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  #1  
Old 01-14-2003, 09:28 PM
teacherkasey's Avatar
teacherkasey teacherkasey is offline
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Collingswood, NJ
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Question Workshop on Writing Assessment Comments

My director has come to me and asked me to hold a workshop/training for the teachers in my school on how to write assessment/report card comments. I haven't seen any of the comments that were handed in to her for approval (she's trying to get permission from her boss to let me see them) but apparently they were not the greatest. Any suggestions about what to do at the workshop? Where to find information I could present at the workshop? Any advice at all?

Thanks!

 
  #2  
Old 01-15-2003, 03:01 PM
AngelaS AngelaS is offline
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Congratulations on such an important responsiblity! I have a book from Scholastic called "A note from your teacher" that has SOME good ideas (some are very innappropriate- use your own judgement). I also have a book about comments especially for ECE report cards- if you want, I will get the details for you. That one is GREAT.

I would start off by reading or showing on a poster some humorous examples of what NOT to write. Go to chalktalk.com and look under "Funny Stuff"- someone posted a thread with actual quotes from teachers that were very funny. That will loosen them up. I would then ask for their input- what did you think? Why,specifically, were those not appropriate?

I would then give examples of better ways using the PNP rule- positive first, then negative, ending with a positive. Give a few examples,then ask for their ideas on a few more examples. Write on chart paper.

Then give examples about 'difficult' children. Brainstorm nicer synonymns for the words and phrases we really want to use- 'challenging behaviors" instead of "bad kid", "often has difficulty focusing for extended periods of time" instead of "hyperactive little brat", etc. Another example is to eliminate the phrase "Johnny cannot do such and such" and instead use "Johnny is not yet demonstarting the ability to do___ " or "Johnny's skills in ____ are just emerging". Emphasize that HONESTY is important, or else you will be doing a disservice to the child, but that there are TACTFUL and PROFESSIONAL ways to say things.

Then, take specific questions they have. Lastly, give a few examples of children's difficult behaviors and have them work in pairs or groups to compose appropriate comments. Share them with the staff and analyze them. Give them a handout to take with them with good phrases to use for when they get stuck.

Have fun! You'll be great! I would love to do something like this!
  #3  
Old 01-15-2003, 03:05 PM
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czacza czacza is offline
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Grade 3
You were probably asked because you write good ones! Take it as a compliment although now that you've done a great job you have more work to do!!
I always work on the 'sandwich bad news between good news' principle. (If you can find some positive things to say!)

Be OBJECTIVE!! Describe behaviors/skills/problems in a clear way- Instead of "John is an excellent reader" try "John has shown progress in word attack skills and comprehension in early chapter books"

Report cards should never be a big surprise to the student or parent- make sure the lines of communication are open during the marking period, address concerns as they arise, keep parents apprised of academic/behavior problems-don't wait for report cards to tell them!!

I also have a small paperback book at school called 'Teacher comments for report cards' (or something like that) that is helpful when I get stuck for words to use- it's divided into behaviors, social issues, academic concerns, etc.
  #4  
Old 01-15-2003, 03:48 PM
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Smile Thank you!

Thank you both for the advice. Angela- I would love the specifics on the book for writing ECE comments. That would be awesome!

Kasey
  #5  
Old 01-16-2003, 09:53 AM
charli
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Congratulations on such an honor! Your admin must have professional respect for what you have to say. I was asked to present a lesson on writing effective lesson plans to our faculty. My admin wanted me to show some "bare" plans and some very "beefed" plans, then show some good solid plans. He gave me sample of each, but I could not use them! We have a very small district and I knew that everyone would know who's they were by looking at them! I did use mine and some of our outstanding ones (with permission from the teachers). But then, I called some teacher friends from other districts and asked permission from their admin to use samples from their teachers. I had no idea whose they were and our teachers would not know either. It turned out well....but could've been a disaster! Hope yours goes well! All of the advice above is great!
  #6  
Old 01-17-2003, 04:19 PM
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Big Smile

Thanks Charli... maybe I'll see if I can get some assessments from other teachers, or those from previous years!
  #7  
Old 01-20-2003, 07:08 PM
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Question To AngelaS

Maybe it was just a glitch or my computer or something... was the website you gave chalktalk.com? I tried it and it went to another site that had nothing to do with education. I really want to see the comments because it sounds lkike they would be very helpful to me.
  #8  
Old 01-20-2003, 07:17 PM
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Big Smile Found It!!!

Nevermind... I found it!
  #9  
Old 01-20-2003, 07:20 PM
AngelaS AngelaS is offline
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Sorry.. chalktalkonline.com... I'll just cut and paste. This is from a poster named Mike.


End of the year comment code (very funny)

These were actual comments made by New York City teachers on their report cards as part of their final narratives. All teachers were reprimanded.
Enjoy.

1. Since my last report, your child has hit rock and has started to dig.
2. I would not allow this student to breed.
3. Your child has delusions of adequacy.
4. Your child is depriving a village of an idiot.
5. Your son sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them.
6. The student has a full "six-pack" but lacks the plastic thing to hold it together.
7. This child has been working with glue too much.
8. When your son's IQ reaches 50, he should sell.
9. The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't here.
10. If your son were any dumber, he'd have to be watered twice a week.
11. It's impossible to believe the sperm that created this child beat out 1,000,000 others.
12. The wheel is turning but the hamster is gone.


**Not recommending these comments! These are for teacherkasey to use as examples of what NOT to say!**
  #10  
Old 01-22-2003, 08:34 PM
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Big Smile

AngelaS-
Thank you for clarifying at the bottom of the message. Who knows how the message would have been taken or misread!!!

Anyway, I got a good laugh from these comments as did my fiancee until I looked at the top and saw that they were actual comments from real "teachers" on report cards. Then I started feeling really sad that someone who calls themselves a "teacher" would write something like this. I don't care how much I don't like a child or how much they bother me or how much they don't learn, I would never in my wildest dreams think of writing something like these. I hope these teachers were not only repremanded but FIRED!!!!!

Anyway... thank you for the site and I will be using these during my workshop!
 

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