My Quick-Grading Stamp from Vistaprint

I posted about this lovely little stamp on Facebook the other day and was blown away by the response, so I knew it deserved its own post!

I ordered this about three years ago from Vistaprint. They had a great Groupon I took advantage of that gave me close to $70 to spend for less than $20. Because of that, I went crazy and ordered all sorts of great stuff! I blogged about it HERE if you want to see it all.

This stamp proved to be more handy than I had realized when impulse buying at the time! Don't you love when that happens?!

I use this self-inking stamp in a variety of ways:

  • I will stamp the master of any assignment and then run copies-- this saves me stamping the sheets over and over again. 
  • I can use this stamp on an assignment of a student's choosing. We will often choose one writing piece out of three for a grade, so I can stamp that one and it reminds me which one I need to read more carefully.
  • This can be used by students as a self-assessment (more on that in a bit)-- since it's self-inking, I don't have to worry about ink everywhere!
I think this is the 2.75"x1" stamp found on this page HERE. They are a bit of money, so I wanted to share how I use these before you take the plunge.

We create rubrics in our class all.of.the.time! I will also lay out the expectations for 2, 3, and 4 for them a lot. I never want it to be a mystery or a surprise when they get their grade. Plus, I have found that by taking the time to lay it out clearly, I get a much higher quality of work than when I don't.

This practice takes a few quick minutes, typically at the beginning of Writer's Workshop, or during Teacher Time in either Reader's or Writer's Workshop. Read more about my schedule HERE.

I always co-create them with the kids, since they will buy into it much more and be able to remember the details more than when I do it on my own. We always start with 3 and then go up and down from there. I will only show them 2, 3, and 4. I don't define 1 because I rarely have kids on this level and when I do, there are other accommodations, modifications, etc. in place. I find it serves 98% of my kids to focus on 2-4, so that's what I highlight and encourage them to shoot for.

If you're new to rubrics, I recommend Rubistar. They have a lot of great templates to help guide you.

Again, use this for yourself and try to guide the kids to create it in their own words-- it will be so much more powerful that way!

Once it's time to grade, there are three options I use:

  1. Students grade: Kids mark their grade based against our class rubric, expectations, etc.
  2. Teacher grades: I mark their grade based against our class rubric, expectations, etc.
  3. Students & Teacher grades: We both grade based against the rubric, expectations, etc. When this happens, I will have the student circle the number and I will highlight the number and descriptor. 90% of the time, they match up because the expectations were laid out beforehand. Sometimes, kids are harder on themselves than I am, so they gave themselves a 3 when I think it's more of a 4. 
* Something to note: When there is a discrepancy, I like to talk to the student about it. Whether they graded themselves to low or too high, I want to make sure we're on the same page about their grade. If there was a clear lack of effort or things are clearly not their best work, I will have them "Redo & Return." While it's rare, it does happen and when we check-in about this, we develop some strategies to ensure they are at a 2 or 3 when they turn their paper back in.

This stamp is a handy little tool and I hope this post inspired you to try something like it in your own classroom! Happy stamping!


  1. What font did you use?? I love this and can't wait to order it!!!

    1. Hi Melissa,

      It's Pea Shelley Belley from Kevin & Amanda. You can download it for free here: Hope this helps and enjoy your stamp!