Marking is something I’ve struggled to master. I know what I want it to achieve, but have gone through many iterations trying to get the process right. My approach has often given too much irrelevant feedback, or gone over the heads of students.
This post by Tom Sherrington was just the inspiration I needed. My marking wasn’t having much effect because students didn’t know what to do with it. They had time to read, to respond, to mark off progress on a checklist, and give off every impression of my time being well spent, but they didn’t really act on it.
This week was different. During Thursday’s lesson I planned to spend three minutes with each student to work out precisely how well they were doing. Using Wednesday’s exit cards as a starting point, I posed them each a question just slightly harder than the last one they got correct the day before. As I watched their thinking process I filled out a WWW and EBI grid, and posed other questions until I got a comfortable feel for their understanding. Then I set them each three questions to take them one step further than they could already go, and told them that they’d have the chance to move up a level at the start of our next lesson if they could solve their new, personalised questions.