4 hacks to make marking manageable

We all know that marking is one of the most time consuming parts of the job. If there were a magic wand we could wave to mark the mammoth pile of books in front of us each night, we’re sure we would all want it. There are a number of time saving tricks to make the job of marking more efficient, and here they are just for you.

1) Plan for your marking

By this we don’t mean plan for when you are going to mark (although that is helpful), we are thinking further ahead than this. The best hack to make marking more efficient is to think about the marking when you’re planning lessons. What is it you will mark that is beneficial and worthwhile? Don’t plan written tasks for the sake of filling time. If you make them worthwhile in your planning (and you don’t plan a lengthy written task into every lesson) then the time spent marking later is minimised.

2) Leave books open

When you know you are going to be marking a piece of work, get the students to leave their books open on the work you need to mark. This way you don’t spend time in between each book flipping pages searching for the right work.

3) Use stickers and tick sheets

Firstly, we all know students love colourful stickers and stamps in their book, so use them and save yourself time and hand strain. Another option is to make tick-sheet stickers. You know what feedback or advice you end up writing repeatedly in a set of books, so put them on a sticker. Then if the student has achieved it you can tick it, or if it is a target for improvement you can highlight it. Instant, quick and easy feedback.

4) Stick in the mark scheme

This is a job for the start of the year but it will save you so much time as the year progresses. Give each of the skills on the scheme a code. Every time you mark or grade their work you can refer to the code on the mark scheme stuck in their books. Now, you don’t have to write the same lengthy phrases over and over again.

There are many more hacks to help with marking but hopefully some of these will help save you time and make your marking more purposeful, effective and proficient this year.

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