My Ideal Report Card

In order to complete this assignment, we each brought four or five different report cards to share with small groups of our classmates. Luckily for me, several gracious friends and family members sent me samples of report cards from quite different English speaking elementary schools. A couple of these examples were even from international and private schools. In addition, we were given the opportunity to compare report cards with several of our classmates, so I was able to get a glimpse of a variety of styles. Our instructor also brought another veteran teacher to speak to our class about assessment. During this time she showed us several examples of alternative report cards. Many of these alternative reports were image focused and even allowed students to assess themselves by writing about how they felt they were growing and/or struggling in each class.

Below, I designed my version of the ideal report card. For the first section, I created a variation of the student-written report. I included emojis for the self-assessment portion as a starting place for both teachers and families to have more in depth discussion with their students. Emojis (as their name denotes) also centre on emotion, so it allows students one more tool to express their internal status. It also allows pre-writing students a non-word-based tool to express themselves.  

I also drew inspiration from many of the other reports. One report set aside a section to study “factors affecting learning,” which I really found valuable. While this section mentioned details like “establish[ing] and maintain[ing] friendships”, it focused primarily on typical classroom behaviours (listening, organizing, etc). Using this example as a starting point, I included a section especially for the core competencies (communication, thinking, personal/social well being). This section also included a visual element by allowing students to either include a photo with a caption, or write about a particular incident where they were able to expand these skills. In an ideal classroom, the teacher would walk through specific examples of the core competencies before having students complete this section.

I also drew direct inspiration from a BC report card that included specific details about the curriculum. Unfortunately, these details were formatted in a way that immediately assaulted viewers with an overcrowded page. I attempted to space out the second section of my report card in a way that made these details less overwhelming, but still made them available to more detail-oriented parents. Even though several sample report cards included an individual checklist for each piece of curriculum content, I thought it would be more effective in terms of “big ideas” for the teacher to comment on how the class content as a whole was synthesized for each student. Perhaps it’s overly ambitious to comment on each section per student, but I appreciated how the sample report cards that included this kind of detail clearly demonstrated the individuality of each child.

Throughout the report card included below, I’ve done my best to appeal to a variety of perspectives by including

  • Images (photos and emoticons) and text in order to appeal to parents with a variety of different sensory styles
  • A page of student self-reflection, so that students can voice their own perspective on the learning experience and start to advocate for their own education
  • A list of content for each subject to give detail oriented parents a roadmap for the skills/knowledge the class has been learning
  • Short teacher comments for each subject to remind parents that the teacher knows their child as an individual
  • The option for students to represent their thoughts in a variety of ways (emoticons and pictures or even a scribe for those who aren’t comfortable writing their own).

I’ve also attempted to put several of my personal beliefs/philosophies into practice in my ideal report card by

  • Working towards accessibility. Coming from a background in Special Education, I realize that not all students will be able to reflect critically on their educational experience in the same way. I believe providing a scribe for many of these students is essential.
  • Involving students in the assessment process so they can have more agency over the direction of their education.
  • Valuing emotional intelligence and the “core competencies” as much as academic work.
  • Focusing on “hard work” and “risk taking” in comments and avoiding empty praise as often as possible.
  • Removing grades from the equation unless directly requested, since grades are often seen as a form of compensation rather than communication (See, Rick Wormelli’s video below).

Page 1: The first page of this report card has been set aside for the students. Ideally, this page will prompt discussion for families/guardians and provide insight for teachers.

*Emojis are licensed as a creative commons

Subject

Emotion

(stickers provided by teacher)

Self- Reflection

(Written or Scribed)

Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies

Arts Education

Career Education

English/ Language Arts

Mathematics

Science

 1f603 Sample 1: I like doing experiments in science. Sometimes it doesn’t turn out how I would expect.

Social Studies

 1f914 Sample 2: Sometimes we learn too much all at once in Socials and I get confused.

Physical and Health Education

Core Competency

One Way We’ve Practiced This Skill

Insert photo with caption or written (or scribed) comment

Communicating

Thinking

  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking

Personal/Social

  • Positive personal and social identity
  • Personal awareness and responsibility
  • Social responsibility

Page 2: This page of the report card provides parents with an outline of key subject content and an anecdotal grade for each subject.

Subject

Content

Drawn from the B.C. Curriculum for Kindergarten.

 

Teacher Comment

All student grades are anecdotal. Letter grades can be provided upon request.

Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies

  • A combination of curricular competencies and cross-curricular activities.

