It took time and some trial and error, but I finally found my teacher groove. No one way will work for everyone, but I found these procedures to be effective.
So without further ado...
“If you want a grade, put your name on it!!!” Inevitably, you have a student or two that NEVER puts his or her name on the paper. I always ask my students at the beginning of the year, "Alright, who wants a free point?" Of course they all do. “Alright, Give a put a ——- (star, smiley face, triangle)next to your name.” If anyone did not put his name on the paper, have him do so then. Some years, I even have a partner check to see if they wrote their names. After a day or two, students will ask me what they should write next to their names. After a week or so, I slowly wean them off this practice. Usually, I don't have any more issues with no names until we get back in January and then I just do this again. ;)
Procedure # 2
Have a mailbox system. Don’t waste your time in the older grades passing out papers! Teach students to pass the out! (If I get any new students, they always get plugged in at the end. It’s too complicated for me to shuffle the numbers each time.)
Procedure # 3
Fold graded papers, so that grades are on the inside and students can help you pass them out without breaking FERPA. I have my students fold their papers vertically (or hot dog style). On the outside, they write their name and class number (given to them based on the last name or order in grade book. And yes, this takes a little modeling at first, but it is beyond worth it). When I collect the papers, I call out their numbers. I stack them in number order. This cuts way down on grading time and trying to figure out who didn’t hand their paper in. I have a sticky note nearby to note anyone not finished or anyone absent.
Procedure/Tip # 4
Don’t grade everything. And don’t try to grade it all yourself. I rarely grade student papers myself, at least initially! I feel that it is far more productive to have students grade their own papers. They gain instant feedback and can ask for help quicker. I even have them write a quick reflection of something they need to work on or why they think they understood the concept well. (Principals love to see this. This is a great way to get students to take ownership of their own learning.) That’s not to say I didn’t look over it their work. I had to deal with a little bit of cheating at first. But teaching them how to grade it themselves has so many benefits!
Have a place on the board where you consistently write page numbers, titles, or instructions on the board. You will quit getting so many. "What are we doing?" What page are we supposed to be on?"
Procedure # 6
Post your objectives for the lesson. This practice comes in handy for many reasons.
- It’s quick and easy way to make sure your students see important vocabulary.
- It will help anyone who walks into your room to know very quickly what your goal is whether it’s an administrator, RTI or SPED push in, late students, or space cadets!
- It’s great for documentation. Take a picture and plug it into your google drive.
- Another idea is for use in Class Dojo, Edumodo, or any sort electronic reminder with parents. Teach a very trustworthy child to post this for you as an end of the day job. (It is a great communication tool of what you did that day!
Any questions about these procedures? Do you have any procedures you like?