Monday, September 1, 2008

Teacher Tools

If you are a teacher, I have to tell you about an amazing new tool my team mate told me about! It's called Engrade (I think it's supposed to be a play on words of "en garde"), and it's an online gradebook. Not only is it an online gradebook, but it's SUPER simple and user-friendly, highly customizable (in my opinion), and you can choose to give parents a password to access their child's grades online.
There's a clear tutorial you can watch on the site, and then it's easy to get started. I have to admit, I have not used any other grading software. I have always made my own Excel spreadsheets and entered my own formulas and such for them (thanks for teaching me that, honey!). Our school system just went live with a fancy-schmancy system that's supposed to do EVERYthing you could dream up. But when I log in and choose gradebook there, all I get is a red x. So much for that. Lots of us are having trouble with it and encountering bugs. I didn't want to wait for that to get sorted out, so I jumped on this new program when it was introduced to me. :) I appreciate being able to access it anywhere I have internet access (you can print it out too, though), instead of taking my jump drive with my Excel files back and forth between home and school.

One of my favorite features is the various reports that can be printed. You can print a student's report in any subject or all subjects. You can also print a missing assignments report (!!!). I am really excited, in case you couldn't tell. :)

And lastly, the blessing in disguise of not being allowed to have personal computers on campus this year and having a school CPU hooked up to my Smart Board is that now my laptop lives at home. I am so much more productive in the evening! Entering grades, answering emails, blogging. ;) I can multi-task where my hubby is while he himself slaves away on his work laptop. We are such geeks. :) Our side-by-side laptop days go all the way back to grad school and dating. :)

Alright, I need to go grade some writing prompts. Sorry this isn't too exciting, but I just had to share for any fellow teachers out there. :)

Hope you had a happy Labor Day! We already had burgers twice this week (once here and once at a friend's--both times very yummy), so tonight we had chicken alfredo. Super festive, huh? :)


Anonymous said...

i always loved hidden teaching tricks!!! :) I hope that your year is getting more smooth as time goes by.