Grading over the weekend?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Cicero, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I have a friend who was talking about having over 300 papers to grade. I was really shocked, because that seems like way too much.

    I try to divide up when my different grades have things due so I don't receive a mountain of work to grade all at once. Of course, I still have other things I need to accomplish for my next week..

    I was just curious how much grading other teachers might bring home for the weekends.
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I think it all boils down to your choices. I know a handful of teachers that take items home to grade sometimes. This weekend I brought things home.

    Most of my coworkers refuse to do it that much. Maybe once or twice a semester.

    The English teachers at my school sometimes complain about it. However, the one teacher that complains about it the most always has her students in the library working without much input from her and she's busy surfing the net or on her phone. At least three times a week the kids are in there doing research or writing papers that she then has to turn around and grade. But she isn't doing any of that grading while they are working. So for her, it is definitely a time management issue.

    I try to consider how I am going to grade something before I assign it. Sometimes that means multiple choice instead of free response.
     
  4. GTB4GT

    GTB4GT Cohort

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    I try to grade every single day to stay on top of it. I don't ask for any graded work until I am current (don't want it to pile up). I do have plenty of grades (way more than what the district requires) so I can manage my workload in this way. Also, I let the kids grade papers sometimes. I teach math so many assignments/quizzes/tests make this possible (i.e. no subjective or interpretive grading). the kids enjoy it - they like the immediate feedback. I rarely spend more than an hour (if that) on the weekends grading. most of my weekend time is on planning. However I do work until 5-6 pm every day and get to school at 7. I prefer to put in the hours during the week. My kids can see their grades on line and I strive to have all grades posted within 24 hours. I only have 100 kids in my 6 classes fyi.
     
  5. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    I streamline what I grade. I don't need a grade each day. Formative assessments are discussed in class and I post answer keys online. I randomly collect these, but mostly only grade longer activities, quizzes, and tests. I end up with about 10 grades per 9 weeks-- a good mixture of activities and assessments.

    I teach seniors, so I can expect them to check their work themselves.
     
  6. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Also: I write very few comments on papers. Most kids bin their work, so why waste my time?

    If an assignment needs more feedback, I do mini conferences ad I hand back papers. I make sure kids have independent work for 15-20 minutes on the days I do this. It works well.
     
  7. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Mind you, I have 11 kids basically doing 11 different things, but I try to follow this rule: One piece of class work, one piece of homework, and one formal assessment per week. For each subject. (They get more homework than that, but I only "count" one day and they never know which day I'm going to pick. :))
     
  8. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I had a lot going on this week, so I have at least 15 sets of papers to grade this weekend. So 390+ papers to grade.

    I usually stay on top of it better during the week. But I had staff development 4 mornings before school, I work PT and I had to work 2 days after school, and I had meetings that lasted until 5:30 2 days after school. Monday was my only morning and afternoon I had free. I was caught up then. *sigh*
     
  9. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    I don't grade everything, in fact I make a point to only grade tests, quizzes, or true individual assignments where kids had no extra help and didn't work with a partner or group. I don't think the latter assignments are truly reflective of their mastery of the topic (if they had help or worked with a partner or group), so I just put a check mark on them. Homework is put into the grade book, but they get full points for completion since students have varying levels of support at home, and there are very few points given for homework. I take some grading home on the weekend, but not a ton. Most of my weekend work is planning.
     
  10. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I don't grade every assignment. I never bring papers home to grade on the weekends. I hate grading. I don't mind working on lessons on the weekend but never grading.

    I grade during my planning period. Wednesdays are SSR in my English classes and I pass out papers and grade then. Last Wednesday I was actually caught up and I passed out papers and then I read my book.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I have 2 classes worth of quizzes to grade-- about 80 papers. I should be able to crank them out in about half an hour tonight. (My last 2 classes of the day this year are Honors classes. They tend to get the questions right, which makes the grading go faster. My first couple of classes took a bit longer.)

    They're over a weekend because I chose to quiz on a Friday, not because I specifically wanted it that way. (Thursday we had short periods, and I wanted to get the quiz in before the weekend.)
     
  12. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    Despite having to grade them on a weekend, aren't tests better on a Friday? You have all week to finish covering the material and do a review. Or is it better to do it near the beginning of the week to cut down on students stressing over the test/quiz? I know it's a personal choice which is why I'm asking. I think it would be harder to have a test/quiz in the beginning or middle of the week and then start new material.
     
  13. PinkCupcake

    PinkCupcake Cohort

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I teach elementary, but I'm also guilty of bringing papers home to grade during a weekend. I was intending to bring some things home I could grade while watching some mindless tv which I ended up not doing. Don't bring home papers every weekend, enjoy your free time!
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Poodle,for me it doesn't really matter. I give a test every 2 weeks, regardless of where I am in the syllabus. My kids know exactly what's on the test, so it's no big deal to them which chapters are covered. (Plus, this year in Geometry we're jumping around the textbook a lot anyway.)

