Yesterday I practiced grading some papers; that is, I read through essays high school students had written and scored them according to the 6 + 1 traits. This system attempts to make the process more uniform and less subjective than it has traditionally been, and I found it a natural and easy way to make my way through the papers. I’ll find out on Tuesday what the papers actually earned (the essays were from standardized test prompts), and we’ll see if I’m a cranky ogre in need of reform or an old softie inclined to go easy.
Because this was the first time I have actually sat down to grade student essays, I wanted to establish a habit of being completely present for the reading and scoring. I think working from home can be very convenient and constructive for some projects, but for grading and commenting on papers, I want to be away from homespace. I went to the library and set up in a carrell, which worked perfectly for my purposes. I read the papers all in one go, with no distractions, which is one way I think teachers can try to control for the subjectivity inherent in scoring essays.