If you ask any English Language Arts teacher they will tell you that grading/marking is the most time-consuming part of their job. During this week’s Twitter Chat, teachers shared their best advice for balancing the marking load as well as getting students to utilize assignment feedback.
Q1: What student work is graded in your classroom? What isn’t?
-Ss receive grades for major projects, speeches, and tests. Drafts & HW are graded for completion.
-Summative, of course. But also important to grade formative ones as well. Where’s the balance between feedback & grades, tho?
-Only “good” copies are formally graded. Lots of diagnostic and formative assessment to guide instruction.
-I mainly assign grades to summative projects/assessments with a few other smaller, formative checks throughout.
– I offer feedback and credit on all student work but high mark grades are on formal writing pieces and larger projects.
– We do lots of practice that may only be graded for completion, assessment is graded after practice
Q2: How do you hold students accountable for implementing feedback? Do students do any revisions/reflections after grading?
-Self-assessment after projects always happens. It’s a graded assignment. As far as revisions, I highly encourage Ss to do so.
-When I provide feedback on rough drafts I look through the good copy to ensure corrections have been made.
– I also look to see if feedback has been utilized. Overall, I want to see growth over the unit.
– I give minimal feedback on paper – use tech tools or ask kids to meet. They CAN rewrite for a new grade-only 10% usually do
-A lot of revision/editing in my class comes before anything is graded, so the grade reflects implementation of suggestions
-Homework, most class work, essays.
-Google Docs makes providing feedback and revision easy!
-On our senior paper, we grade the drafts together and they help me determine their grade. They take ownership of their own effort!
-We discuss the importance of learning from mistakes. Anything to make the benefits of revision palpable!
-Grade final drafts but clear expectations for the target skill that includes a lesson, peer editing, and feedback first!
Q3: Schools are moving towards standard based grading. Thoughts? Experiences?
-Standard-based grading encourages student growth & success. Writing instruction lends itself to it w focus on revision
-Like the idea, but the amount of work involved on the grading side seems like a drawback…don’t want focus to shift to grades
-I’m all about standards-based grading (& rubrics)! Ss should clearly know & understand assessment criteria to demonstrate it.
-We have been using success criteria and rubrics almost my entire teaching career. We are not encouraged to mark using points.
-Standards based is more clear & effective, set goals know what you’re working towards, and COMMUNICATE w/examples @FreshGrade
-I use rubrics a ton because I think they help to make grading less subjective.
– My district has built its own standards based rubrics that we have all had the opportunity to influence and shape. Works well!
Q4: Some schools are moving toward students grading themselves. Thoughts? Experiences?
-I have Ss self-grade on small-group presentations and portfolios. They’re much more critical than I am! https://t.co/bajxCXXcSF
-Ss should always reflect on their learning. Self-assessment empowers Ss. But T input shouldn’t be erased. Trust professionals!
-Self-assessment is always encouraged, but students cannot just select their own grades.
-We’ve implemented something similar as a part of our formal teacher observation. It’d be cool to score Ss and compare w/ them
-Self-grading leads to OWNERSHIP and EMPOWERMENT, set guidelines, model, and support w/rubrics & examples
-I have involved Ss in the grading process & giving that responsibility & trust empowers them to rise to their own standards
-Def value Ss self-assess, but not necessarily as a final grade. Rubrics before completing work offer opp for the desired grade.
-I love having Ss reflections and eval. Usually, I agree with their assessments!
Q5: What tricks have you learned to help manage the marking load?
-Not everything needs to be graded. Conferences allow for quick, focused feedback. Sometimes when Ss work, you also work.
-Agreed! Ts input is still powerful, too. I think most of the value would come from the conversation between teacher and student.
-Staying at a school an extra hour daily and 1 night a week at Panera with a salad, sandwich, lemonade, and a stack of work!
-Conferencing helps familiar w/work, req feedback & reflection helps grade on growth, @FreshGrade saves taking home huge paper stacks
-Only assign what I can assess within 1 wk. Digital grade books. Hyperdocs to package learning & make it easy to assess as one.
Read more tips about how to manage your marking load here.