Don't let another report card day catch you off guard!
It’s the first of the year! School is halfway over, and now is the perfect time to save yourself MAJOR stress in the coming weeks.
Raise your hand if you are sick and tired of report card week rolling around and feeling the pressure of needing to grade 10 stacks of paper, mark 12 assignments worth of grades into your gradebook, and track down 45 missing papers?
With just 15 minutes of planning, you can make sure this isn’t you this year!
Come report card week, when your friends are skipping lunch to get caught up, getting emails from the principal demanding to know when their grades will be finalized, and trying to figure out which 6 recent assignments are worthy of being recorded as a grade, you’ll have your feet propped up as you’re leaning back in your wheely chair.
(Who are we kidding, you’ll be working on something else that you really need to check off your to-do list! )
Here’s a resolution every teacher should have!
Don’t procrastinate on getting your grades for the grading period!
So, today, I challenge you to take the time to plan your upcoming quarter. I’ve created a simple planning page for you. All you have to do is plan your teaching pace, and plot your grades.
Let’s build it in 3 steps:
3 Quick and Easy Steps
Step 1: How Many Grades Do you need?
Think about the number or daily grades and major grades you must have.
In my district, we were required to have 9 daily grades and 3 major grades per grading period. Create the correct number of placeholders onto your chart by circle D for daily grades and M for major grades.
Be sure and spread them out so that you aren’t having too much to grade and record at any given time!
Also, be aware of any benchmark or campus wide assessments you’ll be administering. Often times, those grades can count as either a major or daily grade.
Plot your required assessments first, so you can build your other assessments around them. Right now, you are just creating placeholders for your mandatory grades. You’ll fill them in later!
Step 2: What will you be teaching?
Look at your pacing guide and mark the major curriculum topics on your planning sheet.
If your pacing guide isn’t realistic or you spent a little extra time on previous skills, just mark your planner with how you think the grading period will most likely go.
This is only for you, so make it as realistic as possible!
Step 3: What assignments will you count as grades?
Make a quick description of the grades you’ll use.
If your team does long-term planning, this will be really easy! If not, just pick some assignments you have used in the past or that you’ve seen on Pinterest and plan on using this year.
Don’t make it too complicated! Daily grades can be simple things such as worksheets or practice pages from the textbook. If you do fun projects, those can be grades too!
When my students worked really hard on a time-consuming project, I would count it as a double daily grade.
The point is to choose which assignments you’ll use so that you can remove that pressure from your daily responsibilities in the coming weeks.
It’s like meal-planning! Meal planning makes the whole evening eating process much less stressful!
Grade planning makes the whole report card process much less stressful!
Here are some things that can become grades. Using rubrics can greatly expand the learning activities that you can record as grades!
- Completed Compositions
- Work Portfolios
- Summative Conferences
- Worksheets & Practice pages
- Quick Projects
- Digital Activities
- Short Compositions
- Notebook Checks
- Recording Sheets
- Small Group Participation
- Homework compilations (ex. Average a week of homework grades)
REMINDER: These don’t have to be your only grades! You can do as many extras as you want! The point of this exercise is to help you plan the bare essentials so that if life gets a little hectic, getting your report cards finalized won’t be one of the stressors!
Step 4: Okay, I know I said 3 steps, but this one doesn't really count!
Check off each week after you’ve recorded all the grades in the gradebook.
Don’t check it off until you are completely finished! If you have holes in your gradebook, work hard on getting them filled so you don’t have to think of it again!
Celebrate each week that you’ve stayed on top of your gradebook!
Invest in yourself by planning your upcoming quarter!
I know that planning out your grade collection doesn’t sound like the most fun thing you could be doing, but I guarantee that it will relieve some major stress when report card day rolls around!
JUST DO IT!