she is writing /during the lesson and she says never. I've asked her if she ever looks back at work and tries to spot spelling mistakes herself or practices and she looked blank and said no.
I think she does practice spellings at school separately - I'm referring to the quality of her written work.
Every school I've worked in has had a different marking policy. My current school uses one set out by the teachers and children on the school council.
We try to mark as much as possible in the lesson and give feedback there and then. We use a star and a wish for written feedback. We correct about 3 spellings in a piece of work.
Letter and number reversals would be picked up straight away but not every spelling every time.
I've never come across any actual research in this area, not of the sort you are looking for. There's a general belief that marking more than a few errors will discourage creativity, along with the problem that it will discourage children from using more adventurous vocabulary in their writing, but how much actual evidence there is for this idea I don't know.
It's also true that as (some) children grow older and read more widely, their spelling tends to correct itself, to a surprising degree. This was the case with both my girls; however, I did emphasise the phonic nature of spelling at home, and reinforced it whenever they asked me how to spell something, by making them sound out the spelling for themselves. But it's obvious that this doesn't work for all children, as some still end up with very bad spelling, punctuation etc.
There's also the issue of children 'knowing' theoretically that, for example, sentences should start with capital letters, but just not doing it in their written work. This could be due to working memory problems, in that they are concentrating so much on what they are trying to say that they don't pay attention to anything else. On the other hand, when such errors aren't pointed out, and children aren't required to correct them, it does rather send the message that those mistakes don't really matter, and so pupils don't need to make the effort to get it right.
One thing that probably isn't helpful is teachers writing the correct version in for the child: it's the child that needs to make the effort to correct their errors, not the teacher, if they are going to learn from their mistakes. Sorry, this probably isn't very helpful!
OP, I've just remembered something I've read about that might help. On the continent, in some countries they do something we used to do called 'dictations'. That is, the teacher reads a paragraph aloud, and the pupils write it out as she says it. This frees up working memory to allow them to focus on and practice the mechanics of spelling, punctuation, and capital letters, possibly along with getting a 'feel' for what good writing with complete sentences etc sounds like. Apparently quite a few children actually enjoy it!
I would hope most schools here use dictation as part of their daily phonics teaching
It depends what you mean by 'the quality of her written work'? Often parents focus on handwriting and spelling when judging their child's writing as these are obvious things to be able to comment on but they ignore the grammatical construction, the flow of the writing and whether it fits the task set. I'm not saying that these spelling errors shouldn't be corrected but you need to look at the learning objective, the written marking in relation to that learning objective and how your daughter has performed in relation to that objective.
I've not taught at any school that corrects every spelling. It's considered bad practice. At the most, I've been asked to correct 3 or 4.
teaandbiscuits, i'm a bit confused.So you don't let the child know all the spelling mistakes as long as the work fits the task set?
At my ds' school, teacher seems to underline mistakes rather than correct them, and children have to make correction themselves.
Also amounts of feedback written seems to differ from teachers to teacher.
I've taught at schools where we've underlined every spelling but only ask a child to copy out 3 or 4 and some where we haven't pointed out every mistake.
There's a balance between constructive feedback and overwhelming a child with every mistake that they've made which impacts on confidence and 'having a go'. For example, is it better to describe the house as 'big' because you know how to spell it or is it better to try a more adventurous word and risk it being wrong? For some children, they can't get past the dreaded underlining! It can be difficult to get the balance of having a climate in your classroom where it's ok to make mistakes if every mistake is then going to be highlighted.
I'm not saying spelling isn't important! I'm just saying in most schools, they are trying to find the right balance.
Thank you, tea. I got it, and agree with what you are saying.
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