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Grading Tips & Techniques

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Information, tips and strategies about grading student work can be found in this collection.
Posted by:stephanie #141900

I try to grade whatever my students did that day in the evening at home. I also try to not toss too many things - only papers that they are all struggling on. I try to alternate the subjects that we do hands-on activities in and the paperwork ones. i.e. on Monday we may do hands-on Math & SS and do a worksheet in reading & SS. That way I don't have too much to grade on any one evening.

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Something done well
Posted by:Jennyoverseas #141901

Even though there are a million and one things I will do differently next year, grading seems to be ok for me. I grade everything that day. Once in awhile I leave writing projects for the weekend, but never longer than that. If I find myself getting behind, I will either correct papers as a class or have students help me (depending on what it is to be graded). I have 31 kids this year and sometimes grading one assignment takes forever. I try to keep them short and sweet... my assignments and quizzes are usually to make sure the student is understanding the material. I also have a system for comments. For example, I was spending way too much time writing handwriting comments. Now I circle key areas and write letters at the top such as "H" for "watch the height of your letters." Hope this helps some!

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No title
Posted by:musicbean #141902

Some items get graded in class (spelling lists, fill in the blank, multiple choice, morning bell work). I may ask them to switch with another student or they might mark it themselves (I ask them to use a different color pen). I ordered two stamps that say "Graded together in class" and "Graded by classmate" so I know what was what. That's just for my personal use (so I can do a quick double check if needed) and so parents are aware also.
We go over math homework together on the board. I give a mark for finished or not finished. I do not assign a grade. When we are finished a section I assign the related blackline master and mark it myself for a grade.
Tests and longer writing assignments take me a few days - I do a couple each day. Something that really helps me mark...

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No title
Posted by:tammynj #141903

I almost always have grading to do; I try to catch up with it on weekends. Some things I grade and have back to them in a flash; but other things, particularly writing, takes me (much) longer. I try to write specific comments and look out for things like grammar, etc. It can take a while. I have 27 kids in my homeroom, but also teach the other 5th grade class ELA, so when it comes time to grade writing, I am looking at over 50 papers, which can seem a bit much.

Some things I have them peer-correct in class, but not too often (esp. if I am using it as a grade). Otherwise, I try to get a few things done at school. The rest I do, usually on my sofa with one of those cushioned lap tables and a heating pad on my...

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Posted by:Noonespecial #141904

I keep everything to grade simple. Assign things that are 10 points. If it's essay create a rubric of key ideas they need to allude to and check for those only. If it's writing, create a rubric of key things they should've done or included and just look for those things. If I'm looking for proofreading and editing, it's really if they show proof of remembering to try in a different color. If you use easy things to grade you can do it quite easily without exasperating yourself.

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Just Use a Letter Grade
Posted by:CatBells #141905

One tip I used this year was to stop putting a number grade on each paper. Instead assign it a letter grade. It really does make grading faster. It's also much faster to enter into our gradebook program.

I grade a fourth of my students's journals each day Monday through Thursday. It's much easier to make a comment on a few journals than a whole stack. At the beginning of the year we glue a copy of the journal rubric to the inside front cover of the journal. Then I can quickly jot the points for each area on the page I'm grading.

I do try to grade as many papers as I can at school, but some weeks there are just too many meetings. I think it's better to stay late one day and grade through the stack than to carry it all home...

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6-trait stamp
Posted by:jch #141906

musicbean - I bought a 6-traits inkstamp from Really Good Stuff and have used that for years. It's cheaper than the stickies, and don't accidentally (or not!) come off the student's paper.

There is no law you have to actually grade EVERYTHING. Sometimes I will give a +, check, or check minus. I DO NOT throw papers away; if kids take the time and effort to do a paper, I feel it is wrong to throw it away. After all, it IS their paper and it should be returned to them. Sometimes I even just put a check that signifies I looked at it.

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Have a life
Posted by:dancersmoon #140754

Have a life outside of school. Don't take home papers to grade. If it can't be completed at school rethink what you are asking the students to do. Major projects could be graded by a rubric with the student or group of students. Teach the children to follow the rubric and grade each other in a group.
Of course I know there WILL be times when work needs to be taken home, but make those times few and far between. You owe your students a teacher who is rested, interested, and excited to be there. You must get away from school work in order to work on you! ;)
I had some very fine teachers tell me to leave school at school as much as I could so that when I was home, I was home with my family. I find this works for me.
Some of the ways I grade have been...

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Journal Rubric
Posted by:CatBells #1979

my system
Posted by:TEACHERLVNV #140755

My mom used to say don't assign if you are not going to grade it. My mom taught K-2 she could say that easily. However, I specialize on the other end (4-5 & 6-8 English). You are not going to grade everything and if you do you won't have a life. My system changes year to year depending on Admin. requirements.

