Using an online gradebook

Discussion in 'General Education' started by eduk8m, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. eduk8m

    eduk8m Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2008

    I teach fourth grade and would like to hear from those of you who use an online grade book that parents and students can access. What have you found to be the advantages and disadvantages? I am considering using Engrade starting with the new quarter. I like the fact that the assignments can be posted to the calendar as you enter grades and then parents can see what's due daily. On the other hand I 'm not sure I'm comfortable with having my grade book available to parents. :unsure: (I do realize that they will only have access to their own student's grades.) What are your thoughts?
     
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  3. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Oct 18, 2008

    I love having an online gradebook! It's a great way to keep parents informed on their student's progress. My students' parents watch the gradebook like a hawk, so I guess one of the disadvantages is that if you're not good about frequently updating it then parents get antsy about not seeing grades posted right away. For example, on days when there is a test, parents are looking after school to see how their child did on the test, and then the teacher needs to explain that grading takes time, be patient, etc.
     
  4. xmasqueen

    xmasqueen Rookie

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    We are required to use an online gradebook. It has it's advantages and disadvantages but I like it just fine. I did my grades using Teacher's Toolbox before the district got the program we now use and my old principal was ok with that. Now the district says we have to put our grades on the electronic gradebook and keep a traditional one. It's a pain because really all we should have to do is print the pages once we enter grades. Guess they think we're too stupid to remember to print them off. They say it's because the system might go down. Whatever. We also use electronic lesson plans which I really love...puts the homework in so parents who do have computers can view on line.
     
  5. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2008

    engrade.com

    Free, easy, and ready to go. I've been using it for 3 years now. Sometimes the servers get hot and there's lag, but if you grade on weekends and post weekly snapshots of the gradebook (indexed by student ID numbers - it hides names before printing if you want it to), then it's rock solid reliable. It's always good to have the print backup, anyway.

    You get a few of the helicopter parents trying to micro-manage your work sometimes, but no one takes them seriously anyway.
     
  6. eduk8m

    eduk8m Rookie

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    Oct 18, 2008

    xmasqueen, what lesson plan program do you use? Is it online?
     
  7. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 18, 2008

    I use Engrade but do not allow the kids/parents to have access.

    I don't record every grade but I DO put a letter grade on almost every assignment. I don't want to hear about why they can't see a certain grade on there. I also do not put below a 40% in my gradebook, but the kids don't know that! (Nor do their parents). Note: If they do not do the assignment at all, they do get a 0. But, if they attempt it, I will give them at least a 40%.
     
  8. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    We use PowerTeacher in our district. We just opened up the parent access. We are required to update our grades every two weeks, but most of us do it more frequently. So far, no parent has called me about grades, but a student did catch a mistake I made. I was glad, because I wouldn't have caught it otherwise.
     
  9. xmasqueen

    xmasqueen Rookie

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    We use a program called Jpams for gradebook and OnCourse for our lesson plans. I think the Jpams program company is actually called Web Gradebook.
     
  10. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I put my grades on engrade. There should be no secrets to your grade, a child should be able to figure out their grade at any time. When you do things like not count grades you say you will that is lying--I don't like encouragin lieing to my kids. If I say its graded its graded.
     
  11. giraffe326

    giraffe326 Virtuoso

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    Oct 19, 2008

    Plain and simple- if my kids knew I wasn't going to grade something they wouldn't do it. In an elementary level, I do not believe a child needs to have 75-100 grades in one subject per quarter. If I graded every single thing we did in math or reading, I would have that many. I try to keep it under 50.
    One thing I never record are their math word problem assignments. They work with a partner and there are usually only a 7 or so problems. They tend to get bad in a hurry. But, I do put their percentage on it and hand it back.
    I also won't typically record something if over 50% of my class gets a failing grade, unless it is a test. Most times, in this case, I will pass the assignment back and go over it with them. I also tell them that I am not recording it, but this is what they would have gotten if I had.

    Gradebooks are public records, and parents can ask to see it at any time. However, I am not going to advertise mine.
     
  12. senseijoao

    senseijoao Rookie

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    I feared the public accountability at first, but after the second year, I realized that it actually worked in my favor. Your reputation is much more easily established if it's clear that the students are responsible for their own success. There will always be the occasional jerk to accuse you of inventing grades, too - this gives you something to point to and ask, "Now Johnny, do you really think I sat there faking up 12 pages of numerical data, JUST so I could give you an F?" It's actually to your credit if you don't know the grades off-hand. I don't need any help with that, though.
     
  13. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Oct 19, 2008

    We've used Grade Qucik for three years and it's ok. I add grades all week long and do a formal posting that parents view on Fridays. I also send papers home on Fridays so the parents can have the recorded papers in hand while checking their child's grades. It makes is pretty cut and dry when report cards come out.

    I don't keep a second grade book in case Grade Quick goes down, that's double work!

    We also put all of our lesson plans there.
     
  14. KLily21

    KLily21 Companion

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    Oct 19, 2008

    I use PowerTeacher, too, Mrs.R. This is my second year using it, but it's pretty great.
     

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