Teaching RE often means having a lot of books as KS3 are only taught RE once a week. I have 13 sets of KS3 and KS4 books this year – which is around 390 books. That is a lot of marking.
I am always looking for ways to make my marking more efficient as well as staying in keeping with the marking policy of the school. My school uses think pink, go green. Therefore, I write my comments in pink and highlight work that needs redrafting in pink, and pupil improvements are done in green.
I have quickly learnt that too much time is wasted trying to ensure that everyone has a green pen, so I have decided to use green boxes to avoid this problem.
Whilst green boxes are a good way to avoid the green pen issue, drawing green boxes is actually surprisingly time consuming. Therefore I have further developed the green boxes to using green index cards.
I like using these as I can still differentiate my questions or tasks to ensure individual pupils make progress but I don’t have to draw green boxes. I staple these into books as glue isn’t always strong enough.
Sometimes I write out a stack of them, with a variety of different questions for different ability levels and then hand them out to pupils at the start of the lesson. This means that I can quickly check books for homework and completed work/misconceptions and then don’t need to take all the books home to mark. I have note down which questions or tasks would be appropriate to the students and then write them out when I am at home which reduces how much stuff I have to carry.
I have this drawer next to my desk which I am keeping all of my marking supplies in. I find that if marking does not involve getting lots of things out, I am much more likely to do it. Therefore, having a stack of these green index cards, which I pre stamp with one of my next step stamps and a load of pink pens is all I need.
I also have some different coloured index cards which I have used for different levelled GG responses based on target grades which has worked quite well too. They are quite inexpensive, only £1.66 for 100 from Amazon.
So far, I have found this to work relatively well. I am finding that the green index cards encourage a good amount of writing and the pupils like the lines. I am not using them for KS5 marking, as I have small classes, so don’t mind drawing boxes or giving green pens and responses are not always paragraphs and sometimes are annotations.
I think that they could be even more efficient if I used marking codes or printed GG tasks, however I like to have my own writing in pupil books and I think pupils find this more personal.