Well, it's that time again: progress reports. I am anticipating this being a short post today, as our progress reports are due in by midnight tonight and I am only about halfway done with them. But who knows, if I get on a roll with a thought I might just get carried away.
This is my 16th year teaching and in that time, progress reports have changed quite a lot. I'm not talking about the basic idea of progress reports, but just look at the fact that the name itself has evolved. We used to call them "grade cards" but now they are "progress reports". This is fitting for my district in particular, as we do not give actual traditional grades in the elementary school. The progress report lists the standards for each subject area at our grade level for the entire year. Then, for each marking period, we assign a number to the students' mastery of that standard for that marking period. There is a grading "key" included on the progress report so that the parents know what the number means. I won't go into any more detail other than to say that I'm sure that there are more than a handful of parents who would love to have the good old A-F grading scale back on their child's progress reports.
Another change that has occurred since I began teaching is that our progress reports are not only
completed online, but they are also accessed by the parents online. There are exceptions in which a parent does not have internet access, but in 2015 this is rare. In that case the progress reports are printed out and a physical copy is sent home with the student. In my class, I don't have a single family requiring a printed out copy of their child's progress report.
The most welcome change to progress reports is that I no longer have to spend long hours in my classroom completing the progress reports. I can sit from the comfort of my living room with my laptop on my lap and enter students' grades. Also, thanks to technology, I don't have to lug bags and bags of student journals, tests, and projects home to use as a reference for marking their progress reports. Everything I need is either in Evernote or Penultimate on my iPad.
So, as I suspected this post ended up being a bit longer than I anticipated. As I only have 5 1/2 hours until midnight, I need to finish up, find my 3 posts to comment on for the SOL challenge, and then get cracking on those progress reports. They sure won't write themselves!