I am passionate about teaching! I especially feel it is important to train our pre-service teachers to be compassionate, caring, knowledgeable and engaging educators. I think science note booking is a wonderful way to meet the demands of the common core, assess student knowledge, provide a place for students to demonstrate their science process skills, and expand and use higher-level thinking. The purpose of this blog is to provide, examples and inspiration in the use of science notebooks, field journals, lap books and independent foldables.
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I love the idea of science notebooks, and the idea of foldables kept in a notebook is amazing. But I have always wondered how to grade them. With 165 students there is no way I could take them home to grade and there is not enough time for me to grade them at school without staying over for hours. In theory my students would do something so they could learn and not need a grade, but I find that the majority of students will not do things unless they have a grade. Do you have any suggestions how I could integrate these into my classroom without hours of grading?
Lynda Williams says
Hi Crystal, This is such a great question. No doubt that science notebooks can take an excessive amount of grading. Here is what I do: I do not grade every entry. One thing I do is have students choose their best work from a unit, write a reflection on it and tab it with a post-it note. When I collect their notebooks, I will grade that one assignment and reflection with a rubric. Another thing I do is say to students, "Today's assignment will be collected and graded." This is usually for an independent assignment that I feel especially reflects their learning. I do have students make a table of contents for their notebook and I basically check to see if they have the required items..just checks for having them completed. In addition I will have them do occasional self-assessments of a particular entry with a rubric I give them. I like students to reflect on their own learning and grow from the experience. What I try to remember is that although many things could be used as an assessment…not everything needs to be graded. So, over the course of the semester, I may only collect and grade a couple of entries, and simply check the rest..or even have them check the rest. I hope that is helpful.