Enjoy. Grading. Papers.
Three words that don’t often get used in the same sentence. But we promise, you can get grading under control – and not dread it – with a few homeschool teacher-tested tips. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. All you have to do is get organized, pace yourself, and set a realistic standard for yourself.
Start simple with these small things:
1. Keep all your grading materials together
2. Check but don’t grade daily work
3. Provide a grading folder for each child, and file quizzes and tests by lesson numbers.
Save Time Grading Quizzes
Don’t grade quizzes yourself; call out quiz answers as your child marks their own paper. Have them use a colored pencil. Tell your child to mark only the ones that are incorrect and to put a question mark beside answers they’re unsure about. Then they can use a colored pencil to fill in answers they left blank. Don’t negotiate the accuracy of answers. Answer question marks later.
Grade Tests Efficiently
When grading tests, mark only the incorrect answers. And go ahead and fill in the blank spaces or incorrect answers with the correct ones. This will make your child’s test a wonderful study guide later. Score each section and record missed points in the margin. This will make it much easier to calculate the score.
If there are multiple test pages, place the total points missed at the bottom of each page, which will save you time in the long run. Use scrap paper to note areas that need attention. Before returning the test, orally ask your child the questions they missed. Look up the correct answer or work through missed problems together.
When it comes time to write the final grade on a test, look at the previous test score in your grade book. If the score has improved, include the number of improved points below the new grade. For example, “Up 9 points!” This is just a simple way to praise your child’s progress and provide some encouragement.
Tips on How to Grade Book Reports and Research Papers:
1. Try to grade and return within two days of completion.
2. Read any composition twice: once for content and once to make comments.
3. Mark spelling and grammatical errors.
4. Save time and take the guesswork out of grading by using a predetermined rubric. A rubric is a sheet listing scoring criteria. Create your own or use one included in the Abeka lesson plans.
Insider tip: Some parents allow their child to see the rubric as the assignment is explained.
Once you’ve got yourself a grading system down, the process won’t feel so daunting. Plus, with some of these great tips, you’ll be repurposing a few of the graded papers into great study guides for your kids. You might even start to enjoy the process!