How I save time with teacher stamps

Last term, some students asked me how long it takes to mark their books.

I had a good think about it, did a few sums on a notepad and worked out that I spend 36 hours in total each term marking books, roughly 3 hours per class. As a non-core subject teacher I have 12 classes and mark in detail once a term.

Like every other teacher I know I have to evidence assessment as clearly as I can. My department invested in a few stamps to help us do this, such as evidencing verbal feedback and extended learning. Over time, I found that the stamps sped up the process and made evidencing my marking much clearer too - a win-win situation.

I gradually began to invest in a few extra stamps as time went on. I made good use of a few different stamp-specialist websites (that's a thing, apparently) and bought both pre-made and custom ones that suited my school's policy. If you're interested in any of the websites I visited, see the end of this post.

Here are some of the most useful stamps I use to save time:

SIT (strength, improvement, target) and literacy correction feedback

When I mark my student's work, they receive a strength, improvement and target. This is printed as SIT and leaves me space to write comments next to each letter. Their current/target grades go into the circles next to S and T.

I also mark my student's literacy every term and circle different codes to show the student which error they have made. They will also receive a small comment explaining where the error is and how to correct it.

Giving feedback on literacy corrections in greater detail

These stamps feature standard responses I will use to give feedback in on literacy. This saves me alot of time as I will often end up writing the same sentence over and over by hand. All I have to do is fill in the gaps.

Evidencing verbal feedback, higher ability tasks and extended learning

These are great for evidencing what you do with your class in lesson time. When I am observed in lessons, or if I submit books for scrutiny by leadership, these are things they are looking for in my
books and these stamps simply make it easier for them to identify.

Verbal feedback shows I am giving feedback by speaking to my students as they make progress on their work in the lesson. Extended learning helps to identify where a student has moved on to an extension task. Thinking hard shows that my students have taken part in an activity aimed at stretching and challenging them. 

 DIRT (Dedicated improvement reflection time) and evidencing a re-mark

DIRT stands for "dedicated improvement reflection time".

When a student responds to their target comment from me, they write a comment under a DIRT stamp explaining what they did that lesson to improve their work.

Once the student has written their comment, I check their comment and then stamp it with "Well done, you have completed your DIRT improvements" to confirm I have checked it.

At a later date I may remark their work and adjust their grade too. This is where the DIRT Remarked stamp comes in handy, as I can simply stamp their work and give them a new grade, provided they have earned it.

Peer and Self assessment tasks

I use this stamp all the time. It makes a great mini task to break up a longer lesson. 

Students receive this stamp on a paper ticket which they attach to their work. Depending on whether they are doing a PEER assessment or a SELF assessment, students will write a small paragraph to assess a particular strength or improvement focus for the task they are working on.

Recommendations for stamps?

Some websites I have used to buy pre-made and custom-made stamps from include: