Like many teachers I set myself a new academic year resolution every September. Last year I knew that the quality and frequency of my marking needed improvement so I wanted to achieve this without making my workload onerous.
Our school operates on 5 Learning Cycles of 7 weeks. After each, pupils complete assessments and we report to parents an assessment level, forecast for end of Key Stage and an Attitude to Learning grade. Our department marking policy says we should mark books formally twice in each cycle so my starting point was to come up with a schedule I could stick to which spread my marking load over the cycle. (See photo)
My second idea was to come up with ways to ensure pupils react to feedback in order to improve and progress in a particular area. I think it may be a peculiarity of Maths that we are setting targets at the end of a module about a particular topic yet moving on to another where pupils can’t address that target. (Perhaps subjects such as English can set transient targets about say grammar, spelling or paragraph structure that are relevant whatever the topic.)
I’ve created a “Boost Your Learning” sheet which I use to set pupils additional work where a homework shows weaknesses or misconceptions. I note this in my planner with a tick and quickly check these pupils books in a future lesson to ensure they have addressed the problems. (See photo for example)
At the end of the learning cycle I wanted to set a target homework for pupils to go away and try. Here is an exemplar PowerPoint which I have used with my Year 9’s this Learning Cycle. The first slide means I can use a “target code” and pupils can copy their own targets onto their assessments saving me time (and avoiding my horrendous handwriting). The remaining slides correspond to each of the targets and set pupils a task to go away and complete for homework (I print these as a 2 slide handout so they fit in exercise books nicely). Sometimes these tasks are MyMaths lessons which I can check by selecting a date range in the Assessment Manager function, other times I will set a short written homework which clearly takes a little longer to check.
We’ve just finished our first Learning Cycle and all seems to be going smoothly. I know that all my classes are getting regular quality feedback, personalised actions in case of specific difficulties and are being provided with an opportunity to react to feedback.
Feel free to steal any of the linked resources. Comments and pearls of wisdom, as always, are welcome.