6 Grading Tips That Changed My Life [Episode 97]


Click below to hear the 6 grading tips that changed my life:

Over this past month, I’ve been sharing my thoughts, practices, and strategies surrounding the topic of grading. You’ve probably realized how passionate I am about this topic because it’s something that I believe will give you more balance in your life between school and your personal life. And who doesn’t want that?! To wrap up this series, I’m sharing my own personal grading strategy and tips to help accomplish my grading goals. 

Many teachers talk about the amount of time they spend grading student work but fail to have a strategy for minimizing that time. Spending time thinking about your personal grading strategy helps you be more intentional about decreasing the time you spend grading. In order to do that, it’s important to identify two key principles on which all your grading decisions are based. 

So, how do you accomplish those grading principles? That’s where my 6 grading tips come into play. Each tip keeps students’ learning at the forefront while making sure your classroom remains equitable. Not only do these tips help minimize time spent grading, but also provide more freedom for differentiation, feedback, and immediate adjustments to your lessons.

Having a ton of assignments to grade can be overwhelming to teachers. However, if you create a personal grading strategy that aligns with your key principles, you won’t feel stressed from grading, and you’ll have a better work-life balance. 

Topics Discussed:

  • How having a personal grading strategy helps you be more intentional about minimizing time spent on grading 
  • Developing your key principles that is the lens for making your grading decisions  
  • 6 grading tips that help you achieve your goals
  • Rapid-fire questions about grading idea

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes and Blog Posts:

Connect with Rebecca:

More about Secondary Science Simplified: 

Secondary Science Simplified is a podcast specifically for high school science teachers that will help you to engage your students AND simplify your life as a secondary science educator. Each week Rebecca, from It’s Not Rocket Science, and her guests will share practical and easy-to-implement strategies for decreasing your workload so that you can stop working overtime and start focusing your energy doing what you love – actually teaching!

Teaching doesn’t have to be rocket science, and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do to simplify your secondary science teaching life so that you can enjoy your life outside of school even more. Head to itsnotrocketscienceclassroom.com/challenge to grab your FREE Classroom Reset Challenge.

Rebecca 0:00
You’re listening to episode number 97 of the secondary science simplified podcast, we have been talking all month about grading, we’ve talked about cheating. We’ve talked about how to grade less things, but still provide effective feedback. We’ve talked about not assigning homework. And now we’re gonna wrap up this series, and our summer of podcast PD, by sharing just more about my personal grading strategy with y’all. Because here’s the thing, you have to have an actual strategy going into this school year, if you want to intentionally minimize the time you spend grading, if you just try to kind of piece it together and figure out as you go, it’s gonna be really hard to make those gametime decisions and really decide what are you going to grade versus what are you not going to grade. And I think it’s natural for us as high school teachers to feel a lot of weight around this topic of grading, because grades are important for our students, our students GPAs directly impact their futures after graduation and their ability to graduate at all. And I know a lot of you feel a really heavy burden with this, you know, you want to be fair, and you want to provide plenty of opportunities for students to show their understanding. But you also don’t want to overload yourself and spend hours working after school hours to keep up with that never ending pile of papers degrade. And so I’m with you, I hear you. I am incredibly passionate about having an equitable classroom that provides every student regardless of their ability, background, learning style, you name it, I want them all to have a multitude of ways to succeed and show their understanding in my classroom. But at the same time, I also really, really want all teachers, I’m so passionate about this. I want all secondary science teachers to have a healthy work life balance. Because arguably, I mean, I could I could really get an argument someone about this. I think teachers are the most underpaid and overworked profession there is out there. And so all of this to say my personal grading strategy boils down to two key principles. One, always returning graded work back the day after I collect it, so that my students get immediate feedback to learn from and myself, I want that immediate feedback to to inform my lesson plans. And to I never want to take work home degrade. So if you’re listening, you may be saying, Rebecca, how are both of those things possible? Those seem mutually exclusive? Well, I am here in this episode to tell you exactly how I accomplish both of these goals. And how I did that in my classroom when I was teaching full time. So I’m going to share with you six grading practices that changed my life and I hope they will change yours. Let’s dive in. This is secondary science simplified a podcast for secondary science teachers who want to engage their students and simplify their lives. I’m Rebecca joiner from it’s not rocket science. As a high school science teacher turned curriculum writer, I am passionate about helping other science teachers love their jobs, serve their students, and do it all in only 40 hours a week. Are you ready to rock the time you spent in your classroom and actually have a life outside of it? You are in the right place teacher friend. Let’s get to today’s episode.

