Grading Homework Math

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Grading math assessments in a multiple choice format may seem impossible with all the special question types required. Never fear! GradeCam comes to the rescue with special features for math teachers.

GradeCam empowers teachers to quickly and easily customize, score, and record assessments – without special forms, equipment or buy in. You create your own tests or quizzes with our online software and print on plain paper. You can grade the assessments in an instant by scanning them with any web camera, iPhone or Android device. Then, you have all the data at your fingertips. You can view detailed reports of class or student progress, and transfer scores instantly to any electronic gradebook.

No matter what subject you teach, there is a feature for each type of teacher in GradeCam. Let’s take math teachers for example. Here are five features that makes grading common assessment types in math classrooms a snap:


1. Number Grids

A Number Grid is question type option. Number Grids are especially handy for math teachers to require a specific numeric value to be entered.

You can design rows and columns with numbers and/or symbols. You may include symbols like + – / * and a decimal point.



The above example would appear on the scan form like this:



2. Custom Bubbles

You can create up to 10 bubbles on each question. Each of those bubbles can be customized with whatever combination of letters or numbers you choose.



You can do something as simple as create an assignment with alternating row letters so students don’t get off track, or as complicated as a different combination of letters/numbers on each question.


3. Multiple Bubble Answers

You also have the ability to designate multiple bubbles as the correct answer. Take the example below given to us by Theresa Ellington, an Algebra and Geometry teacher. Two and three bubbles would be marked.


NOTE: The bubbles are placed near the question for illustrative purposes only. Bubbles would normally appear on the GradeCam scan sheet, separate from the test sheet.


4. Rubrics

The rubric option allows you to hand score a question and mark the points earned. This is useful for a multi-step question or responses that simply can’t be bubbled such as whole words, ordered pairs, or fractions.

Students write their answer on their assessment and you mark the appropriate score bubble on the scan sheet when grading. In the example below, question numbers 4, 5, and 6 would be filled in by the teacher and then the form could be scanned for a grade.



5. Homework Credit

You can embed GradeCam forms anywhere on worksheets to quickly and easily allocate points for homework completion. If a student completes the task/ assignment/requirement, simply scan this form and the student instantly receives full credit for the assignment. If the form isn’t scanned, the student does not receive points.



If you’re a math teacher (or any other type of teacher for that matter), we know GradeCam will help make your grading life easier and quicker. You can sign up for a free trial below!


Deborah Nasir

"I like this method of grading homework because it allows me to quickly verify my students' attempt, motivates them to try by giving them credit for the effort, and then allows for correction of any misunderstandings about the work by reviewing it," says Deborah Nasir. "In addition, it promotes responsibility because they must keep up with the stamped work until the unit is complete in order to get credit for it. Their corrected work remains in their hands as a study tool until exam time."

If you're a teacher who has completed an interesting or unusual activity with your class -- or if you know of a teacher who has -- please let us know about it. E-mail a brief description of the activity, along with your contact information, to [email protected].

As a computer science teacher at Pasadena (Texas) High School, Nasir believes that homework is an important part of the learning process because it provides students with the opportunity to practice independently the objectives they are taught. There is too little class time to allow for sufficient practice, so mastery of goals is often dependent on the at-home work. However, Nasir recognizes that this work is practice of a new concept, and she feels that grading it for accuracy is often inappropriate.

Deborah Nasir gives computer science students credit for the attempt in homework assignments.

"That leads to a catch 22: if you don't grade the work, students often will not do it, but grading a learning assignment for accuracy leads to frustration," Nasir told Education World. "By grading it for completion only, the motivation is there to attempt the work, without the frustration that might result if students don't fully understand and thus, make mistakes."

On the day a homework assignment is due, Nasir instructs her students to get out their work and walks around the room for a quick survey. If the work is complete, the student's page is stamped to indicate that he or she attempted to do the work. The assignment is then corrected in class and questions are addressed. Students keep their stamped homework pages in their notebooks.

"On the day of the unit test, the students gather all of the assignments that led up to the unit, staple them together, and turn them in just prior to taking the test," reported Nasir. "I go through the batch of assignments, marking through the stamps as I count them. I mark through the stamp because at that point I'm really not paying attention to the work itself, just speedily counting. The mark ensures that no one can turn one assignment in multiple times. Then, I put a numerical grade on the batch according to the percent completed. For example, if there were ten assignments leading up to the unit and a student has nine stamps, he or she will receive a 90 for the homework grade for that unit."

Nasir's students appreciate that they are not held responsible for correctness on the early attempt at independent practice, and they enjoy the stamps. Nasir has an extensive collection of stamps -- from Winnie the Pooh to phrases to interesting pictures even high schoolers like. At times, she finds that students have colored their stamped images just for fun!

"While grading homework, I've noted that some students have made rather extensive notes about what they did incorrectly on their homework pages," Nasir observed. "Since they aren't just writing down the correct answers, I believe that they are referring to the work and using it as a study tool."

Nasir finds it helpful to fully explain her homework grading system prior to implementation. She is careful to know in advance what a completed assignment should look like so that she can move quickly through the room and accurately assess the students' work. Pages with a small percentage of the problems unfinished are acceptable, but those that are very incomplete will not receive a stamp. Using fun stamps makes the assessment more pleasant for all, and Nasir always goes over the entire assignment after stamping students work so everyone has a chance to ask questions and take notes. Although she currently teaches only computer science, the homework grading process has worked for her in math classes too.

"My best ideas always seem to come from other teachers," added Nasir. "Be willing to discuss the problems you have with your colleagues, especially those who don't teach in your content area. Those conversations are the ones that usually result in some of the most creative solutions. I got this idea from an English teacher during a bus ride to an academic competition!"

Article by Cara Bafile
Education World®
Copyright © 2006 Education World



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