At the end of the day, it is essential to mark the pupils work. But how can this be managed to ensure the best use of your time and be effective enough for the pupils to benefit?
- Don’t intensively mark every piece of work – there is plenty of evidence to suggest that it has little effect on children to receive back their work with excessive writing in multiple coloured pens.
- Peer marking, this works especially well in situations where there is a right and a wrong answer, maths, spelling tests, etc. Ask the children to swap books, and put a small tick or cross in pencil whilst you read out the answers, this means at the end of the day you can quickly check books, identify those children who are having difficulty to report back to the class teacher.
- Mark as you go along, once the children have completed 5 or 10 minutes of work, stop the class and discuss the answers for this work. The children then have the chance to see if they are going in the right direction or not. You can then refocus the class if there are difficulties or allow them to continue
- In more complex work creative writing, report writing for geography or history. Don’t mark everything. Choose a part of the work to focus on completely – read, correct errors, make suggestions, and then suggest that the child reviews just this section of work.
- Not every careless mistake needs correcting. Just mark the error but don’t spend time correcting spelling or punctuation, if it is clear that the understanding is there and it is just an occasional lapse.