Rebecca 3:38
Okay, so like I said at the top of the episode, this is all about my personal grading strategy and the six tips I use to accomplish that grading strategy that I mentioned, of getting work back within 24 hours and not taking work home to grade. Now your personal grading strategy may be different from mine, and that’s totally okay. But this is my podcast. So I’m gonna share my strategy and what has worked for me, and I hope that it will serve you. And then after we go through these six tips at the end of the episode, there are some questions I’ve been trying to answer the questions you guys submitted to my Instagram, DMS. I’ve been trying to answer those like throughout this series. But there are a couple of kind of random ones that I never really got to you. And so I’m going to kind of rapid fire answer those at the end of the episode. So if you’ve been waiting for the answers to your questions, it’s coming this episode. Okay, so, like I said, You need to come up with your own personal grading strategy. You need to decide Allah lazy genius, Kendriya hdaci isp router all the time, you need to decide what matters most to you. And I think when you’re deciding what matters most to you, when developing your personal grading strategy, you really should not pick more than one or two things. I think when you have three to five priorities, those really aren’t priorities anymore, because that’s too many things is too impossible for you to manage. So I really want you to have one or two Max key priorities. Like I said, mine were always return graded work the day after I collect it, so that students and myself get that immediate feedback, and then never take work home degrade. And if you’re picking two, you kind of need to decide which one of those is most important to you. Because sometimes, again, for it to be a true priority, it has to actually be a priority and something that can be held above as your highest standard. And so for me, my number one priority is getting it back in 24 hours. My number two is not taking work home degrade for me personally. And so those are the lenses through which I make every decision about how I grade and so I want you to do that as well. One, maybe two do not come up with more than two. Okay. Now, how did I accomplish that practically, here are my six tips for this one goes back to something I discussed back in episode 95, which is that you must simplify your gradebook. If you want to start grading less things, you cannot have five or six categories in your gradebook, or you’re having to plug in grades. Because the problem with those weighted categories when you have five or six is that then sometimes you end up in the quarter and you’re like crap, we only have like two or three think grades in this project category. And so then if a student really bombed one, it’s totally bombing their grade. So I’m very passionate about simplifying your gradebook if you have that ability to two broad categories, your major grades and your minor grades and then everything funnels in there. If you only have two categories in your gradebook, you will never have to worry about having enough grades, I promise you will always end up with enough grades if you only have to. Now quickly, I want to say if there’s some opposition here, obviously, I know you may have district mandates or department mandates or whatever. Let me say something just to kind of combat that a little bit. I was in a school where multiple teachers taught the same preps in one of the schools I was in so like, at one point, I was one of five biology teachers. At one point, I was one of two physical science teachers, that kind of thing. And what our department had decided in our school policy was is that everyone who taught what you taught had to have the same breakdown in their gradebook. So like everyone who taught biology had to do the same thing. Like you can’t have the same percentage categories. Everyone who taught you know, physical science had to do the same thing. And so I adopted the biology categories of the major minor and I loved it was so simple. So the first semester when I was teaching physical science, I just did with the other physical science teacher was doing it, she had six categories 15%, homework, 10%, participation, all these things, it was so complicated, and it was just so much. And so then I tried to convince her to do the major minor thing. But she didn’t want to do that. So the compromise was though is I basically talked to her like, Okay, you have these six categories. These three categories are basically minor categories, and these three are major, we basically use the same overall percentage. So like, let’s say for the minor grades, we have like she had participation, homework and classwork like practice. And home or participation was 10%. Homework was 15%. And then classwork was 15%. That added up to 40%. I just said, Hey, that’s all like minor things to me. Can that just be like my