So, how do you mark work then?
Yes folks, it may be the holidays but nevertheless I found myself marking a pile of homeworks this morning... if this sounds like dedication, then it's not really; more a case of not having got round to doing it during term-time.
Anyway, it struck me that marking a pile of jotters can be done in many different ways. It's almost like the Cadbury's Creme Egg "how do you eat yours?" advertising campaign.
Confused? Well, let me explain. You may think that teachers simply mark the jotters in the order that they have the jotters in, which will probably be rather random (having been schlepped home first). But not necessarily. When I first started teaching I was given the advice to try and mark the best homework first (ie dig out the work from the pupil you consider the best) as this is a good way to check that you haven't made any mistakes in your marking scheme. Good advice. But... this may mean that you end up penalising rather minor errors (we dont' want anyone do get 100% too easily, do we?), and then when you get on to weaker pupils you're then struggling to give many marks at all. So care is needed.
Nowadays I do actually mark jotters more or less as they come, until I get down to the last ten or so. Then I have a quick look through the names of those remaining, and save a few good ones for the end. I like to finish on a high note...
I've heard of other equally idiosyncratic approaches taken by maths teachers, and am happy to hear of any more. Own up now to your petty foibles!
(I haven't mentioned here the modern approach of "mark less to achieve more", or "comment only marking". Blimey but I have reservations about this. Apparently when (for example) a pupil makes an error in calculating a gradient, I'm not meant to mark this as wrong, but somehow at the end of the piece of work I'm meant to make some kind of constructive comment instead. Aye, that'll be bloody chocolate!)