Today we’re going to talk about how to write meaningful and effective report card comments.
It’s the end of a grading period and you have to write report cards. You get your computer ready and your template is on the screen but nothing comes to mind. You hope that glass of wine might do the trick but you’re not looking forward to getting started.
It can be such a daunting task to turn all of those classroom management issues into a goal that your students are working toward. On top of that, each sentence has to be beautifully crafted with vivid language so that parents are blown away from the progress that their children are making.
Does that not sound thoroughly exhausting to you? Oh goodness!
If writing meaningful and effective report card comments is taking forever, skip everything else and focus on the following three strategies.
#1. Check Your Language.
The curriculum is outlined for teachers and administrators to understand. It is not designed parents to sift through. Often times our teacher brain thinks in pedagogical terms because that’s how we are trained but the parents of our students didn’t receive this same training. Therefore, it’s important to write your report card using terms that anyone who isn’t a teacher would understand.
For a child with an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), their report cards should be changed to meet their learning goals. It means that their bullet points and their comments are all personalized.
However, it’s incredibly time consuming to do this for every single child in your class, especially if you have 30+ children because report card writing is typically done during your spare time at home. Nevertheless, since it’s important to personalize student report cards, it can be done in a simple way.
- Choose a reflection journal that works for your reporting period and download it.
- Have your students do a self reflection at the either the beginning or middle of the term and then again at the end of the term to gauge progress.
- Use their exact words in your report cards. For example, you can write, according to __________, he has shown improvement in “____________“ by doing “________________”.
This adds a personal touch to the report cards while giving students a voice in it and proving parents with a way of understanding their child’s thought process.
The following are a few examples of core competency journals. You can find a more detailed list by clicking the images below.
#3. Create a Sandwich
This is a simple concept but not always done. Think of the bread pieces on the top and bottom of your sandwich as the positive comments and the middle part as the needs improvement section. Using this visual, you can start each section with a few positive comments followed by what a child needs support in and how that will be accomplished, followed by a few more positive comments.
When you frame comments like this, parents aren’t focused on any negative comments but see it in a positive light where their child needs improvement and is gradually working on it. This way of writing report cards is also important because it reduces the number of angry parents who will email you after they read the report card comments.
Let’s recap really quickly. Today, we looked at the following:
- Why we need to focus on three strategies to writing meaningful and effective report card comments.
- Three ways to do it: check your language, personalize, and create a sandwich.
In the mean time, if you’re feeling stressed out, overwhelmed and burnout, then I encourage you to check out the following: FREE MASTERCLASS: Systematic Plan to Super Passionate.
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Until I see you next time, remember to create, experience & teach from the heart.