Monday, July 13, 2015

Essay Grading Time Saver


Calling all English teachers! If you're an English teacher, you know the feeling of the dreaded essay pile-up. Just when you think you're ahead of the game, another class of essays comes in. Back to square one.

I can honestly say that teaching essays is one of my favorite things. Why? I feel like I have a pretty good essay-teaching system, and most importantly, I don't spend countless hours marking essays. Saying that, this wasn't always the case. I distinctly remember editing the same essays four or five times a few years ago, then I realized that was just crazy! Not only was I editing the same essays over and over, but the students who really needed the help were not getting the editing help they needed.

Due to the fact that I could literally look over an essay several times and still make suggestions or changes each time, I decided that I needed to hold students accountable for their work and give every student in the class an opportunity to get some help with their essay. So, I created the Triple-Check Interactive Essay Rubric. Interested? Click HERE to check it out!

Essay Grading Time Saver

The GOAL of this activity was to cut down on my marking time, but also encourage students to review a variety of elements that I would be grading (prior to handing in their essay). The great thing about this self/peer/teacher evaluation, is that more than one peer can review the various categories; therefore, if you have a student who has a strong understanding of the essay format, have them focus on that category, and leave the other sections to other students whose strength is in another area. A win-win for all!

The editing categories include:
(a) Organization
(b) Content
(c) Format
(d) Language
(d) Vocabulary
(d) Conventions

THE RESULTS:
1. Students had a better understanding of the essay format.
2. Students were more aware of what kinds of elements I would be looking for when grading their essay.
3. Students who struggled with the essay format learned from students who had stronger writing skills.
4. I spent less time grading because there were several edits completed prior to the essay due date.  

Want so save grading time, but your students aren't quite ready for essays yet? How about this triple-check written forms rubric? A help for various forms of writing including: paragraphs, journals, letters, etc.  

I'm hoping this will alleviate those extra hours of essay marking, so you can spend less time at the desk and more time enjoying life outside of the school walls!

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