Grading - falling behind

Discussion in 'New Teachers' started by Genmai, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 30, 2009

    Hey Gang,

    I had my Back-to-School night recently and heard a lot of concerns from parents about grades. Between classroom management issues and lesson planning and other administrativa, I have seriously fallen behind on my grading (a few weeks worth of homework) and am now pretty worried. I plan to knock out the bulk of the work this weekend (hopefully).

    How do you folks keep up? I'm simply drowning.
     
  2.  
  3. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2009

    Few grades, but quality grades. I have 3 or 4 grades a week. Weekly writing project (assessed on a rubric specific to skills practiced in class), reading log/summary, and a vocabulary multiple intelligences project, and every other week a traditional assessment.
     
  4. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2009

    I teach high school. I have 5-7 grades per course. My online courses have 10 grades.
     
  5. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    838
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 30, 2009

    I try to catch up on weekends. We're recommended to have one grade per week, but I usually have something each day. Often, if I collect classwork or homework, I don't grade the whole thing. I may choose 1-2 questions, and only grade those. Is this fair? Probably not entirely, but the kids know about it in advance, and it saves me time.

    But those are a much smaller chunk of my gradebook now (around 20% or so), which far more focused on assessment... be it tests, projects, essays, etc. That's actually a change for me, that partially stemmed from conversations on this forum. So I now collect and grade less daily work, and place more weight on larger assessment items. It's working fairly well thus far.
     
  6. newteachfl

    newteachfl Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2009

    Maybe this is just me. I teach in a school where parents are hands-off but I don't grade homework. I skim to make sure the concept was understood...and if it was, I toss it.

    I grade in class assignments and tests. My district doesn't allow us to take a grade for homework.
     
  7. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2009

    My breakdown is 25% for assessments, 25% writing projects, 25% vocabulary projects, and 25% reading logs/summary and observations/conferences.
     
  8. dw1

    dw1 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2007
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 30, 2009

    Last year was my first year, and I thought grading homework was the worst - it really piled up, all those papers everyday! (I teach middle school math). This year I have a new system which I like much better, plus it keeps the kids organized. Each one has a spiral notebook that they do their homework (and other work) in. Every day I walk around the room and check it for completion, marking a grade for that right into my gradebook. I review the homework after that so they have a chance to review the answers and make sure they understand. Then, every week or two, I check the accuracy witha homework quiz, where I give the homework and problem number, and they have to copy it from their notebooks. No muss, no fuss, they never actually hand in their homework so it all stays nice and organized in their notebooks, and my grading load is vastly reduced.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,702

    Sep 30, 2009

    I grade homework and classwork as "practice" and it's almost always for credit/no credit. Practice makes up only 10% of a student's overall grade in my class. Grading these practice assignments goes pretty quickly when I'm just indicating in my grade book whether they did it. Corrections happen in class by the students themselves, where the corrections are more meaningful and provide more immediate feedback.

    (The other 90% of their grade comes from assessments.)
     
  10. nattles19

    nattles19 Comrade

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    1

    Sep 30, 2009

    I only grade the reading log of my homework packets. The rest I check if it is complete but don't bother to correct it, unless I notice glaring errors that I can follow up with a student on. Part of the reason I don't bother is that kids just seemed to throw their homework away when they got it back. You could see it as a positive thing that the parents in your classroom care!
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,702

    Sep 30, 2009

    Also, not everything needs to be graded. Sometimes you can just look over an assignment to see whether students understood/did what they were supposed to understand/do.

    In any event, if their assignments have piled up to the point where they haven't gotten feedback on things for several weeks, it might be just worth it for you to cut your losses, recycle those papers, and move along without grading them. I'm not sure how meaningful any feedback you give them at this point will be, since it's been so long since they did the work.
     
  12. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Sep 30, 2009

    I've had to do that before. It doesn't happen often, and I do try to stagger my assignments, but sometimes life happens, and if I don't get one vocab assignment down, it's not a biggie.
     
  13. Zelda~*

    Zelda~* Devotee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,042
    Likes Received:
    81

    Sep 30, 2009

    We don't do grades this year---we do rubrics every month.

    Which is---a mixed blessing. It makes assessments a breeze, and it is very concise for what we are expected to cover for the month.

    But, I'm really not sure how they're going to fly. I can't imagine parents being happy/understanding them.

    Ah well.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 1, 2009

    My grades are set up to be about 60%: Assesments and 40%: Assignments and Particpation. One thing I've been doing this year, for my Honors/AP kids, is collecting classwork assignments at the end of the week or unit. I then randomly grade certain assignments from the packet. It keeps kids on their toes because they do not know what I will grade.
     
  15. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2007
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0

    Oct 1, 2009

    I check homework as either completed/not completed.. or I have the students copy 2- 3 problems onto a quiz.

    For me.. I make sure I put the homework or grade the quizzes the night I collect them. I spend 30 minutes before bed putting things in. I have to do it the same day or I fall behind... and I will not let that happen. I only give the homework quiz check maybe once or twice a week.

