Grading and Incentive Charts by Terra Graves

By admin
Oct 30th, 2013
ChartsA part of teaching is assessing student progress and encouraging students to excel. Here are some tips for correcting assignments and creating incentive charts.
Note:  Some of these tips are much more specific to the elementary grades than to secondary school, so of course, use what fits with your situation and modify the other ideas so that they help you stay productive with your grading.
  1. Try to get into the habit of getting papers graded and back to your students by the end of the next day. This shows them you value their effort and want to give them feedback as soon as you can.
  2. Certain assignments YOU will need to correct yourself, but as often as possible, correct papers together. This saves a lot of time, but you need to be able to trust your students.
  3. You can have students correct their own papers or trade with a neighbor.
  4. You may want to collect the papers a few times after you start having students correct their own work, and randomly throughout the year to check their reliability. If it appears they can be honest about it, great!  Once you’ve corrected the papers, show them how to assign a letter grade according to a scale you choose (see Grading and Record Keeping tips booklet for more information).
  5. You can put the grades in the grade book by calling out their name and having them tell you their grade. Allow students to “pass” if they don’t want the whole class to know their grade and they can tell you privately.
  6. Incentive charts are great! To set up the chart, fill in your student names down the left side, use the grid/checklist to the right to record the information.
  7. You can use incentive charts as a visual reminder/analysis for just about anything you do in your room.
  8. You can use incentive charts for long-term projects with each step broken down by deadline.
  9. Incentive charts also help you see at-a-glance how the class is doing so you can adjust your planning accordingly.
  10. You can laminate the incentive charts before you use them and use a wipe-off pen, or just use them once with the cute little round theme stickers.

© Terra Graves. Terra is an educator in Reno, Nevada. She has been a classroom teacher (elementary and middle school) and a mentor teacher (K-12). She continues to educate teachers through professional development courses and is currently the professional development coordinator for the Nevada Pathway Project, a technology integration project for middle school teachers across Nevada.

Terra is the author of Organized Teacher, A Guide for Beginning Teachers, and 102 Classroom Set-Up Tips for the Organized Teacher.  These items are available for purchase and immediate digital delivery at: Follow Terra on Twitter: @teachingeasier

And if you want to get your current semester organized or prepare for the next, I highly recommend If You Do Nothing Else This Semester. With the strategies I present you will get the strategies you need to not only have a successful semester, but a successful year.