7 Grading “must-know” hacks for new Teachers

New teacher? We know the struggle!  

There is a lot to be excited about for new instructors. They’ve started a terrific adventure of meeting kids, making lesson plans, and starting a job that they’re passionate about. On the contrary, grading is one component of teaching that early-career instructors worry about rather than enjoy.

Indeed grading is a time-consuming chore for all instructors, but it may be especially difficult for new teachers. We understand the need of providing timely and meaningful feedback, as well as grading, but how can we make the process simpler for ourselves? These are a few tips for novice teachers who are having trouble with grading.

All about the grading system 

The grading method specifies how a single attempt of the activity will be graded.

There are four different techniques of grading:

Learning items – The number of learning objects that have been completed/passed.

The highest grade gained in all passed learning items is the top grade.

The average grade is the average of all the grades.

The sum of all the grades is called the sum grade.

How do you grade the work of students properly?

Understanding how grading may be used as a tool for learning, awareness that some marks will be based on subjective factors, and a willingness to listen to and engage with students are all necessary for effective grading. 

While recognizing the significance of grades for students, it is critical to assist students in focusing on the learning process rather than “getting the grade.” Because GSIs are also students, it’s critical to strike a balance between the demands of successful grading and other responsibilities.

It’s helpful to think about grading as a procedure. It’s not only a question of awarding numerical or letter grades. Grading can include any or all of the following activities as part of the process:

  • Using a grading policy to set expectations with students
  • Creating assignments and tests that support the course’s goals
  • Developing criteria and standards
  • For uniformity and fairness, calibrating the use of a grading standard
  • Choosing which remarks will be most beneficial in guiding each student’s learning
  • Returning assignments and assisting students in understanding their grades are two of my responsibilities.

Make grading way too easier

Just breaking them down into smaller portions makes them more approachable.

Determine how many goods can be evaluated in one session at a reasonable speed without sacrificing feedback quality. 

you may utilize a timer as a countdown clock by giving yourself enough time to grade and give comments. Use the timer to help you stay on track.

Teachers must change their focus from grading students’ work to providing useful comments. 

Transitions and adding information could be the focus one week, while sentence diversity and powerful finishes might be the focus the next.

Determine the best time and environment for you and plan appropriately.

Tips for new teachers to do the grading thing perfectly

Attempt to avoid grading everything.

New teachers may be surprised to learn that not every work that comes across your desk requires grading. While some input is useful, it may also be inefficient. Furthermore, grading anything might eat up time that could be better spent on other things, such as lesson planning.

Certain activities, such as diary entries or book reports, are best evaluated by a simple spot check or a class discussion, while others, such as journal entries or book reports, can be granted participation points. Exams should be assessed, but a basic math quiz or assignment might be missed to save time. 

Let students help you 

New instructors often underestimate the value of students as a resource. Instead of spending hours assessing your students’ work, have them grade each other for 15 minutes during class.

Before allowing students to provide feedback to their classmates, it is critical to clarify anticipated behavior as a class. Spend time training your pupils on the difference between useful, specific feedback and general comments or assertions that should be avoided. It’s the difference between “That sucked!” and “You could do better if you…” as one of my pupils put it. Allow your pupils to assess one another constructively and generously once they are ready, and give yourself a rest.

Avoid assigning time-consuming tasks.

As a novice teacher, it might be tempting to offer busy work to fill up class time—but this just adds to your workload. Often, busy labor is not required to assist kids to understand the material. Make certain that the projects are useful and worth the time it will take you to assess them. Avoid giving activities that do not relate to or reinforce your lesson ideas.

Distractions should be minimized.

When we live in a world full of social media, push alerts, and text messages, it’s easy to become sidetracked. When it comes to grading, it is critical to establish a peaceful setting that allows you to focus and be effective. Constant cell phone alerts, for example, might be your biggest enemy. To limit distractions, put your phone in quiet mode or leave it in another room. You may avoid online time sucks while working on your computer by banning or concealing particular websites or programs.

 Set aside a specific amount of time

To keep on top of grading, effective time management is essential. You may prevent piles of paperwork by scheduling grading periods, whether it’s during your prep hour or during your lunch break.
You may avoid mountains of paperwork by scheduling grading time during your prep hour or at other times of the day when you feel most productive. Set aside time on your weekly schedule to act as a reminder for when you need to grade.

Use technology 

Technology has the potential to make teachers’ life tremendously simpler. If you have the necessary equipment, using Google Forms, Edmodo, or Kahoot! to conduct formative evaluations such as quizzes or exit slips may save you a tonne of grading work. You may also reduce the stress of grading by providing students with the technology resources they need to accomplish better work.

  • Use rubrics: Rubrics may be a fantastic grading tool. Rather than questioning your logic for grading each student’s homework, you may eliminate part of the mental effort.  Giving them good input that you’ve previously examined will make grading easy for you.
  •  Grade whenever possible: Teachers understand the meaning of the word “busy” better than others. However, there are still times in the classroom that may be used for grading. Whenever pupils work individually, teachers should grade their work.

Bottomline 

Grading may be intimidating for those of us who are new to the classroom. Many times, I was so far behind in my grading that I had to devote entire weekends to catch up. Since implementing these suggestions, my grading burden has decreased.

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