Teacher Q&A - Grading Essays 10x Faster

First off, if you haven't watched the original video, do that now. Unless, of course, your favorite weekends are the ones you spend grading papers ... in that case, as you were.
The 12th installment in our series: How to Leave on Time & NEVER Take Papers Home Again ... Today, we show how to grade student essays 10x faster & watch their writing quality skyrocket. For real...40 hrs down to 4 hrs.
Then, if you haven't seen or used our super practical Essay Revision Checklist for learners to use with their essays, you can purchase the rubric/checklist here (and get the video for free).
Now today, we're answering teachers' questions about the process of Grading Essays 10x Faster. We really want to illuminate this for you and make your lives easier. 
Now today, we're answering teachers' questions about the process of Grading Essays 10x Faster. We really want to illuminate this for you and make your lives easier. So here are 3 video answers to teachers' questions and we'll be answering more almost every day going forward, so join the community!
Today's Grade Essays 10x Faster Q&A ... "When you read the drafts and give a letter grade, how do you determine the fairest mark? What use do rubrics have in this process?   We're answering teachers' questions about the process of Grading Essays 10x Faster. We really want to illuminate this for you and make your lives easier.
 Today's Grade Essays 10x Faster Q&A ... "What do you do in the rare case when the grade the student gives herself doesn't match the grade you gave them?"  We're answering teachers' questions about the process of Grading Essays 10x Faster. We really want to illuminate this for you and make your lives easier.
 Today's Grade Essays 10x Faster Q&A ... "Hello! I just watched your video about grading essays 10x faster, and I wanted to ask you one question of concern. I'm a little worried that students would panic (and possibly cry) if they saw a certain letter grade. Did you actually count the letter grade or was it more of a hypothetical grade if they did not make any changes?"  We're answering teachers' questions about the process of Grading Essays 10x Faster. We really want to illuminate this for you and make your lives easier.
If you have any questions of your own that you'd like us to answer, please leave a comment below, and we'll get working on it. Thanks for being a vital part of our community. Keep on being awesome!



What the Ditto is a Worksheet? (Episode 64)

      Today, we’re gonna talk about the wonderful world of worksheets and why some teachers think they’re the devil. Oh, the warmth of fresh copied papers ... And the glorious smell of the ditto papers…

       Watch the YouTube video here >>> https://youtu.be/3yRpU1uqPwY
Today, we talk about the wonderful world of worksheets and why some teachers think they’re the devil. We probably all know the concept of the “worksheet and video teacher.” You know, that teacher we imagine never engages his classroom and sits behind his desk organizing his fantasy football team or shopping for her new season wardrobe. But what exactly do we mean by "worksheet" and how do we rise above being a "worksheet and video" teacher?
        Oh, if I had a papercut for every time I heard someone talk down about “worksheet teachers...” We probably all know the concept of the “worksheet and video teacher.” You know, that teacher we imagine never engages his classroom and sits behind his desk organizing his fantasy football team or shopping for her new season wardrobe.
        There’s something about this term “worksheet” that carries a negative connotation nowadays. We recently saw a discourse on Facebook where teachers were discussing worksheets and lots of shame was being heaped on people. Oh, the online shame-heaping.

Here are some quotes from this conversation:
  • “Teachers that use lots of worksheets are crappy teachers.”
  • “If you are dependent on worksheets and workbooks to get learning to stick, it’s a problem.”
  • “Worksheets do not challenge students to think, but rather to replicate.”
  • “Worksheets are for lazy teachers who can’t teach.”
  • “Worksheets = drone work.”
  • “How about just STOP it with the worksheets!”
        It’s all pretty negative, but I think part of this is because we’re functioning under different ideas of what a worksheet is. So what do we mean by “worksheet”?
        Do we mean anything that is photocopied or printed? So are we supposed to live in a world without photocopiers because everything on paper is a worksheet and therefore terrible?
        Do we mean a boring assignment on paper?
        Do we mean a graphic organizer?
        Do we mean “shut up sheets”?
        If it’s in Google Drive, is it no longer a worksheet?
        What if it’s in an interactive notebook with scissors and glue?
        Do we mean anything that is busy work?

