Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Teacher Time Saver: Gradebooks SIMPLIFIED!!

I'm spotlighting this post as part of Kindergarten Dragons' Spotlight Saturday link up!  Check out the rest of the Spotlight Saturday posts by visiting her page, including the one by Kindergarten Dragons!  I love how she used sharpies to color in some designs on her 31 Oh Snap Pop Up Bins!

This post was also linked up with Literacy Loves Company's Teacher Time Saver Linky Party! Check out her post about the crock-pot she uses in her classroom to save her time prepping her lunch while getting some much needed bits and pieces caught up during those precious (and oh so short) lunch breaks!
Aligning my gradebook to be Common Core friendly has saved me HOURS upon HOURS of time, both in the short term day to day basis AND the long term of report card season!

As my school adopted the Common Core, our report cards took an overhaul to reflect the new Common Core standards.  I was new to the school and just felt "new" in general.  I felt like I just jumped in to everything without really KNOWING what to expect further down the road.  I still remember shoving EVERYTHING into my cupboards the day before school started and then spending the next summer pulling everything back out to reorganize it PURPOSEFULLY!!

The exact same thing happened with my gradebook.  I "shoved' everything into the slots.  I had one page devoted to each ELA, Spelling, Vocabulary, and Math.  I just put assignments in, one after another, on the page that was most fitting.

When it came to the end of the trimester and having to do report cards, I had to "decode" all of my chicken scratch that I'd been filling in for the past nine weeks.  I was thankful enough to have the spelling and vocab on their own separate pages, but the ELA and Math pages were NIGHTMARES to figure out.

The rest of the year, I didn't have much of a chance to do make many changes.  After 1st trimester comes Christmas and I didn't even have time to sit and THINK about grades, let alone create a system that was helpful.  At the 2nd trimester end, I had the same problem as 1st trimester.  With one trimester left, you just focus on the finish line and pay no attention to "revamping" anything!

That summer, I started with making gradebook pages that would help with the Math Common Core standards since that was what my school was adopting first.  I took each standard and created a section just for it - this is my "condensed" version.

This was SO helpful already!! From here, I made an "extended" version.  I expanded the pages to include the Common Core Standard actually written out so I could refer to it quickly and easily.  Then I made it so that there are five slots under each standard.  I know 5 isn't "that many" but I tend to take only a few of the really important/heavily evidenced pieces of student work and enter them into my gradebook.

When it came to report cards - I was able to quickly look back into my gradebook and find each standard listed with each of the corresponding assignments and assessments.  I could combine standards if I needed to (if they were combined on the report card) and I didn't have to spend HOURS decoding my gradebook to figure out which assignment went with which standard.

I've learned what information I like to include in my gradebook as I put each assignment in.  I add the date.  The title of the assignment or test, the page number(s), and the title of the story or unit it is from.  I also like to put how many points it was worth.  Basically I want enough information (not EVERYTHING) but enough that I can look it up if I need to later on.

At the beginning of the year, I print the pages back to back so they'll spread across my gradebook binder easily.  I also make enough sets to last me through the year (however many grading periods there are) so I don't have to do it again throughout the year.

I've created these gradebook pages for all grades Kinder through 6th in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store!  They are offered at each grade level in individual content areas (ELA or MATH) and also as a bundle to save money!

Check out the bundles here!! If you are interested in one content area, click your grade level picture below and once it takes you to the TPT listing, the individual content areas are linked.

I hope you find these helpful!!


  1. As I was reading your post I could totally relate. My grade book has been a mess and I can see how using your product would save me a ton of time! I'm going to check out your 4th grade version. Thank you so much for sharing this great time-saving tip!
    Literacy Loves Company

    1. Oh my goodness Tammy!! Thank you so much for stopping by!! I feel so honored!! :) I hope you find the 4th grade version useful!! :)