How do you stay on top of grading homework? 8t…

How do you stay on top of grading homework? 8th grade science teacher whimpering at the sight of her pile of homework.

Hello @lovely-anomaly. I know a lot of different teachers have a lot of different answers for this, and my answers may have “ed-reformers” and “Twitter teachers” in a tizzy. 

1.) If a Google Form + Flubaroo can grade an assessment, it should. Science doesn’t always lend itself to multiple choice formative assessment, but sometimes you just need to asses students on facts before you start application or analysis. You can also give a multiple choice homework assignment and have kids key-in their answers on a Google Form the next day. Google Form grades it, emails them their grade, you copy/paste the results into gradebook.

2.) Whenever possible, have students grade each other’s work, or more often than not, grade themselves. When turning in essays, I have students highlight their claim, evidence, warrant, and rebuttal. That makes grading the essays a lot easier because I see exactly where students placed their information and it jumps off of the page. Giving students a voice in HOW they are being assessed can make your job easier. 

3.) On that note, focus your grading. I do not know what science looks like, but for ELA classrooms, grading stacks on stacks on stacks of essays is incredibly daunting. I focus my grading on the specific standards that I’m assessing at the time. I have kids highlight and circle where they attempted whatever standard we’re working on. This means that, YES, the entire essay can be misspelled and a total mess, but if they achieved that one standard, they can do well. Rubrics go a long way to help out as well. Some teachers HATE that and prefer to be prescriptive over helpful; that’s your call.   

4.) Something rarely told to to teachers, but cue the collecting pearl-clutching: you don’t have to grade everything. Have a bi-weekly binder check, check the occasional assignment for completion as long as you’re fully assessing in other areas or other times. Sometimes, teaching responsibility of completing work on time can BE the lesson and you will check them for comprehension or application on another assessment.

Grading is first and foremost about feedback. If the learning opportunity is not going to provide feedback for your students to improve, then manage and consolidate how much time you spend on it. Prioritize the learning opportunities over the numerical values. On a practical note, you will have to carve out a section of your day or after school to grade or enter scores into the gradebook. Pick an hour or two every day to get some work done and then leave it for the next day; grading will always be there tomorrow. I hope that helps.