Students with stories to tell: Inclusive marking

I ran my eye along the desk.  It’s not a big or beautiful desk. The space for planning and mark making with paper, pens and pencils is now occupied by anonymous technology. This desk and space is part of the identity of being a teacher. It provides a degree of stability, security and structure to a teacher’s day. Perhaps even a psychological safe place. I know who and what I am in this space. It’s where I generally live as a teacher when not in the classroom. It’s a shared space, a social space, a dialogic space. A space for conversations, co-existing, collaboration, thinking and reflection. The Ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus is said to once demand of a friend whose house had burnt to the ground, “If you really understand what governs the universe, how can you yearn for bits of stone and pretty rock?” I appreciate that the scale and magnitude isn’t comparable but sometimes after the classroom my desk space speaks of serenity, a restorative space just to be. Continue Reading

A penny for your thoughts: What colour is my feedback?

It was like being hit by a sharp object! I was wrestling with how to give feedback comments on a creative and inspirational form of student assessment, a mind map! Vivid, creative, astonishing, individual, quirky and informative mind maps left me feeling that my usual form of written feedback was colourless and totally inadequate. It fell short!
How and why my head went into colour-mode I can’t fathom, nonetheless it did and here’s a snapshot of my colour focussed thoughts and scribbles.

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VOICE: Audio feedback

Yes, there were a few minor technical hitches to overcome and I felt that I needed to know a little more about what I was preparing to do. Oh, how my pattern of having an idea, following it with investigation, preparation and application is so ingrained! OK, anyway, I found some ‘How to’ advice and a small number of positive evaluations so yes, I decided to go for it….audio feedback on student assessments.

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