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Online. Paper, or both
Old 11-29-2019, 11:00 AM
 
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I have a question about online grade books. If you have an online grade book program that your school requires you to use, do you still keep a paper grade book too? I found out last week that I am the only elem teacher who does not keep a paper grade book in addition to the online program we are required to use. I don't see the need for the extra work it takes to enter grades in 2 places. The other teachers all said they keep the same information in both places, they write the grades in the paper book then transfer them to the online program. I don't get it. Am I missing something?


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Old 11-29-2019, 11:23 AM
 
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Our district does not require we use an online gradebook. However, I pay for an online gradebook program. I like how the program works for me and can supply reports when I needs them. I donít keep paper copies of most grades. We have standardized report cards so sometimes Iíll use a paper grid to record each grade for each student before transferring it to the online gradebook. Each trimester I print out the grades for a paper record.

I guess keeping the paper and online gradebooks is a way to protect grades in case the online one should crash.
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:07 PM
 
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I guess keeping the paper and online gradebooks is a way to protect grades in case the online one should crash.
I get that, and thanks for the reply. All school districts in the state are required to use this state mandated grade reporting system. The Tech person tells us the grade book is backed up by the server daily. Crashing shouldn't be an issue. Am I just too trusting of the system?
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:12 PM
 
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Once burned, twice shy!
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Old 11-29-2019, 12:51 PM
 
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I kept a paper grade book when I was teaching even though we did have an online grade book. I created a grade sheet for each class that included the studentsí names and 3 columns - one which allowed me to check off receipt of the assignment, one to log the grade, and one to make a note about a studentís assignment if needed. I highlighted any student who did not submit the assignment. When the grade was logged in the computer grade book, I made a note at the bottom of the page. The grade sheet was clipped on top of the class assignment until I passed papers back and then it went into my grade binder. It made it easier to keep track of work received and work missing.


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Old 11-29-2019, 01:02 PM
 
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I only do the online gradebook. I see no reason to do twice the work. I figure if it crashes and I loose everything itís the districtís problem since itís their software (and a program we all hate).
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:14 PM
 
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I'm retired, but I used to keep paper copies of everything out of fear of crashes.
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Old 11-29-2019, 01:42 PM
 
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I only do the online gradebook. I see no reason to do twice the work. I figure if it crashes and I loose everything it’s the district’s problem since it’s their software
This is my thought. If it crashes we all will be in the same boat and lose our grades. Our grade book is actually very good. It has places to make a note for each assignment ie) late, turned in but not yet graded, second attempt, absent when assigned, incomplete, etc., and a place for me to type my own personal note if needed. All of these comments can be private or open for parents to see in their portal. It is a good system and user friendly.

Thanks for the replies.

arsabl, Sorry you have obviously had a bad experience with an online grading system. I hope you do not have to deal with that again. I can only image the chaos that caused.
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Old 11-29-2019, 02:05 PM
 
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we have an online grade (report card/attendance) system, but I write down all the grades on paper before I enter them.

I have a system for if students are absent or missing work that I use on paper--circle for missing assignment; square for "not here to turn in today".

I also mark comments about how well they understood the concept--what specifically they can't do... (there is a spot to add comments online, too, but I have to click into each kid to do that.)

also I don't immediately enter those grades--I wait until I have 2 or 3 to do that.

I keep the paper copies to go back to look at the grades because it's faster to shuffle through a couple sheets than clicking through different online pages.

there have been a couple times I typed in the wrong grade for a kid, noticed it later and had to go back to paper grades to correct it.

I have also had a few instances where the grade program had a blip--once I lost all my grades for the quarter in one subject. a couple times I lost all the grades in a subject for one kid (pretty sure that was because secretary took a kid out of my class and then put back in....)

and those are a few reasons I keep paper copies of my grades.
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Old 11-29-2019, 04:01 PM
 
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I was teaching 5th grade when my school went to an online grade book. I still kept my paper grade book since it was easier for me to write the grades down in there and get the papers passed back and then sit down at my computer and enter many grades at the same time. (This was my first 6 years teaching.)

Then I moved to teaching Computers at the same school, I didnít keep a paper copy, I just entered grades as I had them, but I didnít have near the amount of grades that I did while teaching 5th grade.

If I was back in the classroom setting, I probably would keep a paper copy since itís easier for me to enter that way. I could do it a whole lot faster on the 10 key looking at my grade book. And it was easier to track missing assignments. Thatís just how my brain works and what worked for me.


