Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Frenzy of Marking: 'Progress Over Time'

The first half term of the school year has seen us embark on a newer emphasis on 'progress over time' and a need for students' exercise books to be glistening with not only marked work, but 'learning dialogues/conversations' including students' responses to our WWW/EBI comments. This, is also (as I found out in an observation the last week of the half term), coupled with students needing to show knowledge of their previous learning when quizzed during the lesson observation by my observers: if they can't answer their on-the-spot questions on what they've previously covered, learning mustn't have been consolidated!

Over the past week I have read many different thoughts on the latest frenzy and none more so than @TeacherToolkit's fantastic 'The Marking Frenzy' post here. Ross' post sums up what I have experienced so I will not repeat it here.

In addition to Ross' post, I also came across @adil_3's post on his marking stickers, see his post here. I am a big fan of stickers and stampers to help my marking and found these a fantastic addition to my marking arsenal. The pre-designed stickers on Adil's blog are great and I plan on using most of them when marking students' books after half-term. I will, like Adil plans to do, make a note of any impact they have, both in terms of speeding up my marking and the students' understanding of them and acting upon them. I have since bought some blank 25mm template stickers from the link on Adil's page and have started to create some more of my own to use as EBI statements when marking students' books. The idea being that these stickers would save me writing the same statements over and over again in students' books. Statements like...

'remember to round your answers to the stated degree of accuracy'
'don't forget the order of operations (BIDMAS)'
'check your workings'
'estimate your answer first to check if your final answer is sensible or not'
'read the question!'
'give your answers in terms of Pi'
'write down all of your workings'
'see me to explain this further'

So, rather than writing these each time, I will replace them with the relevant sticker under the EBI part of my stamper and then refer students to a poster I will make with all possible stickers and their meanings - students can then write the comments in themselves or use the meanings to write their INT ('I Need To') statements, which are the holy grail at present!

Here are some of the stickers I have created...

 This page includes:

Round your answers
Give your answers in terms of Pi (for my higher set Y11 class)
Is your answer sensible - estimate first

 This page includes:

Remember the order of operations (BIDMAS) - thanks to @MrReddyMaths for this image!
Read the question
Show all your workings
This page includes the 'see me' sticker for more help - for those students who seem to have completely misunderstood in class or have done very little work
 This page includes all the stickers I first tried out the template with (including)...

check your times tables
show your workings
show/check the units of your answers
check your angles/angle facts
use a pair of compasses/construct accurately
use my YouTube Channel (mrcollinsmaths)
Come to Maths Club

The template I used to create all of the above (and so that they print *nearly* perfectly onto the sticker sheets) was tweeted out by @LoundDarren and can be found here.

I'm looking forward to seeing how these stickers will work with my students and will hope it compliments the ways I am already trying to improve the feedback I give my students in their exercise books. We have a whole school literacy marking policy and so I'll continue to underline misspelled words and write 'sp' in the margins etc. We also have presentation guidelines we've had to drum into students heads too and so the stickers Adil has created in his post above will help reinforce the title, date, margins, pencils for diagrams etc expectations too.

If anybody thinks of any other common mistakes and comments Mathematics teachers end up writing in books - let me know...

@mrprcollins or comment below! :)