It’s report card time. Our grading period ended Friday. With a move to reader’s workshop and writer’s workshop, we no longer give letter grades for Reading or Language Arts. We do give letter grades for Math, Science and Social Studies in 5th grade to get students used to receiving grades since they will letter grades for all classes next year. Each area also has eight to ten descriptors following the subject heading where we add a 1, 2, or 3. Descriptors include items like: works independently, used time wisely, participates in group activities, organizes materials, and uses strategies. We also assess social and emotional growth on this scale. Once the numbers and letter grades have been added, it’s time to write a narrative for each student. This is what takes time, lots of time. I want to make sure that the information provided is helpful yet succinct since there is only room for about 250 words. I write these narratives carefully, taking time to craft my words. They provide a glimpse into each child’s life as a student, showing growth and also goals for the future. The students who are struggling, not making the progress I had hoped for our having trouble with behavior expectations take the most time. I want them all to feel good about what they have accomplished and know that they continue to grow too.