I’ll do it tomorrow…

Procrastination… Sigh. One of my biggest obstacles/challenges/learning curves/etc. this year! I absolutely love planning and prepping for my classes. I get so excited everytime I come up with a new project or lesson idea and I can work for hours of my free time on it. But marking? That’s another story! And report card writing? Don’t even ask!

So, because I’m always the one saying I’ll do it tomorrow, I tried to come up with some ways to avoid the crunch time marking, mark entry and report card writing that I struggled with in my practicum. My goal this year was to only assign work that I’m interested in marking, in hopes that I would actually be inclined to do the marking!

And for the most part – it worked! I really loved reading my students worked. I adored their completed projects (like our French Storybooks!) I was enthralled by their creativity – their ability to turn a simple assignment into a work of art or something truly personal and meaningful.

But I still had that pile of marking sitting on my desk more often than not…

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And I still had to hand back that assignment a couple weeks after spring break that no one remembered doing…

And I still had a student ask when I was going to hand something back that I had promised to hand back… errrr gulp… over a week ago!

This year I even had two different students write (respectful) persuasive essays about why teachers should have due dates too (they swore they didn’t write about me but the cards aren’t stacked in my favor on that one 😉 )

Although I feel that I’ve improved leaps and bounds over last year (re: not marking on my precious weekends!) I still have a long way to go on this one! I only had 2 subjects too teach this year… a full course load might send me off the deep end!

I want… No- I NEED your help!

How do you stay on top of your marking?

Do you mark all of your students’ work or choose key bits and pieces?

Any other tips for new teachers like me?

As always, your help and advice is loved and appreciated!

Meaghan

4 thoughts on “I’ll do it tomorrow…

  1. Rubrics.

    When I was teaching full time (this is my first year not teaching full time), I used rubrics to keep me sane. It was very easy for me to scan the 5 areas that were being evaluated and then to leave comments.

    Some students love the final grade. Some want to know how they can improve. Rubrics were my balance.

    The bonus was that I gave the rubrics with every project description, so the students knew what they needed to do for whatever grade.

    Minus comments, it was common for me to be able to grade 150 projects in under 2 hours.

    All the best,

    Wendy

    • WOW – Wendy, 150 projects in under two hours!? You are a super teacher! Thanks for the reminder about rubrics. You’re right, rubrics do provide a nice balance and demonstrate clear expectations. I (Karley) haven’t used rubrics in a while, but thanks to your reminder, I am very much looking forward to implementing them in next year’s assessment strategies!

  2. I guess it depends on what grade level/subject area… but for my primary’s, I have a simple system. When they hand in whatever they are doing, I record a dot, a squiggle, or a check (don’t understand, some confusion, understand). Usually I mark right on the sheets and start a “check” and “no-check” pile, so I record first the “no-check’s” on my master list, and then blast through the checks (which are usually a strong majority). I like this because it allows me to see, across a whole unit, who gets it and who is struggling. Also helps me to see if any of my lessons/worksheets sucked! But I have a feeling this generality (i.e. no numbers or letter grades!) only works for primary.

    • I love this for primary and I think it might have a place for older grades too! So often we feel the need to mark everything but if we are really wanting to just get a snapshot of where students are at after a lesson this would be a great way to do it without taking too much time! Thanks Kasey!

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