Grading Policies and Tips in the English Language Arts Classroom

If you ask any English Language Arts teacher they will tell you that grading/marking is the most time-consuming part of their job. During this week's Twitter Chat, teachers shared their best advice for balancing the marking load as well as getting students to utilize assignment feedback from the 2 Peas and a Dog blog.

If you ask any English Language Arts teacher they will tell you that grading/marking is the most time-consuming part of their job. During this week’s Twitter Chat, teachers shared their best advice for balancing the marking load as well as getting students to utilize assignment feedback. 

Q1: What student work is graded in your classroom? What isn’t?
-Ss receive grades for major projects, speeches, and tests. Drafts & HW are graded for completion.
-Summative, of course. But also important to grade formative ones as well. Where’s the balance between feedback & grades, tho?
-Only “good” copies are formally graded. Lots of diagnostic and formative assessment to guide instruction.
-I mainly assign grades to summative projects/assessments with a few other smaller, formative checks throughout.
– I offer feedback and credit on all student work but high mark grades are on formal writing pieces and larger projects.
– We do lots of practice that may only be graded for completion, assessment is graded after practice


Q2: How do you hold students accountable for implementing feedback? Do students do any revisions/reflections after grading?
-Self-assessment after projects always happens. It’s a graded assignment. As far as revisions, I highly encourage Ss to do so.
-When I provide feedback on rough drafts I look through the good copy to ensure corrections have been made.
– I also look to see if feedback has been utilized. Overall, I want to see growth over the unit.
– I give minimal feedback on paper – use tech tools or ask kids to meet. They CAN rewrite for a new grade-only 10% usually do
-A lot of revision/editing in my class comes before anything is graded, so the grade reflects implementation of suggestions
-Homework, most class work, essays.
-Google Docs makes providing feedback and revision easy!
-On our senior paper, we grade the drafts together and they help me determine their grade. They take ownership of their own effort!
-We discuss the importance of learning from mistakes. Anything to make the benefits of revision palpable!
-Grade final drafts but clear expectations for the target skill that includes a lesson, peer editing, and feedback first!


Q3: Schools are moving towards standard based grading. Thoughts? Experiences?
-Standard-based grading encourages student growth & success. Writing instruction lends itself to it w focus on revision
-Like the idea, but the amount of work involved on the grading side seems like a drawback…don’t want focus to shift to grades
-I’m all about standards-based grading (& rubrics)! Ss should clearly know & understand assessment criteria to demonstrate it.
-We have been using success criteria and rubrics almost my entire teaching career. We are not encouraged to mark using points.
-Standards based is more clear & effective, set goals know what you’re working towards, and COMMUNICATE w/examples @FreshGrade
-I use rubrics a ton because I think they help to make grading less subjective.
– My district has built its own standards based rubrics that we have all had the opportunity to influence and shape. Works well!


Q4: Some schools are moving toward students grading themselves. Thoughts? Experiences?
-I have Ss self-grade on small-group presentations and portfolios. They’re much more critical than I am!
-Here is an example of having students self-assess
-Ss should always reflect on their learning. Self-assessment empowers Ss. But T input shouldn’t be erased. Trust professionals!
-Self-assessment is always encouraged, but students cannot just select their own grades.
-We’ve implemented something similar as a part of our formal teacher observation. It’d be cool to score Ss and compare w/ them
-Self-grading leads to OWNERSHIP and EMPOWERMENT, set guidelines, model, and support w/rubrics & examples
-I have involved Ss in the grading process & giving that responsibility & trust empowers them to rise to their own standards
-Def value Ss self-assess, but not necessarily as a final grade. Rubrics before completing work offer opp for the desired grade.
-I love having Ss reflections and eval. Usually, I agree with their assessments!


Q5: What tricks have you learned to help manage the marking load?
-Rubrics are a lifesaver! I use them for *everything*! Here are other tricks I’ve learned.
-I have written several blog posts about reducing the marking load here is one.
-Not everything needs to be graded. Conferences allow for quick, focused feedback. Sometimes when Ss work, you also work.
-Gradebook hacks
-Agreed! Ts input is still powerful, too. I think most of the value would come from the conversation between teacher and student.
-I use this method for formative assessments.
-Staying at a school an extra hour daily and 1 night a week at Panera with a salad, sandwich, lemonade, and a stack of work!
-Conferencing helps familiar w/work, req feedback & reflection helps grade on growth, @FreshGrade saves taking home huge paper stacks
-Only assign what I can assess within 1 wk. Digital grade books. Hyperdocs to package learning & make it easy to assess as one.

Read more tips about how to manage your marking load here.

Exclusive Resources For Teachers

Subscribe to get engaging lesson ideas and special subscriber only bonus lessons like our Rant Writing Unit sent directly to your email address.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

You Might Also Like

No Comments

    Leave a Reply