Thursday, July 21, 2011

Journaling in the Past.... Moving it to the Present

Grading Journals is the hardest thing with a million questions...

How often do I grade them?   How do I grade them?  Am I looking for one thing?  Should I use a rubric??  How much should the grade count?? I have over 40 students.... I don't want to take 40 journals home over the weekend and grade them... what do I do???

Then you scream AHHHHHHHHH!!!!  And your next reaction is... I am just not going to do them at all!

But I am here to change your mind!! :)  I love journaling!  It's an awesome way to keep all their work together from notes, to homework, and even tests.  I remember my high school Algebra II teacher making me keep my first notebook.  Our class notes were odd number pages, always on the left side of the notebook (back of paper), and our homework was on the right side and always had even numbers.  When we had tests, we stapled or taped them into the back pages of the notebook.  He even had us keep our grades at the front of the notebook so we could always figure out our averages.  We had 3 columns, tests, quizzes/ daily work, and notebook grades. 

The one thing he did that was beyond brilliant was how he took notebook grades.  He never collected them; he gave us a quiz with 4-5 questions with questions like this:

On page 3, what was the vocabulary definition we defined in class.
On page 28, write the problem to number 5 along with the answer. 

If we didn't do our work, then we failed the quiz.  He never collected out notebooks, never had to deal with hauling a million books home, all he had to do was grade 4-5 questions. 

This would be really easy to do in math, and I really think this is how I am going to give notebook grades (bi-weekly). 

However, for science this would be a little difficult since we don't really do much science homework.  Check out my post about science notebook grading in an upcoming post appropriately titled Science Notebooks and Grades.

Hope this helps, and if you have any questions or ideas, I would love to hear them!  ;)


  1. thanks!!! Just borrowing from my old teacher :)

  2. Love this idea! Could you do the same thing with science... but not focus ont he odd and even - just have students number pages. Also you could even throw in your colored dot system and say on Pg. or Lab #6 what color dot did you get?

  3. ewwwww I love the colored dot on the page and ansking the kids what they got!

  4. You just made my job so much easier! Thank you!