Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Armpit Deep in Grading Papers

I found this Ryan Gosling meme as I was scrolling through Pinterest today, and low and behold it linked up to Stephanie's blog at Tales of Teaching in Heels.  We are definitely kindred spirits!  Anyway, it also spoke to me because, although it's only August 6th, I am ARMPIT DEEP IN GRADING PAPERS!!  Our school requires that all incoming Freshmen complete a timed writing in May of 8th grade...we then use these papers as their first entry in their High School writing portfolio, and use them to track the development of their writing skills from 8th-12th grade.  In theory it's awesome, but the grunt work is, frankly, a pain.  All 4 teachers in the English department grade all 77 essays using the same rubric, and then we compare our grading to ensure that we are all aligned in the way we look at our student's writing.  This is the pile that I am currently working on...

We gave the students a choice between the following 2 questions:

1. Many schools are considering changing their dress code policyso that students are required to wear school uniforms to school.  Should students at WMC be required to wear school uniforms? Why or why not? Defend your answer.

2. Who is the most influential person in your life? Why? Explain your answer.

We used the following 2 grading rubrics:

Which we adapted from the rubrics that are available through Greece School District in Greece, NY.

Grading and grading and grading got me thinking about grading throughout the school year, so I adapted an idea that (I think) I saw on Pinterest (I can't find the pin/link/original owner but I WILL keep looking) and I bought an accordion folder and labeled it with all of my classes...that way I can put the papers that need to be graded into the right file space and transport them back and forth from home without them getting crushed/wrinkled/ripped/misplaced in the bottom of my school bag (not that any of those things would EVER happen to papers that I'm grading.)  I also added a folder stocked with rubrics...that way they are always right there and I can grade wherever I am! 

I'm excited about this accordion file...let me know if you have something similar, or if you have another great way to transport papers back and forth!


  1. Great idea. I've had a different color folder for each class but sometimes I would accidentally leave a folder either at home or school. This would keep all my classes in one neat organized spot. So doing this!

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! Let me know how the accordion system works for you.

      - Jenn

    2. KSM - I also had a different color folder for each class. Two actually -- one for graded things and one for things to grade. When I made the switch it helped simplify everything (and keep it coffee-spill free!)

  2. omg - the thought of grading again sounds awful - you are a saint to do so over summer break. Thank being said, your school-wide portfolio system sounds pretty awesome! Good luck with your grading! I always felt better about it if I was doing it at Starbucks : ) Your folder looks super cute and way to stay very organized!


    1. Thanks for stopping by Michelle. I'm definitely feeling the "grading at Starbucks" vibe!

  3. I am SO glad you came by so I could see that you are also an English teacher!! I'm your newest follower!

    Teaching Teens in the 21st

  4. We totally are kindred spirits!!! Hahahahahaha!!!! Sorry you had to grade though :/

    Tales of Teaching in Heels

  5. I started using one of those for my third trimester at school after another teacher pulled one out during a speech competition and it has made a big difference! One of the most important things for me was the fact that if I threw it in my bag and something happened to spill, all of the assignments were safe. I think one of the only downsides is that you might not be able to fit everything in there that you have to grade, which I suppose is just extra motivation for being timely. :)