Staying Connected Using Electronic Gradebooks

By Stacey Burt on September 20, 2009

Our students work hard in the classroom. From project work to daily classroom assignments, ensuring that they know how they are graded and the progress being made is key. Getting graded work and other important information home to parents and guardians can many times present an obstacle for teachers. In the past I have used the weekly folder concept, and when it works, it is an efficient procedure. However, my latest favorite for keeping parents, guardians, and students up to date is the electronic gradebook that is accessible any time on any computer.

School 2008-2009 483

I have always used an electronic gradebook for my own record keeping. I enjoy the ease and convenience that programs like Excelsior provide. After doing some research, I have found numerous sites and programs dedicated to assisting teachers in remaining contact with parents and students concerning classroom progress. There are several programs like Engrade and Grade Connect that are free to teachers; however, after looking at several samples, I chose to use Snapgrades.net for my classes this year. The price is minimal, $49.95 per year for parent/student access, or you can choose to download the free grade book version for your use. I really like the option for parent/student login and the email alert option for upcoming assignments or special announcements.

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Because so many of us today rely on electronic methods of staying in touch with the world around us, using this type of program is so logical. Paying for the program through classroom account money, or even out of pocket is not that great a sacrifice when one considers the value of maintaining contact and communication with students and parents throughout the school year. If your school does not already use a program like this, I hope that you will investigate it on your own and find a way to incorporate an online grade book into your parent/student communication routine this year.


All the best-

 Stacey

Comments

I never knew there were so many FREE online grading systems. I have checked out all of your suggestions and now will give serious thought to joining one. Thanks soooo much for the helpful suggestions! I can’t wait to try one out!!!

Sharon-

Have fun with it and thanks so much for taking the time to post. Let me know which one you go with for your students.

Stacey

I have used Engrade for the past 2 years and love it. I agree with a past post that stated that Engrade was too slow. However, the site has been improved and upgraded which has eliminated the delays in reporting grades. I plan on continuing to use it until our district implements an electronic system.

Angela-

I'll have to check out Engrade as several people have mentioned using that resource. Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful year!

Cheers-

Stacey

When my own kids were in middle school and high school, I have to say that we really appreciated the teachers that used online gradebooks. We especially valued the ones that sent us emails everytime the teacher uploaded new grades.

Thanks so much for taking sharing this great strategy and so many options for teachers to use.

Linda

Hi Linda-

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. Electronic gradebooks are one of those resources that make life easier for both the teacher and parent(s). I love that they are available for a minimal cost, and even if your district doesn't utilize them system wide, individual educators can make them work for their class/classroom.

Have a great weekend-

Stacey

Stacy,

Thanks for your comments about electronic gradebooks. Our district currently used PowerGrade, but teachers are still reluctant to leave those old paper trails behind. I look forward to sharing your post with my staff.

Thank again!

Brian-

Thanks for taking the time to respond. It can be scary for educators to leave behind what they have "always" done, but the doors to communication that electronic gradebooks can open are so worth it.

Thanks-

Stacey

Many of the teachers at my school use Teacherease.com for their online gradebook. This is also a site that charges for the year. Our middle and high schools all use Pinnacle. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Kay-

I'll have to check out Teacherease.com. I think it is great that so many teachers have gone to the electronic gradebooks. I used Pinnacle in my old school district and loved it. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Cheers-

Stacey

I love this idea too! I currently use Excel to do my grade book. I have entered formulas so that it will calculate my final grades for me, but I love the idea of having the parents log in to keep up with their child's grades. I think this will make for way fewer surprises when report cards come along. If you purchase this for yourself could more than one teacher use it? I was looking through the site briefly, and saw that multiple classes could be entered. What do you think?

Hi Joann-

Thanks for taking the time to comment and let others know how much you've enjoyed using Snapgrades. It's so much fun to share tools of the trade that really allow us to work smarter not harder.

Cheers-

Stacey

Kelly-

I am glad you found the information to be useful. I think you'll really like it once you have the time to investigate all the options. Your students and parent will love it too!

Cheers-

Stacey

I never even knew this existed! Thanks for the tip! I am probably one of the few teachers within my school that has moved out of hadnwriting grades into a record book and now keeping them electronically on the computer. I keep telling the other teachers on my grade to move in the direction of using the computer to manage grades. Right now I have been logging my grades into excel sheets I created so its been great to see my class avarage as well as getting a snapshot on where each student stands within a term. Every time I give a test back I tell them their average for the marking period so they write it in their homework books and get it signed by a parent. What you are doing is even better. I'll have to explore this in the coming months. Thanks!

Kelly-

I am glad you found the information to be useful. I think you'll really like it once you have the time to investigate all the options. Your students and parent will love it too!

Cheers-

Stacey

This is my 2nd year using Snapgrades and I love it! I would also say about 80% of our school also uses the program. The rest still use Engrade or no online grading program at all. I had used Engrade 3 years ago with success. However, two year the site was just too slow. I was unable to input grades and students were unable to log in to view grades. There was a period of 2 weeks I was unable to access my grades at all. I switched to Snapgrades during that time and have been very pleased with the program.

Hi Joann-

Thanks for taking the time to comment and let others know how much you've enjoyed using Snapgrades. It's so much fun to share tools of the trade that really allow us to work smarter not harder.

Cheers-

Stacey

Eric-

Thanks for responding. I haven't known anyone else that has used Engrade, but it looked like a great free resource. I love using this method of staying in contact with parents and students.

Cheers-

Stacey

I totally agree, online grading makes it SOOO much easier to manage. I've used www.engrade.com with much success. It's not fancy, but it's free and has many basic actions that you can use such as reports and online calendars for students and parents to review.

I've been trying this for my students in my psychology class, and for $50 I don't know why I never considered this!

Thanks

Steve @ DAH Online.

Steve-

I hope you enjoy the program and the ease with communication it provides. I agree that $50 is a minimal price to pay. Good luck and thanks for commenting on this week's post.

Cheers-

Stacey

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