April 4, 2015

Clipboard - Updated!

When you teach in a district with a high transience rate you quickly learn that bound gradebooks aren't ideal. Some people avoid recording kids names for the first couple weeks hoping that things will settle down, but I really love inputting data using the number pad, so I run down the list fast. If the numbers aren't in the right order (because the new kid's name doesn't start with Z) it ruins my flow. So I print my own spreadsheet, attach it to a clipboard and print a new one every couple weeks. That means at most two weeks of kids being on my list who shouldn't be or having that squiggle that says **New kid fits here alphabetically!!**

There are definitely bonuses to this method:
1) My gradebook is 2 pieces of cardboard and three sheets of paper (this year I have double blocks, normally it would be 5 sheets). All attached with a binder clip. It's really light!
2) I can customize to my heart's content.

This year I finally realized that I have the same types of things I record every week, so I may as well make a spot for each of those things. Here's what I have now:

Yes, my classes are tiny. The two Fundamentals of Algebra classes are either majority students with an IEP or all students with an IEP. We get small groups so we can do a lot of individualizing. I wish they weren't so small (discussions and data collection are rough), but it sure makes keeping data easy!

Top half: Daily stuff. Attendance and checked homework. Tallying from stamp charts.

Bottom half: Graded stuff (test, quiz, investigation). On the left is the first run through when I grade everyone's paper at once on the due date. On the right is a spot to write in resubmitted/retaken assignments. It's so much more organized than the random lists I used to have running at the bottom of the sheet!

This works the same but since I have more students (still not a lot, I know) and only see them every other day, things are side by side rather than in two rows. Five classes is now two weeks and PreCalc doesn't get stamped, they self assess on a classwork rubric that's on the back of the journal. They're usually harder on themselves than I am, so it's great to see where they are not putting in full effort.

At the end of two weeks I toss the sheet in a hanging file folder, make any necessary changes in my excel file and print a new one. For the most part these are not papers I ever look back at but I suppose it's good to have a paper trail in case the online gradebook crashes. Mostly they're just the mechanism for gathering information so it can be swiftly entered into the computer. All about that efficient use of time.

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