Grades and Reporting

So I've been thinking a lot about student progress, tracking, and reporting. This may sound a lot like report cards. But I'm attempting to keep an open mind here.

Right now, I use Excel to track student progress. Often, my "grade book" is organized by the test or the task (running record, fact practice test, etc) because that's truly the way we are reporting the information... but I've also organized part of it to be by skill (decoding, connecting subtraction facts to addition facts, etc).

I've also been working on taking notes about "next steps" for the student. While I have set up a simple key (C = Comprehension), that doesn't really say too much. I know what I mean. So balancing my system and being able to provide evidence for an administrator/parent is a sticking point. I mean, at what point do I give up teaching and spend all of my time recording information?! I could easily spend 40+ hours a week just tracking student data... And I really don't care to know how many times in a 5 minute period my Wiggling Scholars pick noses... there comes a point people! You can drown in pointless data if you aren't careful!

That being said, report cards are a bit of a headache. So I'm looking into how I set up grade, make sense of them, and use them to help me share information with parents in the most efficient way.

Share with me! I am curious how you organize your "grade book" and keep track of all of the info/data you collect on students. What is working? What would you change? How do you keep your records meaningful and manageable? Click on "comment" below and tell me what you do!