Report Cards

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by KCMichigan, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    My girls (1st grade) got their first ever report cards (except preschool-type written reports). They did well, but the actual report card is so different than what I used when I was teaching that it was basically not terribly helpful.

    It is a number scale (1-4--- with one being beginning skill toward grade level and 4 being exceeds grade level), which is fine. Lots of places use various methods of numbers/letters/etc.

    My problem (and DHs) is that they would not give specifics. Both DDs got 4 in reading, but no details. So though they are above grade level (which I know), we dont know for sure how much or even what reading level (Fountas & Pinnell) they are working on. I actually met with the teacher (not just about this, but a few other things I wanted clarified or discussed)-- and asked her point blank about reading. I got a run-around that the district does not provide parents with reading levels, it is a multi-faceted scale based on guided reading tests, observation, sight word, etc....yes, I get that. I totally am aware that a score is just a score. But also, as an educator- I KNOW that a score can be helpful to see progress. She says they have made progress.

    Quite frankly, all the report card shows is that they are at or above grade level depending on the area. Nothing specific...and some of the written comments contradict the number given (such as practice math facts in comments, one DD got a 4 in math fact knowledge).

    Even though my DDs are ahead in reading, I have seen very little progress in that area at school. I dont care so much that they are ahead (or behind), but rather whereever they are - I want them moving forward. and I want proof of it. I am used to working, and sharing data with parents--- from a Spec.Ed background that is key to qualification, meeting IEP goals, and assessment.

    I have seen strides in writing, math, and spelling....but they bring nothing home from reading and from what I gather (they are 6 after all so I dont think it is entirely accurate) they read to and with partners. They even said they (them and two other kids in their class) read 'harder' books than other kids so they dont work with the teacher, but read with a friend. WHAT?!?

    Does your district provide testing/assessment data (reading levels, etc)?

    I really like the teacher, but am frustrated at the lack of information shared. I dont want to be one of 'those' parents, but it seems so vague. If we moved and I took that report card to a new school- they would really have little to guide them in where DDs were besides at or above grade level standards (for our district).
  2. Lougood

    Lougood Well-Known Member

    We do DRA's here and they do provide us with reading levels...Although I'm not sure I remember ever providing other parents with levels when I was a teacher. Most of the parents didn't ask either, unless they themselves were teachers. As for the rest of the report card, they only get S, N, or E with no further explanation.
  3. TwinxesMom

    TwinxesMom Well-Known Member

    We get the same bs. "girls are really smart but work on middle sounds.". Umm both are sounding out and reading most smaller works just fine for k. Both girls have a's overall for her class. We are one of the states that just got no child waived and I'm very excited to see how this helps.
  4. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    Our report cards are like that except with letter grades. Three times per year the entire school takes the NWEA to assess reading and math skills, monitor progress, etc. It gives your child's percentile in comparison to other children his/her age across the country and within our district. It also provides the child's Lexile score on the reading portion.

    I don't believe the teachers are crazy in love about this test, but it does provide progress monitoring and "levels".
  5. MusicalAli

    MusicalAli Well-Known Member

    I'm where you are. I have no real idea and I figured this was "the norm" and it drives me crazy, too! we have "N" for needs in improvement, "S" for satisfactory, and...ya know, i can't even remember if there's a 3rd because my kids have mostly Ss. She does put "S-" on some and "S+" on others so maybe there is only two. Either way, I'd like more info but never wanted to see like "that" parent. One of my boys has some learning and/or behavioral "issues" we're working on so I figured she deals with me enough. LOL. But now I want to know.
  6. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    I dont love testing either (of any kind) and am fully aware that assessments provide just a snapshot of a given day. It is not the end-all be-all, but they DO help give a rough guideline. Multiple tests that point to a range of ability is usually accurate. Multiple testing sources that show major discrepancies may show an area that a student struggles with (such as math assessment test given orally and a test given paper/pencil may indicate a reading difficulty if the pencil/paper format has a lower math score---it may be the writing or reading, not the math that is an area of concern).

    Our area doesnt do formal testing until 3rd grade (percentile). I have done Lexiles on books the girls do like to read at home, but interest is much different than ability (they read things that they struggle with because they are interested in and also read things that are really easy because they enjoy them).

    BUT that said-- a teacher that is with my child 30+ hours a week should know what level my DDs are at. They should be able to tell me what they are good at and areas of weakness, as well as tell me what they are working on (not a vague - the class is working on- but specifically strengths and weaknesses of my children). Especially in the early grades that focus on reading so much- and it is something that you can not 'see' as a parent. Math, writing, spelling- it all comes home. I can see the progress, see what they are good at/working on, etc. But reading---- not so much. At home, they are reading the same things they were reading this summer (books, series, etc) and about the same way.

