Last week, I posted about one of my new ways of grading essays (read that post here). In that post I talk about doing all of my grading online, which is good for the environment and good for me because I’m not lugging around over a hundred essays every where I go. Well, I started that grading process a little over a week ago. Unfortunately, I’m not done grading, mainly because life has been more than hectic over the last week, but I did want to tell you what has happened since posting about half of my learner’s essay grades.
1.Several learners made revisions to their essays as soon as they received the notification that they had been graded.
I was a little surprised by this. I’m not necessarily re-evaluating their scores on these essays, but even so, they went in and made the changes. Sometimes it was small errors like capitalization and punctuation, other times it was explaining the significance of the evidence. Either way, they’re looking at the feedback and making the changes.
2. They are asking for workshops.
This is another surprising positive of the new grading system. My feedback is just vague enough that they have to ask me how to fix it. Several learners struggle with putting a comma between the subject and the verb. Every time that happened, my feedback was the same: [punctuation error]. On my workshop list, based on feedback from me, they have added properly embedding quotes, transitions between ideas/claims, commas, as well as several others. This type of grading is causing them to ask for the information that they need, which is exactly what New Tech is all about.
3.They are talking about their writing with me.
Some of them are arguing about their grade, some of them are trying to figure out how to get better, but all of the learners are talking about their writing. They are talking about it with their peers, with me, and with Mr. Burdess. I don’t know about you, but the mere accomplishment of having them talking about their writing makes my teaching heart happy.
When I started grading like this, I really just assumed it would be an easier way for me to grade. I didn’t realize that it would get my learners talking about writing, making revisions to their writing, and asking for specific workshops to become better writers. I know that as skills go, writing is one of the most important for them be successful outside of high school and in the real world.