I am sure you have already made lists of changes you wish to employ as you enter the second quarter. We all have a growing list, but that is the beauty of education. We are constantly learning, growing, and reflecting along with our students. However, all that growing can leave us feeling overwhelmed. With professional development, staff meetings, common planning, lesson planning, collaboration, grading hacks, and some even working on advanced degrees, we enter sleep deprivation.
One secret, which takes much trial and error, is cutting down that grading hacks time! The longer you teach the more tricks you find to grade quickly and effectively… To get you started, here are a couple of those tips you can use today!
We all know the magic of holding a clipboard, but actually putting grades on it saves time.
- Grade your introductory activity on-the-spot. You can circulate, discuss various answers, and grade it all at one time.
- Focused Notes The Cornell Way can also be graded on-the-spot (see the article here). Require students to bring highlighters and colored pens to class, and you can grade their notes just by looking at a highlighted section.
- Giving a quiz? Grade it with the class and input the grade on-the-spot.
- Giving presentations? Grade it using a rubric on-the-spot. Don’t forget to grade the audience as well!
Who said every word has to be graded every time? Choose different sections to grade. However, don’t tell the students until the grading hacks is done and you are discussing the results.
- Grade only the thesis, intro paragraph, evidence, signal phrases, body, or conclusion. Give them ample feedback on that section and have them review that feedback, and take your previous suggestions into account before they turn in the next assignment. Then choose a new section to focus on.
- Have students highlight the one sentence, or one paragraph they feel most proud of and only grade that section
Trade & Grade
Peer grading can be a little scary, but if you set distinct parameters it can be beneficial to both teacher and student. You can also grade the other person grading hacks.
- Have students modify each other’s work. Exchange papers and choose one sentence/paragraph to revise based on academic language or syntax…then grade the revision.
- Have student graders read the work and provide one question and one suggestion. The question and suggestion can focus on content, format, syntax, diction, or teacher’s choice.
- Have students grade each other’s work using rubrics, and walk around to gather their grades while they move onto the next assignment.
Students can and should be writing everyday, but that doesn’t mean you have to grade every word. Don’t be afraid to chunk your grading and choose one major writing assignment each month to complete a full grade.
Piquès & Pirouettès
Typhani Harris is a dance educator and mentor teacher who has been on the boards of both the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD) and California Dance Education Association (CDEA). Recently, she has made a cross-country move and is now an instructional coach in Brooklyn, New York. Having begun as a high school English teacher, it has been her mission to bring theory and research into the traditional dance class, and in 2009 she won the Music Center’s Bravo award for excellence in Arts Education. Typhani is currently on a mission to help teachers Stop Teaching and Start Reaching their students, check out the unTeacher Lab at stopteaching.org