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8 Ways to Efficient Grading Success

Efficient grading practices are key to reclaiming your teacher weekends. Check out these 8 tips from 2 Peas and a Dog. #grading #marking #lessonplanning #lessonplan #teaching

Efficient grading is an important teaching skill to learn and utilize. As teachers, we can become consumed by the amount of marking/grading we take home each night. It is important that we start to work smarter and stop working 24/7 on school-related tasks.

When I first started teaching, I used to lug home a giant marking bag every night. It stayed by the front door most nightly adding to my teacher’s guilt. As I gained more experience in teaching, I tried to stop this guilt-inducing practice and develop a work smarter not harder approach to grading.

Efficient Grading Tips

The 8 tips below will give you some excellent ideas to help middle and high school teachers regain their evenings.

  1. Have clear and consistent grading policies. Read more in this blog post: Grading Policies & Tips in the English Language Arts Classroom
  2. Use codes in your grade book/mark book. Read more in this blog post: Teacher Life Hack: Gradebook Codes
  3. Use success criteria to define what your students need to do to well on an assignment. Read more in this blog post: 5 Reasons to Use Success Criteria in Your Classroom
  4. Develop a marking plan. Read more in this blog post: Managing the Marking Load
  5. Don’t mark everything – but if you must use this quick marking system. Read more in this blog post: Quick Assessment Tips
  6. Technology is a useful tool. Use it to add variety to your assignments and check for understanding. Read more in this blog post: 10 Engaging Digital Assessment Tools
  7. Have students design their own assessments. Read more in this blog post: Student-Designed Assessments
  8. Get together with other teachers to mark/grade together. It is useful to have other teachers nearby if you cannot decide what mark the assignment should be given.

Additional Efficient Grading Strategies

  • Feedback Strategies: When providing feedback, consider utilizing strategies like 2 stars and a wish or a format like positive comment, feedback comment, and positive comment to ensure a balanced approach. Develop a list of quick phrases or comments for common issues or achievements to streamline feedback across multiple assignments.
  • Utilize Rubrics: Use rubrics that clearly outline criteria for different levels. Share these rubrics beforehand so students understand how their work will be assessed.
  • Peer Assessment and Self-Assessment: Introduce structured peer review sessions where students provide feedback based on the rubrics provided. Also, encourage self-assessment where students evaluate their work against the established criteria before submitting it.
  • Continuous Professional Development: Engage in ongoing professional development to discover new grading tools, methodologies, and technologies. Attend workshops, and webinars, or join online communities to stay updated on innovative grading techniques. Check out the Professional Development opportunities from 2 Peas and a Dog and join the Teaching Middle School With 2 Peas and a Dog Facebook Group.

Looking for ready-made English Language Arts assessments to help you with your efficient grading goals? Check out these full-year ELA bundles.


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