    I really would like to choose our read alouds and 'gift' books that are at a good level. They tend to fall back on familiar things ( I've had too much of those Rainbow Magic Fairy books!!!!).

    I feel the same way. Both my DDs have social (DD1) and physical (DD2) concerns that I talk to the teacher constantly about those things, so I feel like I talk to her a lot. But I really have not been able to get some information I want/would like to know.
  7. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    We have a similar 1-4 scale. But their reading levels are listed as well as their writing rubric score. But, all classes are broken down into a skills based reporting, which comes down to both sides of a sheet of paper filled up with skills and grades. So there is a lot of info given on the report card.
  8. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    That is the information I want!! LOL. Also, this is what I am used to seeing on report cards since the district I taught in had this information on report cards.

    Ours have some skills- but they are not terribly specific. 1/4 is 'social/emotional/work' skills (wait in line, turn in work, etc), 1/4 is academic skills, and the l1/4 is shared with Art/PE/Music and last 1/4 is a small paragraph is left for typed written comments. I would like a more comprehensive Report Cards, plus the next one is sent home AFTER school is out. So if you have questions-- too bad!

    I think I am spoiled by all the information from IEPs, Early On, and the long written assessments from PreK (Creative Curriculum)!!
  9. KCMichigan

    KCMichigan Well-Known Member

    That is the information I want!! LOL. Also, this is what I am used to seeing on report cards since the district I taught in had this information on report cards.

    Ours have some skills- but they are not terribly specific. 1/4 is 'social/emotional/work' skills (wait in line, turn in work, etc), 1/4 is academic skills, and the l1/4 is shared with Art/PE/Music and last 1/4 is a small paragraph is left for typed written comments. I would like a more comprehensive Report Cards, plus the next one is sent home AFTER school is out. So if you have questions-- too bad!

    I think I am spoiled by all the information from IEPs, Early On, and the long written assessments from PreK (Creative Curriculum)!!
  10. Katheros

    Katheros Well-Known Member

    My kids school does a letter scale, but it's O for outstanding, S for satisfactory, something else, and N for needs improvement. I don't get any comments on their report cards either. They do test at the beginning of the year to see where each student is academically, then at the end of the year they take the same test. I can see their improvement in their homework and in the graded papers they bring home once a week, though.
  11. MLH

    MLH Well-Known Member

    I've found that K, 1st and even 2nd really didn't provide me really any info. Our report cards are 1,2 or 3 and 3 is needs improvement (or something along those lines), 2 is developing and 1 is mastered or secure. It never gives deatils. I also hate when there is just a * that an area has been "introduced" when I know they know it, but understand why the teachers do it (having worked in the school system). 3rd grade gives much better info. as far as I'm concerned, but still not as many details as I'd like. In KG this year, one teacher gave a DRA level and the other didn't. I also find it weird how one twin is "behind" the other twin in certain subject, but is considered developing and the teacher loves what he's doing, while his sister is "ahead" in those areas and the teacher discusses ways to improve those areas. Not sure if it's a difference in teachers or the way they view boy/girls. Our school is transitioning to a new report card system and I don't believe K switched over yet, but will be by the end of the year. 3rd grade has switched over, so maybe that's the difference I'm seeing as well.
  12. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    Ours are broken into effort for an overall skill (reading) then for specifics, they get a letter grade. E= exceeds, M=meets the standard, P=progressing towards, and I don't recall what failing is. Under reading, they will list the skills they need like comprehension, ability to read out loud, etc and give a letter grade. Then, at the bottom, they will write if they are below, on or above grade level. During conference and by the level of book brought home each day (the DRA level is written on each book), I know what level DS is reading at. For grades 3 and up, we are changing to the number system.
  13. ljcrochet

    ljcrochet Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I hate my girls report card. There is 3 seprate grading systems on the report card

    academic performace level for student which is
    4: exceeding standards
    3: meeting standards
    2: working towards
    1: below standards

    academic performace level for effort
    E: excellent effort
    G: good effort
    S: satisfactory effort
    M: mnore effort needed

    academic performace level for learning & social behavior
    C: consistently demonstrates
    O: oftien demonstrates
    I: inconsistently demonstrates
    N: not yet demonstrating

    Wait there is a 4th one : academic performace level for band/orchestra grading keu (guess that starts in 3rd or 4th grade)
    E: exceeding expecations
    M: meeting expectaitons - wait M is good here but bad up above.
    B: below expectations
    NA: not applicable

