September 21st, 2016

My Most Important Classroom Tool

Any teacher knows the expectations in our profession are ever increasing as is accountability. Our job tends to get more challenging every year, with solutions to the increasing workload being few and far between. This is what makes GradeCam so essential and refreshing to teachers. GradeCam is one of the first programs that meets the needs of a twenty-first century classroom.

In Florida, Civics is a state-mandated and tested course that accounts for a large percentage of the school grade. Knowing my students are mastering the standards as they are taught is my number one focus. With the help of GradeCam, I have found a method to simplify this process.

Each student is expected to provide a three-prong folder for class (about 17 cents). Each folder contains the units that will be taught and the corresponding standards. Each student is given one GradeCam score sheet of 50 question choices and asked to fill in their ID numbers. (GradeCam can also generate pre-printed score sheets).

I took packing tape and attached the score sheet on the back of the folder. I did this part for each student because it needs to be somewhat neat. However, the scanner will always ask to verify an answer if it’s unreadable.

I went to the local dollar store and purchased as many dry erase markers as I could get and managed to spend less than twelve dollars on a class set.

With every standard there is an assessment, usually a short quiz, and an exam. All of these can be taken on their folders using the dry erase markers. Then, they simply erase them for use again and again.

GradeCam reads the assessment with this method, whether it is 4 or 40 questions. It is amazing!

As soon as they take the test or quiz, they add their scores to the inside of the folder tracking sheet. They are immediately informed of their mastery and can always consult the tracking sheet for their progress.

I keep a soft cloth at my desk and after they scan, they can erase their forms. There is no more copying answer sheets and the kids love this method.

I also am able to tie all my questions to the standards within the GradeCam software. Tracking student achievement now takes only the few seconds for the computer to read the results. Jean is an Eighth Grade Civics Teacher at Osceola County School of the Arts in Kissimmee, Florida.