Ideas for grading, and more. I'm new to teaching

I’m looking for help on grading and pacing. My students are REALLY SLOW doing these lessons. I thought that they should be done in a day, but my students take several days to get through them. I’m working on HTML and CSS now and I’m on the 2020 L9 in Unit 2.

Do your students get a whole lesson done in a day (my class periods are 50 minutes and I have 7th grade)?

How do you move them along?
Do your students read the “do now”? I’m pushing them to do this, but this concept seems foreign to them.

Grading takes me forever. I am now grading on a spreadsheet for each level that is important to me. For those that are really (really) slow, I am working in small groups and motivating them and pushing (cough dragging cough) them along . Once I grade a level, I don’t have to go back and look at it again, so that is helping me.

I don’t like the green bubbles as they are meaningless on CSD, aren’t they? I wish I could color that bubble in when I determined that the student is done. That would be super useful and would eliminate the need for my grid. Why is that bubble even there. I have students that tell me they are finished because all the bubbles are green. Seriously??

All my M.Ed. classes tell me that heterogeneous groups are good, but those poor students want to learn so much and just wait wait wait for the ones that want to be on social media instead (I’m assuming that is what some of the remote students do). I’m going to open some lessons that they can play around in (without grades) so they can opt to learn more while I drag (and I mean dddrrraaaggg) some of my other students along.

Can you tell I’m still pretty new to this?? I need lots of help so if anyone can take pity on me, I’ll take your pity. And by the way, we have had no internet for about 4 weeks this year. Yup. Fun. Taught them lists and css with text files and a browser, and no internet. Thought about jumping ship.

Also:… let me turn that bubble green… please!!

Hi @hertel1,

It is so hard to be new and remote. So glad you are pushing through with it despite the challenges!

Theoretically, students should get done with a lesson in 50 minutes but ultimately, you have to go with the students. For pacing during hybrid and remote, I create a weekly calendar based on the overall pace created by (this for Unit 2) that I share with the kids. I call it “Week-At-A-Glance”. This year is a little wonky since I have much less time with kids. In general, I assess about one thing each lesson - usually the assessment level (so activity 8 in lesson 9) aka the ones with the purple check. The date the assessment level is due is listed on the Week-At-A-Glance and I do think it helps students pace themselves to complete the assessment level. It also helps me see the kids who aren’t able to complete it on time. It is a good flag to meet with those kids or make sure they understand like the small groups you mentioned. If a large group can’t meet the deadline, then I adjust the date.

This is just my process and perhaps something you have tried or are already doing much of this. The weekly calendar also lets students who are done with one day’s activities move ahead (if you are comfortable with that). You could also introduce the personal webpage project so that students who are done can begin their webpage which really has no time limit. They can work on that forever! Pacing is always a good topic for ideas from others so hopefully others will comment. There are also many topics like this in the forum so read some of the other pacing posts.

Getting all the students to read ALL of the instructions is a challenge. If they are working in small groups, you could assign roles? Perhaps the navigator is also the reader. I also have 30 minutes of live synchronous instruction and I will go through some of the trickier ones at that time. There are other great tips on’s Modifications for Unit 2.

I think the green bubbles are a very important part of practice for the students. Some need it more than others and it depends on the skill being practiced. I don’t use those for any grade or assessment. I can tell if they didn’t actually do the activity/bubble from their performance on the assessment.

These are just my thoughts and ideas and I look forward to hearing from others. It sounds like you are doing great even with the obstacles of remote learning. Good luck as you finish the semester!

Thank you for this information Michelle. I liek the week-at-a-glance and I think that would be helpful. I check all levels because I want students working on them. And I am trying to restructure so more students are accessing the lessons – meaning actually doing them. Out of 137 students, I have 6 that do almost nothing. I’m now holding them back from breakout groups and walking them through, “what are you doing now”, “how can I help”, “let me check your work”. A few are starting to move along.

Overall my progress has been disappointing, but I plan to try to cover more ground now that internet has stabilised. I also plan to allow students that finish early to move on two multi-page websites while many of my other students will not get to that part of the lesson.

Thanks for all the tips.