“The report card is a built-in measure of progress…Your child owns it … ask for his/her reactions to the report card grades.”
A PATH TO LEARNING AND LITERACY. A Note to Parents p. 114
It’s report card time! Your child has completed the first term of the school year and the teachers are giving you feedback on your child’s performance. And it is in the midst of a pandemic! Attending school is always a big deal and today being online in some form gives an entirely new dimension to learning. Students and teachers are facing unknown challenges; parents are looking for guidance. Still, the report card comes, so let’s take the time to review, reflect and renew!
It is your child’s report card! He/she should be the first to review the results earned. As a teacher I would supply my students with a list of their grades for the quarter and ask them to inform me of any grade that was in error, or they did not understand. I asked them to sign the report and told them I would share it with their parents during the parent-teacher conference. I wanted my students to own their grades. Let your child own his/her grades. Actively listen! Let your children discuss their highs, lows, anxieties, their complaints about the long hours at the computer. Intrinsically, your children are aware of the level of their performance and when you give them the opportunity to share their knowledge and feelings, they know and appreciate how much you value their opinion.
Parents realize your children’s primary desire is to please you. A Gallup Poll reported that 81% of men and 72% of women believed that parents are the most important factor in a student’s learning. Giving constructive feedback is a skill. As a teacher I learned from the educational leader, Dr. Paul Black, to use “Two Stars and a Wish” when giving feedback. This is a wonderful tool for parents. Begin the conversation about report cards with two items that exemplify the effort your child put forth. They are the STARS! It could be doing the online homework after a long day on Zoom classes. When you actively listen to your child, you’ll see more and more stars to compliment them on. Then parents and child together make a Wish: identify an area that needs more effort or a different approach, then set a goal – a wish to do better in the next quarter. Positive and constructive feedback raises the learning bar and promotes motivation.
Each new term in school is like each new season of the year – it is filled with positive anticipation, excitement, and challenge. A new chapter is about to begin, so take inventory of the key elements of successful learning. For online instruction reinforce the “school” location at home, to promote efficiency reassemble all supplies and resources so they are within reach when working. Most important - record all upcoming assignments in an Agenda book or planning calendar. Stay current with all work.
My TWO STARS include praise for the student who perseveres and is learning to master online classes; admiration for the teacher who finds creative ways to communicate meaningful lessons. My WISH is for patience and understanding to forge a stronger bond between home and school that