February 1st, 2019

Tidy Up and Spark Joy in your Grading

Marie Kondo has the world tidying up their homes and now teachers are getting in on the action! To help teachers in their efforts of creating a tidier classroom environment, here are a few tips on how to use GradeCam to streamline the grading process and declutter those in-boxes.


What’s all this sparking joy about?

The recent release of a NetFlix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo has homeowners eagerly decluttering and cleaning out their homes asking Kondo’s catchphrase question along the way: “Does it spark joy?”

By no means is this a new phenomenon. Books from the Japanese organizing expert have sold millions of copies around the world. However, the new HGTV-style transformation show is sparking inspiration in a whole new audience to tidy up their spaces – including teachers and their classrooms.


Calming the Tidewave of Paper

The biggest clutter causer in a classroom is PAPER! And, Marie Kondo has a lot to say about paper. However, paper in the home is hardly the same as paper in the classroom.

Paper has a tendency to multiply and cause a low level of chaos in your classroom. As the teacher, you may not realize why you feel uneasy or a loss of control, but the mere fact that your desk is littered with papers, students desks are shoved full of them, a station by the classroom entrance has file trays overflowing with papers and maybe even the floor has loose papers scattered about – is overwhelming.

Reducing the overall flow of papers in and through your classroom can help immensely in calming the paper maelstrom.


Our Grading, Paper-Reducing Machine

GradeCam was specifically created to be an efficient, effective, and easy grader app for teachers that can lighten the load of the work they are already doing in their classrooms.

GradeCam allows teachers to customize assessment forms, print multiples on a page, link questions to standards, insert answer keys into existing worksheets, laminate sheets for re-use, and even let students grade their own papers. But perhaps the best part is that it requires no special forms, can be scanned and scored with any mobile or desktop device, and provides instantly meaningful, flexible, and shareable data.


Tips for Reducing Paper Throughout the Grading Process

Keep individual sheets in workbook or notebooks: GradeCam has credit forms that can be added to any workbook cover or notebook. If homework is completed, you can scan the form and automatically give the student credit.

Turn any worksheet into a scannable worksheet: You can add a scan form to any worksheet. Scan and pass back to students during the class. No need to keep that pile of papers lying around!

Laminate and reuse forms: Generic score forms can be laminated and used over and over again. Forms can be affixed to the corner of desks, inside a homework folder or hole punched and kept on a metal ring. Many teachers use them for exit tickets, homework checks or even keeping track of permission slips!

Here’s a video with tips on markers and erasers to use with reusable forms:

Set up a scanning station: Set up a webcam or iPad station in your classroom so students can scan their papers with GradeCam and see their scores instantly. This way, the paper doesn’t even leave the students’ hands!

Auto-MAGIC-ally enter grades into your gradebook: With GradeCam there is no need to keep the papers after they are scanned. Scan, score and hand back to students during class. Scores can then be transferred to any electronic grading book with one click of a button!


Trash it! If you have papers piling up that aren’t for a grade, you’re not going to grade them, and/or you keep forgetting to pass them back – trash them! All they’re doing is adding to the chaos.

Our goal is for teachers to go home empty-handed!

(Want more? We’ve compiled 20 ways to skip grading.)


Making Room for Better Learning

Marie Kondo’s goal of creating a better home environment has many parallels to GradeCam’s goal of creating a better learning environment for the student AND teacher.

It’s not just about having a neater environment, it’s about creating an environment that allows for more of what’s important. Many people who tidy up their home feel the freedom of not having to manage their stuff, which allows them time and energy to do the things they’ve always wanted to do. After decluttering many say they lose weight, take up a hobby they had long forgotten or start pursuing their dream job.

Teachers who streamline their learning environment find more time and energy to give one-on-one feedback to students. It’s a scientific fact that students retain more information with immediate feedback. They are literally feedback addicts! (See this post for how to feed their addiction.)


Tidy up your grading now!

You can get started tidying up your grading process today by opening a free GradeCam account. Just enter your email address in the box below!