And they're off...
...for exam leave. We're now down to just S1, S2 and S3 as the S5 and S6 pupils joined their S4 brethren yesterday, heading off into the wild blue yonder with only a handful of appearances left before the summer break.
It was a moderately emotional experience. I only had one class of "senior" pupils, a mixture of S5 and S6, who I go on rather well with. It was a struggle at times getting them to finish the work set, but at the end of the day we got almost all of them through the NPA course with three complete modules.
I suppose one of the nicest comments I got was "I'll miss you, sir. You actually made this class bearable. Actually, I looked forward to coming to your lessons."
I'm currently finishing grading some past work for S1 due to the parents' evening coming up shortly.
Each pupil has a card which lists each module and the tasks within those modules that they have done. These get a mark out of 4 and the module assigned an overall mark based on that. Essentially:
- Very good work
- Just about ticks the boxes required and no more
- Not good enough
Now this seems nice and simple until you're marking work that's partly creative. With a set of questions it's easy - 80% gets a 1, 70% gets a 2 and so on. But how do you grade a web page, or a multimedia presentation?
I guarantee if you go for gut feeling or impression you will have at least one cry of "how is that better than mine?"
The solution is simple - give quantitative targets. Also, if marks are to be lost for extra assistance from the teacher (which will affect them during practical work later in their academic life) ensure they are aware of that before they get the help.
So in the instructions ensure they know that to get a 1 they need to provide 5 pages (an intro, an index and 3 content), that the content must include X, Y and 4 Z, that they must use a template, that the same colour scheme should be used throughout, that at least one images should be on each page and that all page transitions should be done using animation... something along those lines.
That way you can reduce it down to the scores again, just like the questions. Tick all the boxes - 1. Most of them - 2.... and so on.
Using this, I've even had (not many, but some!) children offer to finish work in their own time to ensure they get the higher grade. It also helps stave off the problem of "favourites" i.e. nudging a mark up because the pupil happens to not annoy you, or marking them down because of behaviour - or even just because it's one of those days.