    I give quizzes and tests on Fridays and will usually spend most of Saturday grading. again.. its a sacrafice, but I will not let myself fall behind. Everything gets entered before the next school day.. it makes life easier
     
  16. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Messages:
    6,809
    Likes Received:
    190

    Oct 1, 2009

    When I was in school I remember turning in homework (not knowing which day would be recorded), also had a quiz a week that was recorded & tests.

    I remember in math grading each other's papers as well. This way the teacher just said it to the class we had to intial it, & if we had "questions" on the problem we circled it or something so the teacher could look it over.
     
  17. Genmai

    Genmai Companion

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 1, 2009

    I'm so far behind that I've actually thought about trashing any homework older than a few days. It would be a great relief for me if I don't have to deal with ancient ungraded homework. Is this okay to do? I thought that there was some kind of rule against throwing out homework. Does anyone else do this?
     
  18. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,974
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 2, 2009

    If I were you I'd just check off the old homework for completion. Only grade the tests/quizzes for accuracy.
     
  19. queenie

    queenie Groupie

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,392
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 2, 2009

    I don't count homework as a grade because some kids have too much parental help and some have none...it's not a fair assessment of a child's abilities. HOWEVER, I do require that homework be turned in because I believe it teaches responsibility and a good work ethic.

    I usually only give Math homework (second grade) and we usually start it in class and check it in class together the next day. I'll walk around and moniter as students check their own papers, then I'll say "Write how many you missed on the front, and put the paper in your cubby to take home." As I'm walking around, I can make a note of only the students having difficulty. I check folders for homework in the mornings and have those who don't bring it do it during recess so that we can check it during Math. I don't assign homework every night, but nearly every night.

    Any time my grading gets really backed up, I toss anything that doesn't seem completely necessary- practice sheets from when I first introduced a topic, Spelling practice sheets that we do every day, pages that had some unclear directions or were particularly confusing for students, etc. THEN, I look over papers that were good practice, but not necessarily essential for a grade, and give a check plus, a check, or a check minus (don't count these as a grade). THEN, I grade only what needs to be graded (weekly Spelling tests, Math tests, Reading tests, Writing assignments, etc.)

    I love to have students read silently or work on make up work while I grade the test they have just finished, record the grades, and hand them back for immediate feedback!

    BTW, I didn't use to think so, but after a couple years teaching, I think it's perfectly fine for a student to practice a concept and then a teacher to trash the page when the student is out of sight. Everyone needs practice and it's never wasted- not everything we do in life gets acknowledged, right? ;)
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 3, 2009

    Ok, stop collecting homework.

    I check homework every day, but I don't collect it. My feeling is that, in math in particular, homework is their opportunity to determine whether or not they understand the material. If the homework is done, but not correct, they get credit. But they know they'll need extra help. At the end of the marking period, the number of homeworks they've completed, out of those assigned, becomes their homework average.

    I quiz once or twice a week. But my quizzes tend to be short-- one or 2 equations to solve, or a list of properties to identify. I can knock off a set of quizzes in no time at all. They're all out of 10 points.

    I test every two weeks, regardless of where I am in the material. I realized a long time ago that the perfect length for a 40 minute test is 2 sides of an 8x11 sheet of paper, with room left for work. So in Geometry, that means 4 proofs. For next week's algebra test, that means 10 integer problems, along with 10-12 equations (I'm making it up this afternoon.) As you make it up, keep grading in mind. Structure the paper in such a way that it's easy to grade. So, for example, include an answer line on each problem, below the work. If the answer is correct you can quickly eyeball the work; it only really matters if the answer is wrong and you need to look at partial credit.

    But, big picture, the parents aren't wrong. Kids need feedback, as do the parents. Waiting several weeks for feedback on a term paper is legit; on homework it's too long.
     
  21. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Messages:
    27,534
    Likes Received:
    6

    Oct 3, 2009

    NO! If the parents are already asking for the papers, don't throw them out!! This is work the kids did; if you collected it, it at least deserves some acknowledgement. The parents will be all over you if you throw that work out!

    Put a red check on each paper and hand it back. Keep track of who has handed it in and who hasn't. Staple together a packet for each kid (easy if you-- or a family member) alphabetizes each set, and put a grade on each for the number completed.. 5/6, or whatever. And find a way to count that homework grade.
     
  22. ddb23

    ddb23 Companion

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    1

    Oct 3, 2009

    Treat student work like fish and guests...if they don't have meaningful feedback within 3 days....

    I usually have a huge stack of HW (and 3x per week for 150 kids = alot), I stamp it (with a custom stamp from Staples), record it in the gradebook as completed, and call it a day.

    More meaningful grades are quizzes, projects, and tests.

    However, the first few rounds of HW you have to grade a little closer to get your students "trained"


    Hang in there and good luck!

    db
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. ally06,
  2. anaksunamuna,
  3. waterfall
Total: 332 (members: 4, guests: 315, robots: 13)
test