Teacher Record Keeping

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Oct 6, 2011

Record keeping tracks your students’ progress and provides evidence to support your grading decisions. Developing good record-keeping habits is essential for organizing, processing, and communicating the students’ understanding of the curriculum.


  • Know what your school or district expects of you.
  • Ask other teachers how they organize their grading.
  • Grade in a way that works for you, making sure that students’ graded assignments provide a well-rounded view of their progress.
  • Handle your record keeping either as hard copy or electronically, depending on the requirements of your school or district.
  • Track students’ scores for exams, projects, and other assignments.
  • Don’t fall behind. Try to enter at least some scores every day or every week.
  • Secure your grade book and/or your computer. Remember, student records are confidential.

Grade Book or Grading Program

A book specifically for recording grades or a grading program for tracking grades, assignments, and assessment scores makes record keeping much more efficient. This resource is usually provided for you by the school or district. If you are using a grade book, you can purchase it yourself, especially if you have a specific preference about which record-keeping tool you want to use.


  • Record, organize, and interpret students’ assignments and assessments in your grade book or grading program on a regular basis.
  • Set student goals based on performance.
  • Use the grade book or grading program to support your teaching in many ways, including the following:
    • Providing evidence of student growth
    • Showing patterns of weakness or improvement
    • Helping you make informed decisions about students’ progress 
    • Aiding discussions about students’ progress with students, parents, and administrators
    • Aiding explanations to parents about the progress their children are making and providing evidence to justify those claims
    • Aiding referrals of students for special services Informing your own teaching practice and planning
    • Helping you know what you need to reteach, when to move on, and when students have mastered certain subjects


Checklists are an easy way to record scores, behavior, effort, and participation—all of which are part of the feedback provided on report cards and/or progress reports.


  • Create specific checklists to reflect what you are looking for (for example, the material each individual student is learning or how individual students are behaving).
  • Check items off as they are observed.

Anecdotal Notes

Anecdotal notes are helpful for fleshing out the quantitative information recorded in your grade book or grading program.


  • Use Post-it Notes for anecdotal notes (always include the date), and place them inside the appropriate subject portfolio for the student.
  • Anecdotal notes can be accessed easily for conferencing with parents.
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