    There are 10 areas on their report card that they are graded on
    1. English language arts- reading which si broken down to word skills, fluency, comprehension, book selection
    2. English language arts: speaking:
    3. English language arts: writing: composition, spelling, handwriting
    4. English language arts: Listening
    5. Social studies
    6. science
    7. Math: broken down to conceptual understanding, operations, problem solving
    8. Learing behaviors
    9. Social behaviors
    10. Special area
    physical education
  14. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    Jeez, looks kind of like their "Acceptable Snack" list! :rolleyes: Someone likes to micromanage, huh?
    1 person likes this.
  15. momotwinsmom

    momotwinsmom Well-Known Member

    In K-3, they use the N/A (Not applicable),SD (Still developing) and M or M+ (meets expectiations). Once we hit 4th, it turns into 1-4 grading. Reading here in K-2 is done using the Guided reading level chart. We are usually given their level at the first conference and then again at the end of the year, I think. Starting grade 3, we change over to Lexiles (also on that chart). I wouldn't really worry about it though. If she isn't telling you anything, then there isn't anything to worry about. Maybe she only reaches out of there is a problem. The older kids lexile doesn't usually come home either, they just tell me they were tested and what their lexile was (if they remember).
  16. Minette

    Minette Well-Known Member

    I didn't read all the other responses, but our experience (in K) has been exactly the same as yours, including the 1-4 scale. All we know (both from the report card and from talking to the teacher) is that they are "proficient" or "advanced" compared to where the standard kindergartener is expected to be at that point in the year.

    She did tell us more about how they teach reading -- not the name of a specific method, which would mean nothing to me, but about how they read with partners (they do that too) and how they coach kids to deal with difficult/unfamiliar words.

    The report card doesn't just say "reading" -- it breaks it down into various specific skills -- but it's still hard for me to understand what it means in terms of their overall reading level.

    We learn almost nothing about math except that (in DH's and my opinion) they're working on things that both my kids could do at age 4.

    The other thing that seems weird is that although they both get 3s and 4s, Amy seems to get slightly higher scores in reading than Sarah, when our experience from reading with them at home is that Sarah is the more fluent reader. It makes me wonder if she's just not performing in school.

    I don't want to get hung up on their "performance" in kindergarten, and I'm really not concerned about either of them, but it is frustrating to not have a sense of exactly how they are doing.
  17. hudsonfour

    hudsonfour Well-Known Member

    My girls are in 1st at a different school from where I teach (in the same county). We are on the A-F grade scale. Both girls do very well...but like you, I am given very little data from the school. Being a teacher in the system, I am aware of what assessment are done during the year. That information has not been sent home with my girls this year... when I was a classroom teacher (I do media now) I always sent home a report once the assessment was evaluated. We recently met for a conference, and I was never given a lexile range for their reading, only told that they both performed at the top on the reading assessment (called F.A.I.R.) in our area of Florida. Both girls have really taken to chapter books and can easily read a Junie B in an evening. As a parent, my goal is like yours~ to help my child improve and grow~ I try to seek out books that meet their interest and help increase their knowledge...the reading level is a nice number to be aware of, but not the main goal of reading.

    On a side note~~~As the media specialist at my school, I will not make any child check out books only in their reading range~~~ I want kids to read books because they want to read the book and it is in their interest realm. We do have the library in sections of easy reading and upper reading. Primary students (k-1) pick books from the easy reading (picture books and starting chapter books) the remaining students can pick from any books in the library.
  18. seamusnicholas

    seamusnicholas Well-Known Member

    I loved the way my district did report cards and so dislike how my boys district does it. I taught 1st grade and we did put the reading level on the report card. Our report cards were end of year expectations as the goals listed. If a kid knew the end of yr goals, they got a 1. If they were right where they should be they got a 2 and if they did not know that trimester expectation, they got a 3. All parents were given a list of end of yr expectations so they knew how to read the report card. So if a kid got a 2, that didnt mean they didnt know the material for the time, they knew it and were where they should be but have not mastered end of yr goal. Its hard to explain without seeing it.

    So for reading level, If end of 1st tri was to be at a C/D, 2nd tri F/G, 3rd tri I/J
    If at end of 1st tri a kid was at a c/d, they got a 2
    If a kid was at an I/J they got a 1

    site words
    beginning letter sounds
    ending letter sounds
    short vowels
    *Trimester Reading Level
    *= directly from running record

    Writing :


    Number writing
    Skip counts
    Number Sense
    Problem solving
    addition facts to 12
    subtraction facts to 12
    telling time
    tells time


    Social Studies:

    Hand Writing:

    Writes Legibly
    Letter and Number formation

    Work Habits

    This is an example of a comment I would write. I made sure to hit on areas he received a 2 on (out of 1-3)

    It is truly a pleasure to have Lucas in class! He is attentive and willing to contribute to class discussions. It is obvious that he enjoys learning and does try hard to do his best. When reading and writing, we will continue to work on applying the sounds we hear in short vowel words and we will focus on letter combinations. We will also be focusing on self-correcting when reading. I am happy to work with Lucas as he is a very nice boy and a great member of our class!
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