If I've got to mark books, I'll make sure I do it in a pen I enjoy writing with, and if I've got to give visible feedback, I'll liven it up by using fluorescent pink stickers if I so choose.
So today's post includes some of my stationery must-haves - I'm sure there will be more as I do this year's big shop next week!
1. Marking pens
This seems a little extreme and possibly slightly too primary school for Year 11, but I made the switch halfway through this year and it seems to be working. Despite the fact that I tell them not to, I inevitably get a few pupils who write, mark or correct in red or green pen, and I found that my marking was getting lost on their page. My handwriting also seems to be getting worse every year, and the smaller I write, the more illegible it is. When my last "awesome marking pen" ran out this year, I found a random felt-tip fineliner in my pencil case, and it really made what I'd written stand out.
I ordered a couple of multipacks on Amazon to bump up another large order for free delivery, but they're a fairly reasonable price and twelve pens per pack should keep me going quite a while!
2. Post-it Notes
I use Post-Its for a multitude of activities - they're great for plenaries, quick questions or getting a little bit of written feedback from pupils, but also useful if you want to really highlight some of your feedback in pupils' books. I've also found the little Post-It tabs really useful this year to stick in exam papers to direct pupils to questions I want them to correct.
I usually get a pack of basic yellow ones, then pick up some multi-coloured and any funky novelty ones I can find - I really like the speech bubble ones from Wilkinsons for drawing attention to things I really want pupils to check or read.
It never ceases to amaze me that even fifteen or sixteen year olds can be bribed with stickers. While our school works on a sticker and postcard rewards system, I also have some special stickers reserved for super-duper-excellent work.
You can pick up stars or similar fairly cheaply at most stationery shops, but the ones that go down best are the primary-focused ones. I've still got some sheets of a great set like this that I ordered from Primary Teaching Resources a couple of years ago, but the all-time favourites are these ones. I think I got my set in The Works on offer and they've lasted me at least four years so far, so are worth the pricetag. They are excruciatingly babyish, but for some reason, they seem to be a great motivator with teenagers!
4. Window chalk pens
It's worth picking these up online though (these ones from Stationery Island are decent); other than my first set, I now avoid buying them from shops like Staples as they can be expensive, and they aren't often stocked by the cheaper shops.