minor grade category? And then, you know, major was like she had like, I think it was 25%, maybe 30%, test 20% Labs, 10% projects, and then like that, and I was like can that all just be my major category, and we compromise and she said yes, so she’s still end up having six categories, I only had two. But the overarching weight of what was considered major and minor was the same. So that’s kind of a little way you can get around it. If you’re having to compromise there that might work out and you can still simplify your grade book. I am a huge fan of this. Now, obviously, if you’re listening and this is the end of September, you might be like Rebecca, it is too late in the year, we cannot change our grade books. I want to encourage you start a campaign now, for next school year. Go ahead and throw this on people’s radars throw it on your department chair, your admins, radars like can we change this? I think one of my big things I’ll link in the show notes, a blog post about this about asking admin for help. Some of my best tips are asked early and ask often. So it’s hard to get admin to make decisions quickly. So if you can go ahead and get this on their radar for next year, and then bring it up several times, they’ll know you really mean it. And then they’ll also have plenty of time to actually make this a reality. And you can give them proof for why it works. So I want to encourage you to do that. The second tip I want to give you is something I’ve mentioned again on this podcast, but it’s grading for completion instead of accuracy. Okay, really thinking formative assessments, those should be graded for completion and summative should really be graded for accuracy and not doing more than that. For me personally, I basically only graded tests for accuracy and bell ringers, which my bell ringers were a formative assessment, but I let them use their notes on it. So I felt like they weren’t completely lost in there since it was for accuracy. But basically everything else I graded for completion or I Just didn’t grade. I found personally if you’re like, why don’t like grading for completion, a lot of students just need you to grade something, put a grade on it, just to get them motivated to get started, even if it’s just like a little 10 pointer, little 10 Point assignment here, you know, nothing crazy, but just putting a number on, it just made them that gave them enough motivation to get going. But yeah, we do so many practices, so many structural activities in my class, I cannot grade each and every little thing we do. So I would say probably a third and maybe a half goes ungraded. And then the rest gets checked for completion. And then I draw names with my popsicle sticks. And we go over it as a class. That’s it. That’s what I love, love love doing. And it has served me and my students, well, the majority of my grades are completion grades, because that’s 10,000 times faster than collecting, grading everything for accuracy. And again, remember, my number one priority is that 24 hour turnaround time. And if I’m collecting everything and grading for accuracy, I can’t do that. Now remember, the motivation behind that 24 hour turnaround time is the immediate feedback. And if I’m checking grades for completion, I’m able to give that immediate feedback, am I giving it to them personally written down on their paper? No, but I’m giving it to as the class as a whole, I’m giving it to them. And then they can get that immediate feedback and see what they’re doing wrong and get it from there. So I’m really, really passionate about this and makes such a big difference. And then when I do actually collect something for accuracy, I have the time and energy in my schedule, to actually give them really good feedback that’s meaningful and still immediate, because I’m only collecting things if I can give it back to them within 24 hours. Now, a big part of this is not assigning homework to help me kind of not have as much stuff to grade. That’s been a big game changer. I talked about this a lot in the previous episode. But some people have said no, but what about those students who need extra practice, they need homework to get that extra practice in. That’s where I just give them extra practice, that’s optional, and we can do it together and tutoring and, or something like that. But I’m just not personally gonna grade it. And I had gotten some questions about differentiating for different learners and like how you differentiate when you grade. And this is another reason why I really like grading for completion, as opposed to accuracy. Because I feel like I can differentiate between students a lot easier and a lot more fairly. Because, you know, the students like and you even know, legally, who has legal accommodations that they need double time, you can just say, hey, there’s not double time. So for in order for you to get double time, I want you to do only odds, I’m cutting the work in half. And that gives you the