Q&A #18409

Overwhelmed by grading

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From: Gail (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 04, 2007 at 05:53:04
Subject: Re: Overwhelmed by grading

Dear Grace,

I agree, looking at student work can be a daunting task. I think you need to
consider why you are grading material before you grade it.  Then you may be
able to change what you grade, and when you grade.

For example, I give an "effort" grade on homework. Students either
attempted it all, or didn't (and I let them turn it in late, but for a
reduced "grade"). This is because I want them to practice, and possibly
make some mistakes. We learn from mistakes. If I count their mistakes against
them, I am liable to stifle their exploring. With that in mind, I assign just
a small number of problems. If they practice them incorrectly, I don't want
the mistake to be so ingrained in their minds.

Classwork is similar. I look at participation, and effort, not at
correctness. So, you are probably wondering when students find out if their
work is correct. We review solutions, and share strategies, during class.
Students are expected to check over their papers, and make corrections to be
used later as they study.

I do check tests, quizzes and alternative assessments (small and large
projects) for a "correctness" grade. And with the homework and classwork,
I make mental notes about the areas where students are having difficulties,
so I can adjust my lessons to be sure they get needed help. This has cut
down my paperwork load quite a bit. My students' grades fall into the same
ranges they were in when I used to check every little thing they did, so I
am comfortable that they are a fair representation of what students know
and can do.

I hope this helps.

 -Gail, for the T2T service

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