There is another way of accessing grading. Go to the Activities block and click the "Assignments" link, which will show you all the assignments which have been Submitted. Clicking on the "submitted assignments" link will take you to the grading page for that assignment. Using the Assignments link may be a little easier to access since you don't have to scroll to the side.
In order to enter the "Quick Grading Mode" check the box on the lower right marked "Allow quick grading" and hit the "Save preferences" button. Here you will see all the students listed with a drop-down menu next to each name allowing you to quickly grade them all. There is a checkbox at the bottom allowing you to send email notification to each student.
Note: Quick grading does not show you the student's original submission. Therefore it may only useful if you know that every student will get the same amount of points.