Lazy Marking in Geography

Its not an original thought I know, but I HATE marking. The only bit all year I enjoy is adding up the scores for my pupils’ mock exam scores and even that isnt really the marking part.

Additionally, the younger the pupils the more I struggle to motivate myself to mark. I think that’s because they are more likely to just regurgitate back what I said in the lesson or they read in the book or from the webpage. So this means I am even more likely to have to write the same things over and over again.

Then there is the question “Do the pupils read what I write?” Even when I remember to set aside some time in class for them to do this I am not sure if they do. Last month I read part of Dylan Wiliam’s “Embedded Formative assessment”

In there he quoted research to say that if you give a grade/mark/level and a comment then the pupils only look at the grade and ignore the comment. I have to say this backs up my personal experience.

So I have developed a plan to get round these two problems of me wasting time marking and pupils not reading what I write. I only use this for the more major assessment pieces where I am likely to give them a level. I dont think for more run of the mill marking it would save me time. Also It would then start to take up too much timje in the mere 90 minutes a week i have with KS3.

The Lazy Marking in Geography Technique

While I am marking their work I don’t write down any targets for improvement. Instead I collect these targets and put them on a document. This I then sort into levels and hand out to the students next lesson. All I write on their actual work myself is a NC level and a positive comment on something they have done well.

Then in the lesson, they read their work and look at the level I gave them. Then I hand out the target sheet and ask them to choose targets that they wish to aim for. I don’t limit them to the ‘next level up’ I tell them they can choose any 2 they wish.

I make them write these targets in the middle of a new page and then draw a simple unadorned box around them. nothing else goes on the page. that way it sticks out in their book and can be easily seen by pupil, parent, tutor and of course me. This target can then be referred to any time over the next half term. After that I find it becomes a bit repetitive.

I have attached below the various lists of targets I have set out over the last 18 months. You will notice there is much repetition in them. The trick is to find targets that relate back to what has just been covered AND to the next topic as well. all the below are my own.

Please steal and adapt them if you wish. If you have any comments or would like to tell me if and how you used them and how you improved them i would love to hear back. The only resource that is not mine is the “Geography Ladders” powerpoint. i cannot remember where on the internet i got this from. If you recognise it and know the author please tell me.

I am sorry they are in no order and their names dont tell much about them. I originally only wrote them for myself

early Y9 geog targets

end of unit targets africa

end of unit targets fashion

GEOGRAPHY LEVEL LADDERS

level targets start of tectonics topic y9

targets at the start of the topic

targets.topic detail TRF

Term 5 Geography Target Setting

Y9 targets end agricult topic

Year 7 targets before school geog lessons

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One thought on “Lazy Marking in Geography

  1. Thank-you for this post. I seem to be spending a lot of time marking KS3 and pupils are not necessarily taking on board and proactively acting on the comments I have made (adding up to hours of my time). Now, this is pretty inefficient and is obviously not leading to the progression I would like to see. I will try out these ideas and make them more of a proper feature/pause in their learning. I’ll keep you posted!!
    Thanks again! @GeogJo

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