February 21, 2013

Grading Organization

On my 'Fifty Follower Giveaway' post, I asked people to tell me what they'd like to see more of...and I listened! Organization ideas was a huge request, so I'll be creating a few posts under that category in the next month or so.

My first tip, and I think one of the most important, is how to keep your grading organized. Over the last few years I've worked out many kinks and think I have found a great system. Try it out and see how it works for you; not everything works for everyone, but maybe you'll glean an idea or two that would fit into your teaching style.

I keep a tray for each period, and put all the work that needs to be grades in that tray. Then once I grade it, I enter the scores in the gradebook, and put the work in the corresponding period's gradebook folder in my grading binder. Any work that is ready to be handed back is in that folder and I know it's graded. I've also recently been making piles on my TA's desk with labels- "Pass Back P.1" or "Pass Back P.4" etc.

Yup, I still need to grade period 4's assignments from today. I'll do that before school tomorrow :)



Step Two: I've always been a believer in having a paper copy of grades, and then input them into the computer grading system-you never know when the system will shut down or something. Some people enter grades and then every now and then print them out for back up...but what if it shuts down before you've had a chance to back up again?! I don't trust it :/

I use an exel spreadsheet [idea from my master teacher] to keep track of names and grades. Our new computer system does however, allow us to print blank grade sheets that have customizable columns! So I create a sheet that has the names in alphabetical order down the left, just like when imputing the grades into the system, that way there's no confusion. I then create 10 additional columns to the right of the names to write the assignments in. I write the date the assignment was due below all the columns.

I enter grades everyday after school so that their gradebook view is always up to date and they always know what they're missing. But if you don't have time for that, or only enter grades once a week or something, this next trick is for you. Once I've entered a grade into the system, I highlight the assignment in different colors; if it's not highlighted, I haven't entered it into the online gradebook yet. Here are the different colors:

PINK-homework assignements
ORANGE- writing assignments
YELLOW- in-class work or projects
BLUE- Tests/Quizzes

I weight my grades by these four categories, hence highlighting in four different colors.  If a student turns in late work, I put the new grade in the appropriate column, and then circle it so it catches my eye when entering grades. See below:
 You'll notice too that I put an 'A' if they were absent and a 0 if they just didn't do it. 

My policy is that if they have an excused absence, they can have an extra day to turn in an assignment without penalty. However, if they just didn't turn in an assignment, they receive a zero until they turn it in for late credit. 

Hopefully this post gives you some great ideas for organizing your grading system, or just reinforces that yours is awesome!!

Happy grading,

13 comments:

  1. Use the same exact system! What I'm curious to know about is how everyone grades when it comes to overall assessment. I always wonder if my quarterly grades are a good reflection of student performance. I try to design my rubrics so that they are performance based. When I reflect at the end of every quarter, I always question whether or not I'm painting an accurate picture based on everything the student has worked on that quarter. I would love to see a sampling of readers quarterly grade breakdown. How many homework, in class, quizzes, papers, etc. It's always helpful to get a sampling.

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  2. Great question. I really mix it up to make sure I'm giving everyone a fair chance. Sometimes I'll do traditional multiple choice reading quizzes, sometimes I'll ask questions orally, sometimes I'll ask them to summarize the chapter in 15 words or less. I do lots of mini papers, then a large 3-5 pg paper at the end of every novel. I do two projects per unit for those creative students too :)

    Stephanie

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  3. I always have a hard copy of my grades! I, too, worry that the grading program could shut down. One helpful organization tip (for me) is to always write my grades on the hard copy grade sheet in pencil. That way I can change if needed. Thanks for the post! Caitlin

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  4. I'm glad I found your blog. So many teaching blogs out there, while wonderful, are elementary. It's nice to find another HS English teacher out there!

    EnglishWithMrsL.blogspot.com

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    1. And you teach sophomore English too!!! I'm your newest follower!!!

      Stephanie

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  5. I use the same system and it works great! To be sure I have entered all grades including late/absent, once I have all of the grades in my computer, I put a check mark under the assignment. That way, if I don't have a check mark, I know that I've not entered all of the grades and if I do, I don't need to look at that column any more.

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    1. Cool idea. I kind of do the same thing when I highlight the assignment at the top of the page once I've entered it. Thanks for sharing!

      Stephanie

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  6. Did you teach at Earl Warren?

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    1. Depends on who's asking ;) But yes I did.
      Stephanie

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  7. A former student.

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  8. I love your grade book! I will have to make myself one of those. I too hate those teeny tiny boxes that are on the store bought grade books. There is never enough space.

    I have a question about your blog. How do you get your labels to show as words instead of dates? I also have a blogspot, but I can't figure that one out. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Thanks! That's why I don't buy the store-bought grade books, and make my own planners and grade books :) As for the labels-I just clicked the boxes they offered on blogspot :/ Labels, cloud version instead of list version, show by frequency. Hope that helps!!!
      Stephanie

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