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How do I spend less time grading?

11 strategies for teachers to grade less and free up time

Dedicated teachers are working so hard and are beginning to burn out. There is an easier way to free up your time and still help the students who need your support.  Here are some techniques to help teachers spend less time grading and still give students the quality education they deserve. 

teacher grading

How much time do teachers spend grading papers?

Teachers spend time grading papers during school, and they spend about another hour and thirty-five minutes at home grading. The time in a day spent grading can really add up for teachers.

How do I get caught up on grading?

If you’ve got grading stacking up, don’t worry. The first step is to come up with a plan. Prioritize the most important assignment first. Read on to see some of our tips to make grading more efficient. 

Tips to make grading more efficient

Here are some tips to make grading more efficient. Try out a few so you can reclaim your nights and weekends!

Simplify your classroom grading policy

Teachers can simplify their grading by having two categories of grading. Major grading and minor grading are two categories of criteria for grading simplification. Teachers can also use checkmarks to simplify their grading. For example, they can use a check, check plus, check minus, or zero to simplify their grading policy.

Don’t grade everything

Have students do assignments that are similar to each other. Then ask the students to pick one of the assignments to be graded. The students should try to pick their best work for which assignment they want to have graded. This method works perfectly for times students need practice– like before a standardized test!

Prioritize the most important assignment for your grading time

Sometimes specific assignments can take longer to grade than others. Teachers can decide to start with the assignments that will take longer to grade and then work their way down to the easier-to-grade assignments.

Allow peer grading

Peer grading takes the pressure off of teachers for grading. Students can get together during class and grade each other’s papers. This way, the students learn from each other while grading during class.

Utilize daily formative assessments like bell work

Utilizing bell work for a productive grading time can be very efficient. First, teachers put a time on the assignment, and when the timer goes off, the students should finish with the assignment. Teachers then grade the assignments on a 1-3 scale (or their chosen scale).

Another way to do bell work assignments is by still setting a timer. However, after the timer goes off, teachers call on the students to explain their answers. Students then grade their papers based on the criteria that the teacher tells them to grade.

Bellwork is very efficient for grading because when the timer goes off, the students must stop their assignments and finish their work. Therefore, having an allotted time for work and grading allows teachers to limit their time on grading papers.

Get firmer on your regrade and late work policy

Being firm on your regrade and late work policy allows teachers not to have to grade late or already submitted papers. In addition, if teachers are firm on these policies, it allows them to catch up on assignments that were passed in on time and only once. Teachers do not have to grade assignments more than once or grade late work, which means less grading time for teachers.

Design assignments that require less grading

Designing assignments that require minor grading is a tactic teacher can use to help with grading. For example, teachers can look over assignments for completion while only grading essential parts instead of the entire assignment. This tactic is also known as spot grading.

Grade group work

Group work is more accessible to grade than individual grading. The students get together in groups and pass one assignment for the group. That means that the teacher only has to grade one assignment for multiple students rather than grading each student in the group on their work.

Spend the time on a detailed rubric or checklist

Spending time on a detailed rubric or checklist helps teachers and students with grading. The students can check their assignments based on the rubric or checklist before turning in assignments. With a rubric, the teacher can then quickly check off each criterion in the rubric rather than read the entire assignment in detail to grade based on a number scale.

Conference as students work rather than grade the end product

Checking in with students as they work helps limit grading time. For example, if the teacher checks the assignment while the students are working on it, the teacher can already know what grade the students will get. In addition, teachers can check off parts of the assignment and grade each part rather than wait for the entire assignment to be complete. This is the perfect task for larger and project-based assignments. 

Which grading method is fastest?

Computer auto-grading is the fastest method for teachers to spend less time grading. The teacher does not have to do any physical grading once they set up the auto-grading worksheets. Many self-grading apps connect with tools that teachers use every day like Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas LMS, and Microsoft Word. 

Auto-grade worksheets and save time

TeacherMade is the perfect solution for when you need to save time grading. It’s simple to digitize worksheets with TeacherMade, and the best part is you never have to grade worksheets with TeacherMade’s self-scoring features. 

Auto-grading worksheets are also helpful, interactive, and easy to use. Teachers put the auto-grading worksheets into TeacherMade. TeacherMade converts your worksheets for students to complete. Students then complete the assignment on the computer or device, and then TeacherMade auto-grades the assignment. You can create worksheets on paper, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, PDFs, or use worksheets in your file cabinet. 

TeacherMade syncs up with all the major LMS platforms like Google Classroom, Canvas, and Schoology. So getting grades into your grade book is a breeze.