Report Cards, Assessment, Rubrics, Standerized Tests YUCK!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Said no teacher ever. That’s right I am talking about Report Card season. Don’t get me wrong I know that it is part of our job as a teacher but it is one of my least favorite task. I usually sit under a blanket with mountains of paper surrounding me, computer in my lap and maybe my favorite junk food within reach. Does this sound like your November?  I am currently on leave and will not be spending my November writing comments and I am not going to lie I do not miss it! There must be something out there that can help with this part of this job?

Report Cards oh my!

Report Cards oh my!

Photo Credit: elysejones via Compfight cc

Where does everyone find their motivation to get through this part of the job? I find it very helpful to sit down with colleagues to collaborate. I am even seeing some teachers from Regina taking to Twitter and doing the same thing that I like to do during Report Card Time! I also mentioned in a previous post on Google Docs and collaboration.that my staff uses Google Docs to post our report card comments and we use it to help edit and share ideas with one another.

As I write each comment for my students I want to make sure that they are personal. I try to avoid the copy and paste function at all costs. With that being said it is very time consuming. I found that this website helped me with some great starters Report Card Comments Starters. I also found this advice from a

when I was a first year teacher. The best advice that I was given is that students and parents should not be surprised when they read their report card. I believe in constant communication with students and with home. I am now finding it easier with GradeBook going live with my school division. This allows parents and students to  see their assignments and comments online!

As I do report cards three times a year I am finding that I am getting better at the comments and keeping up with my assessment throughout the year. I have been evolving my ways to asses students on a regular basis. Our staff has been using outcome based reporting for numeracy and literacy. I hope when I return to work I will continue to develop outcome reports for all subjects. I showed an example of an Outcome based reports on a previous post as well! Check it out. Has your school developed a school wide initiative to start assessing a certain way to be consistent? I think that assessing can be very difficult but if we as teachers can be consistent it would make it easier for students and parents to understand how students can  reach the outcomes in the curriculum.

A HOT TOPIC always seems to be Standardized tests. Recently in my Ed 800 class we discussed this issue. It seems like this issue is always on the minds of educators and in the news. Dr. Marc Spooner posted on his Twitter a great comic:

Cartoon on standardized testing.

Cartoon on standardized testing.

What are your thoughts on Standardized testing?I agree that you need to test students to help lead your teaching. It is also important to see the growth that students have achieved throughout the year. But if the testing is just used for the government to see data that compare schools or provinces it is not useful.  I think that this topic will be up for debate for years to come. Even though teachers in Saskatchewan have overwhelmingly said that they did not want standardized testing to be implemented it looks like we will have a few more being put into place. Article on Standardized testing in Saskatchewan.

Good luck to all the teachers out there as they work on report cards this week and up coming weekend! I would love to hear your tips and tricks when you get the chance. What is the best way you survive through this season?

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About tarasmith311

Hello my name is Tara. I am an educator and a new mom to a beautiful girl Adalee. I am staying at home for the year to raise my little one but miss being in the classroom every day. I have been teaching middle year students for five years. I have decided to continue my education by taking my Masters in Educational Psychology through the University of Regina. My dream would to one day be a guidance counselor. In my free time I love to be around the pool. I have played competitive water polo for many years and have been coaching the sport for over ten years. I look forward to my journey as a new mom and life long learner.
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