Monday, September 21, 2015

#flipclass Flash Blog: Grading

It's funny that tonight's #flipclass topic is grading when I almost considered skipping #flipclass to finish grading a set of tests that NEEDS to be finished.

The suggested topic is "your best grading hack or what you still need to figure out regarding grades/workflow."

I don't have any life-changing hacks. I did learn from a dear friend and colleague just in the last couple of years how to be a little more efficient with a set of papers. I grade everybody's "Side 1," then the next side, etc. I would love to know how much time I save not flipping pages 50-gazillion times.

I've also become better at using snippets of time here and there in class to grade things. Flipping my class helped tremendously with this. I *have* more snippets of time in class, because I'm not up front talking for 45 minutes.

Overall, I bring less home than I used to.

I'm doing more things digitally this year and trying to learn how to grade and give feedback digitally. I am finding there is a learning curve to digital grading, and I'm not super-efficient with it at this point.

I'm trying more and more to give grades that matter. I try to grade standards. I like to wait and take a grade when I'm confident my students have learned what we've been working on. This means fewer grades and sometimes longer between grades. It also means answering "Is this for a grade?" and explaining why it's not many, many times.

I also find as I teach differently and give different class activities - no longer do I assign book page after book page or worksheet after worksheet - that these types of activities are harder to assign a grade to. So much in my classroom is now done with a partner. Kids are doing lots of work and learning, but how do I give a number grade to things like that?

I wish grades would go away. I don't see it happening any time soon, but I wish the focus would be less on the number on a paper and more on what is being learned.

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