Making Testing Do-able Jody R., Prep Teacher: Newark, New Jersey

“It seems like towards the end of every year, all students are doing is taking tests. Students often will do less than their best work just due to the stress of it all. What I did to combat this is pull them out of their stressed little worlds in between tests. I would usually play a game with them that took their minds off of testing. In the end, a number of students always thank me for making it a little easier on them.”

The “BUG List” Martha Loyless, 6th Grade Teacher: Science/Social Studies

“There are many students who will never make the honor roll list, but they do try hard and show improvements from grading period to grading period. I now post the “BUG List” which is an acronym for “I Brought Up My Grade.” This list is posted along with the honor roll list to encourage effort. I also put a sticker of a bug on their report card or progress report. They love it, and it really seems to encourage those students who try so hard.”

Grading Papers Jenna Tullevier, Math Teacher

“I got tired of students claiming –“I turned it in. You must have lost my paper.” After collecting an assignment, I automatically staple the stack together. That way, it is impossible to “lose” one student’s paper. If I “lose” one, then I lose all! It is harder to lose a stack than just one.”

Grading Short Answers Fast Nancy Zest, Primary Teacher: Newberry, CT

“For years I hated grading short answer tests and quizzes. Then somebody taught this method of grading and all of that changed. What you do is: 1. Find a very long table, then lay all the papers side by side. 2. Get a chair with wheels. 3. Start from one side of the table and grade two problems at a time, then roll to the next problem and grade the first two questions on every test. 4. Then roll back the other way to grade the next two questions. 5. Repeat until you finish grading. It sounds crazy, but it cut down my grading time by about 50%.”

The Homework Game Steve, 9th Grade Science Teacher

I had trouble getting my students to participate in homework/classwork reviews, so I created this game. I randomly choose one student, before we start the review. This student then chooses who answers each question throughout the review. He/She can not choose the same person twice throughout the review. Which usually means, that each student has to answer one question. As a class, they are allowed to get three wrong. If they get four wrong (as a class), they don’t get the prize. The prize usually is 5 points extra on everyone’s homework grade. You can’t believe how effective this has been. They even studied together before the reviews now!

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