Marking has, for the whole of my career, been an issue for teachers. I’d have to say that the move from integrated approaches, where a smaller part of the class might be involved in a task requiring deeper marking, to whole class approaches, where thirty plus books will then require marking have added significantly to the overall work load, especially if accompanied by school expectations that demand specific, over-complicated approaches and marking codes.
Marking is an extension of the dialogue between the teacher and the learner. So, being specific about areas that were to be celebrated and those that needed further attention would seem to underpin all marking. Children need to know what is good enough, in the same way that it applies to teachers. If you’ve not achieved the “good enough” level, then you are not in a position to repeat the formula. The old adage of “know how with show how” is important. The sharing of WAGOLLs, “what a good one looks like”, through use of IWB, visualiser, photocopy or display, is important, so that learners bet to know what it really looks like, as well as being told.
I, personally, have no issue with any of the more formulaic approaches, such as two stars and a wish, or WWW/EBI, if they are used to good effect on impact on learner progress. Both can support progress, through awareness raising. Both can be specific to a child and each is far better than general comments like good, very good, see me... as it use to be in the "good old days" of the 1950/60s.
In the second of the linked blogs, I propose a fold-out slip with improvement targets written, shared and understood, to be linked to examples in the outcome. As long as the deeper marking is linked to drafting and redrafting, the mutuality of the editing process can exist to some extent.
Linking marking to moderation could be a useful mindset shift, in that the messages, guidance, support, given to learners is akin to the conversations between two (or more) colleagues looking at a piece of work, with moderation identifying the strengths of the piece and the areas where additional evidence is needed.
Moderation stage 1; teacher child conversation.
Moderation stage 2; teacher-teacher conversation.
Moderation stage 3; school-area conversation.
Moderation stage 4; school-national outcomes conversation.
As an afterthought; I’d expect collective issues to become the basis for next steps teaching, rather than individual responses to marking. It is a case of best use of time, a limited commodity.