Staying Connected Using Electronic Gradebooks
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.
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.
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-