Grading papers; how much is too much?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by heavens54, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    Oct 13, 2009

    My district is going crazy with grading papers. It is constant, almost. Testing is constant. How do you know when it is too much. How do you know when what you have is adaquate? Do you ever drop off one bad grade when averaging? Do you have any efficiency advice for grading/recording papers?
     
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  3. MathNrd

    MathNrd Rookie

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    Oct 14, 2009

    what subject do you teach? I have found that makes a difference.
     
  4. JunichiSato

    JunichiSato New Member

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    Oct 14, 2009

    That's mathematically normal


    Maybe giving test papers constantly is normal in the field of education because we, as teachers, want to know if the students fully understand what we teach to them. For me, the results of the test are the ones which serve as evidences of their total learnings of the subject you have taught. I also agree with MathNrd that the number of grading/recording papers depend on the subject that you are teaching. Relating it to the field of my study which is mathematics, it is traditional to have a lot of grading papers to the students because in that way, students can boost their skills when they constantly practicing solving mathematical problems.


    Junichi D. Sato
    Rizal, Philippines
     
  5. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Oct 14, 2009

    We do a lot of grading in class - the kids checking their own papers. I grade all tests since I post my grades weekly, and I try to take two grades per subject.

    I hate that common sense doesn't prevail anymore.
     
  6. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Oct 14, 2009

    When grading essays, I create a rubric specific to the skills we have worked on. It makes grading 100 essays a week much easier! I record between 3 and 4 grades a week.
     
  7. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    As far as your question on dropping a grade: for me, it depends on the subject. I teach in a parochial school, and we have daily memory assignments. In 5th grade, I would drop the lowest score. It didn't really affect their grade because there were so many points, but it was great for those kids who always get 10/10 and then just blanked on something. I could whisper to them, "It's okay--your lowest score doesn't count" and help the panic/tears from setting in. I also aim for 3 grades a week in most classes.
     
  8. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    Oct 14, 2009

    In foreign language, we tend to focus on quality over quantity. I may have only 15 or 16 grades at the end of the six weeks, but they're in-depth assignments such as essays, multi-aspect projects and tests that assess reading, writing, speaking and listening. I don't drop grades because then I end up not having enough grades. That turned into a really nasty problem once last year when I was doing percentage grading. I dropped a grade that the kids bombed, never replaced it and accidentally ended the six weeks with no quizzes and only one test (I was a first year teacher). The parent backlash on that one was horrible and it was the parents of my overachievers so the admins HAD to listen. I'm never going to let that happen again.

    I now do total point grading (and I can't imagine going back to percentage unless something major changes). My aim is 2-3 grades each week which will get me between 12 and 18 assignments per six week grading period. I want to have 3-4quizzes, 2 tests and a project.
     
  9. SouthernBuckeye

    SouthernBuckeye Companion

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    Oct 14, 2009

    When I check homework, it's purely a completion grade. 100 if all problems are done, 80 if the majority are done, 60 for half, 0 for none.

    I grade certain class assignments and tests which the students keep in a folder for me that does not leave the room. This comes in handy when parents come in, and more often than not I can show work samples about work a student IS NOT completing. Haha.

    Also, several times a week they have a warm-up assignment to do during the first few minutes--we check them in class and I have the kids call out their scores. Haven't had problems with dishonesty.

    But by no means do I grade everything. :)
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Oct 14, 2009

    We are required to have 7 grades per subject each six-weeks. Anything over that is on me. I try to get 9 - 10 if possible, and yes, I do drop grades from time to time. It depends on the skills, the subject, and the child. As far as efficiency goes, I just try to do some each night so that I'm not up after midnight Monday grading. :)
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 14, 2009

    It can depend on the class. I don't see a way around lots and lots of grading if you are a senior English teacher, for example. On the other hand, I think that we put way too much emphasis on practice, or rather on making sure that it's graded.

    I have a few opinions about grading that I've developed over the years. I haven't always held these opinions, but they're where I'm at now.