double time, it’s the same ratio here, okay, dimensional analysis here, they can still do that with half the problems or if you’re having a hard time getting your students started, because they’re just not motivated to work. This was something Casey mentioned, when I interviewed him, I believe it is back in episode 87. But he was like, go to that student on a one on one level and just say, Hey, can you just start this first one right here, and then tell me you got got started, and then I’ll come over and check in on you. It just creates so much more opportunity for you to meet students where they are, when there isn’t this pressure of like, you have to do every problem and turn it in by the end of class and grading it for accuracy. Like, I just feel like it gives you a lot more flexibility when you’re grading for completion. Especially with things like stations, y’all know, I love to do stations, love to do lab stations, review stations, all sorts of stations. And I love that with stations, I can tell students like hey, when you’re done, come up to me, I’m giving you five points a station. So like, typically, I have six stations. It’s like a 30 point minor gate, I’ll check the gym for completion, and then we’ll go over it when everyone’s done, we’re gonna go over it as class. And I love it. Because like my students who I know, you know, you can watch them, they’re doing the best they can, I’ll just be like, Hey, show me what you got by the end of class. And I can just see like, okay, maybe they only got through four stations, that’s fine, I’m still gonna give them full credit, because again, it’s for completion. So I just don’t feel like I’m giving away points as much as I do when I’m grading something for accuracy, and they can’t finish it on time. So I think grading for completion versus accuracy as much as possible, just gives you a lot of freedom to differentiate for the needs of your students. My third tip would be with for labs, specifically, is only grade one section of labs, I rarely grade an entire lab from introduction to hypothesis all the way through to conclusion like I’m not doing that, okay. So instead, I will collect labs, and I will grade them for completion to see that they’ve like done every part of the lab. But then I just pick one part to focus on for grading for accuracy. So maybe I’m only going to grade their graphs, or maybe I’m only going to read their hypotheses and conclusions because those are a little bit shorter. Or maybe I’m only going to read their analysis, but I’m literally going to pick one section and that’s it. It makes it so much faster when you’re collecting 30 labs or 90 Labs if you have three sections of biology to just only grade the the graphs or something and then here’s what I do. Now, quick sidenote, so I’m not if I’m going to do this, I’m not Gonna put the lab then in out of 100 points, like, I’m not going to grade just the graph and make it 100 Point lab, that’s crazy, I’m only gonna give them 100 points for the lab, if I’m grading the whole thing. So instead labs maybe gonna be worth 50 points or 25, you know, maybe I do 50 points in the first 25 points of that is just completion, like I’m checking that they did every part. And then the last 25 is the analysis that I actually graded for accuracy. So you can kind of do a combination there too. Again, there’s so much more flexibility when you do more of this. So that’s another reason why I love points. Also, I love grading on points. And then putting points values within overarching categories and major minor because you have flexibility with making things worth less or more when everything’s not out of 100. I hate putting things in out of 100 every time. That was a side tangent, I didn’t mean to go on. But here we are. So this will make grading your lab so much faster. And then your the next day when you get to class and you return those labs. Remember, you’ve only graded one section. So what we’ll have students do is I’ll have them swap with a neighbor, and then kind of review each other sections. Okay, so let’s say I collected labs and I graded, you know, the analysis sections, and then I checked everything else for completion. Then when I pass them back, I would say, okay, swap with a neighbor, and let’s kind of self grade each others. And I would give them a list of questions to walk through like, Okay, first, let’s look at everyone’s graph. Does it have a title? Yes or No? If it doesn’t like circle that, does the title accurately describe what the graph shows? Can you clearly identify the independent and the dependent variables? Are both axes? Are they clearly labeled? Are their units if that’s applicable? Is there a key if that’s applicable? Do they make the right kind of graph? Like, is it a bar graph when it should be or line? Look at the scale on their y axis? Especially? Is it evenly spaced? Or like, did they go up five it with one, you know, line and then go up 12? With the next like, is

