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Saturday, October 08, 2005 

Day 32: The Art of War...

I'm at war with piles of tests and reports to be corrected. I am attacking the piles as quickly as possible and have devised a new technique (well, new to ME - probably a regular strategy of all REAL teachers out there...).

I have the girls work on something on their own during class, something that takes up all or at least most of the period, and I sit there supervising them - WHILE I ATTACK THE PILES. I got a lot done yesterday while they were planning a little project (I'm still running with my project management idea here...).

I'm planning to do some more correction in class next week as well, especially since they will be writing 2 more quizzes...

I'm learning, slowly but surely, that it's almost impossible to lecture ONLY for 22 periods in the week. First of all, lecturing all that time requires a lot of preparation (at home) and implies all corrections are also done at home.

But I happen to have a life at home - one that involves 3 kids, 4 if you count hubby, and this life of mine includes LOTS OF TV SHOWS.

Fred and Dan are probably laughing right now because they figured this out this timesaving strategy a looooong time ago...

What better battleground for the darn PILES than the classroom... if anyone has suggestions, please send them to me!!!!

I'll be warming up my army of red pens and still try to enjoy this long week-end...

Don't correct every little piece of paper. For many assignments, I give 10 points if it is done, various amounts for incomplete work, and 0 if they don't have it. I usually collect a big chunk of work at the end of a unit in what I call an assignment log. It can sometimes be 15 assignments. If the assignment was done on time, it has a stamp that I put on it on the due date. When grading, I select 2-4 assignments of the 10-15 and grade those carefully. The others are graded for credit if they are complete.

While the ideal is that we (or maybe a paid teachers aid) could look at every piece of paper, the reality is that if you only have so much time.

Good luck! Too bad their aren't many great science feature films :)

Like Dan, I seomtimes give out assignemnts that are easily scanned and are an all-or-none deal for 10 or 15 points. It's usually a graphic organizer that the students have to read and extract the correct information.

Then, there's the AP class. Two essays a week, and every one has to be read. I usually attack those during my planning periods over 2-3 days. I only read up to 10 at a time so I stay fresh when correcting them. It's OK to not return papers immediately. Grade what you can (first in, first out) and most kids are used to receiving work back a few days after it's completed.

School gets out at 2:45; I'm usually there to 4:30 or 5:00 doing all my marking and preparation. I never bring anything home. Try it. So, that's my innovative suggestion. :)

LOL on the lecturing. For my regular classes, I only lecture a maximum of 15, maybe 20 minutes, which I then follow-up with some type of hands-on learning activity. It's very rare that I lecture a whole period, except in AP.

As for marking in class? I can't do it, personally. I have to be able to walk around and make sure the kids are on task or not cheating. It depends on the grade you're teaching, I suppose, but it doesn't work for me.

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