It is the end of the semester… students suddenly think they want to do work. There are multiple problems with this scenario… The quality of learning by cramming a bunch of work in at once is lower. It is also a terrible burden on the teacher to have to wade through piles of paperwork. It can take forever. If you are a Google Classroom user, here are some tips on how to manage students submitting work at the last minute.
1. Use Schoolytics
This is my personal number one way to manage work turned in at the end of the semester.
After syncing your Google Classroom classes in Schoolytics select Assignments to Grade on the reports menu. You can also click on the Action Items when you first log into Schoolytics. Select how many assignments are awaiting grading.
What makes Schoolytics so much faster than the Google Classroom todo list is the filter feature! Notice at the top of the Assignments to Grade page is the option to set a date range for submitted assignments. Schoolytics defaults to looking for submitted assignments across ALL your classes.
This will give you an easy to read list of all the assignments. Click on the assignment title to launch Google Classroom. You will not lose your place, so click on several at a time to load up the student submissions in other tabs.
Click on “Turned In At.” This will sort the list by the timestamp of when student work was submitted. Managing last minute pile of late work becomes easy when you can sort into a list.
Use Schoolytics to search for a particular student and view all of their late submitted assignments.
2. Utilize the Private Comments
I have alerts set up in Google Google Classroom to send me an email when students leave a Private Comment. In Gmail, I filter my emails for Private Comments from Google Classroom. This means when they come into my Gmail they automatically are starred and labeled with “Private Comments.”
This triggers an email to me to allow me to have a way to know what I need to review.
If the work is late I ask that they tell me why they needed the additional time. Obviously, I prioritize the students who legitimately needed more time from the ones who tell me “Honestly Mrs. Keeler I was just lazy.”
If students want me to re-grade they are required to tell me what changes they made and exactly what I should look at so I don’t have to start the whole review from scratch.
3. Submit to a Google Form
My BEST tip for using Google Classroom is to number your assignments. #001, #002. I create a Google Form for students to submit their late work to and they have to give me the single assignment number. I use Response Validation in the Form question for the assignment number. This forces them to submit only one late assignment at a time instead of “here are my 50 things for you to look at.” I can then sort the late assignments on the spreadsheet by assignment number to more quickly evaluate Google Classroom late work.
4. Self Reflection
Traditional grading practices are not supported by research as being accurate for learning. As a human being you do not have the ability to accurately tell the difference between an 88 and an 89, let alone 89 and 90. It’s actually much worse than that. When a group of teachers assess the same paper there is a 30 point differential. Unless it is math… then it is 40 points difference! HOLY COW that means your assessment of student work could be off by 3 GRADES!
At the end of the semester I always give my students a Google Form to reflect on the semester.
I give them multiple ways to reflect. I ask them to be reflective on their own practices. Think about what was not fair that they think negatively impacted their grade. What did work for them. What did they learn? What is something I need to know in order to fairly grade them? I ask them to tell me about late work.
I break up the Google Form into multiple sections.
Each section is a different type of reflection.
I ask them “what grade do you think you deserve if I only graded on ….” multiple times. What if only based on EFFORT. What if only based on “WHAT YOU LEARNED.”
The last question on the last page/section of the Google Form I ask “What grade do you think is fair for you in this class.” And with all of these questions “Explain why.”
Value Student Input More Than Paperwork
I have interacted with this student all semester. I have had conversations, emails, viewed their work. I read their response and I trust my gut and my student more than I trust a math algorithm in the gradebook. I look at what grade they think is fair. I read all their responses. I have my opinion of WHAT I WOULD ASSESS THEM AT HOLISTICALLY rather than as a sum of points in the gradebook. If the student and I agree…. I go into all the late work and put in scores to make sure the grade spits out MY ASSESSMENT of the student. Then, I don’t look at their late work at all. Problem solved.
Years and years ago I tried an experiment where I did not look at one lick of student late work for the semester. At the end of the semester I handed out progress reports and asked students to identify work they did but I didn’t grade, work that was absent or late that is not in the gradebook, low scores that should not have been so low and it was unfair…. add up all those points. I had an extra credit category in the gradebook. “How many points do you think you were cheated out of?” I asked them… they gave me some number. I said “Okay, so if I put x points into the gradebook you’ll be happy?” “Yes” they would say. “Okay I am putting these into the gradebook right now.” And 99% of the time… didn’t change their grade. Why am I spending hours and hours of my life when it seriously did not matter?
After reading extensive research on grading practices I learned that your gut is the most accurate.
YOU ASSESS your student. Don’t be beholden to the gradebook that doesn’t know your kids. Ditch the hours of doing data entry. That is my tip.
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Here are a few tips for managing a last-minute pile of late work submitted by students:
- Set clear expectations for when work is due. Make sure students understand the consequences for turning in work late, such as reduced grades or additional assignments.
- Consider providing extra support or accommodations for students who have difficulty meeting deadlines. This could include offering extra time or allowing students to complete their work in a quiet, distraction-free environment.
- Develop a system for tracking and grading late work. This could involve using a spreadsheet or grading software to keep track of which assignments are overdue and their corresponding grades.
- Be flexible and understanding. Recognize that students may have extenuating circumstances that prevent them from turning in work on time, and try to work with them to find a solution.
- Communicate with students and their parents about the importance of timely work completion. Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and to seek help if they are struggling to meet deadlines.
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