Here are some ideas on marking taken from I have cut out some of the ideas I can’t see myself using


1) Traditional marking
This is the red pen, lots of crossing out, strange codes in the margin, type of feedback so favoured by teachers when I was at school (and still favoured by most School Managers!) It confuses students and can demotivate them, too. (The ones who bother to read it, that is) Personally, I would avoid this like the plague.

2) The PEN method
PRAISE – the student’s strengths
ERROR – point out areas to be developped
NEXT STEPS – suggest a way to improve

3) Highlighting
I love this one (and so does Chris Harte. Read his rainbow assessment blog post.) It involves highlighting where a child has achieved the set objectives and allows them to see clearly which are the good bits in their work, so they can use them again and again.

4) Medal and Mission
This is all a bit “Jim Phelps” for me. It involves identifying were objectives were met by giving “medals” in the form of stamps, stickers, etc and suggesting a “mission” to be accepted by the student to improve. Works well with demotivated boys, apparently.

5) A Bubble and a Box
This technique involves identifying and drawing a box around evidence of where objectives have been met and putting a recommendation for developments or improvements in a bubble.

6) Comment only marking
This involves writing comments based on success criteria having been met, and questions to consider for future improvements.
Firstly, the students have to understand the system you are using, otherwise you may as well not even bother looking at their work.

Secondly, students have to be given the opportunity and the time to respond to your feedback. If you don’t allow time for this, you are wasting your, and your students’, time.

Thirdly, and most importantly, the teacher must realise that none of the above methods is a skive. It will take a very long time to mark a class set of books using any of these methods. Comments and suggestions need to be tailored to each student’s individual needs. Ask yourself this, “Who are we marking for?”

It is a long process but, if done properly, definitely worth it in the end.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s