        Because we never define this, I have a hunch this is shame language for something much more complex than we’re giving it credit for. Especially with all the data coming out about how we learn better when we physically write things out as compared to typing. By being against worksheets are we really saying we’re against students writing their thoughts down on paper with a pen?
        I think what we’re really talking about is depth and complexity. Critical thinking. Does the assignment actually get students thinking or not? I think we’re talking about what Benjamin Bloom put in his graphic organizer we call “Bloom’s Taxonomy.”Knowledge > Remember previously learned information
  • Comprehension > Demonstrate understanding of the facts
  • Application > Apply knowledge to actual situations
  • Analysis > Break down objects or ideas into simpler parts and find evidence to support generalizations
  • Synthesis > Compile component ideas into a new whole or propose alternative solutions
  • Evaluation > Make and defend judgments based on internal evidence or external criteria
        So when we’re talking bad about worksheets, which level of Bloom’s Taxonomy and higher order thinking skills are we saying these bad worksheets accomplish?
  • Are we saying we’re against knowledge worksheets?
  • Comprehension worksheets?
  • Application worksheets?
  • Analysis worksheets?
  • Synthesis worksheets?
  • Evaluation worksheets?
I imagine we’re talking about knowledge and comprehension level stuff. Aren’t we also talking about some of the really ineffective “teaching” methods or classroom management methods connected with teachers who hand out knowledge and comprehension worksheets a lot? And aren’t we also talking about how boring and out-of-date those worksheets look most of the time?
        So if we were using paper assignments where students were applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating their world, their novels, or whatever they’re studying, we’d be okay with that, right?
        Someone else in the conversation says, “There’s an art to utilizing a worksheet.” And I totally agree with this. There’s an art to utilizing anything in the classroom. Teaching is an art. It doesn’t matter which classroom tool we’re using at whatever level of Bloom’s Taxonomy, it takes artful teaching to engage the students and make the learning stick.
        Another factor here is the large teacher conversation right now about student-driven learning, giving students the reins to their learning instead of the teacher being the deliverer of all information. And in with that conversation in mind, I find it hard to imagine a worksheet that does very well at student-driven learning.
        Worksheets (no matter how good they are at applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating) are more difficult to make student-directed. They required students to go independently practice and come back and the teacher has to do this artful dance of making the discussion about what they wrote down on their worksheet interesting and helpful the second time around.
        Do you think worksheets have a more negative connotation in elementary or secondary?
        Ultimately, our goal today was to hopefully release some of us from the shame of using worksheets. And we wanted to focus the conversation to where we think it really matters, which is: “Do our current worksheets challenge our students to think, or just to replicate?” And how can we adjust them or find new ones that really encourage deeper thinking.
        We think we’ve created many deep-thinking resources over in our teaching store, so if you’re looking for grammar, writing, and novel study resources, head on over there.
Conversation of the Day: How long have you been teaching? And what subject or grade level do you teach?
       Hop on over to watch the video and share your thoughts in the conversation.
Today, we talk about the wonderful world of worksheets and why some teachers think they’re the devil. We probably all know the concept of the “worksheet and video teacher.” You know, that teacher we imagine never engages his classroom and sits behind his desk organizing his fantasy football team or shopping for her new season wardrobe. But what exactly do we mean by "worksheet" and how do we rise above being a "worksheet and video" teacher?

Get ALL Your Students to Do Their Homework over the Holidays (Episode 63)

      Ever have trouble getting your students to do their homework over holiday? Today, we’re gonna share the magical secret to get EVERY STUDENT to do their homework over the holidays.

