Is it taking you forever to grade student work? Are you someone who dreads grading? I've got 5 ways to make grading easier so you can get assessments and student work turned back faster!
1. Don't grade everything
It's true, you don't have to grade all student work. You can spot check as students are working independently to make sure that they're on the right track. This works great after direct instruction where you've modeled what's expected.
2. Whole Group
I love to check student work during an assignment a few different ways. At the end of independent time, students will grab a correcting marker at their desk and we'll go over the answers together. If it's an assignment, pick and chose a few problems to go over. If it's an assessment, you can go over all of the answers.
- Oftentimes, I'll put the assignment under the document camera so students can see exactly what I'm doing.
- Make it simple. We put a happy face if it's correct and a diagonal line if it's incorrect. If it's phonics, they'll write the correct spelling.
- This is the ONLY time students are allowed to “tattle-tale.” We talk a lot about being honest and making good choices. We also talk a lot about how we're not experts…yet. So, if we get something wrong, it's perfectly ok. I let my students know that I'm using this as a tool so I can help them become an expert. So, if someone sees that their neighbor is cheating, they just stand up and that's the signal for me to keep an eye on their neighbor. It's NO big deal!
Tip: When correcting, if I'm going too fast, students can raise their hand and it tells me to slow down. If they need me to repeat an answer, they hold their hand up and show two fingers.
3. Pick one thing
Oftentimes, we'd grade everything when it came to writing. We'd check for spelling, punctuation, grammar, neatness–you name it, we checked it. This took forever!!! Not only that, but it wasn't developmentally appropriate for my 2nd graders. So, next time you're working on a new writing piece, pick one thing to focus on. If you're working on punctuation, just look at that!
4. Grading List
I was the worst at grading and passing work back because…I really dreaded grading. I found a new grading tip that helped cut down on grading time. When students turned in work to the important stuff basket, I'd paperclip it and add an editable grading list to the top. I'd write the assignment name, date the assessment was given, and the number of points it was worth.
What I love about the editable lists is that I can type my class list once, and it autopopuates 2 or 3 lists for me. I print a bunch out at the beginning of the year and I use them for grading…as well as collecting field trip money, keep track of assignments, and more! You can even color-code the lists. In my class, blue was for comprehension assessments, yellow was for writing, pink for phonics…you get the point!
I can quickly grade the assessment, record the score on the grading list, tuck that away in my “Grade Me” drawer (freebie labels here) to be input into my online grade book at a later day, and have one of my student helpers pass the assessment back!
5. Batch the work
Grading, like sub plans, is all part of the job duties we'd love to avoid! But…it has to be done. Set a timer and batch the work. That means, pick one assessment to knock out. Do this a few times during the week, during a lunch hour, while your kids are at specials, or one day before or after school. But, don't bring it home! Leave your work at school, trust me. I show you how you can do that with this organization program! Then, pick one day a month to input all assignments from your grading lists.