Thursday, January 30, 2014

Student-Friendly Report Cards (freebie!)

Woah, where has January gone?? Time sure flies these days. Anyway, today I want to talk about report cards. Every teacher's favorite thing to do, right?! I can already hear your laughter :) So we just finished our second term, and with the end of the term comes report cards and parent-teacher conferences. This year, our school set a goal to have "student-led" conferences as a way to make the students take a little more ownership of their learning, and try to make the actual parent-student-teacher time more meaningful (10 minutes is just never enough time to really tell a parent how their child is doing). 

So in my district, we hold conferences twice a year, which is a new change that just recently started. Previously we had 3 conferences during the year, but found that holding a conference before school began didn't really accomplish anything because we hadn't even met the child yet, so we couldn't really set goals and whatnot.... So it was basically just a "meet the teacher" meeting, and we ended up having to hold individual meetings with many parents prior to the next "official" conference time, because we couldn't wait until November to address any issues or concerns we had once the year began. So now we do conferences in September and February, which is great, because it gives us enough time to gather our beginning of the year assessment data, and have a good picture of where each student is at, then in February we are about half-way through the year, so we can review their progress and see if each child is where they need to be in order to reach their end of year benchmark goals. 

Okay, back to the student-led conferences.... Back in September, as we were preparing for our first conference, one of the upper-grade teachers made a form for each child to fill out.... It was just a basic form with 4 or 5 questions for them to answer, but after only ONE conference using this form, it was very clear that this was NOT going to work out.... It was PAINFUL to sit there and make a seven year old do ALL the writing (because, after all, this is a "student-led" conference, so the student is supposed to be doing the writing and goal setting)... And it took waaaaaay longer than 10 minutes to complete this form. Clearly, we had a problem. One of the first grade teachers was nice enough to share a form with me that she had gotten from her cooperating teacher when she was doing her student teaching.... It was much more simple and just involved circling some pictures as a form of self-assessment.... But it wasn't quite what I wanted....and we all know how it goes when we get a copy of a copy of a copy.... It doesn't keep it's original quality, and unfortunately whoever went to all the trouble of making it didn't put their name or any copyright info on the page, so I couldn't google it and find who made it :( insert sad face here, right?? So, please forgive me in advance if you see this and think, "gosh, this looks a LOT like something I made".... I promise I was not trying to steal your thunder.... Anyway, long story short, I decided to make my own form, and I thought I would share it with all of you!! 

As you can see, this is just a basic form that the students can fill out themselves.... I plan on having the students do their own self-assessment 3 times during the year... First in September at parent teacher conferences, again in February at our second parent teacher conference, then we will do a final one in class at the end of the year.   I keep a copy for my records (which would be great to put in data binders or other "lines of evidence" folders you might be keeping throughout the year), then the students are given a copy to take home. In the past, I've had kids that have colored these and hung them up on their fridge! How fun is that for a report card?!

You can download it for free in my TPT store by clicking here!  When do you have parent teacher conferences?

1 comment:

  1. We generally have conferences 2x per year-- in October after 1st quarter and then again in late January/early February. I think this works well for similar reasons you mentioned in your post. Last year they squeezed in a 3rd conference at the end of March after Spring Break. That was too late. High stakes testing was around the corner and then we wrapped up the year.

    Thanks so much for this. We have conferences in about 3 weeks and I plan to include this piece.