Hey Friends!! It's that time. Time to start thinking about report cards, if you haven't already! I am in my 4th year teaching, and I have only ever 'graded' on a standards-based report card. However, I will say that I grew up, with the system of A's, B's, C's, D's, and FAILS!  

Shifting ones mindset to a standards based system took quite some time. I'll be honest, my first year teaching, I didn't quite get it! 

Let me start by showing you! This is what a report card looks like in our school system:

So this is the first page of the report card. Students are given one of 5 different marks for each standard during each marking period.

NE--which means that the student is not evaluated on that standard at this time.
1- making limited or not progress toward the standard 
2- progressing toward the standard
3- meeting the standard
4-exceeding the standard

As you will also notice, some standards are lumped together. As great of an idea as this sounds, let me just cut that thought outta your mind! For example--when we teach students opinion writing during marking period 1, and they are rocking it, they are really be meeting the standard and then earn a '3'. But when they are learning narrative writing in marking period 4, and they are just struggling with this, and say they receive a '2' or heaven forbid a '1', PARENTS FREAK OUT. And the e-mails start to FLY.

"Why was my kid meeting the standard in writing the first 3 marking periods, but then the last marking period they are only progressing or making limited progress?!?! Are they going to fail?!?!?"


Then I have to explain about the standards being lumped together, and they just haven't fully met the standard for narrative writing. HOWEVER, this could have all been avoided if the standards were still separated out. I believe the committee that decided to condense the standards together thought they were doing us (teachers) a favor, thinking we wouldn't have as much work. Oh quite the contrary!!

This is what page 2 and 3 of the report card look like. Social Studies, learner behaviors, reading levels, math fact levels, places for the Encore, a.k.a. Specials teachers, to put grades. I don't have as much of an issue with this page :D as I do page one, with the lumping of standards :)

So, with a standards based report card, what should determine a student getting a 4, 3, 2, or 1?!? Like I stated earlier, my first year, I really equated a 4 to like a 90%, a 3 to a B or an 80%, a 2 to a 70% and a 1 a 60% or lower. I mean, really, looking back, that was ridiculous that I thought this way.

With a 3 being meeting the standard, there really is NO way a student can earn a 3 in the first marking period (first 45 days of school), unless you don't plan on coming back to that standard again in the school year. Cause I mean really, as a teacher, how can you teach an entire standard in those 40 few days of school? The students haven't had the opportunity yet to learn everything encompassed within a standard (such as the foundational or language standards).

With standards that are ongoing that I feel students are making progress, I do give them a 2. They haven't yet consistently shown that they are meeting the standard, thus me giving them 2s.

As far as 4s go, I really struggle with students earning a 4. Earning a 4 is translating that they are exceeding the standard, such as working CONSISTENTLY on a grade level above their current grade level.

Now, my students mostly earn 2s or 1s. When a student is given a 1 on their report card, translating to the parent that their student is showing no progress or limited progress, I also send home a progress report. Within the progress report, it shows what standards we are working on. So for example, even though they received 1s across the board in 2nd grade math standards, they are working toward the standard on the 1st grade math standards. This gives the parents a more detailed look at what we are working on in class, and what their students are making progress in.

I've found that tracking progress has been made a lot easier with my checklists. Many of my students are working below grade level, so I have found it helpful to track their progress in data binders, read all about it HERE.

I have created EDITABLE checklists for Math Common Core Checklists for Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade. You can check out each one by clicking on the images below:


Please let me know what questions you have about standards based report cards, or if you have any suggestions for other teachers!
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