Grading essays

Discussion in 'General Education' started by otterpop, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. otterpop

    otterpop Fanatic

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    Feb 14, 2017

    I grade papers with a rubric.

    Should I still correct the papers with pen, circling misspelled words, adding punctuation, etc.? Or just circle the appropriate grades in the rubric?

    How do others do it?
     
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  3. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    When grading at the end, I do go through with pen to show the errors, mainly so that it's evident when looking back at the different pieces the improvement (or lack thereof) that has happened. I still mark in the rubric, and then try to identify a couple key strengths, and one or two major goals that they need to focus on...so while there's lots of marks on the paper, their focus gets brought back to a couple areas in which, if they focus and improve, it'll improve their writing the most in a small amount of time.

    Outside of a final grade though, I never go through and mark specific errors: I always talk about areas they need to work on in general, identifying one or two spots that I can highlight in their writing that shows that and how I would make the change. That way, they're having to identify and fix the errors instead of just doing it mindlessly.
     
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  4. Obadiah

    Obadiah Cohort

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    I like how rubrics give an overall picture of the essay. I also highlight errors, but I don't always do this the same way. My main goal is for the student to correct the essay. More and more, I've become concerned about grades becoming the final product. For that reason, I never use red ink when grading; red means "stop". I use blue or green. In elementary school, I sometimes write a note to the student about the essay, and use one or more of the misspelled words in the note; the original research on this suggested not highlighting the errors, but current research indicates that it's better to highlight, so I use a different color of ink for my respellings.
     
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  5. MetalTeacher

    MetalTeacher Rookie

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    Feb 14, 2017

    A lot of my professors do this, and we've been told to do it in my education courses as well:
    We should write comments throughout the essay regarding a students' strengths and weaknesses and write a more detailed write-up about what they did well and what needs work on the last page, and then, UNDER that, we put the grade. (The assumption being that if the student sees a grade on the front, they'll stop there and won't look at the rest to see what they did well or what needs to improve.)
     
  6. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Devotee

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    Grading writing is always so sticky because it seems so arbitrary. What are you actually grading them on beyond typical grammar? How do you assess if a student has truly mastered narrative, expository or persuasive/ argument writing? I HATED grading my students' writing for that reason. It always felt so subjective and I could over think it for hours. What is "good" writing and how do we determine if students have met that bar? If not, shouldn't we provide the opportunity to? Should students be graded if their writing gets better from the rough to the final draft? Multiple choice or short response where we're looking for a specific answer is so much easier to grade than writing. I'm taking a "teaching writing " class now in grad school and I'm hoping it'll shed light on these issues.
     
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  7. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Rookie

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    I had one teacher in HS, the self-proclaimed heretic of the English dept., who would return papers with the number of errors in different categories and have students earn back points by finding and correcting the errors. She found that doing it that way decreased the frequent-flyer errors because the students, over time, become accustomed to noticing mistakes in their own writing.
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Fanatic

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    Feb 14, 2017

    Thanks for all of the ideas.

    Ideally, I'd like to write written comments on them all, but time is short.

    Highlighting is an interesting idea. I might give that a try. My students are upper elementary, so their papers aren't perfect - it's hard to know whether I should mark everything or just focus on specific areas. I teach them to edit, and have them partner edit, too. Still, though, they don't find all of the mistakes, especially spelling errors.
     
  9. mathmagic

    mathmagic Connoisseur

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    When you look them over, do you tend to see common kinds of errors (perhaps different for each kid, but still a common theme for each one in particular)? If so, why not just provide that as the main comment, and pull small groups to work on that skill, or provide it as a mini-lesson in the next go-around if it's a class struggle? For example, a bunch of my kiddos still struggle with run-ons, so that's an area I'll put extra focus on here soon.

    The written comments I do are short: literally a phrase or two. I figure that they'll be more attentive to a conference where I discuss it with them - and learn more - than anything I'd write or mark, anyways :p

    For spelling errors - I challenge mine to underline all words they're not 100%/99% sure of, and make sure to look it up (unless typing, and then make sure Word provides the right word they're looking for). You could also add common errors to a spelling list for them.

    Disclaimer: Writing is the area in which I feel I still need to work a bunch on! :)
     
  10. Secondary Teach

    Secondary Teach Companion

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    Feb 16, 2017

    My English adjunct would do this. I remember receiving my first graded paper back from him, and I just saw all of that red ink writing throughout the paper. Suffice to say I was admittedly frightened to read his comments, but they were supportive and positive comments regarding my writing abilities and positive praise on what I was doing right such as using figurative language etc.
    :)
     

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