Rebecca 16:45
it awkward? Or do they use a ruler? Those are the types of questions I would ask as the class. And then they can more clearly kind of peer grade each other’s work. And they learn from it like they learn like seeing what someone else does, right or wrong is really, really helpful. And the pressure is off. Because again, they’re not actually like, legit grading each other like minus two minus five, because I already graded it. They’re just providing that feedback. And they can give it fresher, more fresh eyes, not fresher, I guess it could be fresher, more fresh eyes, when they’re looking at someone else’s lab versus their own. And you can also do this on the front end, like if you have time on the front end to do this, say, Hey, we’re going to pure grade the analysis section, first look for XYZ highlight this, and then when you collect it, then you kind of give it a second glance, that’s something you can do as well. I know a lot of teachers for labs just clicked one lab to represent the whole lab group to decrease the amount they grade. And you can do that. Personally, I just never found that. To be fair with my students, I just felt like there was always so much drama. For instance, I wanted it to be random, because I wanted every student to work their hardest, so that it wasn’t just like one student writing everything down. So that you know, I might draw names and pick for the group. But then someone else was upset because they didn’t want so and so’s grade representing theirs. And I don’t know, I just kind of felt like for me personally, it created too much drama. And I didn’t want the drama. So like, this has been the best solution for me, I collect everyone’s but I only grade one section at a time. And I do not tell them in advance which section I’m going to grade. Like I want them trying the hardest on everything. And then I pick when I’m going to grade that time for accuracy. Now, quick sidenote, before we move on from labs, formal lab reports, I know a lot of teachers do this for every lab or for lots of labs. And if that’s something you feel really passionate about doing, I think that’s great. I personally thought if a student can write one great lab report, they can write 10. So I personally do like one a year, if I do any at all. And I kind of have a whole tangent on this, which I will link that blog post in the show notes because this is already getting longer than I thought. So you can read more about that if you care in the show notes. Now my fourth tip to keep to this grading strategy that I decided upon was I batch grade tests? question by question. And so what I mean by that is batching just means you’re gonna do a lot of the same task at once over and over again. And this increases efficiency, and thus decreases the amount of time you spend grading. So like, if I have three sections, a CPE, biology, they’re all taking their tests the same day, I’m going to grade all three of their tests at once. And then I’m going to also batch grade by the actual questions on the test. So first, I do a quick batch grade a multiple choice. And I know a lot of you have like Scantrons or things like that which you can do but I just do it by hand. I can do it so fast. So I bad grades are multiple choice. I can do like 120 question multiple choice is in like five minutes. That’s so so fast. But then from there, I grade every open response question one by one. So let’s say I’m grading 75 tests, I agree to everyone’s question number 21 At the same time, then I grade all of question number 22 All 75 student answers. And this is so helpful because you end up you memorize the answer to the question and then you can read them so quickly and just fly through your feedback because a lot Other students will make the same errors. And the best thing about this as you can be so, so fair and how you who were partial credit, I love open response because I love giving partial credit. Like I hate taking off like five whole points, you know, I want to give them partial credit. But this eliminates that drama on the day you return your tests, where students are like, well, you took off two points for on their tests and one point on mine. And we said the exact same thing, this eliminates that. And so something I love with this, too, is my friend, Michelle Brosseau, she introduced me this idea, she actually like lays out all four tests in rows on her desk, and then she walks in grades each test one at a time, if you want to kind of get out of your seat. But I also just love I do, I like to do separate answer sheets for my tests. And then that way, I only have like a one to three page answer sheet I’m flipping through as opposed to like a six to eight page test. It just was flipping as you go through the questions. But again, that’s just a personal preference. So I really recommend this like, it sounds like it won’t be a SAS but I promise you, you will shave off time if you do question by question. And it’s going to make your grading more fair, and you’re going to get partial credit better, and you can be more objective. So highly recommend. Another thing that helps with this and that it helps with