Grade Management

Written by Diane Sievert
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Efficient grade management is one of the most important aspects of teaching and a skill that most teachers take years to perfect. However, thanks to modern technology, perfecting this skill takes much less time these days. Various types of grading programs allow even the greenest of teachers to quickly design effective grade management plans.

Aspects of Effective Grade Management

One of the major mistakes I made as a new teacher was attempting to grade each and every assignment. And if you're an English teacher, like I was, that can be even more daunting since so many tests and assignments aren't the easy "there's only one answer" kind. The first thing I had to realize was that there was no way I conceivably grade each and every piece of work my students completed--I had to develop an acceptable system in which certain assignments were graded and other assignments were simply checked off.

Once I had a better understanding of what to grade, the next step to improving my grade management skills was to decide how to grade these pieces in a manner that reflected their importance in the class. My first instinct was to divide grades into categories and then make those categories a percentage of the final grade; for example, tests counted for thirty percent while homework only counted for fifteen percent. After a year or two of grading students according to this system, I decided to operate on a point system instead; certain assignments were worth more points as their point total was meant to reflect their importance in the class.

Though I did eventually find the point system to be the best form of grading for me and my class, it took me a while to discover this. Had I been using computer grading software, I could have tried several different ways of analyzing student data at the touch of a button. It would have saved me a lot of time and energy if I had given this new technology a go in the beginning, instead of waiting a couple of semesters.

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New spelling words are poetsd every Monday but the test is not taken until the following Wednesday. The students actually have a week and a half to study their words. Every Monday they are introduced to the students by their teachers, used throughout the week and then the test is the following Wednesday. The test is actually after the fact. Hope this clears things up!