Spending too much time grading? With constant meetings, conferences, growth charts, progress reports, collaborative planning, curriculum writing, and everything else on their plates, it’s amazing that teachers find any time to grade. Before moving to a lower grade, I taught high school for 8 years, and that often meant 150+ students, 5 classes to prep, and no time to do anything. Here’s what I figured out to streamline the grading process in my classroom.
1. Don’t grade everything!
It took me so many years to be okay with this, because I just felt like if I didn’t give a grade for it, they wouldn’t do it. Sound familiar?
Picture this: I was teaching 150 students, giving weekly quizzes, grading bellwork, grading homework, and then trying to plan engaging lessons. On top of that, we were discouraged from giving zeros, so I was following up with students who were not doing their homework, almost chasing them to get them to do it.
There was just no way to get it all done, and I was at the end of my rope. Then, a colleague suggested I stop grading homework. My reaction : WHAT !?! If I don’t grade it, they won’t do it. Well, guess what? They didn’t stop doing it, because after I stopped grading homework, their grade was more dependent upon their understanding of the material. If they didn’t take responsibility for their practice outside of class, they wouldn’t do as well on the assessments, and their grades would reflect that.
Here’s what I did instead:
2. Look at the big picture.