I pretest (this goes into my gradebook), teach skill and practice(not in the gradebook), then I would finallly test it for my gradebook. I explain to my kids and parents this is what I do.

Because a few students got wise to my system, I had to make one change So no one would know what practice exercise would make the gradebook. I do check off if the assignment was completed, in the gradebook it would be worth 1...

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Door Passes
Posted by:Mrs. Panther #140756

I am a 5th grade teacher and have found that using Door Passes/Exit Passes is very effective. I have half sheets of paper with a door graphic on them and I have a hundred on hand at all times. A Door Pass is used towards the end of the day or class time where I ask 2-5 questions about what I taught that day or a review from yesterday's concepts. For example, I might assign 5 quick math problems on multiplying decimals, and then they turn it in to a folder on the door called Door Passes on their way to specials, another class, or to go home. It is a quick check for me that is easy to grade, and it is something different for them.
For homework in math, I assign shortened assignments, such as evens or the left side problems. We check them together in class the next...

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don't assign too much
Posted by:lady brave #141907

I like the advice of if you're not going to grade it - don't assign it. I'll take it a step further. I decided that teaching writing in 7th grade - I'd be drowning in papers. so - I decided to only take a maximum of 8 grades for the six weeks. That way we can grade more in class - and I can do informal assessments for learning. On writing - I learned a long time ago to grade for specifics - if we're working on lead sentences - only grade that. If it's active verb choice - only look at that. I know it's tempting to look at everything in a paper - but don't! it takes too much time.

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Here's what I do...
Posted by:mmteacher83 #141908

I teach fourth grade and Saxon 5/4 math. I have tried grading the assignments several different ways. Every morning I check off their name as they do their morning check in. That way I know who hasn't completed their homework from the night before.

I have tried passing back the homework and checking the problems together. I hoped that if they got the problems wrong that they would ask questions to find out what they did wrong. This happened at first, but once the kids got comfortable with the process, they just erased the incorrect answer and write in the correct answer. In addition, this took a great deal of instructional time.

For most of the time, I have been correcting each of the math lessons. Which as you know can range between 25-30 problems for each lesson. I...

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Posted by:fourblocks5 #141909

I have had the hardest time with the math homework. We have everyday math at our school and there is homework basically every night. The first year I was trying to learn the program and could barely keep up with the homework.

Last year I would collect it, have a student check it off and then I would go through it later. Which means I got behind and it never really helped me know what they weren't understanding from the lesson in a timely fashion.

When I wouldn't collect it, we would go through it together. Then I would have kids getting the answers from us correcting them and not having to do their homework on their own which bothered me.

I never really found the balance between the two.

I could use any suggestions also!!

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Grading Spinner
Posted by:melko #141910

I really like the idea of the grading spinner. I had a lot of trouble with homework grading this year and this would make it that much more exciting and fun for me and them. So, on the spinner there would be teacher grades, go over as a class, and what else? If you know what I should put, please tell me!

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Math Homework
Posted by:jeanmarie #141911

We use Everyday Math and the Study Links go home every night. I check off those that did their homework on my clipboard, then I buddy them up (or triads whatever) and they "confer" over the hw. Any "discrepancies" in their answers and they have to rework together and determine who is right. After 10 minutes or so, any problems that are still causing a problem or that someone did not understand are presented to the class. I use volunteers to explain how to solve them. Since we send the answers home to parents, I don't feel I can grade these worksheets. Therefore, conferring in class really helps with discussion and explanations. I do tally points for late homework. If it is not done, that student works outside my room while we are conferring and then confers with me at noon break. I make up a quiz...

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checking math
Posted by:roo #141912

I think it's very important for the kids to have feedback on their work to know if they're "getting it" or not. It helps the parents, too. We go over HW together most days. (They turn it in to a tray in the morning, so I already know who has it and who doesn't.) They use a pen and we go over answers together. Some just answers, some detailed explanations. We don't always go over EVERY problem. Sometimes I'll just pick one side, one section, odd or even #s...whatever, to get a representative sample. I like them to check their own paper so they're seeing their own work and looking for their own areas of confusion. They are, with very few exceptions, pretty responsible with this. I ask if anyone needs any repeats. Then I ask who needs explanations. I really see some of them...

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Grading Math Homework
Posted by:mjh96 #141913

The first 5 minutes of math class, I have a routine--the kids take out their homework and immediately begin reveiwing and correcting it with their table (4-5 kids). They use fancy/colorful pens, so they can see their corrections. The groups agree on correct answers, and discuss/explain anything they don't agree on.

While the groups are discussing, I circulate around the room with my clipboard to check off who doesn't have their homework complete, and to make sure they are on task and productive with their discussions.

After about 5 minutes, I ask the groups to share any problems that they still don't agree on as a table-usually there are one or two for the whole class. We go over those as a class.

The whole process takes less than 10 minutes, and afterwards we launch immediately into the day's warm-up problem.

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