Top Grading Hacks: 22 Ways To Cut Your Grading Time in Half


Top Grading Hacks: 22 Ways To Cut Your Grading Time in Half

Grading is one of the most dreaded parts of the job for many teachers. It piles up and the stack just keeps growing. However, you can take control of the heap by utilizing some easy grading hacks. Some of these might have an adjustment period or take time to initially set up, but will soon pay off with quicker and easier grading.

1. GRADING HACKS RESULTING IN LESS WORK TO GRADE

Give fewer assignments.

No, really. Make sure the assignments you’re giving are meaningful and worth spending hours of your time grading. Don’t just give out busywork – both in class and as homework. Focus on quality assignments instead and most students will meet you with quality work.

Shorten the word requirement of essays and research papers.

Shortening writing assignments doesn’t mean you’re backing off on expectations. Learning to write concisely in fewer words is an important skill. 

Give homework passes.

Reward positive choices with homework passes. You’re the one who is really reaping the rewards – students will demonstrate the desired behavior to earn the passes and then you’ll have less to grade!

Don’t grade assignments without a name.

Put them in a designated spot in the classroom and give students a time limit on claiming them. Don’t invest your valuable time in trying to track down the owner or grading it until it’s claimed within the time limit.

2. TIPS TO MAKE GRADING MORE EFFECTIVE

Use rubrics.

Students will know exactly what you’re looking for and you’ll be able to quickly grade based on preset criteria. Try single point rubrics to shave off even more time. 

Have students go over a checklist before turning in the assignment.

Did they check the rubric? Did they proofread? Is everything filled out? Is their name on the assignment?

Don’t grade every assignment.

Not everything needs to be graded. For example, spot check assignments like homework and journal entries.

Let students grade each others’ work.

Instruct students to write their student numbers on their work instead of their names for privacy. 

Copy and paste common feedback.

Create a document with the feedback you give most often. Then simply copy and paste instead of repeatedly typing, “The main ideas are correct, but more attention to grammar, spelling, and punctuation is needed.” 

Stay on top of grading.

It’s much easier to grade 20 assignments than 200. Try not to let it pile up.

Block out some time free of distractions.

Find a place where you can concentrate without distraction – maybe that’s in your classroom after school, at your kitchen table early in the morning, or at the public library. Set a timer for an hour, two hours, or however long you can make work. Put your phone away and don’t do anything except grading.

3. APPS AND WEBSITES FOR GRADING

Utilize auto-grading in Google forms.

Teachers can create their own quizzes, input the answers, and set it up to be graded automatically. 

Give voice feedback with Mote.

Mote is a Chrome extension that lets teachers add voice comments and feedback to shared files, such as Google documents and slides.

Use Canvas Studio video quizzes to see if students comprehend video content.

It grades automatically and allows you to easily see student engagement and comprehension without having to grade individual recap assignments.

Assign biology work with Biomanbio.

This website has games, labs, quizzes, and reviews on a wide variety of biology topics. It’s free to use. Teachers can search by topic to assign work or allow students to find their own interests. It’s graded automatically. 

Make quizzes fun with Quizizz.

Quizizz allows teachers to create quizzes with automatic grading to assign to students individually, in groups, as a whole class, or even to do with their families. There are also tons of quizzes already created by other teachers you can use.

Assess and strengthen reading comprehension with Readworks.

With Readworks, you can select passages and questions to match particular skills. The students won’t realize the passages are different reading levels since they’re the same title and all ‘look’ the same which is great for differentiated instruction!

Be a cool teacher by assigning work on Flocabulary.

It uses hip-hop videos to promote literacy. And it grades all work automatically. 

Easily track student growth across standards with GoFormative.com.

Go Formative aligns with Eureka Math and you can also create your own assignments. It integrates with Google classroom and allows you to easily see student strengths and weaknesses. 

4. THE CLASSIC GRADING HACKS

Get help from your kids.

Teacher kids are pros at rubrics and always have a red pen ready.

Pull in your romantic partner.

Who needs fancy restaurant menus when you could be given an answer key and a stack of geography tests?

Bribe yourself.

Treat yourself to a fancy coffee drink, Netflix binge, or stroll around Target when you finish grading.

What grading hacks work for you? Let us know on social media @Bored_Teachers.

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She’s been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga.
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