    And if I waited until I finished a chapter, some parts of the year I would go a LOOONNNGGG time between tests. Some chapter simply have more material than others.

    But this way, I can ensure that I have 2 test grades, plus a bunch of quiz grades, before progress reports go out in mid October.
     
  15. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    Sep 22, 2012

    Aliceacc, that is what I mean, finishing the material, be it a whole chapter, multiple chapters or just part(s) of one. I guess it truly does come down to personal preference. I know that weekends are probably best for planning since there are two days versus just a few hours before you have to get some kind of rest!;) Losing that kind of time to grading papers would be frustrating. Oh, the things I have to learn!
     
  16. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    Sep 22, 2012

    This weekend I actually have no grading to do. :cool: I try to grade as much as possible at school, particularly during my study hall which is the last period of the school day. Now, next week will be a different story since students are working on final drafts of an essay I assigned. I will probably have to take most of those home to grade over the weekend. All five of my classes also have a test scheduled at some point next week, so I will grade those papers during the week.

    I grade most papers on the same day students turn them in, and then give them back the following day (unless the assignment is more of a long-term or comprehensive one).
     
  17. Poodle15

    Poodle15 Companion

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    HistTchr, how much do you enjoy reading essays? I've always wondered that. I've always gotten good grades on writing assignments in any class, but I wonder how many teachers actually enjoy reading 60+ papers on the exact same topic.... And by the time you get to the last one, does it get the same kind of attention the first one did?
     
  18. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    I don't particularly enjoy reading essay after essay on the same topic. When I grade writing assignments, I only read a few at a time and then take a break. After maybe 4 or 5 papers, I feel like I start losing my objectivity and becoming much too critical. :dizzy: It helps me to move away and focus on something else for a little while. Also, when I assign an essay, the question is usually something open-ended enough that no two papers will be about the exact same topics. For example, the essay due next week is on who the student believes is the most effective leader we studied in our current unit. They need to compare/contrast that leader to the other ones that they studied. Even if two students pick the same leader, their thesis statements and examples should be different.

    I also encourage my students to turn in essays before the due date. I just told my classes yesterday that if they finish early, feel free to give me their work at that point rather than holding onto everything until the due date.
     
  19. thirdgradebuzz

    thirdgradebuzz Comrade

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    Sep 22, 2012

    I stopped brining papers home to grade a couple of years ago. This is my 5th year teaching. I only broke my "rule" about no papers at home once last year-- during IEP reviews which took my planning period almost every day of that week. I use my 45 minute planning time wisely and try to grade papers that day or the next day at the latest. I like the feeling of being completely up to date on paperwork.

    I do a few things to make it easier like:
    -staggering assessment days (monday is reading, thursday is science, friday is grammar/writing)
    -collecting papers in student number order or putting them in order before grading
    -only grading one side of a set of papers at a time (keeps answers fresh in my memory and eliminates need for consulting an answer key if multiple choice)
    -having online gradebook open on my computer and immediately entering grades after the set is done
    -passing out papers the next day to students who put them in a folder in their desk that they take home on Fridays
     
  20. HistTchr

    HistTchr Habitué

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    I always do this when I have objective-type questions. You're right, it makes correcting go much faster!
     
  21. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I've got about 70 essays left to do this weekend, and then another set (4 classes) of a letter assignment. After I finish my break, I'll be back at it.

    Essays take me a minimum of 4 hours per class to grade, and I've got four college prep classes. I prefer to do it at home where I can be comfortable, take a break, get a snack, etc. The less formal writing that my kids do in their notebooks gets graded while they're taking a test, and is mostly a completion grade, though I try to read some of it quickly and make at least one comment.
     
  22. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    I never take work home. If it doesn't get done at school, it doesn't get done until the next day. I'm a pretty efficient grader so it doesn't take me long to get through a big stack of papers.
     
  23. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I mostly refuse to take stuff home. I assign a lot of graded work. They have reading quizzes every time they have a reading, writings at least two days per week, homework every night though for seniors it's not turned in until they take their test, seniors have a formal writing due every two weeks, vocab quizzes once a week, etc... There are also varying amounts of in class work. I usually have a stack of stuff that needs to be graded but I'm pretty quick about getting their work back.
     
  24. linswin23

    linswin23 Cohort

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    I am refusing to take grading home this year. One day during the week I will stay AS LONG AS POSSIBLE to avoid bringing home my grading over the weekend. Yes, this means that I may be at school until it gets dark, but hey--I'd rather get it all done in one night than spend my whole weekend doing it. I also teach English, so grading writing assignments (which is what I did last night) takes a while. All the other assignments I can have my kids help me or get it done during the school day/my prep.
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't bring stuff home to grade. I find ways to get it all done at school.
     
