Grading Process Tips

  1. Involve students in the grading process to minimize disagreements over grades. Make sure they fully understand how grades are assigned.

  2. Have students immediately grade some in-class assignments for immediate feedback. Sometimes it is valuable to allow them time to improve their effort after the self-assessment.

  3. An elementary school teacher may use recess time for grading the previous period's papers. The teacher goes around to each pupil's desk and grades all the papers at once. Upon returning from recess, the students receive immediate reinforcement of their work. This saves time at night, and also saves the time needed for passing out and collecting papers.

  4. It is not essential for the teacher to correct every student assignment. As much as possible, allow students to swap and grade papers. Spot check to prevent cheating.

  5. For seatwork or some homework, provide scoring keys that the students use to score their own work and add up their point totals for the week. Spot check a few papers.

  6. For checking students' homework, just assign a set number of points to an assignment if it is complete and on time. Let the students check their own answers in class as a whole group. This allows homework to be a learning experience and saves time grading papers.

  7. Require students to keep a page in their notebook on which they record each test or quiz grade when they receive it. That way they always have a tally of their scores and need not continually check with you.

  8. Some teachers find it more efficient to keep the cumulative total of each student's test and quiz points. When entering a score, add it to the previous total. You might mark this new sum on the student's test paper. You'll save time at the end of the semester by not having to re-figure each student's grade. This is an especially easy task if you use a computer grade-keeping system.

  9. Stagger the due dates for major projects, papers, and examinations. It can be overwhelming if you receive a barrage of paper. You'll manage your time more efficiently if the assignments are spaced. Students who have you for more than one class will also appreciate it and probably do better work.

  1. It is also a good idea to insist that students keep all graded papers until the end of the term. If there is a discrepancy in what you have recorded in your grade book and what they believe they have earned, they have the final proof. Some teachers have each student turn in a cassette tape with their name on it along with their writing activities. The teacher records comments about the written work as they read it. Students may take the tape home to listen to it or do so on a recorder in class during free time.

  2. Some teachers assign each student a number. It may correspond to the one appearing beside their name in the grade book. Each assignment or test must have that number included. It is much quicker to find that number when entering scores than to hunt the student's name.

  3. One advantage of seating students alphabetically is that when papers are collected, they are already in alphabetical order, making it easier to record in your grade book.

  4. To keep clear records in the small spaces that are in most teachers' grade books code many events that influence the grade. For example:
    "A" in corner of the box means absent.
    Outlining the box means the work was handed in late.
    "D" means the assignment was done over.
    "S" means parent signature on the paper. (Contributed by Betsy Redd.)

  5. Generally it is better to record test and quiz grades as numbers, not letters. Numbers are easier and quicker to convert into grades at the end of the term.

  6. When grading multiple-choice examinations use a computer scoring system if one is available. If not, develop answer sheets and a master key you hold over the answer sheet to facilitate scoring.

  7. Require students to double space all essays or other written assignments. That provides more room for comments than just using the margin.

  8. Develop checklist forms for evaluating essays and other products. List the specific criteria you are assessing and provide a separate rating for each criterion. Some criteria might be weighted higher than others. If you are only concerned with whether the feature is included in the assignment, a simple checkmark beside that item will suffice. Structure the form to minimize the amount of writing required of you.

  9. Teach students to edit and revise their papers before turning them in to save you time of repeatedly reading rough drafts. Let them work in cooperative groups to help each other edit their papers.

  10. Some elementary teachers send home a weekly work folder with each student. The parents read the week's projects and then sign and return the folder with the student. This is a valuable way to maintain effective home-school communication.

Excerpted from Classroom Teacher's Survival Guide.

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