Dum, da, dum dum…

17 Feb

CHreportcardsReport cards are here…<sigh>.  There’s nothing more tedious than filling out approximately 700 little numbers of grades, and then the overwhelming prospect of writing individualized write-ups for all of the subject areas for 30 children.

This is where I look at the high school teacher’s job–one grade per student, no comments–and feel a tremendous sense of jealousy and envy.  Normally, there’s nothing I envy about a high school teacher’s grading life.  Until I get to report card season.  Then I long for their computerized, automatically calculating spreadsheets in an entirely unhealthy fashion.

When I was in school, way back in the 80’s, our report card comments went something like this: “Elizabeth is an active and enthusiastic learner.  Great work!”

That was it.  Short and sweet, but admittantly, with very little information parents can use.  It’s possible we have now swung in the other direction, with too much information, and too much jargon.

Teachers at my school have talked about changing ours to a bullet point list.  One list for strengths, one for areas for growth.  The idea is that it would provide more clarity for parents, rather than requiring them to search through a long narrative.  I do like the idea for ease of use, but it also feels like it might be a little cold, like we’d be taking the life out of the reports.

I’m sticking with narratives for now.  I hate the process, but I do enjoy handing out a lengthy write up to parents.  It reminds me that students have learned a lot, and I’ve learned a lot about them, over the course of the trimester.  There are some ways to make the process easier though.  I’ve found that sentence stems for each area are great to remind you about details you want to discuss.  I’m attaching a few here, one I found from the Internet, and one I created over the summer when I was anticipating report-card dread.  I hope they make your life a little easier too!  If you have resources that have helped you, I’d love to know about them as well!

Report Card Comments

Student Strength & Improvement

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