again, being faster. But also being more fair is using rubrics whenever you can. And here’s why I love rubrics, yes, they take more time on the front end. But once you have a rubric, you just reuse it for life. And you can use like the same rubric for almost every assessment, just making small adjustments, and kind of tweaking the wording for each one. So when I make them, I basically start by making the categories that I want to assess those are my rows, okay, so I’ll make the categories that I’m going to assess their research, I’m going to assess their content, I’m going to assess their appearance, I’m going to assess, you know, overall, like whatever I have the categories. And then at the top and the columns, I pick for standards or benchmarks that students can reach. So I have an excellent column, a satisfactory, a Needs Improvement and an unacceptable, and then I divided the points among those columns. And then I just fill in the blanks with what I’m actually expecting. And then from there, you can tweet this every time, I have a free resource in my TPT store. It’s a like design a children’s book review projects that I like to use at the end of the semester. And again, it’s totally free. It has a rubric in there, and it’s editable. And so you can download that I’ll link in the shownotes. And change this and use that just as an example to start making rubrics yourself. But once you have a rubric, it’s so fast. Like you just have your stack of projects or even like your stack of you know, whatever activity you’re grading, little in class activity, and you have the rubric and you can just like circle things. And I love a rubric too, because it’s just a great visual for students. And it makes the expectations really, really clear. And it eliminates a lot of the confusion later if they wonder why they got the grade they did. Because you give them the rubric in advance. They have the targets, they knew exactly what to do. And then it’s so easy for you to grade it. Rubrics also too, they simplify our grading, but then they also just provide a lot of flexibility for differentiating and deciding you know, what meets each criteria. But again, still being able to be concrete and fair. And that’s I love rubrics for anything that’s like creative, or just like abstract where there is not as clearly like a right or wrong, a rubric is my go to. So my best advice when you’re not sure how to grade something is when in doubt rubric it out. That’s what I would say. And then my sixth and final grading tip for you guys is to schedule when you are doing labs, test projects, or anything you plan on collecting from students. And here’s why I stagger them. Remember I shoot for only I talked about this in a previous episode, I try to only collect one thing per class per week. So I’m collecting a lab. I’m not also collecting a test that week, I’m collecting a project I’m not also collecting a lab, okay, one thing per class per week, most you’ll have 18 weeks in a semester, that’s 18 grades per semester, plus all the things that you might be grading for completion, okay, it’s plenty of stuff. And I keep a calendar literally on my desk, I will link one in the show notes. It’s like so simple. It’s a monthly calendar, and I choose a color per class and I use those friction erasable pens so I have a color. And I’ll just be I’ll put on there like okay, this Monday is when by a one CPS test is so I’m not going to collect anything from any of my other preps on this day. But Tuesday, I can do biology honors tests on this day or Wednesday, I’ll collect that project from my anatomy class, and then Thursday I’ll do a lab and 10. That way, I’m only doing one thing per class and I can spread it out. And that way I have plenty of time during my planning period to actually grade all that stuff. So I’m not having to take it home. It’s such a game changer. I highly recommend this strategy. So creating a calendar, having a schedule staggering when you’re collecting stuff so that you don’t get overwhelmed. I think one of the problems is we just aren’t strategic with how we’re planning when things are due. And then it’s like, oh my gosh, I ended up having a test in every class today, which is kind of nice, because it’s kind of just like a more chill day. I feel like he’s yours monitoring all day. But then you know, the day ends and you’re like, cool, I have 150 tests a grade. So I really recommend staggering your things. So those are my six best tips. I’ll run through them one last time real quickly, and then I got your questions to answer. So simplify your gradebook grade for completion instead of accuracy. Whenever you can only grade one section of labs, batch grade your test question by question. use rubrics whenever you can. And then schedule your labs, your tests, your projects, anything you’re collecting, so that you can stagger them and not be overwhelmed by the amount you are actually bringing home degrade. Okay, now, here are these last few, I’m gonna try to do these rapid fire that I got from you guys. One question was just how to be objective when grading lab reports or just labs in general. Again, I don’t do a lot of lab reports,

