Yesterday, I finally got all the middle school work graded. Late. Very late. I hate that I took so long to get around to grading the midterms -- but this year has really been tough. Of course, as I type this I wonder if I would listen to a student who had that kind of excuse. I've always felt bad when I set due dates and then lingered over grading the papers. How can a teacher take points off a project or paper when s/he is late grading the stuff? I've never been able to reconcile that quandry - and probably never will.
The mid terms focused on analyzing think writes, and most students did a great job. Some, however, fell into the "trap" of grading spelling and mechanics rather than content. A think write is just that . . . writing about thinking, and as such should not be graded for spelling or grammar or mechanics. I'll be sure to allow them to do the think writes again; the important thing to me is that they learn how to use them for an assessment . . . not when they learned how to do it.