Even teachers with small classes have a large number of assignments to keep track of for their students, and although technology has come a long way in the past few years, hardcopy gradebooks are still just as important as they were 20 years ago. Hardcopy gradebooks remain crucial in supplementing online grade-tracking programs because there have been many instances since schools have shifted to online grade-tracking programs where computer hard drives and school networks have crashed, causing devastation to the teacher’s or school’s information. There are many benefits of hardcopy teacher’s gradebooks, but it is important to choose the right one that will support your online grade-tracking program seamlessly.
Because of the possibilities for data loss if something goes wrong with your computer or school’s network, keeping a hardcopy teacher’s gradebook to supplement your online program is considered best practice. The reason to use a teacher’s gradebook rather than some other form of backup, whether it be a digital backup or printed sheets from the grading software, is that it encourages organization and greater success. Loose sheets, even in a folder or binder, can get lost or damaged and create unnecessary clutter on your desk. While a digital backup is more compact, it can potentially be exposed to security leaks which invade student privacy, and access can be limited due to glitches or service downtime. Because of this, a gradebook is the perfect backup solution to make sure students’ grades are secure and organized.
When choosing a teacher’s gradebook, it is important to shop for durability to get the most for your money. In choosing a gradebook with quality paper and a sturdy design, this will ensure that your students’ grades withstand the wear and tear that comes with transporting your gradebook between home and school. It is also important that your gradebook has plenty of writing room to ensure your students’ grades are readable and organized, with proper spacing in each row and column. Finally, it is important to find a line of teacher’s gradebook that offers plenty of flexibility in its products, ensuring that you can choose a gradebook that fits your school’s schedule, with the right number of class periods and weeks for each class.
However, there are many ways in which teacher’s gradebooks can help educators reach optimal success by copying down grades on paper before entering them on Canvas, PowerSchool, or another online grade-tracking program. Gradebooks allow teachers to get an overview of class performance without having to scroll, allowing teachers to instantly compare students’ grades without straining their eyes by constantly looking at a screen. Additionally, writing grades in a gradebook and transferring them into digital software increases accuracy of data entry and ensures that no grades are input incorrectly. Finally, internet lag times, especially when grading student work at home, can hinder teachers’ ability to input grades in a timely manner, so a hardcopy gradebook can make the process more efficient, giving teachers more time to focus on lesson plans and preparation for class.
Long-time teacher Merle Whaley created the Whaley Teacher Gradebook to help teachers keep their grades organized in a flexible format. It’s the perfect hardcopy gradebook to give teachers confidence in the security and organization of their data.