Appendix 8.1. Teacher Suggestions for Grading Papers

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Appendix 8.1. Teacher Suggestions for Grading Papers

 I try very hard not to collect homework. Ideally I’d like to give a completion grade, then immediately go over the correct answers so that the students keep the papers in their hands. This means they have those papers to study from instead of waiting a few days for me to give them back. I grade only the essentials—those papers that reflect new learning and can serve as a formative or summative form of evaluation.  Students grade their own papers in class, but before we go over and discuss the answers, the students must highlight their answers. I use the old TV show phrase “Is this your final answer?” to prompt students to use the highlighter. I circulate among the students just as a double check, but it is very hard to change a highlighted answer unnoticed. Changing an answer that has been highlighted is almost impossible without leaving a noticeable smudge. This way the students can correct their own papers so they can use them to study, and my grading time is free for labs and tests.  I use rubrics for projects and labs, but for worksheets I have two methods. If I have assigned a ton of work in my six classes, I will have the students correct their own papers. I then collect them and take points off if they didn’t correct their answers. My other method is to grade some classes but give completion grades to the others. The students never know which class will be turning work in for credit. I’m not crazy about worksheets and have found that the students are more likely to cheat on them, although they are good study tools.  I grade homework and some classwork on effort or completion rather than accuracy, which helps with grading time. I look at homework as practice, and we go over it in class, so in the first few minutes I can see who did the assignment and scan the work to assess current understanding of the content. When I review it with the class afterwards, I can address misconceptions and unclear points.  As I walk around the room during a lab I carry stickers or a marking pen. I indicate student accuracies, group-work collaboration, work that needs to be rethought, and other elements I might grade on the spot, writing notes to the student and myself. Sometimes it is just an “OK” to indicate they are on the right track. When the papers are collected for grading, there are large segments that do not require my further attention.  I use an online quiz system that is available free of charge on Quiz Star. You can manage classes and quizzes, attach multimedia files to the questions, and make quizzes in multiple languages, and they can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer via

http://quizstar.4teachers.org

.

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