Instruction Guide for
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PowerTeacher Gradebook - Secondary
In this course you will explore what teachers can do in the PowerTeacher Gradebook.
You will learn to:
Set up your gradebook
Use the Gradebook wherever you have Internet access. Its features and functions are tailored
to the duties and responsibilities that teachers handle day to day.
The Gradebook is launched from the teacher home page (My classes page) within SMS.
[You will be given instructions for logging in to your Gradebook from outside of Aldine ISD
at a later date.] What makes the Gradebook so easy to use is that it’s ready to go on the first
day of school. Of course, there will be items you want to format, but the defaults are fully
Step 1 – Launch PowerTeacher Gradebook
1. Open your Web browser to access the Aldine ISD home page. Select Employee
2. From the Employee Applications Screen, select SMS LIVE Site
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3. In the window that appears, input the User ID and Password you have been given.
4. You have now logged in to your My Classes page in SMS. Under Quick Links, you
may have a quick link to PowerTeacher Gradebook.
If you do not have a quick link to PowerTeacher Gradebook, you will need to do the
following one time setup.
Go to Actions and choose Customize Home Page.
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On this page go down to the Quick Links section, and highlight PowerTeacher
Gradebook and select Add. Click OK at the bottom of the page. This will cause the
PowerTeacher Gradebook link to appear on your My Classes page.
5. From your My Classes page, click on the PowerTeacher Gradebook link. You will
see several different messages indicating Java is starting, the application is
downloading and the application is launching. You will then get a login screen for
Select your school and input the same UserName (ID) and Password that you were
given for SMS. Once the school name is chosen, it will default in on future logins.
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If you have another instance of the gradebook open, you will see the following:
If you select Terminate Other Sessions, it will allow you to open up a new session
of the gradebook. The original session does not automatically close, but you will no
longer be able to save data from that session. If you attempt to save data, the
following message appears:
You will lose any data not saved on the original session. However, the gradebook
forces you to save before leaving any screen. So the loss of data would be limited to
the last class you were on. It will then be necessary for you to close the original
session when you return to the workstation from which it was launched.
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Exploring the Gradebook
The most commonly used information is found in the PowerTeacher tabs at the top of the
main page. They are Scoresheet, Assignments, Student Info, Grade Setup, Class
Content, and Reports. Click a tab to access specific information.
On the left side of the gradebook, you will see Classes, Student Groups, and Categories.
For Classes you may select Current Classes or a particular term.
For Student Groups, the gradebook defaults to displaying active students. If you wish to
see withdrawn students and their grades, select Dropped to display them. A student’s status
is controlled by his/her status in SMS.
For Categories, the three categories (Classwork, Homework, Major work) which District
policy allows you to use are listed in the lower left corner. Do NOT edit, add or delete any of
the categories. Notice that they are color coded.
On the Student Info tab, student demographic information is displayed.
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On the Class Content tab in the Class Info mode, you may enter information in the
Description area that is displayed in ParentCONNECT (under Home>Student>Assignment
Pencil>and then selecting the class name).
The other tabs will be discussed later.
In the Menu Bar at the top of the screen, under View are listed all of the tabs discussed
above. There is one additional item which allows you to zoom in or out to increase/decrease
the screen display.
Under Tools you will see the Score Inspector and the Copy Assignments, which will be
discussed later, and Preferences.
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Under Preferences, you will see 5 tabs.
On the Student tab, check Hide Pre-Registered Students. If a schedule change is made
with a start date in the next grading cycle and this box is left unchecked, the student will
appear immediately in the gradebook. If the box is checked, they will not appear in the
gradebook until the student is scheduled to start your class.
The other tabs are optional.
Another tab of interest is the Section tab.
If you choose Custom Display Name, this will allow you on the Class Content Tab (Class
Info mode) to customize the name of the courses that display under Classes on the left hand
side of the screen.
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Using PowerTeacher in the Classroom – Creating Assignments
ScoreSheet – Assignments Mode
As a teacher, you can set up assignments at any time during the term. Assignments are
displayed on the Scoresheet tab as well as listed on the Assignments tab. On the Scoresheet
tab, the name, percent (%), and due date for each assignment appear above the column in to
which student scores are entered. Notice also that the columns are color coded according to
the category in which they are assigned.
To create a new assignment, from the Scoresheet tab select the Plus (+) button as indicated
This will open the assignments window at the bottom of the screen where you will enter the
Name and the Category. The Score Type (Percentage), Points Possible (100), Weight (1) and
Include in Final Grade will default and should NOT be changed per District policy. The
Abbreviation and Date Due will default and should be changed when necessary. If you wish
for students to have the opportunity to earn bonus points on an assignment, you may add the
available points in as Extra Points. The Max will be calculated by adding Points Possible
and Extra Points. An example would be Points Possible 100, Bonus points [Extra Points]
possible 10, Maximum points possible 110.
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Important Note: The Due Date determines which cycle grade the assignment will count
toward. To view the dates of the grading cycles, go to the Grade Setup tab and look at
Calculations. The following dates are only examples and are not the ones that are reflected
in your gradebook. Do NOT change anything on this screen.
