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HELP!! Correcting is taking over my life!!

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mom2mtp mom2mtp is offline
 
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HELP!! Correcting is taking over my life!!
Old 03-21-2011, 05:28 AM
 
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I am teaching 4th grade for the first year after teaching kindergarten for my first 4 years of teaching. I love 4th grade, but I can't keep up with the correcting. I teach at a private school with 37 students in my class. I do have an aide in the morning, who runs off things, gets things together for projects, or anything else I need. She also works with children having difficulty with a concept in a small group setting. I want to do most of my own correcting, but I can't keep up. I have the students correct their homework, so I just have to enter the grade and check it over, but there are still so many other things. Any ideas, routines or suggestions would be appreciated!! Thanks!


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Old 03-21-2011, 05:46 AM
 
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first of all, 37 students?! I can't get over your class size! I have had 23 at the most, so I can't imagine keeping up with that many papers! I had a very wise teacher tell me when I first started teaching to decide what is "grading" material and what is not. In other words, it's okay to toss some papers if it was just a practice concept. I felt like I had to grade every single piece of paper that the kids did. So, for example, if you do three pages on multiplication, only take a grade on one of them (usually the last page that you do). The kids, and parents, have NEVER asked "so why didn't I get that paper back?" If they did, I would probably just tell them that it was a practice skill and was for my eyes only. Don't sweat the small stuff.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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You don't have to grade everything.
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checking papers
Old 03-21-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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As others have said, don't feel you have to grade/correct everything!

Yikes with 37!

Sometimes if we check something in class, I have students give themselves a checkmark to show parents that we checked it together (but not to record for a letter grade).

Other times, if I collect something I want to look over, I use the check system that shows I saw it.
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completion grade
Old 03-21-2011, 02:37 PM
 
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You need to start giving some completion grades. 5 point if you did it and handed it in on time, 0 if you didn't. I keep a separate category in my gradebook for completion, it counts towards 10% of their final grade. It has been a huge time saver for me!


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Participation Grade
Old 03-21-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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I do a weekly spelling pack. On Fridays I collect it. They get a check, minus, or X in a box beside their name. At the end of the 9 weeks I give 1 grade for spelling HW participation based on the number of weeks we do. As they turn it in I put the correct mark on it and send it home.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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For regular classwork, independent practice and homework I do a plus, check, minus grade. A plus if it's complete and mostly right, a check if it is so-so and a minus if it's wrong/incomplete. It helps me grade much quicker. Then, I give percentage grades for tests, reports, etc.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:33 AM
 
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I like your idea of the spelling homework. Can you tell me some specifics on how you turn the checks, minus, and X into grades. I will have high numbers next year (around 30) and this might be something I could do.

Also, what do you include in your spelling packet? Do you use the list and/or workbook pages from the basal series or is it your own thing?

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-22-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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I agree with everyone else....you don't have to grade everything. I teach departmentalized math so I have 60 daily homework assignments. I take a completion grade and they check their own homework so they can see their errors. Then I do an in-class worksheet for a grade along with my tests. The in-class worksheet (ICW) lets me know what they can do without the help of parents. It seems to work for me although sometimes even that is overwhelming!
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Old 03-23-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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On some assignments/assessments, multiple choice questions can be your best friend. So much easier to grade than trying to figure out what their final written answer is.


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Don't grade it all!
Old 03-31-2011, 08:55 AM
 
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I have taught 4th for about 20 years now. When I first started I thought I had to grade everything. I learned after the first year that wasn't good for me or the students. It wasn't good for me because I was driving myself crazy and working way too many hours after school to get it done. Gradually I learned. It's also not good for the students. That's why you have formative and summative assessments. Sometimes you just need to walk around and look to see if students are understanding a concept. Also, you can do problems on small white boards to see if kids need more work on a skill. Everything doesn't need to be on paper. When it is, check in class with the students correcting their own work and don't take a grade. Just put a check mark if they are completing the assignment. No this doesn't encourage students to just put something down either because if you're moving around

I turn the homework/participation grade into 20% of the final grade. I just count the number of times the students got a check mark and how many times we had an assignment and get a grade from that. For example if there were 15 assignments to turn in and the student turned in 13 the student would get an 87 figured into as 20% of their final grade.
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