Sunday, August 26, 2012


I am a little sick today, bleh, hate being sick on the weekends! Weekends are for fun, not illnesses.


I started school a few weeks ago and absolutely love my new students. They are so polite and adorable. Even though I thought teaching 6th grade would be scary, they are no scarier than my old 5th graders were.

I am so excited because I received my laminator in the mail from Amazon this week! It is AmAzInG! I immediately started laminating all sorts of goodies!
Cue harmonious music and spot light!


And these...

Aaaaand everything on this...

This ZAP game comes from Mimi at 5th Grade Rocks, 5th Grade Rules
I used it last year and the kids loved it! It got so much love, laminating everything was a necessary evil this time around.

This year I am teaching Language (writing/grammar) and Science. Writing has me completely overwhelmed; I don't know how to teach it effectively {slight issue} or how to grade it.

I thought I would throw this out into bloggy land to see if you guys could help me...

How do you grade writing??? Any tips or tricks?? I feel kind of silly asking this question, but honestly, I started and it took me like an hour to read one class' personal narratives and edit them. Multiply that by 3 and I am in trouble. Yikes!


  1. I am not really sure if I can be helpful, but in the state of Texas their writing in 4th and 7th grade on the state test must fit on 26 lines. I will make my students adhere to that this year. It will definitely cut down on the grading. Does your state have something like that??

    1. I don't know! I'll have to look into that. I want to say no because I haven't heard of it before for us, but that would definitely help. Thanks Sandy!

  2. I love my laminator too!!! I would die without it! lol! It's ok to have a blah day or two....I'm not sick, I just haven't slept the past few days watching the storm so I have been blah and then playing catch up too!!! I never thought to laminate my library pockets!!! Brilliant! Will be doing that soon:)
    4th Grade Frolics

  3. I have things piled high on my desk to be laminated right now. It's a blessing and a curse! haha

  4. Thanks for the shout out! :) I had to make a new ZAP game this year too...and it will be laminated as well. Grading writing will get easier as you go along! In VA, we aim for our fifth graders to be writing a five paragraph essay (doesn't have to be five, but for those who need help with organization that's the default). In the beginning I thought I was going to die. I had 28 kids and it took FORever! We have a district rubric. Once you memorize that, it's just like reading a book! :) Send me an email or FB message if you'd like me to forward you our rubric. Good luck! :)

  5. I am from Virginia too, so I use a rubric.. I teach 4th so we have a modified one from the State one used for 5th. At the beginning of the year I just concentrate on one aspect per paper like Composing or Usage (whatever my focus lesson has been) then I add on. It can get overwhelming but once you get into your groove it goes quickly. Let me know if you want a copy to modify or there are some other good ones out there on TPT.
    Be prepared for your own writing to start to take on an elementary feel to it after reading so many kid essays!
    Heather W.