SBG: The Gradebook

Disclaimers: I did not invent Standards Based Grading, I did not come up with this system 100% on my own, I was/am a huge advocate for it in classrooms, and I do love Dan Meyers. Also, this is all my opinion. I will site things when necessary so you know I am not just making things up. Check my other posts!


My school district uses PowerTeacher, so this is how I set up my grade book using their tools, hopefully it is helpful for non-Power Teacher readers as well!

Setting this up was a bit of trial and error.  I thought I had figured it out at the beginning of the year, but at the end of the quarter when student’s scores weren’t working out correctly, I had to figure out where the error was.  Turns out there was a difference when I wanted to exclude a grade if I chose whether or not to “Include in Final Grade” for some reason.  Thank goodness for the “Fill Scores” option, because I needed to “Exempt” the grade for each student.

PowerTeacher Gradebook has the option for “Standards Based Grading” option in the Preferences, but my school district doesn’t technically use Standards Based Grading so I couldn’t use that option (I think that was my rationale) as well as seeming complicated.

Grade Book set up:

For each skill/concept, I created 3 assignments: the 1st (in class) attempt, the 2nd (in class) attempt, and the 3rd attempt (requiz).  At times my students needed a 4th or 5th attempt, but I was really adamant that they needed to be prepared when they took their requiz.

Grade Book

individual item set up in grade book

This is what my Gradebook looked like when I opened it up for a certain class- lots of numbers!!! Notice how all concepts are grouped together? That was what was easiest for me to use.  I could scroll back and forth through the concepts.  Other organizing strategies might be by date of assessment or grouping all the attempts together, but this was the easiest for me.  I did have to explain to parents what they were looking at (and the 2 dates).  PowerTeacher also gives a summary (mean, median, mode) for each item which allowed me to quickly see how my classes were doing.

Teacher view of Gradebook

Teacher view of Gradebook

As I graded, I kept track of student scores on a grade sheet document I created so that when I opened my gradebook I could just quickly enter the scores.  This made it a little easier since the scores were listed for each student in alphabetical order.  It also allowed me to have the scores easily accessible for me to look up for kids since the gradebook takes a few minutes to download  and open. Students also kept track of their scores and helped me double check during the grading period.

Grade Book prepared Student Report:

Choosing “Individual Student Report” on PowerTeacher’s Gradebook prints this out for each student.  Using the ParentPortal, Students can access a similar version of this online or through the App (!) and track their grades.

Score Sheet2

“Individual Student Report” created by PowerTeacher’s Gradebook

What else would be good to know?

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2 Responses to SBG: The Gradebook

  1. Jen Ewing says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your explanations of everything. One question for clarification. I definitely like the way students can see all of their attempts in the grade book. If I have read correctly, the only score that was counted in the final grade was the latest attempt and the prior attempts you marked to “not include in final grade?” Also, if students for some reason scored lower on the second attempt, did this lower grade become the “included” grade in the grade book?
    Thanks for all this great information!
    Jen –

    • A Burton says:

      EXACTLY. Last grade counts, and I made sure the gradebook didn’t count it. This year I decided to just replace the grade and leave the original score in the comments.

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