Teacher Gradebooks

Written by Diane Sievert
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Teacher gradebooks are considered by many school districts to be official government records. These handy little notebooks contain the student data that is eventually used to calculate final grades. If parents or students want to challenge a grade, the teacher's gradebook must be organized in way that they can see how final grades are calculated.

How to Organize Teacher Gradebooks

The first thing to realize is that teacher gradebooks, particularly public school teacher gradebooks, are public property. It is therefore absolutely imperative that a teacher's gradebook be organized in a fashion that would allow someone other than an educator to read and make sense of the data contained therein. If the gradebook has been structured in a haphazard manner, it can lead administrators (among others) to question that teacher's grading methods.

At the very beginning of the gradebook, each and every teacher should include an explanation of their grading and recording methods. This explanation must be detailed and clear so that anyone who later needs to look at the gradebook can understand the data and calculations recorded. A methodical, point-by-point breakdown is the best way to communicate the necessary information.

In addition to outlining the grading process, it's also important to label the information recorded. Once the grade has been recorded, it should be fairly easy to return to the information later and be able to identify both the assignment and the date it was assigned/completed. Teacher gradebooks should make this kind of information readily available so that when it comes time to analyze or reanalyze a particular student's performance, there's no guesswork involved.

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