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dancersmoon's Message:

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 listed, whole group, group, students may grade other students papers but they must have the student whose paper they are grading there with them as they grade. Sometime we "pair grade." A student or half the class is given one test and the other half another test (test A test B) Test A students will grade their own papers while test B students watch. Test B students will grade their paper while test A watches. Grade only part of the paper.
Give a twenty problem test, grade only odd numbers, skip around, etc. Grade only specific items taught. Let the children know that you are not going to grade the whole paper, but also let them know that they do not know what part you are going to grade!
Lots of contract grades. If you do this you get this grade etc.
Lots of expert or jigsaw grouping. Simple completion grades. Reverse roles with a parent. Have the student do classwork and send it home to be graded by a parent. *G* Sort of turn the tables. Depending on the grade level of the child you might have to send a rubric or answers to the parent as well. Ask the parent what grade they think their child should receive and why?
Most parents think this is great and love to see how we work with their children. Just don't overdo it.
I will watch this with interest, good idea for a thread!

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
dmamec 02-14-2009 12:08 PM

Carol I have stopped your post b/c this is NOT an advertising board.

I have to be honest, it is sad to me that you could possibly have a business where you are doing the work for teachers who should be assigning meaningful work and then grading it themselves so they can see how their students are doing and immediately reteach needed skills. Very few things can be well-assessed via scantron assessment. I wish you the best, but it is a sad day for education that businesses like this exist.

brownie72 07-16-2008 10:37 AM

I too have many papers to grade.

I teach 3 classes of English which entails approx. 90 students' apers!

lady brave 06-15-2008 01:37 PM

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.

Mrs. Panther 06-14-2008 02:59 PM

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 day, where I have a student whose job is "teacher assistant" read the answers while I walk around and monitor students. I quickly record any problems or students who could use an extra challenge.
Students are always writing in my class, and I usually take a formal grade on a few student selected pieces each term. Another way for quick assessment is to have them do a quick draw of a concept (like the water cycle or parts of a plant.)

Good luck!!

TEACHERLVNV 06-05-2008 05:29 AM

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 point towards the final, If I decided an assignment would count I would not say until after it was turned in.

Writing I do a little differently I check for on or two traits at a time for most weeks and every 6 weeks they are "tested" on all traits.

I let my parents know up front that test count most and if LIL JJ did not do the required practice it may be reflected on his test. They like it because the I try to write my tests in the same formate as the state test.

CatBells 06-01-2008 01:14 PM

I hope this helps.

de'anna 05-29-2008 05:08 PM

Wow! Thanks for the responses! Now I need to sit down and figure out what will work for me best!
Thanks again for the replies!
De'Anna

dancersmoon 05-29-2008 03:55 PM

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 listed, whole group, group, students may grade other students papers but they must have the student whose paper they are grading there with them as they grade. Sometime we "pair grade." A student or half the class is given one test and the other half another test (test A test B) Test A students will grade their own papers while test B students watch. Test B students will grade their paper while test A watches. Grade only part of the paper.
Give a twenty problem test, grade only odd numbers, skip around, etc. Grade only specific items taught. Let the children know that you are not going to grade the whole paper, but also let them know that they do not know what part you are going to grade!
Lots of contract grades. If you do this you get this grade etc.
Lots of expert or jigsaw grouping. Simple completion grades. Reverse roles with a parent. Have the student do classwork and send it home to be graded by a parent. *G* Sort of turn the tables. Depending on the grade level of the child you might have to send a rubric or answers to the parent as well. Ask the parent what grade they think their child should receive and why?
Most parents think this is great and love to see how we work with their children. Just don't overdo it.
I will watch this with interest, good idea for a thread!

AMDucky 05-29-2008 12:23 PM

This coming year will be my 1st year teaching 9th grade English! Grading during my student teaching (5yrs ago), I got way behind on grading HW and overwhelmed easily - my coop told me simply NOT to grade everything. I just did a LT for 6wks and found it difficult to begin grading open ended ? quizzes based on a novel, but after I can get 1 class graded, it seemed as if I were able to fly through the rest -120 papers!

Next year, I'm sure I'll have more students, approx 180 students (30 kids x 6 classes), I definitely do not want to get behind! So if anyone has any advice, I'm sure I can use it!!! In the LT I found myself giving several completion grades!

happymom2 05-29-2008 11:54 AM

Was it Lucy Calkins who wrote that if we are reading and responding to everything the kids write, then we are not having them write enough? Whoever said it, it stuck with me and I keep that in mind.

hrush 05-29-2008 11:12 AM

I saw that you have the students glue a journal rubric to the cover of their journals. I was wondering if you might share that. I am always curious how other teachers' grade journals. I am never happy with how I do it and have been changing it for what seems like a lifetime. Thank you for sharing.

jch 05-28-2008 09:15 PM

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.

CatBells 05-28-2008 04:48 PM

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 for the weekend. This job could take over your life!

Noonespecial 05-28-2008 06:23 AM

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.

volstate 05-27-2008 07:27 PM

I must admitt towards the end of the year, there is a lot of file 13's. I would grade those papers that I am directly using as an assessment. If there are papers that are just review or practice, then maybe do a glance on those likely to need help. Then if time slips by too much- inact file 13 mode.

tammynj 05-27-2008 06:02 PM

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 back. If it's an easy thing to grade, I will keep half an eye on the TV.

I've also learned that I do not have to correct and grade every thing they hand in.

FancyFish 05-27-2008 05:57 PM

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 writing are 6-trait writing sticky notes. I use a 6-trait program, and the sticky note lets me say "This paper was marked for _____" and I fill in the trait. This way I am not always marking writing assignments for every trait, but maybe just for ideas or organization. That has saved me tons of time.

Jennyoverseas 05-27-2008 04:40 PM

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!

stephanie 05-27-2008 02:57 PM

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.

de'anna 05-27-2008 02:06 PM

As I'm counting down my last 25 days of school, I'm sitting at my desk looking at a stack of papers that need grading. I'm trying to think of how to do better with this next year. What is your system? Do you grade everything together in class? Do you take home stacks of papers to grade? Do you toss it?

Please share what has worked well for you!

Thanks in advance!
De'Anna

I'm teaching 3rd grade this year, and I know that next year when I'm teaching 4th grade, and I have 12 or so more kids in the classroom, I'll really be sinking!



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