February 21, 2012

My "Gradebook"

Sometimes my students mock my clipboard. For good reason- its a couple pieces of cardboard from old pads of paper and a binder clip. The clip holds down several spreadsheets that function as my "gradebook." I like everything I use to function exactly as I want, which results in me making my own version of most things. The spreadsheet is just a list of names and some empty columns. I print them only as I need them since students come and go from my classes regularly and I want the names to be alphabetical for ease of computer inputting. The columns are filled with dates or assignments. Any day we have class I check homework (check marks on the left), take attendance (horizontal line in the middle if you aren't here at the bell; becomes a T or an A by the end of the period) and note effort in classwork (tallies at the right for off task).

I have gone back and forth on the issue of grading participation/effort/classwork or whatever you want to call it. Some people in my school want this to count as 60% of a student's grade while in true Standards Based Grading it would be 0%. I believe that my job description encompasses much more than teaching students the characteristics of a circumcenter; I also aim to develop effective thinkers, collaborators and workers. We also have school wide rubrics we are supposed to use, so I picked 8 of those categories to use for a bi-weekly classwork grade (which is 15% of their final grade). The "participate" and "disrupt" columns correspond to those categories. By the end of two weeks I have all the information I need in a single row to check their self assessments on the classwork rubric (I wrote a bit about this way back when, I'd like to expand on how I use journals eventually).

Finally, any assignment I collect gets a column. It's so much easier for me to write grades down on paper and then do a data entry session than it is to manage grading and inputting all at once.

So, here's what it looks like.  Rather messy by the end and this one doesn't even have any random notes on the bottom!  Most weeks I don't gain/lose so many students but this was the beginning of a new semester.

Click to zoom
How do you keep track of all the information you need for your classroom?

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