Thursday, June 28, 2012

My Grading Plan

Grading has always been one of those things that I wish I could get rid of.... the word "grade" is like a nasty 4-letter word to me.   I don't like grading because I don't feel that it always accurately displays what a student knows about a subject or topic.  I feel that informal assessments such as observations & records and sometimes quizzes are a much more accurate gauge of what a student knows on a topic.  (Just my opinion...)

However, we teachers are required to grade student's work.  We just are.  For the first 5 years I taught specials classes that didn't have a lot of work to grade.  It was SO freakin nice!  Then, I moved to 4th grade.  It was a HUGE difference in the amount of grading I had to do!   I had a system for students to turn in their assignments, however, I didn't have a grading system for myself.  You may not think that's a big deal, but believe me, it is!

Last year, I would simply take a stack of papers out of one of my subject's trays, then grade them and input them into the computer.  It seemed like I could never keep up with everything I needed to keep up with.  So for this year, I came up with a plan.

Note:  For you new teachers reading this, know that you do NOT take a grade everything you assign.  Some things, like homework, is meant to be a further practice of the skills and strategies you've taught them in school.  Last year I took grades on homework, but this year I'm not sure if I will.  Even if I don't take a grade on it, we will still grade it in class, and I will also keep a record of who has completed their homework and who hasn't.  Also, I will be giving a 10 question quiz each Friday in Reading, Writing and Math over what we learned that week.  I will be grading it- but only to see which strategy group I should put them in for the next week- not to just take a grade on it.

My Grading Plan
I will be using the Paper Drop system created by Laura Candler to collect my assignments.  I will talk about this in tomorrow's post.

Using my "Grading Planning Page,"  I will decide to grade 2 assignments each day.  This way I won't get overwhelmed with a billion papers to grade in one night and I will keep up with grading and posting grades online.

I've also taken it a step further.  I am going to grade the same types of things on the same day each week.  I will give the list to my parents at the beginning of the year in my Welcome Packet.  This way they will know what days to look for certain grades online.

Here's my schedule:

(all grades, except the weekly quizzes and math participation grades, are from the previous week's assignments- I am just grading them and recording them.  I do it this way because pretty much everything is due on Friday.  I don't want to grade over the weekend, so I grade during the next week.)

Math Calendar (Go over and grade in class.  I will record scores in class) 
Input Book Club Rubric Sheet Grades into the computer.

Writing Independent Practice Activities
Revision Activities

Social Studies Centers Rubric Sheets

Science Centers Rubric Sheets

All Weekly Quizzes FROM THIS WEEK (Reading, Writing and Math)  --Note that the computer grades them, I just record them.
Math Homework sheet from this week (Go over and Grade in Class.  I will record Monday).
Record THIS WEEK'S Math Participation Grades from Math Participation Grades Sheet.

**Use the Book Club Rubric Sheet at each book club meeting.  After the meeting, have students leave their meeting checklist sheet and/or notebooks if necessary for me to grade.  Record grades on the Book Club Rubric Sheet.**

**Use the Math Participation Small Group Rubric Sheet at each small group meeting during Math.  After the meeting, record their participation grade for the day.  Use that sheet for grades on Friday.**

Does this make sense?  Basically, choose 2 things to grade each day Monday-Friday and you shouldn't have to grade over the weekend.  It will also keep you on track for grading your assignments in a timely manner and getting the grades on the internet for parents and students to see. 

Below I am going to attach my Book Club Rubric Sheet and my Math Small Group Rubric Sheet.  I will discuss in a later post how I do book club and math small groups- however, if you already do either of these you can just snag the rubric sheets below.  

NOTE: The rubric on each sheet is on the second page of both the Math and Book Club Rubric Sheets.  (copy these double-sided)

Carpe diem,