Hello I am a new 4th grade teacher. I have some questions. How do you know what or what not to grade? Also what do you typically do with your reading groups? How many independent centers does a teacher typically have for literacy and math?
Well, I will try to answer the first part of your question. I'll have to differentiate first between "correct" and "grade". Each morning I will correct the homework with the kids. This includes math, grammar, science, social studies, and health. I don't record a grade for these items except for an account of what was not completed by whichever students.
I grade weekly reading tests, vocabulary tests, and math tests. I also grade end of lesson or end of unit tests in social studies, science, and health.
Kids need to practice to learn, right? So you are going to model how to do it. Then you will probably do a guided lesson where you work on the skill together. Next they will practice the skill and you will walk around and help. Then you may ask them to do it independently like a pre assessment and you check their work. If they did not master the skill you hold a small groups session to reteach or have private conferences with students who need it to clear up any confusion. Finally, you give the assessment and grade that for report card purposes.
Sometimes you have to break a concept down into smaller chunks so it is not all taught at the same time. That way you can get weekly grades in each subject as much as possible.
After the assessment I always did a class average. If the average was in the low 70's or failing I knew I did not do a very good job of teaching the concept. Sometimes I threw those grades away and started over. Other times, most times, I kept the grades and put the topic on my review list for later in the year. There are a few topics that you learn after teaching for a while that will just have lower class averages because they are difficult concepts to grasp.
I like having just three centers or three rotations. But I will say our class count was always 22 or lower. So the number of students you have is a big consideration as you want your groups to be small and productive. Min did many different things before and after meeting me for guided reading.