Be aware that 5 days after this due date if there is no grade, the parents will be notified
through ParentCONNECT that the assignment is missing.
Step 2 – Creating a New Assignment
1. While on the Scoresheet tab, click the Plus (+) sign next to the Assignment
header to open the New Assignment pane.
2. Enter a name for the assignment and select a category. Correct the due date.
3. Click Save in the lower right corner to save the assignment.
Repeat this process for any additional assignments that you may have.
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You can copy assignments from one class to another from current or previous terms by using
the Copy Assignment function in the Tools menu at the top of the screen.
Step 3 – Copy Assignments
1. First select the class from which to copy the assignments in the Classes Menu in
the upper left corner of the gradebook.
2. Then select Copy Assignments from the Tools Menu and select the assignments you
want to copy. Click Next at the bottom of the screen.
3, Select the classes to which you want to copy the assignment(s). On the Due Date
you may choose Existing, Today or Custom. Click OK.
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Using PowerTeacher in the Classroom – Entering Scores
When entering a score for a student on the Scoresheet tab in the Assignments Mode, click the
appropriate cell for that student in the assignment column. You may enter a numerical value
or right click in the cell for a menu where you may select Collected, Late, Exempt, Missing
or Grades (a list from which to choose a numerical value). You may also choose to Clear
Score, Fill Scores, or Show score Inspector.
If you choose to Fill Scores, select either Items with No Scores or Replace All. Then select
one of the options below and select OK.
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If you choose the Score Inspector, it opens for the current student. Notice the navigation
arrows at the top which allow you to move left or right between assignments or up or down
between students. The Score Inspector also allows you to input narrative comments and
comment codes which have been defined in SMS. District policy states that the narrative
comment here would include original scores on reteach/retest items and any Special
Education modifications made on that assignment for that student. These notes are
visible to parents through ParentCONNECT.
To comply with District policy, you will use the Score Inspector in a like manner by
right clicking in the Final Grade Column to enter a narrative comment here using the
Score Inspector for Special Education modifications on individual students based
on their IEP. This must be done at the beginning of each grading cycle so that it will be
visible during the grading cycle to the parents in ParentCONNECT.
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For quick entry purposes directly in to the grade cell, you may use the following:
EX – marks and assignment Exempt
(=) – assigns the maximum points possible for the assignment
MI or (/) – marks an assignment missing
LT or (*) – marks and assignment late
COL or (.) – marks an assignment collected (until a grade is entered, these will still
show as missing grades to parents in ParentCONNECT)
Step 4 – Entering Scores
1. Click the Scoresheet tab and select the Assignments mode.
2. Click in the cell that is the intersection of the row containing the student’s name and
the column of the assignment you want to score. Then enter the score.
3. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac) to advance to the next student. Press Tab to
advance to the next assignment.
4. When you have finished entering scores, click Save.
5. When you have finished entering the scores for the class, you may click Summary at
the bottom of the Scoresheet to see summary statistics for assignments. Clicking
Summary again will hide the statistics.
The following are indicator descriptions of the symbols you may see in your gradebook.
However, these indicators do NOT display in ParentCONNECT.
Indicator Description Indicator Meaning
Small “C” in blue dot next to score Comment is attached to assignment
Small “L” in red dot next to score Assignment turned in late
Small “M” in orange dot next to score Assignment is missing
Green check in a cell Assignment collected, but not graded
Italicized faint score Assignment does not count toward
final grade OR was marked as
exempt after scoring.
Small hourglass in assignment heading Assignment published on certain date
Circle with line through it in assignment Assignment is never to be published
Small red exclamation mark next to Final grade changed by manual override
italicized final grade
Yellow exclamation mark in the Scores are not published
Small “G” in gray dot next to student Student is assigned a grade scale other than
name the default
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Using PowerTeacher in the Classroom - Reporting Progress and
ScoreSheet - Final Grades Mode
A running average for the grading cycle will be maintained in the gradebook. The example
below is the Assignments mode and the final grade is being displayed as a letter grade, a
percentage and also point value. Notice also that the assignments are displaying in their
category color on your screen. This should help you identify any assignments placed in the
wrong category and the total number of assignments in each category.
At the end of the grading cycle, select the Final Grades mode. Notice that we still see the
Percent average for the grading cycle. We also have 3 more columns, one for Conduct, and
because my example is from 3rd six weeks, one for S1E or Semester 1 exam, and one for
comments which will be from the Standard comment codes that appear on the report card.
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Conduct grades can be directly entered by typing
E, S, N or U. Or you can right click, select
Grades and then choose from E, S, N or U. Or
you can use the Fill Scores as described earlier.
Semester Exam Grades can be entered directly by inputting the numerical value, or by
using the Score Inspector or by using Fill Scores as well.
Comments for report card are entered in the Comments (CMNT) column. At the secondary
level there is a limit of one comment per student per grade that will print on the report card.
The options for entering them are to either Fill Comments or
to use the Comment Inspector. Your choices will be from
the Standard Comments that are defined in SMS.
