suggestions for reducing time spent grading

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by SpanishMaestra, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. SpanishMaestra

    SpanishMaestra New Member

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    Apr 14, 2009

    Hello,

    I'm a Spanish Teacher taking a year hiatus because I had twins. Last year was my first year teaching. I would like to know what suggestions people have for reducing the amount of time spent grading. I spent hours grading last year practically every night. It was stressful. Surely there are some shortcuts. Any suggestions??

    Thank you in advance!!! :)
     
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  3. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Apr 14, 2009

    I don't teach HS, but is it possible you could "train" the kids to swap papers and grade certain assignments for you? Something where the answers are right or wrong would be easy for them to handle. You could have them write the number right over the number of questions at the top, and from there you could compute the grade.
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    PS....I remember there's a chapter in some book (I think its Tools For Teaching?) that talks about this exact topic. Maybe someone remembers??
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Apr 14, 2009

    You don't have to grade every piece of paper which graces your desk. You can scan certain assignments to get a general idea of whether the student understands the material.

    You can have students grade their own work or their peer's work. Anything graded this way shouldn't go in the gradebook, though, because you can't be certain that everything was done on the up and up.

    You might consider adjusting the scale on which you grade. I grade on a 5-point scale: 4 points for exceeding the standard, 3 points for meeting the standard, 2 points for approaching the standard, 1 point for emergent, 0 points for no attempt or irrelevant work. In many ways it is much easier to grade on this sort of scale because you aren't really counting up errors or anything like that--the score is more holistic in nature.
     
  6. SpanishMaestra

    SpanishMaestra New Member

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    Apr 14, 2009

    thanks so much
     
  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Apr 14, 2009

    Absolutely have students exchange and grade whenever possible. Make and keep a good supply of rubrics at Rubistar.com so you can quickly assess your assignments. I have rubrics ready to copy for all of my favorites like making posters, brochures, graphs, timelines, book reviews, essays, short stories, poetry, all types of foldables (used to create graphic organizers), etc...

    And simply stamp some work as completed. Do not grade all of it. Just stamp that it was done.

    Have homework assignments that are routine like vocabulary and review questions done in a notebook and kept in the notebook so they can be easily stamped as completed and award 100% for completion. I allow my students to use their homework notebook on their tests so they do a good job and thereby have good notes for test taking. Works both ways.

    Also, if you do find the need to "circular file" any papers, take them home to do it. You never know who will be in your room when the janitor is emptying wastebaskets. I have made many one-way trips home with papers over the years. Sometimes you just have to.

    You have to leave time for your own life at home.
     
  8. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Oooh, I second Rubistar. I make rubrics for every type of writing as I go. Its a pain to do, but then I can grade so much faster when I do that type of assignment again.
     
  9. holliday

    holliday Comrade

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    Apr 14, 2009

    If you give students a worksheet or other assignment that has questions on it, this works: after you collect them, roll a die or draw a number to see which question(s) will be graded. Since they don't know beforehand which one(s) might get graded, they do them all and do a good job. However, you only grade a portion of the assignment rather than the whole thing.

    You wouldn't want to overdo this strategy, but sometimes it's a nice way to cut down on the time you put into grading.
     
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Apr 14, 2009

    Holliday, nice strategy!
     
  11. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    As often as possible, I grade papers by walking around the room, so I don't even have to pick up the papers. I might send the kids to the water fountain, which is right outside my room, and walk around stamping each paper for completion. Or I will have them leave a paper out on the corner of their desk, and while they are working on the next assignment or silent seat work, I stamp them.

    The less papers I have on my desk, the better. Of course this doesn't always work for every paper, but when I can make it work, I do!
     
  12. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Apr 15, 2009

    Your kids need to think that anything can be graded. This way they put forth the best effort on all assignments. I am a believer in the grade everything philosophy (not in Math). However, I have realized this has become somewhat impractical. Now what I am starting to do is collect assignments at the end of each unit for grading and only grade some of each assignment. Then I give a total assignment grade for that unit. I think I will have typically two assignment grades per unit (homework and classwork). We will see how this works.
     
  13. ANGRY AL

    ANGRY AL Companion

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    Apr 15, 2009

    Throw the papers in the trash. Most times, they don't remember they even did an assignment. (LOL)
     
  14. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Apr 16, 2009

    I know you are joking but for some who might think this is a good idea: Remeber---Tempting as this may seem, students DO remember what they turned in. They just don't ask for it back if they know they did a crappy job or if they didn't understand the assignment and cringe at the thought of being confronted with a grade from the teacher and possible comments. I've learned in my career that if we don't make a habit of acknowledging the work we collect with some type of grade or check in, most students won't ask and the ones that do will make you feel horrible for throwing it away and not returning it.
    :2cents:
     
  15. justfluttering

    justfluttering Rookie

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    Apr 17, 2009

    Depends on the school and the students. Some of my students ask about their papers but most do not. I stopped grading every paper because several of my students balled up their graded assignments and threw them away in front of me and the class. The best suggestions I have heard: grade for completion, it's either full points, half points or no points. Collect papers for the week and give one grade for all the work which makes entering grades in the computer go much faster. One teacher had her students cut and glue all their papers into a notebook each day. She would walk around and stamp each day. At the end of the unit, the kids would trade notebooks and grade using a rubric. Basically they counted the daily stamps and added them up.
     
  16. gr8_life

    gr8_life Companion

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    Apr 26, 2009

    I have my HS students write responses in a journal and only collect it or grade it globally. We have grading system that we use where we can upload a non graded assignment, this helps too.
     

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