Help needed w/ grading... too many papers!

Discussion in 'High School' started by gr8_life, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. gr8_life

    gr8_life Companion

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    Nov 14, 2008

    I'm new at teaching HS and need a way to streamline the grading system. HELP! :woot:

    How to make kids accountable w/out grading everything?

    Do you just grade tests?

    I'm swimming in papers and need to find a better way fast, this is taking up waaaaay too much time. We also have strict rules and TA's can't input grades on our computer system AND I'm not using my TA's as much as I should be.
     
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  3. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 15, 2008

    I wrote a very detailed reply, then managed to delete it - I'm up too late! Here's the Cliff's Notes version:
    1. HW and class work are done in a composition notebook. Stamp homework daily. Collect notebooks 2-3 times a semester and give an overall grade. Short assignments included in the notebook can be given individual grades.
    2. TAs grade the multiple choice part of tests and give them back to you in alpha order. You grade the "short essay" part.
    3. Essays take more time, but if you use some of the methods from Kelly Gallagher's Teaching Adolescent Writers, you'll have an easier time and get better writing from your kids. I also recommend Carol Jago's Papers, Papers, Papers.
    4. TAs can alphabetize, mark the m/c parts of tests, cut and glue stuff, etc. I only have one; if she's out or I need more help, I "borrow" a TA from a colleague another period.

    It takes time to find the right balance. You don't say what you teach, but if it's English, feel free to PM me. :)
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2008

    We don't have TA's, and our classes are LARGE. Here's what I do:

    1) I check homework daily while the kids are doing a "Do Now" problem. I keep track, but don't grade the homework... math homework is your chance to see whether or not you need extra help, it's not graded. I run a highlighter through each assignment so I don't see the same notebook later in the day. At the end of the marking period, I give a homework average: number done over number checked.

    2. I quiz once or twice a week, but each different prep is on a different day. So my honors kids don't have a quiz on the same day as my "AII" kids. And my quizzes are short-- one or two problems typically. That's enough to let me-- and them--know whether or not they're getting the material.

    3. I quiz once every two weeks, again alternating days. Each class gets a different test. I grade the front of a set, then the back of a set. This works well for me because after the first 4 or5 papers, I recognize the right answers.
     
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Nov 15, 2008

    When you give an assignment walk around the room with a seating chart. Make a check mark by the name if the students is on task. Put an x through the name if they're not. I got this tip from a literacy coach at my school when I commented about the time I was spending grading the written responses I was having students do daily to their 15 minutes reading time. So once a week I have them "talk to the text" as they read and I just check as best as I can if that's what they're doing. Talking to the text involves underlining main idea, circling unfamiliar words, making comments on the sides about parts that are particularly interesting, and so on. It's not actual talking, and it's more than just underlining. Hope this tip helps!
     
  6. gr8_life

    gr8_life Companion

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    Nov 16, 2008

    Thanks for all the great tips. I don't give much homework, it's not needed for my elective class.

    Also I am only required to give a grade every two weeks. So how can I scale back without the students thinking they're getting off easy ? :eek:

    How do you give papers back with no grade attached? :help:
     
  7. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I'm an advocate for grading a few questions at a time. You recognize the answers quickly and get through grading quicker. You also are able to grade all questions equally (this is great for essay or short answer questions). It also eliminates bias because you are not looking at student names until the end.
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 18, 2008

    I learned a new trick this year from a new teacher, which has saved me a lot of grading. Now instead of collecting and grading every assignment, I either collect it or give a homework/classwork quiz on the topic. The homework/classwork quiz is 5-15 questions based off of the homework and worth the same amount of points as if I collected the assignment. I am in the process now of making HW/CW quizzes for all my assignments. So that I can can just role a dice to decide "randomly"-evens quiz, odds collection.
     
