What an overwhelming task it can be to track and record student progress on report cards. But using a handheld device or a grade-keeping software program can make this management task faster, easier, and more accurate. Microsoft Excel is one program to use to create an almost instant grade book. Microsoft Office offers a free downloadable grade book template for teachers using PCs.
There are also several software and Web-based tools available that are designed specifically for classroom assessment and for storing student information. Most of these programs can be used by one teacher or by an entire school.

Here are some grading software programs:
From CampusWare, this Windows or Web-based grading system lets teachers manage grades, assignments, lesson plans, progress reports, seating charts, and attendance. GradeSpeed Lite is a free version with limited features for computers running Windows.

E-Z Grader
This CD-Rom includes an automated seating chart and flexible grading structures. A single-user version is available for both Mac and Windows users. Free downloadable demos are online. 
Learner Profile
This software records grades, tracks assignments, organizes student information, and develops reports on a PDA or a desktop computer. It is designed to support tracking of adequate yearly progress required under NCLB.

This Web-based grade book provides reports online for parents and students. A free 30-day trial is available.

A helpful book for using Microsoft Excel is Excel Workshop for Teachers. This how-to book explores using Excel to create grade books and more. It includes a CD-Rom full of sample files and step-by-step instructions written by teachers who have done it.