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I want to beat my marking in 2016

(11 Posts)
Fallulah Mon 21-Dec-15 11:14:54

Am an NQT in a secondary subject which is traditionally marking heavy. Absolutely loving it so far - I career changed from a senior NHS job so knew what I was getting in to!

One thing I want to get better at is marking, not the quality because I've been told mine is good, but how I organise the actual process.

We have to use stickers for any independent work and the guidance is to mark every two weeks but that's 8 lessons for me which feels like a long gap. I try to mark homework straight away so that I can correct things in the next lesson but it's still taking me about two hours to get through a set of books. I am also a master procrastinator which doesn't help!

How do you organise your marking? I thought about scheduling it but that might mean I was out of sync with book scrutinies and things like that. I also briefly considered marking in small batches but that didn't work in terms of having the whole class ready to do reflections at the same time, and I hate the moaning about so and so's book being marked before theirs.

What genius tips am I missing?

noblegiraffe Mon 21-Dec-15 11:32:57

The guidance is to mark every two weeks because any more often than that and your entire life would be taken over with marking, the workload would be ridiculous. In between you can use self and peer assessment so the kids still get feedback but you don't have to do it all yourself.

I have a marking timetable. Monday night is Y11, Tues Y7, Wed Y12 and so on. The timetable is organised so that each class will get their homework back the lesson after they handed it in. If marking a set of books takes two hours, then you only do one set per night.

mrsjskelton Mon 21-Dec-15 11:34:59

Have you tried alternating between your marking and peer marking some pieces?

Pointlessfan Mon 21-Dec-15 11:37:55

Our dept has printed stickers with tick boxes for the things you keep having to write in books eg. Underline title, titles/axes missing on graphs, capital letter for proper noun etc. We just stick one in and tick whatever needs doing, it saves hours!
Get stampers for praise too.
I try to get round and mark a few books during the lesson and also carry a few with me everywhere so I can do a couple while I'm waiting for a meeting to start or something.

thelaundryfairy Tue 22-Dec-15 15:33:35

Before the students give in work, give them 2 minutes to make sure the work is dated / titled / has capital letters, etc. And / or give them a checklist to stick in the front of their books for how to proofread their own work before handing it in.

Lizzylou Tue 22-Dec-15 16:47:41

I too am a NQT, in History so not as gruelling as core (I only see 5 of my classes once a week for example) but still writing heavy.
I was given a marking timetable by my HOD that I try to stick to, so one week is yr 7 (3 classes) and yr 9 (2 classes but twice a week), 1 week is year 8 (some twice a week). I try to mark my only GCSE class (yr 10) every week. BUT they are very low ability and so the class is small.
I also use self/peer assessment a lot now. And also wander round the class with a red pen in any extended writing task lesson.

I too procrastinate (hellloo yr 9 assessments that I was going to mark before Christmas), it's hard! We have soo many book scrutinies and marking protocols (SPAG, targets, green pen etc etc, and an imminent inspection) and I have DC, so I would want their work marked! But, yes, I will get back to school all up to date, I want to keep on top of it all!

BatmanLovesBaubles Tue 22-Dec-15 16:53:14

Primary, so a bit different, but:

Walk round lessons with a red pen whenever I can (TA too)
Peer mark regularly
Reflection time (2 mins or so) at the beginning of every lesson where children can respond to marking
Try to spread out extended tasks and think about evidence other than writing eg photos of hotseating etc. Hard in secondary though I should think.

I procrastinate ALL THE TIME! Wish I had the magic answer for that sad Well, I suppose I do - just get on with it! Never seems to happen though...

IguanaTail Tue 22-Dec-15 18:01:41


1. Switch on a timer and then mark one book as efficiently as you can. Then set the timer for the next book at that time.

2. Have only set assessments that you mark. If you mark every single thing they write then you will have a heart attack by Easter.

3. Ensure they spend at least the double what you do, correcting mistakes etc. So if you take 10 mins marking a book, they should spend 20 reviewing their work, completing corrections etc.

4. Encourage them to consider their first attempt as a first draft rather than the final product.

thelaundryfairy Tue 22-Dec-15 20:46:33

Get the students to hand in their books open at the page with the work to be assessed.

This way you can also quickly notice if someone hasn´t done or finished the work. (One of the fastest ways to anger me is to give in a book that I cart home only to discover contains no homework!)

PicInAttic Wed 23-Dec-15 13:48:52

Another primary here so different but we try to have all work marked by next lesson so can be very marking heavy. I'm fairly efficient and ruthless with my marking and find following helps me:

Marking timetable each week - sometimes written, usually just in my head - that I try v hard to stick to. It links to lessons but also what I want to do in my own life too.

Marking resources in every book box - for me, that's green pen, post-it tabs, VF given, praise and other appropriate stamps, team point stickers - so there's no searching/hold ups once I'm ready to start.

I mark every night for Eng and maths except staff meeting night. Plan for limited writing that needs teacher marking on SM and SLT meeting nights. Careful planning across subjects so I rarely end up with major marking (long writes, SATs etc) in multiple subjects on same night.

Books in open to right page so don't have to search.

Books in in table groups for maths and English. Start from less able to more as la take me longer to read/decipher so I do when feeling fresher. Always leave a child whose writing style (content and handwriting ) appeals most 'til last so finish on a positive/ easy win.

Topic books, Science, Art etc on tables when I have couple of sets to do on one night that I move to with my portable marking kit (pencil case and large coffee). Find the movement between tables stretches my legs, gives me a break and I enjoy seeing how few tables I have left to do!

Planned use of self/peer/flick and tick marking.

Always give checking time for whole-school non-negotiables (date, underlining, LO/SC filling in) plus check of common mis-spellings before collecting books in to avoid having to write same secretarial message several times.

I teach and then consistently use whole school and subject specific marking codes - again to reduce writing same thing over and over again.

Clear marking attitude ( that basically says 'Bugger off, I'm busy' that I've developed over time so other people don't interrupt unless v important!

I also have an absolute aversion to taking marking home which helps me focus and be ruthless about getting it done : )

Good luck finding the steps that work for you. It does make such a difference to work-life balance if you can develop a routine that works for you and your school.

Pippidoeswhatshewants Fri 25-Dec-15 17:06:01

I am currently doing School Direct in MFL and I was told to do one "thorough" marking per half term plus a couple of ticks/only looking at one particular aspect!
I do regular self and peer assessment.

Instead of you marking everything, can you do self marking (and reusable!) quizzes on SMHW/kahoot/Google forms?

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