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Grading Notebooks


June 24, 2004

I would like to share my method for grading notebooks. I usually grade notebooks once a grading period. I give students about a one-week notice and prepare a list in advance with about 20 items that I expect each student to have in their notebook. I randomly assign each item a number. Then I give the students the chance to call the numbers of the ten items for which they will be responsible. I often include a freebie in my list to make the activity more fun. I have students number their papers from 1-10 and ask for each item according to the numbers the students have called. I go to each student to grade each item in order, with each question worth ten points. I might give fewer points for an item or none at all if the item or question is not completed correctly. My rule is that the items must be in their notebook, not in their book, locker, etc. After all, the notebook is a study tool, and it needs to be well organized, with every assignment identified as to page, date and assignment in order for it to be an effective study tool. This method gives me an objective way to quickly grade notebooks, while students do the legwork by finding the items. Students understand their grade immediately, and it takes about half a period of class time to complete. My former students tell me that this was an activity that they really enjoyed!

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