report cards... ugh

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by PinkLily, Nov 12, 2009.

  1. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Nov 12, 2009

    I love my job, but I absolutely hate doing report cards. I find that the hardest part is always writing the comments, it's also the most time consuming. After speaking to some other teachers today, I realized that part of the problem is that I write way too much for each comment. I always write some good things, but then I also try to fit in everything that needs work. I want to write shorter comments, but I just don't know how. Any advice?

    If anyone is willing to share actual comments, I'd really appreciate it. I'm not looking for report card phrases, but an actual comment from beginning to end. This should give me a good idea of how much I should be writing and, hopefully, it will help me cut back.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  3. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2009

    Which part, specifically, are you looking for? Here in Ontario, we have fairly lengthy written comments for every subject area, as well as the Learning Skills comment which is about 7 sentences long or so. I'm working on mine right now and would be happy to help by posting some samples from different subject areas later today.
     
  4. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Nov 13, 2009

    We do ours on compter and just put numbers in the comment code column and there's a key at the bottom of the report card where the parents see that comment number 6 means "All the above" which is 5 positive things. The counselor prints up the report cards for us and then we distribute them. I kinda miss the traditional looking report card because ours is just a piece of paper.
     
  5. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Nov 13, 2009

    "Johnny's reading comprehension skills have improved this quarter. He is participating in class activities and enjoys being a peer tutor. I would like him to practice multiplication facts every night."
     
  6. GoehringTeaches

    GoehringTeaches Comrade

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    Nov 13, 2009

    Our comment box is so tiny that I can barely write the child's name in it sometimes. I usually just write the usual "practice sight words daily." or "so-and-so is a pleasure to have in class." I'm boring like that.
     
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2009

    For comparison, here is the language comment for one of my grade 7 students:

    With effectiveness, T is able to read and demonstrate an
    understanding of a variety of literary, graphic, and information
    texts, using a range of strategies to construct meaning. In his
    Reading Response Journal, he uses supporting evidence from the
    text and his own experience and understanding. T, with
    effectiveness, generates ideas for writing, gathers information to
    support these ideas using a variety of resources and organizes theinformation to produce a multi-paragraph piece of writing. He
    effectively uses a variety of sentence structures. With effectiveness, T presented his speech by communicating
    orally in a clear, coherent manner, demonstrating awareness of
    the audience. T is encouraged to continue to focus on clearly making connections to other texts in his Reading Response Journal and to apply style elements discussed in class to his daily writing.


    The math comment and Learning Skills (where we discuss work habits, social skills, etc) comment will be the same length, comments for Science, History and Geography, Phys Ed and the Arts each about half as long.
     
  8. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Nov 13, 2009

    I love what you wrote Mrs. C but I'd probably have to send an additional report card to the parent explaining what I wrote!! What I usually do is keep copies of prior year's report cards and find comments I can reuse. It makes it so much easier.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 13, 2009

    :thanks:I hate all of the "with effectiveness", but that's what we need to use to indicate that a student is meeting the standard in that expectation. The expectations/standards are directly from our curriculum expectations, which is why they aren't necessarily in "friendly" language. We are able to personalize by commenting on specifics (e.g. Reading Journals, specific assignments, etc). The Learning Skills comment is where we really have more flexibility.
     
  10. wrice

    wrice Habitué

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    Nov 14, 2009

    1.) Positive and insightful observation about kid. 2.) Successes. Focus on kid's strengths and not curriculum. 3.) Areas of improvement 4.) Participation/Social 5.) Positive end, future growth.

    Here's my fifth grade science comment sample:

    Wide eyed wonder frequently greets me whenever I present intriguing bits of science to Lauren and her class, and her enthusiastic and inquisitive nature is delightfully infectious. Quizzes range from a 94% on the plant anatomy quiz to a 104% (with bonus) on the assessment over the details of photosynthesis. Clearly, Lauren has a deep and thorough capacity for science content. Projects showed a bit of a slip. While her writing was fluid and thoughtful, Lauren seemed to have some trouble attending to the requirements of the essay for her research project on the tallest roller coaster. The science component of her Imagine Paradise paper likewise missed some vital components, and a goal for Lauren would be to continually double check how her writing stands up to the guidelines. Still, homework has been consistently thorough, and Lauren’s participation in science activities and her contributions to class discussions remain exemplary. She has a story for any topic, and the class benefits from the connections she is able to make. Lauren continues to tackle science challenges with flair! I look forward to her consistent success.
     
  11. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Nice, wrice!
     
  12. cair

    cair Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2009

    In my school district we use Teacher Grade which is a computer program. Everything is on-line so parents can view the progress of their child. At first, I hated it... but there are ways to get around some sticky areas. The report cards are printed out from the Teacher Grade program. All comments are within the program which is great. Just open up teacher comments, and bingo... it's a mere click. However, teachers can write their own personal comments, too. Usually, I write directly to the student. After all, it is his/her reprort card... and it does make it very personal. I don't know what grade level you are talking about, but I'm a sixth grade LA teacher ... departmental... I teach reading/writing and I don't mind writing to the kids at all. I can do it at my pace and make changes to comments until the last day before print out.
    Also, why not try gooooooooogling teacher comments, I'm sure their are plenty of good ideas there.
    c
     
  13. PinkLily

    PinkLily Companion

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    Nov 14, 2009

    Thanks for your replies. I forgot to mention that I am currently teaching grade 3.

    MrsC, we only have to write one general comment. Thank goodness! I have friends who work in other districts that have to write comments for each subject, like you. Personally, I don't think I could do that. I already have a hard enough time as it is.

    Cair, I have tried googling 'report card comments', but they are almost always just individual phrases. I want to see how someone puts them all together, without it sounding too choppy.

    Beckysue, I think that I am going to try and write comments more like you. Your comments seem to give enough information, without being too lengthy. Thanks for sharing!
     

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