Sunday, March 11, 2012

Slice #11 2012 - Report Card Narratives

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.


  1. I agree with the amount of time it takes to write report card narratives but have also found how important it is (as you indicate). I enjoyed reading your post and seeing how your experiences are similar to mine and to hear someone else talk about how well-spent this time is. It's good to remember that when the stress of trying to get everything done comes along!

  2. I struggle with writing report card comments. They never seem to come easy for me and often end up being generic. I would much rather conference with parents face to face. I guess, I'm just letting you know, I feel your pain.

  3. I understand how difficult it can be to write these narratives with a limit of 250 characters. It's definitely about word choice - clear, concise, specific. But narratives are so much more informative than a 1, 2, or 3 or even an A, B, or C! Most parents are not used to narratives, but they are so powerful. I'm sure your students' parents are grateful for the time you are spending on writing these individual narratives!