Thursday, June 23, 2016

No recess (Nirvana)

Here are some factual statements about school reports for students:
  • A report communicates a student's performance academically. 
  • In New Zealand the Ministry of Education requires schools to provide a written report on at least two occasions during the academic year.
  • A typical report uses a grading scale to determine the quality of a student's school work. 
  • Reports are now frequently issued in automated form by computers and may also be mailed to parents and students. 
  • Traditional school report cards contain a section for teachers to record individual comments about the student's work and behaviour. 
  • Some automated systems provide for teachers' including such comments, but others limit the report card to grades only. 

At my current school, we do all of these things and more. 
  • Some reports are automated,  some aren't.
  • Some have comments, some don't.
  • We have more than two written reports a year.
  • We use a variety of grading scales.
  • We don't just report academically.

The opinion bit
My main issue with the school report process is that, to have maximum effect, feedback needs
to be as current and as detailed as possible.

Feedback! It works!! Just ask John Hattie needs to be focused within individual lessons. Really focused!

I've searched for data on the effect our three week old teacher comments have on students' learning but have come up blank. However, I'm reasonably sure that a bland report comment that is three to four weeks old is not going to have the same effect as more immediate and focused reporting that parents can see on Schoology (or some other platform) as soon as I've written it!

Our latest report process took most of June to complete.

Can we do better? Ar-ha ar-ha - I think so.

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