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Old 11-29-2019, 05:24 PM
 
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I use our district's chosen online grade book, and I do not keep a paper one.
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Old 11-29-2019, 06:08 PM
 
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When I taught I used the district's on-line grade book and did not keep copies. Like others, why do twice the work.
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Gradebook -Online only
Old 11-29-2019, 06:31 PM
 
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I Only use the district required online Gradebook bc

1. I don’t see the point or want to make the time to do double work
2. The data in grade books are backed up & stored on district servers that can be retrieved if lost
3. If a software problem occurs, it will be the district’s problem to rectify

Honestly, We have never had gradebooks data lost due to system malfunctions.
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Gradebook
Old 11-30-2019, 03:07 AM
 
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Only online gradebook here! Occasionally I make notes on paper for missing assignments but no need for doing double the work

We have occasional glitches with Gradebook, but it always gets fixed and no data is lost. Love how all calculations , averages, etc. are made automatically!!
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I have enough work!
Old 11-30-2019, 05:11 AM
 
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There's no way that I would enter grades twice, so no paper for me. I suppose if you were really worried, you could take a picture or screenshot at the end of each week and use that for backup. Perhaps that hasn't occurred to all of those who still write it twice?
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Old 11-30-2019, 08:54 AM
 
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I keep both. I often grade papers when I'm not in front of a computer. I also sometimes need to answer a quick question about a score when the computer is unavailable. I designed grade sheets in Word, and I print one for each assignment, staple them by week, hole punch them, and put them in a binder. Easy to enter into the computer, and easy to access for quick questions.
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Online gradebook only
Old 11-30-2019, 09:12 AM
 
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It takes a little more planning, but I manage it. In our system (we use Power School) you can save your gradebook to a pdf. You could also take and save screenshots of your gradebook from time to time as well.
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Old 11-30-2019, 09:53 AM
 
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I never used a paper grade book once we started entering grades online.
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Old 12-01-2019, 06:21 AM
 
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Thanks for the replies. It is interesting to read the different viewpoints and reasoning for how we do things. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-01-2019, 08:42 AM
 
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We have PowerSchool that the district requires us to use.

I still keep a paper grade book, for several reasons.

First, we do standards based grades and PS averages scores. That does not jive, so I keep the paper grade book and then give one score for each standard on PS.

It is easier for me to look at and make groups from a paper grade book than the online one.

Also, my aide will grade papers for me sometimes and she will write grades down on the paper grade book so I can look at them.

Finally, sometimes I grade in front of the TV, or when my lap top is in use.

I do not see it as twice the work... just a different record keeping system.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:41 AM
 
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My district uses an online grade book. We have used it for about ten years. The first few years I did both. Then I realized it was to much work. I only do the online gradebook now. If the district loses the grades it is their job to retrieve them. I don’t even worry about it.
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Old 12-01-2019, 03:11 PM
 
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I have always kept both.

The one time the computer grade book went down at our school, and we lost all our grades, they were not recoverable...except for those of us who kept a paper grade book.

I enter my grades in a standard paper grade book first, and because I keep the names in that grade book in alpha order, the process of entering grades into the online grade book from the paper grade book is faster for me than entering individual student grades onto the online grade book - I usually don't even have to look at the keyboard, just enter the numbers fast.

I also like the paper grade book because it shows "progression" - it's what I call a "living document." If I give a retake or a kid makes up a HW assignment, I can see the old grade crossed out and the new one entered, with any very short notes I might add about the situation showing the progression of the student's work. This has been very helpful in dealing with both the student and with parents. The computer grade book just shows the final entry, not the whole story.

I also like having the paper grade books when former students some back to visit - I've kept every grade book. It's fun for them to look through the names and remember who was in their class, and, if they are interested, looking at their own HW completion etc. They usually get a kick out of it.

It's also great to have the paper grade books when former students come to visit (or come to Parent Night) whose children are students I currently have in class - sometimes they (my former students) look at their grades in my old grade books and jokingly tell me not to tell their kids about their own record in my class (grin!) It sure helps them remember what it's like to be a student when they realize that maybe they flunked a test or two, but figured out how to turn it around in my class, and they still turned out ok (smile!)
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Old 12-01-2019, 05:43 PM
 
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We have an online grade book as a district that we use to input grades so parents can instantly receive them. My school also requires a hard grade book and I think it's the worst thing ever. I takes so much time that I already don't have. No to mention we have to take 2 grades per subject a week (even in kindergarten!) which means digitally and physically documenting 8 grades a week.
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Old 12-03-2019, 12:44 PM
 
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Which bit me in the butt recently when my writing grades for the quarter disappeared. But all in all it's a good system. I do keep a spreadsheet for my math grades, as I take a grade each day, but only enter weekly grades into the grade book.
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