       Watch the YouTube video here >>> https://youtu.be/ItQBp7Jpvz0
Ever have trouble getting your students to do their homework over holiday? Today, we’re gonna share the magical secret to get EVERY STUDENT to do their homework over the holidays.
        Whether you’re in Australia with 4 holidays (I love year round schedule) or Britain with 6 or the United States with a bunch of various length holidays, the holidays are coming and so is your decision … Do I give them homework over the break? And if I assign any, is there a snowman’s hope in hell of them actually doing it?
       We assign them projects. Essays. Reading assignments. Group projects. Bundles of practice work. So the question is … Why? Why do we assign them the homework?
       We feel guilty that we’re behind in our lesson plans and need them to catch up, so we feel better. And we might even be blaming them for our plans being behind.
       We want them to keep progressing along.
       We feel some unseen pressure from someone to keep our kids doing stuff all the time or we’re a bad teacher. Is this an imaginary pressure?
       We just know they’re going to waste all that time watching movies and playing video games, so we need to give them something worthwhile to do with their time.
       Whatever the reasons are, the day after we return from break has the same result every time. The smart, responsible kids did their homework. And they feel good about themselves because they know there’s a good 40% of the students who didn’t do anything and are feeling like failures, so they get to feel good. They also likely hate you, teacher, just a little bit for making them feel guilty enough over break to do their work so they wouldn’t have to feel like those losers over there.
       The reality for those responsible kids is that they are always responsible like that, so they needed a break. And with honors kids, we needed to force them to shut off and take a break because they won’t do it on their own.
       And for the usually “not responsible” kids, if we’re honest we knew they weren’t going to do their homework. They’re just not. And we’re either hoping they’ll do the right thing for once or that they’ll feel bad about not doing the right thing so they’ll do the right thing next time.
       Well, and then there are all the complexities of our students’ home lives, the possibilities are too many to list, but maybe the “not responsible” kids have enough stress to handle at home without homework being added. Often the students that struggle with or don’t understand homework, don’t have support at home that would make the homework valuable practice anyways. This isn’t said to shame the families, juggling family life responsibilities can just be chaotic.
       Now, as parents, we’ll be blunt, we don’t like the responsibility looming of making sure there is time for our kids to do their homework. We’re planning festivities, traveling to see family, trying to remember to do memorable traditions with the kids, juggling childcare and work, encouraging a heart of thinking of others, and practicing parenting shame resiliency . . . the last thing I want to do is make my kid complete homework.  
       So are you ready for the magical secret to get your every student to do their homework over the holidays? Here it is …
DON’T ASSIGN ANY HOMEWORK.
       Every kid will do it. They’ll survive. Heck, they might thrive. They’ll come back refreshed. They’ll come back not feeling guilty. They’ll come back loving you because other teachers gave them homework. You won’t have a pile of busy work to grade. You won’t have to dive right into project presentations. You won’t have to have those tough phone calls with parents about why their kid didn’t do homework over break.
       So we give you permission, in case no one has given you permission before or you’ve been feeling that unseen, unspoken pressure … You can assign ZERO homework over break and still be a good teacher! In fact, you should leave all your papers at school too. No homework for you either! Leave them all at school, and you’ll still be a good teacher. Make sure you’ve got things planned for those 1st two days back after holiday, then walk out with NOTHING.
       Or if you’re going to assign anything at all, maybe just a little reading. But even then we’re going to feel like we need to assign a whole book or 5 chapters of the novel we’re studying in class. Then we have to deal with the 40% of them who don’t read the chapters and now what do we do because we’re not all in the same spot in the novel.
       So we give you permission to fight the urge … don’t assign any homework … for the rest of your teaching career you can make sure your learners always do their homework over holiday.
Conversation of the Day: What is getting in your way from assigning ZERO homework over holidays?
       Hop on over to watch the video and share your thoughts in the conversation.
Ever have trouble getting your students to do their homework over holiday? Today, we’re gonna share the magical secret to get EVERY STUDENT to do their homework over the holidays.

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