Are you writing your report cards right now?
Is it taking you forever?
Yep me too!!!
With a busy life and no extra time I need ways to make writing these simple.
I hear the nightmare stories of ineffective report card programs that only make this harder and more difficult than it needs to be.
I also here how teachers are writing these on their own software and think there must be an easier way.
Let me share some of the time saving hacks with you that help me to save time and just might help to save you time when writing your report cards.
Use Curriculum Checklists
There are some great checklists I found here on this site. They are a great way to keep track of what expectations you have covered. I have been keeping these in my plan book and check them off about once a month. This has saved me some time when trying to wrap my head around what I have done.
It has also helped to keep my assessment focused on curriculum.
Hanging File System Assessment Portfolios
Under my desk is a black crate with hanging files. Each student has a file and in here I have kept student assessments. I keep the originals and send home copies if needed. This is a simple assessment portfolio system that I use and can pull out student folders when K need to assess student work.
My google drive also has a great organization tool thanks to google classroom that allows me to see student work from any device. This means I take less work home in piles to have to sort through.
Don’t Mark Everything
I know you feel guilty if you don’t then you get hard on yourself for being behind in your marking.
I give you permission to let it go!
You don’t have to mark everything.
If you are behind pick and choose what will be the a good representation of their skill and mark that. Look at their other work but focus on 2-3 pieces to really mark and provide feedback for.
Also mark during the day. Conference with students talk about their learning journey and participate in small group teaching. Make notes of these small interactions with checklists. I like Idocieo for this digitally. Or just a class list works too.
Tracking sheets and feedback checklists help to make this quick and easy.
Err on the side of caution
Don’t mark too easy. Really look at exemplars from the ministry or EQAO, DRA or OWA. These exemplars will give you good examples of what a B should look like.
As teacher we tend to give B’s to our middle students and A’s to the ones who just get it. C’s go to those that try hard and then there are D’s…
Be fair but be honest and compare kids to examples. Consult with colleagues and reach out to other teachers.
Be careful of inflating marks for trying.
Use Student Evaluator
This program has saved my bacon every time I write reports.
Hours and hours of time has been saved by using this program. #notanad
The comment variety is great and beats my own repetitive comments that all sound the same after writing more than five comments.
Don’t Be Wordy
Less is more they say.
So don’t write a novel.
My simple formula is this.
I like to follow my unions lead here. Use your professional judgement here and write them how you feel they need to be written.
Use a comment bank
Many teacher will first write out there comments in word.
Please for all things teaching stop this.
This process is a time suck and you are wasting endless minutes scrolling, typing, copying and pasting.
Instead try Excel. Place your comments in a spreadsheet in a grid.
A few reasons…
Your report card program might be able to import excel files and upload these as a comment bank.
Two you can actually use formulas to input the correct comment for a student based on a grade you enter. HLOOKUP AND VLOOKUP formulas will do this for you depending on how you structure your comment bank.
It’s just a better built program for report cards and beats word hands down IMO.
You can also save time by stealing my own comment bank here.