At my new school, we do have an online grade book option, but it's not user-friendly at all, and our grade cards have to be handwritten into a custom form.
I not only have to give E, S, N, U grades for the basic subjects, but they also want me to give an indication of how each kid is doing in subcategories. For instance, under Math, I have to also evaluate all that apply out of place value, number sense, addition facts, subtraction facts, computation, graphing, money, time, and measurement. I'm sure parents love the specific feedback, but it's a lot for me to keep track of.
I realized as I filled out my grade cards for the first time (...until 3 a.m.) that I was not organized well enough for that! I needed a better solution than my makeshift Excel grade book.
My Gradebook Needs:
- Digital- with so many categories, calculating each one myself would eat up waaaay too much time.
- Based online, instead of requiring a download on my computer, so I could access at home AND at school.
- Includes categories within each subject to make grade cards easier.
- Lets me use E, S, N, U grades and also let me set percentages I wanted for them
- Free or very inexpensive
I. Love. It.
Engrade lets me do all of those things, and it is super user-friendly. I could even weight categories, host flashcards here, start a wiki, store standards-linked assignments, or let parents check grades online (but I'm not up to that yet!). I can add comments to grades, too, if I want to keep track of something specific. (For instance, if I want to mark down that it was make-up work, or if the spelling score was on list A or list B, or if a score is low because the student didn't finish the work.)
I am especially loving right now that they have a mobile-specific version of the site. While I have a school iPad, I have been able to use little scrolly bars to input grades, and for some reason I just find it more fun. (And anything that makes grading a little more enjoyable is 100% worth it, in my book!)
I would love to show you a few more screenshots (like of the mobile site), but I don't want to reveal any student names or data, so this sample from the Engrade site will have to show you the basics. The website has been updated somewhat, and I think the new interface looks simpler and cleaner.
If you are looking for an online grade book, I have to recommend you try out Engrade. On top of everything else, it's FREE- and it has made my life SO much easier!
You can watch videos of Engrade's features, try out a demo to see what the interface is like, or sign up free here, at the Engrade home page.
What is your grade book like? Do you go digital? Does anyone else have a ridiculous number of categories on your grade cards? (And is anyone else procrastinating on them right now?)