Grading Homework

I am a strong believer in √+, √, and √-.

Now that I’ve been grading homework assignments for a few weeks, I’m sold on it. My cooperating teacher grades on a scale of 10. I find that precious moments that could be spent thinking about and writing down comments are spent arguing with myself about how many points that mistake warrants or that correct answer earns. Since I feel the comments are more valuable than points given, I would rather give the students √+, √, and √- and spend my time writing comments that might help students develop a deeper understanding or elucidate their misconceptions.

This will also reinforce my desire to not base my students’ assessment and confidence based on numbers or grades. √+, √, and √- are much more formative in nature and allow students to evaluate themselves on a more rubric-based scale: excellent work and understanding, good effort with some improvement needed, insufficient effort or demonstration of understanding. This was how I grew up receiving assessment and I find that it took longer for my peers and I to develop grade-based complexes.

I want to encourage my students to focus on achieving understanding and the ability to communicate content and I think √+, √, and √- and comments will help me to do that.

What have you found successful in grading homework?


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