Standards Based Grading (SBG) is a different approach to how grades work at a fundamental level that will change your classroom. To get some real background on this, read Shawn Cornally’s stuff here.
Something you should know about me is I get bored and distracted easily. Even before I became a teacher, I knew that motivating myself to grade would be a struggle, and early on I recognized the importance of getting grades back quickly to students. I used to be very bored while grading, checking off boxes brainlessly like a computer. Even my open-ended problems could have been graded by a computer, and I often didn’t pay attention to how well different students did, as they all blended together when marking problems right or wrong.
Now, because of SBG, I look at their quizzes looking for understanding, not ticking off boxes saying whether their answer matches my key. This makes me much more interested in what they’re doing, which helps motivate me to grade.
One website that is now essential for me to study and use is Math Mistakes. It’s a great website that Michael (@mpershan) runs by getting teachers to submit student mistakes and then others comment on those mistakes and discuss what the student understands and doesn’t understand. Many teacher contribute both student mistakes and comments on those mistakes.
It’s something that I should be visiting more often than I am, and a must for any math teacher. I hope to motivate myself to visit more often so that I can continue building my capacity to understand student mistakes and the misunderstandings behind those mistakes.