  9. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

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    Nov 19, 2008

    But Brendan, don't you still have to grade the quiz? So I'm not understanding how that saves you time. It's just grading a quiz instead of the assignment; either way you're grading something. Plus it takes to to make up a quiz. What am I missing here?

    I have tons of projects to grade this week :-(.
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 19, 2008

    I remember teachers as part of a review exchanging papers with other kids in the class. We had to put our names as the correctors so if it was done wrong we were docked pts. Then the teacher woud put it in her/his book. We would do this a couple times a week.
     
  11. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 23, 2008

    A 10 question quiz takes me about 10 minutes to make. My kids take the quiz on their laptops and it is graded automatically. The quiz is all objective question (m/c or matching) so even if I did grade it by hand (or with a scantron it would take me minutes to do so).
     
  12. senoritawhs

    senoritawhs New Member

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    Nov 24, 2008

    Generally I do what most people have said. I walk through the room as students are working and mark down a homework or classwork grade. The students actually complained that I wasn't grading ENOUGH so I decided that was the best route to take.

    My course load increased this year from 60 to 200 students, so I definitely understand the feeling of drowing in paperwork.

    What are you grading?
     
  13. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Nov 24, 2008

    Usually, I do a "spot check" and see who has it. Then, at the end of the unit (usually 2 weeks), I give them a list of assignments they have to hand in. These assignments are only a fraction of what they did, but since it counts as a test grade, they have to do good on EVERY assignment since it's random. Once the assignment packet comes in, I grade 2-4 problems on each assignment for accuracy. Then, I calculate their grade.

    However, I do assignments a little differently. Basically, I hate using the textbook, BORING. But I know it's needed for MANY reasons. So keeping this in mind, I came up with a system where I give them 12 assignments per quarter, each worth a certain number of points. Basically, I'll say "you need 30 points for Unit II" and they'll complete assignments of their choice, adding up to 30. This cuts down A LOT on grading because they're only doing 3 or 4 assignments each. (Mainly, I just like this because it allows them to be more creative and choose what they want to do...)
     
  14. gr8_life

    gr8_life Companion

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    Nov 27, 2008

    Rookie Soccer Dad,

    I like your ideas and I think they'd work better for me.

    So you do this at the end of the unit? I guess I would be worried that they'd do the assignments before we'd go over them in class. Could that happen?

    How do you do the spot checks? Check off sheet, using a TA, or literally, just glancing over the class?
     
  15. Sheba

    Sheba Companion

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    Nov 27, 2008

    How do you commute to and from school? I find that nothing kills a bus or train ride better than marking a stack of papers. Perhaps you could try car-pooling or taking public transportation and get more done while helping the environment?
     
  16. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Nov 28, 2008

    Well I check their HW in class to make sure they did it on time, but at the end of the unit, I want to make sure they are doing it correctly and not just writing random details - - - so I tell them, "Hand in 10/21's HW, 11/8's HW, 11/10's Do Now, 11/18's Review Packet, etc." This also forces them to be organized! Then once everything is in, I'll grade maybe numbers 3 and 6 one HW, then 4,5, & 8 on another, etc. They must have everything handed in by the day of the test or they get NC --- I don't accept late work in this case since it should have already been done so there's no reason why they couldn't find it all, staple it together, and hand it all in.

    I just walk from table to table and check off who has it done, who did half of it, and who got NC (No Credit). I don't have a TA so I put up a Do Now to get them busy and reviewing as I do roll call and this.

    I don't like Scantrons, but if your school has them, they really cut down grading multiple choice.
     
  17. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Nov 28, 2008

    Creative assignments I collect and grade, but if I give a simple read, notes, and questions on a reading or passage from the textbook, I can give a short m/c quiz on which students can use their notes and questions to asses the quality of their notes. I can do this much quicker than If I collected and graded the assignment. Creative assignments (like Soccer Dad's) can't be assessed with this type of quiz, therefore I must collect them.
    Soccer Dad, I am confused though do you actually give a grade for the assignment's being completed on time, or do you just count the grade earned when you collect the assignments.
     
