Mailbag: 170 Students and Drowning in Grading!

Sep 26, 2012

Dear Maia graphicDear Maia,

I am a high school principal in Colorado, and some of my teachers have 170 students EACH. They are drowning in homework to grade. How on earth can they make this easier and more efficient?

Kate S.


  • Hi Kate, GREAT question. I crowd sourced some tips for you while conducting workshops in New York City and New Orleans this week. Here’s what we got back:
    • Be selective (in advance) about which portions of the homework you are going to grade for completion, and which you will grade for accuracy. For example, you could directly check 1 – 2 questions related to a standard you are teaching for accuracy, but just note completion on the rest.

    too much grading

    • Conduct random homework audits. Check all homework for completion and then randomly draw 2 student names for a full audit.
    • Make grading easy on yourself. Ensure you design homework with clear “answer sections” like boxes or bubbles. This makes it easy to quickly scan answers down the right-hand side of the page.
    • Assign a helper (who’s mastered the material) to check for completion. You may even consider asking that student to run a small tutoring group!
    • Design a way to check while class is in session. You could do this by having students use whiteboards or small groups, and then walk around to check homework while they complete a task.

    Together Teacher Sharing Question: How do you make homework grading more efficient?