  26. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I do that too. It's a huge timesaver!
     
  27. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Interesting discussion. As a first grade teacher, I am required to have a minimum of 9 grades per 9-week period in every subject. For reading, that's easy - we have (minimum) 5-8 tests per week (oral reading, high-frequency words, spelling, grammar, phonics, writing, robust vocabulary). For math, I generally have 2 grades per week. Science, social studies, and health are sometimes, but not always participation grades, but sometimes they are projects that take a while to grade. I do tend to bring things home on the weekends, because most of our ela tests happen on Friday (I refuse to test my babies on Mondays). My coworker claims that she grades her kiddos' tests as she gives them, but I can't seem to do that - however, we are required to send home "graded papers" folders and a printed progress report every Tuesday, and I don't have to rush to get my grades into the system Monday night, because mine are already done. I can't say that for some other teachers.
     
  28. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I take work home, but I leave school right after extra help unless I have a meeting. I just prefer to work on the couch at home rather than at school. I have a prep period, but I'm always talking to coworkers, making copies, or giving extra help, so I don't get much grading done. I teach math, so grading tests usually doesn't take too long. I like to get tests back within 1-2 days. Projects take a about 2-3 weeks for me to grade, depending on how many sections of that course I'm teaching. Right now, that's easy to do because I don't have children or too many responsibilities outside of work. When I do have kids, I probably won't take much work home and just try to get it done during my prep.
     
  29. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I make it a priority to get all graded work back ASAP. Tests, quizzes, and assignments I usually get back by the next or 2 days later. While papers and projects usually take 3-5 school days. I do, however, take a lot of my work home for grading. As soon as something is turned in, it's one of my priorities and I like to knock it out ASAP.
     
  30. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Eeeh..That's a lot of papers! I used to teach HS English and I certainly don't remember having that many papers to grade (maybe I've blocked that memory, lol, just kidding!). Boy, this is why I am glad to be in first... :)
     
  31. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    My grading use to be a lot. Now with SMART Response systems, it is now 3 times less. This does all my M/C and other objective test grading for me. I now only grade writing, essays, and other areas that require critical thinking to grade. These are available at smarttech.com
     
  32. knitter63

    knitter63 Groupie

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    I try to grade daily, so that on the weekend I have very little to do. I usually only need to grade their reading tests-the written response-over the weekend.
     
  33. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I have 2 sections of college credit English Comp. The pace/assignments of the class are dictated by the community college. The students write a LOT given it is a composition class. I sometimes get bogged down in hours and hours of grading, but it can sometimes be fun for me to see students improving their writing, trying new techniques in their writing. I run the class on a workshop model, so the students put their best writing out there. It's a lot of work, but in many ways, it is enjoyable.

    I have 4 other sections of English. And, 1 section of Psychology.

    So, I do have a lot of grading on some weekends. But, I remind myself that I knew this was part of being an English teacher.
     
  34. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    300 papers to grade is not unheard of. That is just two assignments for all 6 classes.
     
  35. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I used to take more home earlier on in my career. However, I am making a choice to do this as little as possible the longer I teach. If I fall behind, then I may take grading home. Otherwise, I stick to doing it at school. I am grateful that I was blessed with organizational skills that are off the charts at times. With time, I have learned to use this to my advantage.
     
  36. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    What can be done to reduce grading over the weekends? A lot!

    I have done the following and my grading on weekends has been greatly reduced.

    1. Don't give tests and quizzes on Fridays. Give them on Thursdays or even some on Wednesdays,

    2. Use SMART RESPONSE clickers or even cell phones on some free sites to grade your objective quizzes and tests.

    3. Have writing assignments also not due on Friday.

    These 3 have reduced my grading on the weekends by over 50%.
     
  37. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    Dec 18, 2013

    No grading at home or on weekends. I get it done at school.
     
  38. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I started off grading every single assignment. Now I grade about 70% of assignments-- quizzes, tests, mixed review worksheets, and some homework. I especially avoid grading assignments when I've just began a new concept and they are just starting to practice those skills anyways. Mastery is what I look for now. If after 2-3 days of practice what they score more accurately reflects what they know, not homework from the first day I introduced the concept.
     
  39. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Dec 18, 2013

    I have very little prep time during the week, and grading is frequently last priority after paperwork, hanging up work, prepping projects, planning etc. My grading very often gets brought home. It is extremely time consuming because of the system my school has set up, based around standards based report cards (so one math test actually has 7-10 different grades, for example.) I really can't stand doing it, so I let it pile up too often. :(
     

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