I like to have a method for everything, the people, and I know you like me to have a method too, so I can blog about it. Here's this semester's method:
1. Make a grid, with the students' names, the various categories for which there are possible points, a column for total points and a column for the grade. This is what's known as a "gradebook." They make them in both print and electronic versions. I like to make my own.
2. Put points in the grid that I should have been tracking all along, but why? when I can do it now?
3. Lie to myself in a grandiose, extravagant, and not-remotely-attached-to-reality fashion about how long it will take me, viz., "Oh yes! It will be done by Friday" (posted on Tuesday).
4. Buy a Christmas tree. Decorate it.
5. Add many new blogs to my Google Reader. My old blogs were getting a little sparse, a little threadbare (yes I'm talking to you if you don't post very much I hate you Facebook).
6. Define milestones. For instance, grade a whole set of this. Then rest. Then grade a whole set of that. Then go to a movie. Why rush? There's no need to rush. Christmas is, like, next week. That's days and days away.
7. Check the Facebook updates of people who are finished grading. Curse them. And love them, but: curse them!
8. Have a small crisis of self-worth. It goes like this: why did they (the students) do (pick your disappointing student behavior--fail to turn in X, scatter their group project documents hither and yon, fail to complete crucial, culminating project Y, etc.)? I am a terrible teacher. Their failings are my fault.
9. Regroup. Strategies for regrouping: toast. Cookies. Mid-grading blogging. Repeat step 8/step 9 sequence as necessary until all milestones (see step 6) are completed.
And yet, having completed a milestone, I am feeling rawther cheerful about the grading. Hello, I must be going to a movie. More grading later. Ta ta.