In the Comment Inspector, you will need to highlight your
comment and click Insert. You have the same navigation arrows at the top as with the Score
Inspector. However, you will only want to use the up and down arrows to move from student
to student. As you move from one student to the next, it will save the comment.
Note: The comments have
been divided in to six
categories for your
Behavior, Daily Work,
General, Specialty and Work
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Manually Override a Final Grade
Occasionally, teachers need to modify a student’s final grade in a course. Use the Score
Inspector’s Manual Override tool to make the change.
Right click on the student’s final grade and choose Score Inspector. Select the Manual
Override and change both the numeric and the alpha grade and click Close.
Marking your Grades complete at the end of a 6-Weeks or
Final grades are calculated throughout the grading cycle, but at the end of the grading cycle,
you must let your PowerTeacher administrator know your grades are complete so that the
administrative staff can begin creating grade reports in SMS. The Scoresheet contains a
Final Grade Completion Status button located above the student names. The button should
state In Progress until the term has ended.
When you select this button, you will get the following window. Simply check the box Final
Grades Complete, and your PowerTeacher administrator will know that you have completed
grades for that class. Repeat this process for each class. If you are not through, you can
actually submit this without the check box and enter a comment such as “will be finished by
2 PM” and they will be able to see the message as well. Click OK when you have finished.
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COMMENTS – District Requirements
On the Report Card
These are standard comments defined in SMS and should be input in the ScoreSheet
– Final Grades mode in the Comments (CMNT) column. The method for inputting
is described in the Final Grades section. Report card comment requirements are
specific to your building; check with your administrative team for more information.
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On an Assignment
These are narrative comments placed on individual assignments required by District
1. Storing original grades on reteach/retest items and/or
2. Indicating special education modifications for a particular assignment that
are not covered in the Special Education modification for the grading
Additional information for recording comments is described in Step 3 – Recording
On a Final Grade
These are narrative comments placed on the grading cycle average for individual students
requiring Special Education modifications based on their IEP. On the Scoresheet – Final
Grades mode, right click on the student’s final grade and choose Score Inspector. This
should be done at the beginning of each grading cycle so that it will be visible during the
grading cycle to the parents in ParentCONNECT.
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Filtering your Display
1. Filtering Classes by Current Classes or Scheduling Terms.
2. Filtering Assignments by Grading Cycle, weeks or months
3. Filtering Assignments by Categories – On the lower left screen on Categories,
choose Filter Selected and click on a Category. This can be used to verify that you
have met the District minimum requirements for required number of scores in each
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In this example, we see only homework assignments because we selected to filter for
Filtering by Students – When you open your gradebook, the students are filtered to Active
only. In order to see students no longer in your class, on the left hand side of the screen
under Student Groups, click the pointer beside Dropped to see the those students and their
To see a single student in the gradebook, under Student Groups, select Filter Selected.
Then click on the pointer by Active to have a list of all the active students. The student that
is highlighted will be displayed in the Scoresheet with their grades. This also will allow you
to print reports for this selected student only.
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There are eight types of reports available in PowerTeacher gradebook. They can be
produced in the following three file types.
PDF – A cross-platform file that can be read and printed by Adobe Acrobat Reader or
Preview on a Mac or PC. This file can also be saved and emailed.
HTML – A file that can be read by a browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or
Text Export (CSV) – a text file consisting of the data, separated by commas. This file
can be opened with Excel or another spreadsheet software application.
You can personalize each report by entering a custom title or by including a top note, bottom
note, and signature line on the Layout tab.
The following table provides a brief description of each of the reports.
Report Name Description
Attendance Grid Student and date grid template for taking
Category Total Report Summarizes category totals
Final Grade and Comment Verification Displays final grades and comments by term
Individual Student Report Displays a summary of the class activity per
Missing Assignment Displays assignments that are missing per
assignment or per student
Scoresheet Displays a copy of the gradebook
Student Multi-Section Report Includes grades from all of a student’s
sections (including those taught by other
Student Roster Displays demographic information by class
By default, reports will print for all students in the class. If you want to print a report
for one student, go to the section on Filtering by Student to select a single student to
display in the gradebook. Once you have that one student displayed, open up the
report interface, and select Selected Groups and/or Students on the Students line,
and the report will run for that one student.
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Student Multi-Section Report
One report you may want to use is the Student Multi-Section report which allows you to
create a report that contains the student’s grade in all courses including other teachers.
Choose the Student Multi-Section Report from the Reports Menu.
A. Sections allows you to choose for which classes you would like the report. Selected
Class is the one you are currently in. Active Classes are all classes that are active in
your gradebook for the current reporting period.
B. My Classes will give you the report on just your classes. By selecting Total student
schedule, you will be able to see grades for all classes regardless of teacher.
C. The Students option allows you to select for which students to print the report (see
Filtering by Student for information on printing for a single or sub-group of
D. On the Include: you choose which items you want to appear.
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At the end of each grading cycle you will be required to print a scoresheet for each class.
Select the Scoresheet from the Reports Menu.
You will print one class at a time by using Selected Class in Sections.
Make sure that under Items to Include you check all of the Additional Info boxes.
Make sure to select the correct grading cycle in Items to Include - Scoresheet info
and in the Date Range.
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