Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Post Report Card Teaching

I'm not a fan of the report card process since it's laborious and calls you to essentially rate students' behavior and accomplishment for a period of time. However, I do find that the process of writing report cards serves teaching well. Thankfully, rather than grades, our report cards include checks related to learning behaviors and academic standards' achievement.

Last night I pulled together countless assessment scores and work examples to write a short report about each child's accomplishments and progress during the past four months of school.

What did I find?

Overall, I must say that I was extremely proud of students' efforts. They understand what it means to learn well. I was also proud of the positive, student-friendly program my partner teacher and I present--we are there for the students, and that was evident in our combined report card comments and checks. In addition, we do have a team of learners that succeeds, in part, because of their family members' support and care--they are a well-loved group of children, and that is awesome!

Yet, there's still room for growth. For some students, it was clear that I need to better fashion the learning program to fit the child's need particularly when it comes to at-home practice, optimal seating, teaching assistant support, collaborative groups, and one-to-one attention. I can't expect students to meet challenge if I'm not going to re-look at the teaching/learning supports and structure for those children. Fortunately we focus on issues of student support and care each week at our grade-level PLC and make changes readily to add needed supports and coaching.

Clearly there were also some children ready for extra challenge too. Those that met the standards are ready to tackle the challenge projects with greater investment and completion. I'll coach those students with those goals in the weeks ahead.

In summary though, the program is working. Our daily attention to meaningful learning events and practice are helping children make important gains with standards, learning mindsets, and academic behavior.

Report cards, though tedious to complete, are a good exercise in reflection and preparation for the learning to come. Onward.