Rebecca 25:53
I’ll link that in the shownotes. But again, I think only doing one section and really zeroing in on that one section is really helpful. I think graphs are really easy to be objective about because there’s so many like practical things like I listed above, like the title and all this that needs to be right. But also like have a rubric. Make a rubric for how you grade lab reports. I include one with every single unit, every single lab, I do include my lab report or rubric and checklist. I think checklists are really helpful to like, look for things in that analysis section like did they write in third person? Did they reference their data really specifically? Did they only make inferences from their data? Do they make connections to the class or they do a thorough error analysis and you know three things and how to combat them or whatever, you need to make it in advance, though. And then you need to go over those expectations with your students, and then stick to them. So make a spend some time making a really detailed rubric and then just use that every single time your students will know exactly what to expect. Second question was just how to motivate students to work if the work isn’t graded. And I kind of talked about this, but I just want to re emphasize, you’re going to be really strategic with what you assign them and you’re not going to ever do busy work, I find that students don’t want to do work, because they’re just so conditioned to everything being pointless, and it being busy work. So there’s not going to do it. But if they see that you’re not getting busy work, you’re only assigning things that are really actually going to help them learn the content, they’re going to be more motivated. Also, like I mentioned in Episode 96, last week, don’t assign homework, I do not assign homework, and I tell them, hey, if you respect my time in class, and do what I’ve asked you to do, when you’re in my classroom, I will not make you do anything outside of class for grade, or really at all, but you kind of need to do it as a grade to motivate them. And so that is really motivating for my students. If I saw that they were just kind of lounging around not getting started in a lab, you know, just kind of putzing around not doing anything. I said, this will be homework for you. And I will grade it if you don’t work for me right now. It’s like a refrain and my class, respect my time I respect your time period, I think you will be surprised about how motivating that is for your students. Another question was about test corrections. You know, how do you do them? Or do I do something else that kind of thing. And I genuinely don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do this, it is totally up to you is totally your preference how you want to handle test corrections. I feel like I’ve gotten really good at writing assessments that are really fair, and making sure that all of my instructional resources aligned with my assessment. So there’s no surprises like I don’t ever have to curve tests. Because my resources that I use are so aligned to the test questions. I’m asking that it’s not like I’m ever surprised, like all the students bombed, like, if all the students are bombing your test, something is wrong here. It’s either the resources you use to teach them or the test you’re using to assess them. Like there’s a disconnect here. And that’s it’s not necessarily a them problem, it’s might be a huge problem. And I don’t mean to be harsh on that. But it’s true. Like my first few years, like when I was getting like 60% test averages. I was like, okay, like something’s wrong, what I shoot for a 70 or 75% test average, which is a C average. That to me is like spot on. If it’s higher than that cool. If it’s lower than that, I kind of look back and see like, Okay, are there any trends here and what everyone was missing? That kind of thing. So I don’t feel like I’ve ever had to assign test corrections, in order to raise their grades on the test, which is a motivation for some people, which is again, totally fine. Nothing wrong with that. But if I were to do it, I did have to do it a lot. I felt like an AP Biology just because I didn’t know what I was doing. And so like my tests were like, way too hard. And again, because it’s like my first year doing it. And so I didn’t have a lot of practice with that. And so I would do test corrections, and I would let them earn half points back. But they had to really clearly identify where they got confused, where they messed up, what went wrong, and then what the correct answer is and why and how they understand it now and because like sometimes it’s as simple as like, I literally just punch it in the calculator wrong. Or I read this word on it wrong. Other times it’s more complicated. So that’s how I kind of did it with AP Bio, let them earn half points back, but I only let them do correct shins in class a built in class. And that, to me is the only way you can make sure it’s authentic. And they’re not just like, copying things for other people. Plus, I never let a test leave my classroom ever, I keep my test locked and loaded. Like I said, I’ve spent a lot of time writing them to make sure they’re really fair. And they’re really aligned with their instructional resources. And so I’m not going to let those out of my classroom because then they lose all security. So I keep tests in a file folder by student locked in a file cabinet. And I take those out at the end of the year, and let students study them so that they can review them before midterms and exams, where I pull a lot of my questions from old tests. So that’s kind of how I handle it. Last question that got asked a lot, which I have nothing to offer on is standards based grading. I’ve never done anything with standards based grading. So I’m not even gonna pretend like I have something to say about this. But here’s the deal. I don’t want to leave y’all hanging. So if you’re listening to this podcast, and you’d be interested in sharing what you know about standards based grading, and if you have experienced with it, I have a Google Form link in the show notes where you can apply to be a guest on the podcast. I love interviewing people from my audience. I love interviewing, y’all shout out to Casey, who came back for episode 89 to help us out there. So I would love to interview one of you guys. So I kind of have a jam packed list of episode ideas already, literally through the end of 2023. Because I’m crazy like that. But I still would love to interview someone on this topic, who is the right person, and who can really enthusiastically, you know, support us in this. So if that is you. And if you’re listening, I would love for you to head to the link in the show notes and apply. Again, I don’t have like a timeline on when this would be I don’t know when. But if we find the right person, I can fit it into the calendar, you know, this year or worst case at the start of next year. So I would love to answer your questions on this. I just don’t know how. So I need one of you to help me. So if that’s you reach out and click that link in the show notes, which you can find at isn’t rocket science classroom.com/episode 97. And for your action step today, because I know some of these things are hard to put in practice right away. But one thing you can do is you can go to Amazon right now, I’ll link in the show notes, get that desk top calendar, get yourself some erasable friction plans, and plan out the next month of what’s the one thing you’re going to collect per class per week, so that there’s no overlap and try to stagger it out and see how much more manageable that is for you for your grading and see if you can get those things back sooner. And if you’re like I don’t want to do that. The bare minimum I would love for you to do today is think through your number one priority for your personal grading strategy and so that you can have that as like the parameter for how you make every decision in terms of what you do and don’t grade. All right. And last but not least, if you’re listening and you have not left a review yet that you are ready to put some these grading practices in action and decrease your grading time this school year. leave a review on the podcast I would love to hear from you. Alright, teacher friends. That wraps up today’s episode. If you’re looking for an easy way to start simplifying your life as a secondary science teacher had to It’s not rocket science classroom.com/challenge to grab your classroom reset challenge. And guess what? It’s totally free. Thanks so much for tuning in and I’ll see you here next week. Until then, I’ll be rooting for you teacher friend.

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