    I think that students should be given ample opportunities to practice the skills I'm trying to teach them. I think we all would agree with that. The thing is that I don't want to put the scores from their practice assignments in my gradebook in such a way that they would be penalized for not understanding the material right away. It's okay with me if students make a mistake on a practice assignment; heck, it's okay with me if a student makes a hundred mistakes. As long as learning happens and that students improve, that's what I want to see.

    For that reason, my gradebook is weighted to count practice work as only 10%. Furthermore, nearly all practice work is scored on a credit/no credit basis. I figure that this 10% is enough of an incentive for students to practice, as well as a way to show them that practice does matter. Incidentally, practice work is all classwork, homework, and other work for which the student had access to resources, peers, and/or me.

    The other 90% of the student's overall grade is based on assessments, both minor and major. These assessments take the form of quizzes, tests, projects, and presentations. For most assessments, I want to see that students learned what they were supposed to learn. Every answer they give me (in whatever form) is entirely self-produced. For example, my exams are a whole bunch of blank lines for short answers. Rather than giving multiple answer choices, I simply ask something like: What case is rogationes and why?

    With questions like that, I know that the student understands the material if he or she is able to answer it correctly and fully--there's virtually no room to guess. And if a student understands the material, that student should receive a grade reflective of that. An A in my class means that the student gets Latin inside and out, probably breathes it. :lol: It does not mean that the student turned in all his homework, was on time every day, always had his pencil, and didn't act like a jackass. In fact he could have failed to do all those things and still have walked away with an A in my class. The grade is based on demonstrated understanding, not on other fluff.
     
  12. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Oct 14, 2009

    We use formative and summative assessments. Formative assessments are not graded. I look at them and give a check, check minus, or check plus but not a grade. These are the things we do for practice. My grades come from summative assessments, which are tests or projects that let me know if they've mastered the standard I've taught. I have as many summative assessments as standards taught in the grading period.
     
  13. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    Oct 14, 2009

    Efficiency advice: Find the circular file (it looks just like the recycling bin)

    I was trying to grade EVERYTHING!!! I realized that kids need to be held accountable, but I don't have time to grade everything! So, I recycle a lot. They know I collect it and it counts towards their grade (effort for the most part). Our district has the ridiculous policy that only standardized assessments count towards grades. We have kids in sixth grade who have learned they will pass if they sit and do nothing until the test day and then fill in the correct bubble..

    I am trying to fix that problem.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Oct 14, 2009

    I grade everything, yup everything. Everything is graded at some point. In Social Studies my kids are expected to respond to their readings as homework. I give these response assignments about 2 times a week and you bet I grade them. The way they respond is up to them: they can outline the reading and complete terms, make a quiz on the reading and answer it (noting where they got the answers), complete reading questions/terms, or do a mini-response project. I want to see what THEY think is important in the reading and how they apply it.

    This is a skill that is lost in this world. This is not "practicing a skill or a topic I have taught them" its application of the material taught in class, therefore its something I must assess for quality. Practice work such as completing a DBQ practice, a practice m/c passage, identifying arguments in a reading, or other history skills is graded for completion. In History I am not teaching them new skills each day, simply new material with the same skills they've been using for awhile, therefore I feel the need to grade it. Homework in my class is worth 20% of their grade, not 20 easy points based on effort, but 20 points based upon their application of the readings.

    Classwork assignments in my class are placed in students binders until the end of the unit. However, I will collect and grade the more important assignments and activities (including discussions, debates, and projects) throughout each unit. If I see them not completing a particular assignment, I will certainly collect and grade it. At the end of the unit, right before the Unit Test, I tell students to clip all their classwork together. I then collect it and randomly grade parts of each assignment. I then give a classwork grade based upon the entire unit's worth of classwork. Classwork is also worth 20% of the students grades, not 20% based upon effort, but 20% based upon quality.

    I see a huge problem weighting homework and classwork as a high percentage of the students grade if you aren't grading it quality. However, if you are collecting and grading it for quality it is an accurate assessment of the students work. It is very easy to tell if the students cheated or had a parent do it. My homework assignments aren't easily copied anyways. I encourage collaboration on homework as long as everyone has their own product, same goes for classwork.
     

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