Arts Education

  • Elements in the arts, including but not limited to dance, drama, music, and visual arts.
  • processes, materials, movements, technologies, tools and techniques to support arts activities
  • notation to represent sounds, ideas and movement
  • a variety of dramatic forms
  • symbolism as expressions of meaning
  • traditional and contemporary Aboriginal arts and arts-making processes
  • variety of local works of art and artistic traditions
  • personal and collective responsibility associated with creating, experiencing, or sharing in a safe learning environment
Example 1: Susie* gravitates towards bright colours in her art and isn’t afraid to take risks. She always seems to enjoy her art classes and encourages her classmates to participate in each activity.

*Name chosen at random

Career Education

Personal Development

  • goal-setting strategies
  • risk taking and its role in self-exploration

Connections to Community

  • cultural and social awareness
  • roles and responsibilities at home, at school, and in the local community
  • jobs in the local community

English/ Language Arts

Story

  • structure of story
  • literary elements and devices

Strategies and processes

  • reading strategies
  • oral language strategies
  • metacognitive strategies
  • writing processes

Language features, structures, and conventions

  • concepts of print
  • letter knowledge
  • phonemic and phonological awareness
  • letter formation
  • the relationship between reading, writing, and oral language
Example 2: Susie worked very hard to write (with an aide) and illustrate an interesting and very detailed story during our last few language arts classes. While she struggles with her spelling and sometimes feels discouraged about her writing, we are currently working on some new strategies that will encourage her to continue taking risks in her writing.

Mathematics

  • number concepts to 10
  • ways to make 5
  • decomposition of numbers to 10
  • repeating patterns with two or three elements
  • change in quantity to 10, using concrete materials
  • equality as a balance and inequality as an imbalance
  • direct comparative measurement (e.g., linear, mass, capacity)
  • single attributes of 2D shapes and 3D objects
  • concrete or pictorial graphs as a visual tool
  • likelihood of familiar life events
  • financial literacy — attributes of coins, and financial role-play

Science

  • basic needs of plants and animals
  • adaptations of local plants and animals
  • local First Peoples uses of plants and animals
  • properties of familiar materials
  • effects of pushes/pulls on movement
  • effects of size, shape, and materials on movement
  • weather changes
  • seasonal changes
  • living things make changes to accommodate daily and seasonal cycles
  • First Peoples knowledge of seasonal changes

Social Studies

  • ways in which individuals and families differ and are the same
  • personal and family history and traditions
  • needs and wants of individuals and families
  • rights, roles, and responsibilities of individuals and groups
  • people, places, and events in the local community, and in local First Peoples communities

Physical and Health Education

  • proper technique for fundamental movement skills, including non-locomotor,locomotor, and manipulative skills
  • how to participate in different types of physical activities, including individual and dual activities, rhythmic activities, and games
  • relationships between food, hydration, and health
  • practices that promote health and well-being
  • names for parts of the body, including male and female private parts
  • appropriate and inappropriate ways of being touched
  • different types of substances
  • hazards and potentially unsafe situations
  • caring behaviours in groups and families
  • emotions and their causes and effects
  • reliable sources of health information

My instructor included a few suggestions, which I’ve included below. If you have any thoughts on my sample report card, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

  • “I think that, if you have an effective system for collecting evidence and anecdotal notes, this [comments for each class] can be a pretty straightforward process.
  • “It would be helpful for students and parents to have a “key” or “legend” that described what the emojis mean. Also, limiting it to 4-5 choices might be helpful, as the differences between some might be negligible. Just a thought!” – While I appreciate the need for clarity, I intentionally moved away from including any sort of key to go along with the emoticons. I wanted it to be an opportunity for both parents and teachers to discuss emotions and foster emotional intelligence in students (i.e. there is no “right” answer).
  • “Grades aren’t really anecdotal, as they should be objectively based on evidence and criteria. Anecdotes are more subjective and narrative-based.” – I realize now that I may not have made this idea entirely clear. I was referring to the choice some schools have made not to include grades on the report cards at all. Instead, report cards provide anecdotally evidence of learning. I feel like this is a much better reflection of any given students learning, especially in elementary school. I am currently still researching the different ways anecdotal evidence can be presented so that it is still recognized as a legitimate reflection of student learning, without including any letter grade or percentage.
  • “It would be great to expand on these strategies [in the class comment sections] so that the parents can support the learning at home (if possible). Even appending an example or a description of the strategy to the report card (or that was sent before or after) would be helpful.”
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