Monday, August 26, 2013

Report Cards that Matter

Have you ever sat down at a parent conference to discuss a report card only to realize that the measures don't match your mission or pursuit as a classroom teacher?  Or have you ever sat down to write a report card and realized that you collected all the wrong data during the year?  It's important to understand the "report card" well prior to the start of the year so that you collect the right evidence and teach the matching skills.  In today's changing world of education there's multiple report cards utilized in schools throughout the country. What's important in this regard is that your "report card" match your intent and effort.  Hence, with this in mind, I've created my own report card--a "card" that will lead my work this year.  Of course, I'll also collect information and teach standards related to the many other reporting documents I'm required to fill out, but the one below is the one I'll hold as the central focus of my work in the year to come.

Let me know if I'm missing anything as I'd like to have a final version ready prior to the first day of school--one that I'll probably ask students to fill out on day one.

Student Report Card: School Year 2013-2014

Name: ______________________________________________________

Birthday: ___________________________________

Age: _________________________

Date: ___________________________

  • Are you happy at school?  Why or why not?  What can I do to help you to be a happy student each day?
  • Do you feel good each day?  Do you have enough to eat and drink?  Is the food you're eating making you feel energized and alert?  Do you have enough time to play, stretch your legs, and be outside? What can I do to help you be as healthy as you can be?
  • Do you feel like a valued member of our learning community?  Why or why not?
  • How can the community welcome you with greater energy, positivity, and respect?
  • Do you contribute to our learning community?  What gifts, energy, questions, actions, and ideas do you bring?  How do you help us to develop a vibrant, purposeful, happy learning community?
  • Does our learning community represent the values you have related to learning and community?  If not, how can we change that to make our learning community more inclusive and welcoming?
  • Do you read every day?  If not, why not?  
  • Do you read with fluency and expression?  How can we work together to grow that skill?
  • Do you understand what you read?  If so, what strategies help you with this?  If not, how can we build this skill?
  • Do you enjoy reading? If not, why?  If so, what's helping?
  • Do you read with others?  How can we build book clubs, literature circles, and literary discussions into your reading program?
  • Do you like read aloud?  If so, why?  If not, why not and how can we make it better?
  • Do you share your thoughts and understanding about books in blogs, stories, journal entries, and letters?  If not, how can we build that into your reading repertoire with strength?
  • Do you like to write?  If not, why not?  How can I help?
  • Do you write every day?  How can we make this happen?
  • How would you like to grow as a writer? How can I help?
  • Can you write in many genres such as letter, story, memoir, informational text, persuasive essay, multimedia composition, and more? Let's practice this and build fluency and facility with writing?
  • Do you have a positive attitude towards math?  Attitude matters and if you don't have a positive attitude, how can we change that?
  • What basic math skills have you mastered, and what foundation skills do you need to master?
  • How can I help you to become a successful math student?  How do you like to learn math best?  What math questions do you have?  
Social Studies/Science
  • What questions do you have about the world around you?  What are you curious about, what do you want to know, understand, and/or master?
  • What tools help you to learn about the world around you?  How do you use those tools?
  • How do you like to learn best?  How can we make that happen in the classroom?
  • Do you share your learning with others?  If so, how? If not, why not?
  • Does your learning impact your life, community, and/or world?  Is this important to you? Why or why not?
  • What knowledge, concept, and skill points will help you to live a better life in a better world?
Teachers and Leaders
  • Are teachers and leaders responding to and meeting your needs as a learner? If not, what do they need to do?
  • Are you asking questions often and letting teachers and leaders know what you need to learn well and be successful?
Life Long Learning
  • Since life is a series of learning opportunities, challenges, and accomplishments, do you feel that you're gaining and developing the knowledge, concept, skills, and tools you'll need to be a successful learner?  If not, how can we change that?
  • Is the order and routine of your learning positive and helpful as you think of yourself as a life long learner?  How can we change or re-prioritize the efforts to better meet your life long learning needs?
  • Are you making progress as a learner?  If yes, what progress have you made and how do you know you've made that progress?  If not, what's holding you back?  How can we help?
What other thoughts and ideas do you have about your learning and our learning community?  I want to know. I'm here to help you.