High School Essay Grading

The rubric below is an example from our Exploration in Essay Writing course.

Just remember, that not everything works for everyone, but the most important thing at the end of the day is the fact that students do need more than just a number or letter on their essays.

And while it’s oftentimes hard to keep up, it doesn’t have to be the gruesome, draining thing that makes teaching all-consuming.

Whether you’re grading assignments, essays, lab reports, or exams, there are some general strategies that can help you save time AND ensure that you’re being fair towards your students. Preparing for Grading Remember that grading starts well before you actually sit down with your pen (or laptop).

The reality, though, is that teaching students to write well sets them up for a better future, and that is burden worth bearing. Outside of teaching, I love photography and design, and many images from my collection appear in and on my resources.

*** I have taught English and journalism for over a decade. I also teach Pre K-K in Children’s Church and have taught K-2 in Awanas. To me, my job is about teaching students to see, make, and appreciate real-world connections.Rather, devote some class time to reviewing that information with them, offering examples, and answering questions.Don’t underestimate the little things I collect homework assignments during every class, and so keeping track of everything can be a real challenge.For assignments like drills, multiple choice, and true/false questions or short written responses, you might also want to consider providing your students with the key, have them mark each other’s work (or their own, if you’re opposed to students correcting each other) and submit the assignments back to you.Review drafts I know this sounds like twice the work, but trust me.Writing rubrics are guidelines that allow teachers and students to be on the same page when it comes to writing an essay.Rubrics give reference points as to what should be included in the essay to achieve the highest grade possible.Having an efficient system for assigning and collecting work, and a good grading guide, can make all the difference.Communicate your expectations clearly Discuss the grading rubric with students, provide them with writing and referencing guides, or hand out samples of poor, adequate, and excellent responses.This essay-grading burden is unique to the high school English teacher (and that is not to say that no other teacher has stacks of papers to grade). I have presented at numerous conferences, workshops, and trainings on various best teaching practices.However, most other subjects aren’t assigning 500 word essays as their unit’s culminating task multiple times a semester. Additionally, I have several articles published in national teaching journals.


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