Reading Mrs. Nilsen's Engrade

by Mrs. Nilsen on October 21st, 2012

Weekly Science, ELA, and Homeroom News 10/12 - 10/19

This week, I've combined the weekly news to cover an important topic for all three classes.  Your normal weekly news for each of the three classes will return next week.

Engrade Blog Series

During one of our Early Release meetings I was involved in some lovely discussion with the other 4th-8th grade teachers.  We talked mostly about assessments and communicating how students are doing in our classes to students and parents.  One of the things that I took away from the discussion is that there is a need/want for parents to have more information and direction on how to effectively use Engrade.  In the future, we may be doing a training for parents but for now, I thought I'd start a blog post series on a few helpful Engrade topics.  

Reading Mrs. Nilsen's Engrade

This post will cover the following topics:
- How do I read the "code" of scores on Mrs. Nilsen's Engrade?
- What's the deal with the "Homework Club" assignments?
- How do I see the comments Mrs. Nilsen left on my student's assignments.

Reading the Code

When you log in Engrade, you see this:  (ps - I created a fake parent account of "TestKid Z" to take these pictures.)
If you click on the first class (ELA) you get this screen:
I'm zooming in on the highlighted area so we can see better.
Here's how to read the symbols/letters/numbers that make up the assessment score on the far right:

" - "       I haven't imputed anything for this yet. It probably isn't due yet, but is an upcoming assignment.
" x "      Designates turned in but not graded.  If it is an assignment that will be graded later, I will change the score when I grade it to a number.
" NG "   Designates an assignment that is to be turned in, but is not graded on our 1-4 scale.
" E "      Designates an assignment that your student is "excused" from doing for a variety of reasons.  Often I will put the reason in the comments section under that assignment.
" M "      Designates the assignment is missing.  Any missing assignments means that the student is going to be required to attend homework club.  
" R "      Designates "required" attendance at Homework Club on that day.  If students skip three assigned homework clubs, I will have to write a referral.
" Any Number 1-4 "     All assignments that are graded are on a 1-4 scale.  They say out of 3 and that is because the 4 = Exceeds Expectations.  Students have to work exceptionally hard to earn a 4.  3 = Meets Expectations.  This is where I want all students to get to.  3 or higher is always my goal.  2 = Approaching Expectations.  1 = Below Expectations.  0 = Did not complete the assignment.  At the end of the trimester, all Missing assignments that have not been completed will turn into a 0 and can no longer be turned in for credit.

Homework Club Assignment

What's the deal with the "Homework Club" assignments?  Homework club is not an assignment until students have missing work.

Homework Club (HC) is mostly an after school study hall.  With all the demands and things we're trying to accomplish with our students, we don't have very many opportunities for study halls.  We will have a few (mostly when students have big projects or a lot of homework) but we keep them to a minimum.  HC is part of our compromise to this problem.  We want students to be able to have a quiet, safe, supportive place to do work.  We rotate HC through the different Senior teacher's rooms and we all pop in and out to help any students who need it.  Computers are available to students (so if computer time is limited at home, HC could be a way to help).  

Anyone is welcome to come to homework club.  It is voluntary, optional, simply a quiet study place with teacher support, unless it has been assigned to a student due to missing work.  If students skip three assigned homework clubs, I will have to write a referral.  When students have late or missing work, we will send home a "Homework Club Slip" at least one day before HC to be signed by the parent and student.  If that upcoming HC day does not work for the family, the parent must provide another date at which the student can come.  (HC is on Tuesdays and Fridays from 3 - 4 pm. )  Even if the student shows up the following day with the missing/late assignment, they must still attend HC after they have been given an HC slip. 

I will also use the code explained above (R = Required; E = Excused; NG = Not Graded) to help parents know when their student is required to attend HC.  I will update that on Engrade at least a day before HC.

HC is a wonderful opportunity for students to learn how to better meet deadlines, to have a quiet space to work with computer access, and to receive help from a teacher if needed on an assignment, project, or concept.  It is something we gladly offer and I thank you for respecting our time by picking up students as close to 4pm as possible.  

Teacher Comments on Engrade

When possible, I try to provide additional feedback to parents and students on assignments in the form of comments.  (When assignments are graded on a rubric, please see the rubric for fuller comments.  It will be attached to the assignment, and I will probably send home the entire assignment with a signature page attached.)

To see comments, start by choosing a class and clicking on the link that says "Grade Details" to the far left:
You will see the assignments listed by category (which helps you sort out what's most important) and the comments I wrote on the left like in the sample of "TestKid Z" below.

All for now, but keep checking in!

That's all the issues/questions I'm going to answer in this post, but be sure to check back in over the next few weeks as I'll be answering more questions.  If you have a specific question you'd like to see answered in a future post, be sure to email me or write it in the comments below.

Thanks and happy Engrading!!

Past Engrade Posts

I've already made one blog post about Engrade (Engrade Tech Support) and it covered the following:
- What is Engrade and how will it help students be successful this year?
- How do I sign up?  Is it for Parents or Students?
- Ok, I have an account, but only one of my classes show up. How do I add other classes to my account? 
To read that full post please click on the link above.

Posted in 6th Grade ELA Updates, Homeroom Updates, Science Updates, Engrade    Tagged with Engrade, Homework, Homework club


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