I want to share a wonderful discovery that was shared with me- JUPITER GRADES. Now, if your school is like my school, there is probably some school provided/mandated grading system in place. However, even if that is the case, this program is totally worth checking out.
Our school has decided to do rotations in the upper grades (4,5,6). This means that I am now going to only be teaching writing (to 4,5,6th grades), science, social students, art, music, computers, and Health/Character Ed (to two mixed groups of 4,5,6th graders). So, basically this means that I won't be teaching reading (sob- this is one of my greatest loves in teaching) or math (fine by me!). As we are working through the details, we realized that the grading system our district provides (but does not mandate) is antiquated enough that it will not allow us, as elementary teachers, to work on a middle school model. This put my administrator on a quest to find a program. Now.. back the present.
So, I have spent many an hour (which makes the program seem really complicated and hard- which it is not) working to better understand this program. I LOVE IT! It allows us, as upper grade teachers, to set-up classes that will let me enter grades for 4th and 5th graders, yet prints a report card with ALL their classes on it. WAHOO! It will let you do seating charts, attendance, discipline reporting (with an auto text/e-mail to the parent), plus more. One feature that I LOVE, is that it will translate messages in to Spanish, send notices home is Spanish, and will allow you to set up the system to send students info in English and their parents info in Spanish. The program will auto e-mail grade reports, and more.
See, this is why I have spent hours. I have been watching their wonderful video tutorials on how and why to use different features. To see a few, click HERE.
"Wow Mr. Hughes, this is great, but is there a cost?"
Well, dear reader- Yes and No.
There is a FREE version and a PAID version. Click HERE to see what you get between the two. If, for some reason, our school decides NOT to use the program, I will be willingly getting out my credit card to purchase this just for me.
I will update you we move through the year on how it is going.
The OTHER program I wanted to share with you is Remind101.
I found this on Pintrest (yes, I unashamedly use Pintrest. Most men would scoff that I would use a "girl" program, but it is FAR from a "girl" program. I have found amazing ideas to use as a teacher, and I have also been able to promote my items in my Teacher Pay Teacher's store, leading to several sales. So laugh all you want, but it is a great site- You can even follow me my click on the link in the top right of this blog!).
ANYWAYS, I was a little skeptical of it. But, I did some reading about it, signed up, and set up my classes for the coming year. I had my wife join the 4th grade class alerts (since my daughter will be IN the 4th grade), and did a test send. It worked great.
So, why should YOU use it?
-No numbers are given out or visible. So, you don't have to worry about students getting YOUR phone number, etc.
-You can use it for daily assignments- OR important reminders.
-Students AND parents can signup so they call all be notified.
-It is FREE! WAHOO!
-You can use it from your iPod or iPad OR from your computer.
Click HERE to check it out.
I hope you will take the time to check these out. And, as a disclaimer, I am NOT getting any $$$ from this, I just wanted to share some amazing tools with you.