The English Teacher

Keeping a Grade Book Record

Teachers tend to underestimate the value of carefully keeping a grade book record for classroom management and discipline purposes. When a student is sent to the office for discipline reasons, a discipline slip describing the action is usually expected. Typically, a teacher fills out the slip for the present behavior, but the disciplinary action is due to more than one incident by the student. The teacher writes on the discipline slip 'repeated talking,' repeated arguing, repeated [whatever]. However the phrase 'repeated talking' is vague compared to the student's declaration that he/she didn't do anything, didn't do much, the teacher is having a bad day, the teacher doesn't like me, we have a personality conflict, etc. The vice-principal may not be able to present your position well with an indefinite discipline slip. The tool for writing a definite discipline slip is the grade book record.

The teacher should record all actions of dealing with a student in the grade book. This record-keeping action may seem like a lot of trouble at the time, but when a teacher is ready to discipline, then is Not the time to begin keeping a record. When a student talks, write 'talk' in the grade book. If they have food in the classroom and if that is against the rules, notify the student and write 'food' in the grade book. Record any action when you deal with a student with a key word or phrase that will enable you to remember the incident when you need to. Even if the student commits an action that is clear at the time, such as pushing and harassment that requires action at the moment, don't trust the administration to remember the date and place. You do that. Then next time you can write the reminder that the student has already been to the office at a certain date.

Don't obviously write these things in the grade book. It is much more effective to surprise the student.

The grade book can also be used to record whether a student was there for a test when the absence is recorded in the same blank that the grade is recorded. If a pattern of absence for tests begins to build, it becomes obvious by a quick look at the grade book. Also excused absences and tardies can be noted. 'T1, T2', can mark tardies. Bx and Trx can mark excused absences for band or track, etc.

When assignments are incomplete, 'inc' can be written. 'See' can mean that the student was supposed to see you. 'C- r', can mean that the student received a 'C-' and that he could rewrite it for credit. 'A g', can mean that the student received an 'A' and that the 'g' shows that it was a grade earned for group work.

Below are two pictures showing a grade book which use this technique and a discipline slip using a grade book record.

Return to: Strategies for Classroom Discipline