  18. Soccer Dad

    Soccer Dad Cohort

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    Nov 28, 2008

    They receive a class participation grade--but because my dept has a uniform grading policy and C.P. isn't one of them, I count it as a test grade. They start off with 100 points, every infraction (including late work) is minus 5 or 10 points. I need to give them some incentive to at least get it down for class so we can discuss.
     
  19. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Dec 6, 2008

    I generally check all of their homework at one time at the end of a unit. However, for 2 of my class periods I will randomly collect an assignment once or twice a week because many of the kids on those classes were simply blowing off the work, or doing everything the night before the unit test.

    That said, a lot of my work is reading and reading notes, and so doesn't require quite as much time or effort to check. I typically just glance each paper over, as there isn't really a right or wrong answer when it comes to notes.
     
  20. loveforquantum

    loveforquantum Rookie

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    Dec 14, 2008

    Meh.. i'm not sure if this has already been said; ironcally, i'm too lazy to read all the other posts before mine.. sorry.

    Anyways,

    What i usually do is go around and check handouts and just give students completion grades in class. However, as i have learned, they will try to cheat the system. So on days you dont have too big of a work load, collect them and actually grade them. This way, students wont know whether or not you collect them and therefore, have to do the worksheet/ task given. But most of the stuff we do is labs, so their work is generally done in a notebook and is just what they learned and critical thinking etc...

    if you can follow that, congrats. while i wrote that, meh.. i'm done... hope this helps a bit.
     
  21. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Dec 17, 2008

    I would suggest scaling back the grading. Look at Backwards Design or Design Down models.

    I grade 5-6 assignments in a 5 month term (75 minute periods). Each unit students do MANY formative assignments. I take some of them in, take some of them up and provide oral or written feedback on pieces. I keep track of work done. If work is not being done, students have to finish it with me at lunch or at home with their parents (I use different strategies at different times).

    Once each unit (at the end) they submit an assignment that is graded.

    I still find feedback is time consuming, but more useful to the kids and not as time consuming as marking everything.
     
  22. Rentamentor

    Rentamentor New Member

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    Jan 18, 2009

    Hi,

    Thanks.

    You might try what I used to do.

    Have the kids take a multiple choice quiz almost daily. Take it in ink. SWAP with the child next to them.

    Grade in pencil.

    Pass them in. (Zero that day for those who cheat.)

    Just enter all the grades in the grade book.

    Glenn
     
  23. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Feb 12, 2009

    I have the same problem. I am slowly but surely figuring out how to overcome it. Here's a few things that have worked for me....

    1 - Learning Checks - I do a 2 or 3 problem learning check at the end of class from time to time that is turned in for a grade.

    2 - Patrolling the class room as was mentioned earlier. However, I don't do checks in the grade book. I give "white slips" to those who aren't working. I call the parent about them not working and 3 white slips is a detention. (It doesn't take long for it to get out that you call the parents on the FIRST offense and 90% of my problems went away when I started that policy.)

    3 - Trying to convince them that doing the homework/classwork will reflect in their test/quiz grades. This is an uphill battle that I'm still working on, but it has sunk in with many of my students and is a reality that will serve them well in college.
     
  24. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Mar 13, 2009

    Wow, I love the replies. My students do a "trade and grade" on the weekly Bell Work. We go over the answers in class, so we are checking for completion on the Bell Work. I do a lot of checking for completion vs. reading everything all the time. I am getting tougher, but I took over for a teacher and the kids were doing NOTHING, ZIP.
    I have to input a ton of stuff on the online grading software, this last quarter we did 60 in class assignments. Drawings, short essay, quizzes, worksheets, video discussion questions, and one lab. I tried bubble answer sheets for one test, but it was harder for me since it was new to me and the kids. I always do 3 different test versions to help eliminate cheating and the kids didn't correctly mark which test version they had, what a mess that was...
     

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