Required Paper Gradebook

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by roco07, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. roco07

    roco07 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I am changing school systems this year. At my previous school system (I had 2 years experience there), we were very technologically advanced, and all lesson plans were done on Blackboard and all grades were done in Making the Grade, backed up on the Central Office server each night.

    My new system has online grading, but also requires hard copy lesson plans & hard copy grades/attendance. They gave me a gradebook (which was nice of them), but I don't know how to set it up. We are on 4x4 block schedule, but 2 of my classes run A/B all year. We are also on 6 wks grading periods instead of 9. I just don't know how to make sure there is enough room for all of the 6 wks periods for grades & attendance for the whole year. Help?

    My schedule looks like this:

    1st Semester:
    Block 2 WHII
    Block 3A Gov't
    Block 3B AP Gov't
    Block 4 Gov't

    2nd Semester
    Block 1 WHII
    Block 3A Gov't
    Block 3B AP Gov't
    Block 4 WHII
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2009

    Have you considered designing your own gradebook in Excel? That's what I would do.
     
  4. CarrieB

    CarrieB Companion

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I just print off my online grade book every week, its probably more accurate than any paper one of mine would be. (I mis-transcibe numbers when writing, but am fabulous at 10-key entry). Some grade books (like IGPro also have an option to print off a "class roster" with grids to put in grades.
     
  5. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Aug 16, 2009

    Our school required hand written paper gradebooks for several years because the previous principal misinterpreted the law. Illinois requires (as do many states) that teachers keep a hard, paper, copy of all student grades. This principal thought that meant we all had to write it by hand, in physical gradebooks. Bleh.

    Thankfully, our new principal is less of an idiot, and made clear that while hard copies are required, they don't need to be handwritten (which made no sense anyway). I print mine out from the computer at the end of each week, and that works very well. Check with your administration to see if they really require it by hand, or if printouts are okay.

    Making the Grade has some excellent reporting features, and will even let you export to excel. Furthermore, the "Daily Record" in Making the Grade will allow you print and export your attendance as well.... in theory, you shouldn't have to hand write anything. You'll have a lot of options there.
     
  6. roco07

    roco07 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I asked if we could just print our grades to turn in, and was told absolutely not. They have to be in the gradebook. As for MTG, I loved it in my old school, but we use PowerTeacher in my new system. PowerTeacher seems pretty user friendly, and I like that I can access it from any computer because it's online, but now they aren't even printing off class rolls for us because no one seems to know how to do that.
     
  7. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I once had a principal who also thought paper copy meant an actual gradebook. DUH! I wonder if yours is misunderstanding his directives as well? Is there any way you can check out what the actual rule is in your district? We just print off a copy from our online gradebook at the end of every marking period and all is well. We don't turn it in, We just keep it in a binder in case we're audited.
     
  8. roco07

    roco07 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I'm really trying to not make waves by asking too many "well I did things this way in my old system" kind of questions. But I'm fairly certain that when I get my lesson plans checked every two weeks, my grades are checked that they are done as well. There's a lot of oversight in my new system, which I am not particularly used to either.
     
  9. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I don't suppose they'd let you paste the printout into the gradebook... then the grades would technically be IN the gradebook...
     
  10. roco07

    roco07 Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2009

    Hahaha!!! That's essentially what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be what's allowed.
     
  11. Señora Lorenzo

    Señora Lorenzo Rookie

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I keep a paper "gradebook" but not in an actual gradebook. I print off my roster from NCWISE (electronic gradebook that our system uses). I just write the assignment on top and write down all the grades. This works so I can record grades without having to be in front of a computer. I just go back at the end of every other week an input the grades into the system. It may seem like extra work but it is great for me!
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Aug 16, 2009

    Back in the day when all we had were paper grade books, I found that one complete page (left and right page) usually was enough for one nine weeks. So, 1st period would be recorded on one page then I would skip, for nine weeks four pages and then record my next class and so on. For six weeks, you should skip 5 pages (I always added one extra page just to be sure of enought room). On the pages that were left, I created my class list again for each period for attendance.
     
  13. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Aug 16, 2009

    I feel for you... writing by hand seems like a waste of time, and double the work these days, if you have to keep it in the computer anyway. I hate to say it, but I'm fairly certainly your principal also misread the law/rules. There is absolutely no logical reason for grades to be written by hand anymore. None.
     
  14. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 17, 2009

    I politely disagree. We use a computer-based grading program, but I also keep a paper gradebook. I will spend the extra few minutes it takes to write the grades down because it is just easier for me to work with them that way. For example, I highlight late assignments so I can easily see trends. Our computer gradebook doesn't give us an easy way to do that (and we used Power Grade, which I believe is a part of/a version of Power Teacher). Also, in our budget-strapped school, constantly printing out copies just isn't an option--and I really like having a hard copy. I also do a lot of my grading at home, and until recently did not have Internet access there. It is just much easier for me to record grades in the book, and then take 30 seconds at school to copy them into the computer. Don't get me wrong; I am very computer literate and embrace technology. I love the computer gradebook for calculating grades, but appreciate the things I can do with my paper copy.
     
  15. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Aug 17, 2009

    And I'm sorry for going off topic--I didn't mean to hijack the thread. My advice would also be to just use the pages as you need them, not necessarily how they are labeled.
     
  16. Ron6103

    Ron6103 Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2009

    Oh I can understand personal reasons for wanting to keep a paper grade book, I just meant that I didn't see a logical reason for actually REQUIRING it anymore.... unless a district doesn't have a stable computer system, or a user friendly program.

    If folks want to do it by choice, go for it... many in my building do. I just don't think anyone should be forced to hand write the grades unless absolutely necessary.
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Okay, then rant retracted!
     
  18. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Aug 18, 2009

    We are required to turn in our grade books at the end of the year. My school does not use an electronic system, but I think we can use excel and that can be considered our grade book. I honestly wonder if any one even looks at them after any of us turn them in unless there was some legal issue or a parent questions a grade.
     
  19. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    Aug 18, 2009

    Most of the teachers at my school keep a paper gradebook, even though are grades are online. Personally, I think it's necessary, since I remember last year our system crashing in the middle of grades being due...and if you hadn't saved your work, anything you put in that session went bye-bye. For me, I think a paper gradebook is like a security blanket - I know that I have something to go back and check my grades against if I think I made an input error. We are lucky enough, though, that my supervisor requires a physical copy of our gradebook at the end of the year (in case issues come up over the summer), but it can be simply a printout. I like this, since my gradebook can sometimes be a little messy. I can read and understand it, but that doesn't mean anyone else could!

    With your dilemma, if you don't necessarily keep a paper gradebook, I would just create an excel spreadsheet and hand copy things at the end of each marking period. You could then do the last marking period in the last week or two of school, and it won't take long. I would see if your principal cares whether or not the assignments are typed - maybe you can import the assignments and students' names, and then just hand-write the grades themselves.
     

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